CafeConf 2006

This last Friday and Saturday I attended CafeConf 2006 :

  • What: CaFeConf - 5th GNU/Linux & FS open gathering
  • When: November 10th and 11th, 2006
  • Where: Lima 717 - UADE - Capital Federal - Argentina
  • Que: CaFeConf - 5tas. Conferencias Abiertas de GNU/Linux y Software Libre
  • Fecha: 10 y 11 de Noviembre 2006
  • Lugar: Lima 717 - UADE - Capital Federal - Argentina

Since this year they decided to broaden out their base, they decided to focus on education, in order to get students involved, so they decided to get teachers involved. To do that, they included as a kind of conference-in-the-conference, a Mini Moodle Moot 2006. I found myself focusing on these events.

Open Source projects I was impressed by (apart from DrupalDrupal of course Cool, which for some strange reason was not represented at all at the conference):

Moodle , the Open Source Course Management system (LAMP based architecture).

LAMS, a Learning Activity Management System based on Learning Design (OpenSource, J2EE).

Git ("Git was initially written by Linus Torvalds with help of a group of hackers 'round the net. It is currently maintained by Junio C Hamano". Git describes itself as a fast VersionControlSystem); and Cogito (a VersionControlSystem "layered on top of the git tree history storage system"), both DistributedSourceCodeManagement tools which I found out stand head and shoulders above cvs and svn.

There was an obligatory "60 minutes of Rails" presentation I didn't see, but an interesting workshop on Ruby done by Gabriel Arellano of UTN University, Uruguay.

People I met:

Pablo Etcheverry, Director of entornos educativos (local Buenos Aires Moodle partner). They are doing a lot of work in the Buenos Aires OpenSource Education community, and several people gave talks on actual use of Moodle in their workplaces, both business and university oriented (University of Buenos Aires, Hospital Italiano, etc.). A pleasure to meet Pablo and co-director Leopoldo Mayer.

Martin Langhoff, of Catalyst (New Zealand), maintainer of Moodle (stable version), architect of the largest current Moodle installation, and consultant for Open University UK (now doing a pilot program for a future 2,000 plus student Moodle installation). Martin explained a lot to me about Moodle, its inner workings and its roadmap, both in the sessions he led and in personal conversations. Apart from Moodle, he led a highly interesting workshop on Git and Cogito (see above). He's involved in other great stuff too, like eduforge.org and elgg (eLearning networking), etc. Great meeting you, Martin!

Ernie Ghiglione, of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, is LAMS Project Manager. He gave a couple of excellent workshops on LAMS 2.0 , and I really enjoyed talking to him later about the amazing architecture under the hood of LAMS (old friends JBoss , Spring , Hibernate , as well as WDDX, ..., Oh my!), even though what really steals the show for LAMS is the amazing front-end authoring usability and pedagogical philosophy, which goes over and above content based approaches. We talked about LAMS integration with Moodle. Great meeting you, too, Ernie!