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

“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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