OSCON: Friday

On Friday, I made it to the morning keynotes. None of them were really informative but were entertaining and funny.

I attended ZFS: Bringing Terabytes Under Control by Jay Edwards. He mainly talked about using ZFS on Solaris for large storage systems. The biggest advantage of ZFS is the nice management tools for creating pools and filesystems. RAIDZ, which is RAID5 with tracking of which blocks need to be rebuilt, sounded neat. The copy-on-write behavior which makes snapshots and clones easy sounded very useful. He mentioned some of the problems between the impedance mismatch between smart ZFS and smart hardware. ZFS assumes that the hardware is dumb and lies which causes performance problems with smart drive arrays.

Next, I went to Running Your Programming Language on Parrot by chromiat and Patrick Michaud. They talked about how to write parsers and compilers for Parrot using the Parrot Compiler Tools. The tools make it easy to write a Parrot compiler for a language by doing a parse grammar and AST grammar to transform the source into an AST; the tools can produce PIR from the AST. It sounded like the new tools are being used for more languages and should improve the progress in getting languages implemented on Parrot.