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LinuxPlanet: Web Coding in Romulan? Open Source at the Worldcon

Sep 04, 2000, 12:19 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Courtney)


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"What brings together Linux, FreeBSD, Macintosh, rocket scientists, authors, and the best technology of the United Federation of Planets? Answer: The World Science Fiction Convention, better known to its five thousand attendees as Worldcon. What started out over sixty years ago with a couple hundred people has grown into an event that fills one or several large hotels and attracts some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy. This year's Worldcon, number fifty-eight if you're counting, was held in downtown Chicago from August 31 to September 4. Because of its location, this year's Worldcon is also called Chicon...."

"As you might expect, and many readers will know firsthand, there is a tremendous amount of crossover between SF fandom and the Linux/Open Source community. The traditional 'Geek Codes,' often seen in taglines in online Linux hangouts, even contain standard fields for expressing one's love (or hatred) for Star Trek and other SF shows. People who are interested in hacking code are often interested in general science and technology, and this frequently translates to an interest in fiction about those topics. Voila! Another geek becomes an SF fan. Or, for some of us, an early interest in reading science fiction led to a career in engineering, and another SF fan becomes a computer geek. Either way, the crossover correlation is undeniable and longstanding. Even Eric S. Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, can be found wandering the halls of the Chicon site...."

"When looking for the right tools for building the onsite Chicon web server, Olson took a pragmatic approach that has served well since he began learning computers on his first Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I. Calling himself a proponent of Open Source but 'not a zealot,' Olson says he simply picked the best tools for the job -- and those tools happened to be Linux, PHP, Apache, and MySQL."

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