while waiting for my flight to portland in the san francisco airport, i sat down in the waiting area and started listening to the conversations around me (yeah, i'm nosy like that; bad habit i know). the guy right next to me was talking to a portland local about how to get to a particular hotel from the airport via the max train that runs through the city. something about him just spoke "hacker" to me. and no, he wasn't overweight, bearded, etc ... he just had that aura.
so i struck up conversation ... asked if he was going to portland on vacation or whatnot and he said it was mostly business (though he was meeting up with his g/f later in the weekend). i asked what he did for work and he said he was a software developer. i asked what he was doing in portland (told you i'm nosy; but i just had this feeling about him) and he said he was attending a conference. i asked which one. he said an osdl conference. bingo!
i introduced myself and he did likewise. turns out it was alex graveley, who you may know as a vmware developer or as the guy who wrote tomboy or who worked on evolution's exchange connector back in the day. we were both impressed by the serendipity of being on the same flight, but really it wasn't that big of a random chance given the hub that s.f. is and that the conference started the next day. so i said, "wouldn't it be wierd if we were sitting next to each other on the plane?" so we whipped out our boarding cards and .... he was 27A i was 27C. woah.
we ended up sharing a row (he by the window, me on the aisle) with nobody sitting in the seat between us. this allowed us to put notebooks there and discuss development ideas.... turned out we have a fair amount in common technology vision wise and may end up working together on some pretty interesting stuff in the near future. we'll see.
upon arrival we took the train together and continued the conversations all the way until our stops. in any case it made the 3 hour expedition from s.f. to the hotel a very enjoyable one and i must say that alex is a very enjoyable and intelligent person.
i hope we do get to work together on some software in the future ...
as for the actual desktop architects meeting ... so far so good. presentations are ongoing and most of them have highlighted really how much we have in common and helped to expose more openly our common needs and goals. will be interesting to see where we end up at the end of the day and at the end of the conf.