It appears that this conference will be everything I had hoped. The group is small and refreshingly cross-disciplined. We have folks from large enterprise shops, mid-range consultancies using Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python, and solo developers from several disciplines. There's even a ColdFusion person!
The OpenSpaces conference format is already fulfilling its promises. We had a full docket of topics before we even had our first break!
In the afternoon session we had a good discussion about Content Management Frameworks/Systems. It's interesting to me to see Drupal, Wordpress, Plone, and others now being referred as Content Management Frameworks instead of Content Management Systems. I hypothesized that perhaps it was because of issues with clients who expected a CMS to be something akin to off-the-shelf software packages that are just installed and then ready-to-use. With the shift to "framework" instead of "system", the idea of a need for customization and buildout is more clearly expressed. I gave heavy endorsement to Drupal as a CMS. I have heard that some people were using Wordpress as a CMS, and there were a few folks with clients doing that.