It's been about a week since the Open Source Bridge Conference, and here are some brief thoughts about it. I'd summarize it by saying that it's approximately 80% as good as OSCON for nearly one tenth the cost, and it was here in Portland.
Of course, it was smaller than OSCON - a lot smaller. But it had a lot of what I go to OSCON for - talks about cool open-source software. There weren't as many talks, not as many projects, not as many "rock stars", but it's the same basic idea. The exhibitors area made a Soviet-era consumer electronics show look like NES. I felt sorry for them.
As I hinted at, the price (something like $250 for non-early bird) was beyond reasonable - it's cheap, in a good way. At the moment, I'm between clients, so there's no way I could afford over $1000 for OSCON. If I had that kind of money this year, I probably would have blown it on the Java Posse Roundup - maybe next year.
Finally, having it in Portland was crucial for me, especially this year. However, I realized a down side to that: since I'm basically local, at the end of the day, I didn't hang around for social events or the hackers lounge, but I rather went out with friends whom I was staying with in the area. So the fact that it's local sort of limited my participation.
Anyway, it was a great version 1.0, and I look forward to going to OSB again next year. Oh yeah, props out to O'Reilly for being a sponsor of a "competing" conference. That was cool.