Self Esteem and O'Reilly Animals

Listening to James Reinders talk about Intel Open Sourcing their Threading Building Blocks got me thinking about O’Reilly animals.

James seemed kind of underwhelmed at being assigned a canary.

Intel Threading Building Blocks: Outfitting C++ for Multi-core Processor Parallelism

To be honest, I can see why. As mascots go, canaries are not an A-list animal. If half the other mascots would eat yours, and the other half could accidentally step on it and kill it, then you have not been well served.

Sure, there are only so many A-list animals to go around. It is not so surprising that the lions, tigers, elephants are already taken, but B-list can be fine too. Perl has adopted the camel with an enthusiasm far beyond what camels are used to. Hugh and Dave got a good one for their PHP and MySQL book. The platypus is a great animal for PHP. Sure, it looks like it was put together out of parts of other animals, but it is reasonably attractive, and has the kind of street cred you get from being poisonous.

But really, a canary? A scallop? A sand dollar? A moth? A beetle? It is hard to find glamour or prestige in mollusks and other invertebrates that that spend their short lives munching on decomposing waste.

I wonder if many of the people who get an invertebrate or a puny vertebrate ever write a second book for the same publisher, or if they quietly slink away and hide their book inside a Harry Potter dust jacket.

I Am Up There With Paris Hilton?

I am not quite sure what to think of this birthday list.

Simon‘s top five list of “Presents NOT To Give Your DAD On His 60th Birthday” is:

* Free one year’s subscription to FHM
* Paris Hilton’s New CD
* Stretchable pants
* PHP and MySQL Web Development (3rd Edition) (Developer’s Library) by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson (Paperback)
* That small blue pill…

What can I say?


George Schlossnagle, Laura Thomson, Luke Welling, Theo Schlossnagle, Chris Shiflett signing books at OSCON06.  Photo by Mark Taber.

George Schlossnagle, Laura Thomson, Luke Welling, Theo Schlossnagle, Chris Shiflett signing books at OSCON06. Photo by Mark Taber.

OSCON is my favourite conference. I really like the way it brings people passionate about a whole range of things together. Sometimes of course, they choose to concentrate on their differences, but for the most part somebody who is interested in one technology is more likely than average to be interested in others, and likely to have a great deal in common. Contrary to popular opinion, PHP does not officially stand for “People Hate Perl“.

Remind me next year that at the end of every OSCON I always wish I had spent more time outside the PHP track.

Highlights included
Rasmus, demonstrating how his name became a verb (and profiling a PHP app with Valgrind).
Terry Chay‘s ongoing struggles with Tourette’s syndrome.
Zak Greant‘s lightning talk on how PHP is saving the world a variety of unusual ways. (Hopefully he will write it up as a blog post or similar)
Cal EvansPHP’s Most Wanted cards, which you can download if you want your own set.