Last week, I attended the OOPSLA 2006 at Portland, OR. For the last several years, I tried several times to register for this conference. Every time, my registration was canceled due to different reasons. Finally, I made it in 2006:)

In general, it's a great conference with great hot topics, like AOP (Aspect oriented programming), MDD (Model driven design). On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed because it's more academic than industrial oriented. There was no talks about "Web2.0" during the whole conference. After more than 6 years of work in various industries, I'm more concerned about the actual usage than academic research.

There was an interesting talking: The Geography of Programming. But it's just the start of the search. I'm curious to see more search result coming out.

Leaving Instiki, joining Trac

Recently, I helped a team to solve their wiki problem. They were using a Ruby wiki named Instiki 0.10. The wiki stopped creating snapshot after one server power outage. In the end, it took 40 minutes to restart the wiki.

Firstly, I upgraded Instiki to the latest version which is using database. But several unexpected problems happened afterwards:

  1. We got segmentation error from time to time, and Instiki automatically shuts down. The error comes from sqlite driver.
  2. Server runs out of memory several times a day, and Instiki automatically shuts down.
  3. The performance of the page is unbearble. It takes 30 seconds to do a search with around 1000 pages.
After doing some research, we decided to move away from Instiki. Trac was picked as our new Wiki. Luckly, in Instiki, we could export all your pages into textile files. With the help from Simon, my colleague, I created a simple textile to trac wiki converter using Perl. It will look through the input directory for all the files with .textile extension, convert them into trac format, and dump the new files into specified directory. Then we used "trac-admin wiki load" command to load these pages into your trac wiki. Bingo!

The script was not perfect. I had to manually change several pages manually. At least, it's a good start. If anybody wants to get the script, feel free to shoot me an email.