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I was lucky enough to attend Codebits again this year, and the event was awesome as usual. In the middle of all the things to see and do at the event I was able to present a talk again, this time focused on the topic of Flow-Based Programming. For those whose could not come to the event, here is the original talk description:
As software developers, every day we are faced with ever more complex systems to run our applications. Single machines are not enough. Now we need to orchestrate hordes of multicore CPUs, GPUs and DSPs to run our applications in a scalable, distributed way and this is hard.
Flow-based Programming is a programming methodology created by J Paul Morrisson at IBM in the 70s in order to solve everyday challenges he faced when developing large scale business applications. Based on a solid theoretical foundation and battle-tested on real-world applications (with one of them running continuously for the last 40 years), FBP is making a comeback as an effective model to reason about and implement data intensive, distributed applications, as can be seen by the growing interest in tools like NoFlo and Storm.
In this talk I will present the history and fundamental concepts of Flow-based Programming, and how it is different from other models like dataflow, functional and object-oriented programming. We will then use noflo to develop a small heterogeneous application using this methodology.
And here is the talk video:
I think the talk went well and that I managed to get the main ideas across, although looking back it probably sounded a bit confusing because I couldn't see my notes during most of the talk. I'll see if I can expand those notes a bit and post them as a follow-up to this post. In the mean time do check the other Codebits 2014 talk videos, there's lots of good stuff there.
Here's hoping to be able to present again next year to showcase dataflower to the Codebits crowd.
LGM 2013 was held in Madrid at the brand new Medialab Prado building, a fantastic venue which besides a large auditorium provided lots of work space for the developers present. The program was divided into workshops and work sessions in the morning, conferences during the afternoon and social events in the evening. Many of the participants there were also going to stay for the following week for the Interactivos production workshop.
With so many activities and so many interesting people there, it was not possible to attend every session, but here are my notes on some that caught my attention:
Camille Bissuel presented Mikado, a graph-based image editor which has a structure similar to the one I'm proposing for dataflower. It is based on a C++ dataflow library called Tempi and has a web-based UI. I had a chance to briefly talk to the presenter and there are many good possibilities for future collaboration. Tempi looks like a very mature and well designed library and when the time comes I'd like to contribute to it and support it as a backend in dataflower.
Tom Lechner presented his Laidout tool which he's been developing for some time now to do the layout of his own publications. The tool implements many really interesting ideas, eschewing most of the traditional idea of tools in favor of direct manipulation of objects in the canvas. On another related talk, Tom also presented some thought-provoking ideas on how we could share tools between Free Software graphics applications.
Dave Crossland and Ben Martin talked about the current state of Fontforge and demoed an impressive real-time collaboration feature that they would be working on during the conference and the Interactivos workshop.
Ale Rimoldi, inspired by how UNIX shell pipelines work, presented his thoughts on how we should be able to connect graphics applications to build complex workflows, similar to what we can already do with audio applications via JACK.
Danji Vasiliev presented his Hotglue project, a web framework that allows users to direcly edit their web pages in the browser through direct manipulation. He also presented his plans to create Superglue, a distributed platform web publishing platform based on Hotglue.
You can find all the talk videos in the Medialab-Prado multimedia archive.
As for my talk, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and got really good feedback from the people attending, but I'll let you be the judge of that. Here is the video and the slides of my presentation:
LGM 2013 was an incredible experience for me, as I've had the chance to meet some good friends and some of the people that develop many of the tools I use and love. I also got the chance to take the pulse on what the Free Software community is doing to support creativity, and regarding the future of these tools I can tell you, the future is Free (as in Freedom).
SAPO Codebits is the largest technology event in Portugal. Every year, around 800 developers and technology enthusiasts apply for a chance to geek out, present their pet technologies and compete in a furious 48h free-for-all hackathon with awesome prizes.
I've been to Codebits many times but never felt I had anything inteersting to propose as a talk. In 2012, realising how little attention was being paid to parallelism in the conference and how little most developers knew about the subject, I gathered my notes and proposed an overview talk about the rise of heterogeneous parallelism, parallel algorithm design and OpenCL.
Here is the video: