Moving things from here to there

I’ve submitted my talk proposals for the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop, which I’ll be attending as a volunteer to give Casey a hand. I submitted the Hydra talk I had so much luck with at OSCON, and also a talk on Metaweb.

Since I’m in the no-man’s land of “Already gave notice but haven’t changed jobs yet” I’ve got some time on my hands to consider various things in a philosophical way. I spent a little time contemplating the synergy between the two talks.

Hydra is a system for presenting wiki data in a non-wiki way using the fairly fabulous Socialtext API. In that talk, I discuss the basic data structure of wiki pages and the wonders of our Rest API, including the query structure and how to manipulate the results to present the information differently. I also cover Blikistan, a perl-built framework which allows you to build different wiki views more easily, and then I demonstrate a couple of example sites built using these tools.

Metaweb is a semantic database framework, which has been used to power Freebase (and my new gig is going to involve writing applications using Metaweb as a back end). In this talk, I’ll discuss the structure of the data in Freebase, and the wonders of the Metaweb Query Language. I’ll discuss how the result structure allows you to manipulate the results to meet your needs. And then I’ll talk about the perl library for accessing Metaweb and manipulating the results, and show an example application.

So, one talk about the company I’m leaving, one about my new company. Both talks discuss using an API to present information in a different way, and both discuss a data model being used in a different way than its base use. And I end up both talks with discussions of a perl library and a demonstration of its work. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m boring.

I’m happy to spend the time talking about Socialtext, even though I’m leaving. I believe strongly in the company and the technology, and I love many things about the code – and I’ve spent so long helping to build up a developer community that it would seem odd *not* to keep on doing that. With Metaweb, it’s a new and shiny thing, full of amazing and interesting potential, and I can’t wait to show it to people and encourage them to think about what they can do with it.

So, apparently my interests lie in “Moving stuff from here to there” whatever I’m doing, but I’ve noticed that this is actually quite a common thread. I’m excited about talking to (and with) the folks at PPW and getting new ideas about both products.

Dialogue & Discussion