Saturday, February 1, 2003

Making the rounds at Lotusphere 2003

EVENT REPORT

By Mick Moignard

Elsewhere in this issue of DominoPower I discussed the details of NextGen and DB2 in Domino. Here, we'll look back on the other exciting goings on at Lotusphere 2003.

Naturally, there were all the usual parties, and I'm sure plenty of impromptu ones as well. There were old friends to meet again and new ones to make. It was rumored there would even be sessions to attend.

There were plenty of sessions on all the usual topics, and the Best Practice track pioneered last year was back, much expanded. The technical sessions in this track are given by leading practitioners in the field, rather than by Lotus and IBM people. So they are real war stories and a great place to learn new techniques. Indeed, at the times I was able to get to sessions, more often than not I had to make a difficult choice between two or more. It's actually nice to be forced to have to make that choice. And of the two I went to that had, lets say, somewhat iffy presenters, they still provided good technical content. I did not go to a bad session all week. To be honest, it's been two or three years since I went to a bad one.

So, what else was notable? Read on.

The location

What can one say about the location? Most obvious is the architecture of the Swan and Dolphin Hotels (at http://www.swandolphin.com), the center of Lotusphere. If you've seen them, you know what I mean. If you haven't, then you have one more reason to go to Lotusphere. The Swan is pictured in Figure A.

FIGURE A

The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (click for larger image)

The Dolphin is pictured in Figure B.

FIGURE B

The Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (click for larger image)

They are two of the most bizarre buildings in creation, inside and out, both in appearance and in color. The rest of Disney is almost normal, compared to these. The whole site is big, too. You will do plenty of walking between the three hotels -(the Yacht & Beach Hotel is also used). The Dolphin dining tent is no more; the new Pacific hall being used instead.

Loud t-shirts

The loudest t-shirts at Lotusphere were the tie-dyed List-Server for Domino shirts. Stephen Holowaty's orange ones weren't far off, and they were visible from even further away. The C.U.L.T shirts were around, in two varieties this time, but there seemed to be less of them than last year. They were harder to get, too, which means I actually didn't get one.

The party stayed in beer

Magic Kingdom isn't the best Lotusphere party venue; that distinction goes to MGM Studios and the old part of Universal Studios, but it's close. The week started off very cold, so it was nice that it warmed up for the night. Lotusphere parties do seem to be shorter every year, though, or maybe that's just thanks to having good company to party with. Thanks, Richard, David, Jimmy, Gisela, and Reinwald.