EuRuKo 2004 Part I
Other people have written detailed accounts of what went on at EuRuKo, so I’ll, er, leverage their effort by skipping the minutiae here. Nonetheless, here’s a quick run-down of what happened on the two days.
On Saturday, I arrived in Munich at 07:30 and had a slightly surreal walk around a deserted central Munich before getting some breakfast in a cafe. I made it in good time to Sulzer GmbH’s offices on the Frankfurter Ring, even though they are a long way from the U-Bahn station of the same name. Unlike latecomers, however, I was able to make the journey without getting rained on!
The conference facilities were superb—some desktop computers were available for those without a laptop and a wired network was provided (it suffered from terrible packet loss on Saturday afternoon, but was working perfectly on Sunday). There was plenty to eat and drink: a variety of bottled beverages on the tables; chocolate snacks; plenty of coffee. We also had a typically Bavarian lunch with Leberkäse (a kind of meat loaf that contains an unspecified amount of liver), Weißwurst (veal sausage—remember to take off the skin!), bread and pretzels (big, salty whirls of bread, not the tiny things that come as cocktail snacks). There was also plenty of wine and beer with the lunch, which went down very nicely!
Saturday morning was spent in introductions and occasional tangential discussions. After lunch, there were two presentations. First, James Britt reported on the events at RubyConf in the US the previous weekend. This took quite a long time, as many topics proved to be catalysts for further discussion. It was very useful in terms of giving a sense of currently hot topics in Ruby-land. James also did a good job of presenting the material in an interesting manner.
Following that, Mathieu Bouchard introduced Pure Data, a “a real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing”, and GridFlow, a multi-dimensional matrix abstraction layer (if I understand it correctly) for Pure Data featuring Ruby scripting. It sounds very complex, yet provides a surprisingly easy-to-understand interface to the user.
That was all for Saturday, as it was already late by that stage and most people were tired by a long day on top of travel. However, most of us met in an extremely good Greek restaurant, the Poseidon in Grillparzerstraße, for dinner. I enjoyed several glasses of dunkles Weißbier. Meanwhile, certain people managed to join us two hours late, having confused 9:30 and 19:30...