Software Development ain't what it used to be

I made a quick trip to the Software Development Expo this afternoon, conveniently located in the San Jose Convention Center. I only went to the expo, not to the sessions, and I don’t know if there were any hot sessions conflicting with my visit, but here are my impressions anyway:

I arrived at 3:15pm; there was no one ahead of me to register.

The longest line I saw, by far, was at the kiosk where you could fill out a survey about the conference in exchange for a free T-shirt.

KnowNow ( is making a big play at this conference — between their booth, exhibit, and free Internet connectivity area, they had more floor space than any other two companies. All 20 or so of the terminals in their connectivity area were in use, but I didn’t see anyone waiting in line, either.

The most crowded booths were those for Addison-Wesley and Apress, both of which were selling books for 20% off.

Microsoft had a large booth right by the main entry to the show. When I got there, they were demonstrating Visio.Net, which drew a crowd, but the rest of the booth was fairly empty. They were giving away time-limited copies of Visual Studio .Net for a short survey and a swipe of your badge — this also entered you in a drawing for an Xbox.

IBM had a large booth right by the secondary entry to the show. When I got there, a demo was going on and it was moderately crowded; the rest of the booth wasn’t particularly busy. But some of the IBMers I talked to said that this show was drawing better crowds than last year.

Other companies of note with booths showing some activity: ActiveState, Borland, MySQL, Rational, SlickEdit, and VA Software (SourceForge).

As always, the software locking people were there: Aladdin and Rainbow.

There weren’t any hugely obvious trends, other than smallness and emptiness. The “Web Services Pavilion” had four companies and was the only “Pavilion” on the floor. XML tools were moderately popular; so was Java and C++, as you’d expect at this kind of show.

There were no good tchotkies being given away, and hardly any candy or T-shirts. I came home with an unswiped badge and empty hands!

He’s better at Python than Virginian

Today, Mark Pilgrim makes the claim that

“Henrico” [as in Henrico County, Virginia] is pronounced “en-ree’-co”. The “H” is silent, the “i” sounds like “e”, and the accent is on the second syllable.

I don’t know where Mark got that misinformation, but I grew up in Henrico County, and I can assure you that I always heard it pronounced as “hen-rye’-co” (with a slight accent on the second syllable).

Luckily, Mark’s Python book does not suffer from pronunciation problems, and I highly recommend it.