Well, I knew I was going to get called out on this one - I've already had some emails commenting on my critique, so I figured I'd expand on things a little more. Again, a caveat - My hat goes off to the organizers, and to every single presenter, and everyone involved. I had high hopes coming into this, and I'm just one disappointed person in a largely happy group of attendees.
(and yes, I gave this same feedback via the feedback form, and again - these are my opinions)
I believe that as a language conference, we can not concentrate on the "hype du-jour" of the day - while that does help recent adoption, I think we need to cover our "core" bases as well. I think we need to go back to systems/program design, and showcasing the core feature of the language. Now I know the hype attracts the bees, but I know at least a small hand full of people who we're not talking on the same level as anyone else, I think we need to work on bringing everyone up to a nice level (generally a teaching view).
We can not simply show those successful applications written with the language - we have to show people how to make those successful applications and tools. We have to show them how to succeed, not just the success stories.
I for one would have killed to have listened to Bram Cohen (instead of the Debt Management Discussion) talk about the exact why's and how's of BitTorrent - not just the exact implementation, but about potential possibilities for it and his thoughts about system's design within python applications?
He did gloss over some of that - and he even mentioned that BT and Twisted share a lot of the same things, but what things? How? How can we integrate those things into our applications to succeed? (god, I sound like a sales guy.)
Another example, TurboGears is really cool - and a lot of the web frameworks get a lot of soundbites, but how do I, as someone knowing the core language build something like that?
I'd just like to see "meatier" discussions. Although, as the AST BoF showed me, sometimes things can be so meaty that I want to run screaming. I would like to see more technical presentations on Application design, library design, etc. Just things that are less Niche/Hype, and more core to the language.
All of this is just my opinion - I know you can't serve everyone - and that you have to serve that which brings in the most bodies. I really did like meeting people, and I loved getting to shake Guido's hand (duh) and putting faces to names like AMK, Guido, Ian Bicking, etc was awesome. I just wanted to learn more.