Time flies when you're having fun. The conference of the year, IMHO, is happening next week. I'm honored to keynote the second day of the conference. Thankfully they haven't pinned me down to specify a topic. The lead keynote speaker is K.G. Schneider, and she's been blogging her preparation. I'm looking forward to her talk as well as the entire conference of talks. I'm not used to 20 minute talks though. I could go on for hours! (see below)
My preparation has been brainstorming ideas for months, with a Keynote presentation file constantly open where I "paint a few strokes" when the inspiration strikes. Some high-level idea keywords brewing are: intertwingularity, serendipity, findability. I will tie those together with the fun we've been having with Collex and the fun we're gonna be having with Solr flare. I'll also discuss my experiences with building a proof-of-concept faceted browser of the UVa library data, consisting of over 3,700,000 MARC records. We'll see it in action, including some new and improved Flare UI.
I was shanghai'd into library community via a demo Bess saw of Collex last Spring. She was instrumental in connecting me to Art Rhyno for the great Windsor Lucene Summit, and from there to a pivotal eIFL-FOSS meeting. Through all that, Bess being the shaker that she is, twisted my arm into volunteering to lead an all day pre-conference workshop on Lucene and Solr. I've been working very hard on preparing materials for it. This preparation has included enhancing Solr for system property substitution (making it easier to launch Solr many different ways), writing an elaborate Rakefile that:
task :package => [:checkout_solr, :build_solr,
such that rebuilding the complete workshop package is a "rake package" away. If you'd like to "attend" without being there, feel free to pick up the package I've built. Details are available at the open preconference discussion forum. Feedback (via that group) is most welcome!