Published on Sun 21 of Sep, 2008

From 4th to 13th of September I have been hanging out at the WikiHouse in Porto. "What's a WikiHouse?", I hear you asking and I tell you that it is the most awesome invention since sliced bread - thank you Marc LaPorte! :)

The WikiSym conference was in Porto this year and the TikiWiki community used
this occassion to have a TikiFest - for which a house was rented and named the
WikiHouse. About ten people were accommodated there and after the conference
even some people, who had problems with their flights and needed accomodation,
joined us. We also had two parties for all the WikiSym people, that were a
great success I'd say. The first party was held on sunday evening, just before
the conference, so that all the people having arrived already don't have to be
alone in a foreign city and can meet other WikiSym people before the
conference. About 20 or 30 WikiSymmers showed up and it was a really lovely
evening, getting to know all the guys in an informal setting. Then rather
spontaneously we decided to have a closing-party on the last day of WikiSym,
which was again highly appreciated by the people. Thank you all for coming!!
You made these parties as much fun as they were! :)

Actually the whole TikiFest before was nothing else than a huge party either.
Coding, sleeping, discussing, drinking, eating, sysadminning, drying keyboards
in the oven, drinking, sleeping, fixing USB-plugs with cheesegraters,
laughing... WikiHouse rocks! :)
This was a different TikiFest than the one in Strasbourg, which was really a
hardcore workweek. Having a house allows everyone to work according to his own
rythm, no need to hurry to a certain place for working and coordinating all
the different people accomodated in different places. And having Xavi there
makes sure that you get awesome food, too! :)

The house also featured "Internet from the sky", which more mundanely put is a
cable from the third floor of the neighbouring house down to the garden of the
WikiHouse. Thanks to Ademar, the main organizer of WikiSym for this. He just
went ringing doorbells and asking for internet. This internet connection died
twice in between, but always came back up. Once it probably died because I refused to have sex and the second time it died because the neighbours internet connection was shut down. First time it was a couple of nice words and the cable got plugged in again and the second time our neighbour somehow organized internet from yet another neighbour. Nevertheless we had internet all the time, either via some 3G connection, the sky or in the last days even via DSL from Sapo, our sponsor.

WikiSym itself was a really nice conference, too. The university provided a
great location and we were really lucky with the weather. I usually don't like
listening to talks much - I mean: I'm capable of reading and I get the papers
as the conference proceedings. So I turned out to become the prototype of a
butterfly. There are two categories of WikiSym people. First is the bumblebees
- running around all the time, being here and there to check out all the
different places and stuff. And second are the butterflys - sticking to one
place and enjoying themselves and other people there. Being a butterfly worked
out very well for me, I met really nice people and had a good time with nice
discussions. Open Space is a really great invention of WikiSym. It allows
anyone to post discussion proposals on a wall and then people are free to join
these sessions. I used to hang out there a lot as it made for really nice and
informal discussions, sometimes even lying on the grass in the sun. And I
would have never thought that there are sooo many hot girls into computing -
it really pays off to go to WikiSym, I tell you! :)

It somehow makes you feel weird, when you hear that portuguese newspapers
titled their articles like "Wiki gurus decide on the future of the internet"
or talk about the "superstars of the wiki scene". Wow, we are superstars! Did
those journalists realize that we were lying on the grass in the sun while
just discussing the same stuff as on any other given day? ;)
The most unbelievable thing I heard during WikiSym was that "WikiMania is even
more layed back"! ;)

WikiSym also provided us with a nice evening out with a sight seeing tour,
boat ride, port wine tasting and an awesome restaurant with local
especialidades. This meant a neverending buffet with all the most awesome
stuff you can get: meat, fish, cheese, wine, ice cream. Afterwards some of us
continued into the city to meet some locals. Cafe Piolho is certainly the
place to go, if you want to have great atmosphere and party with locals. We
were there twice and were not disappointed. Drum'n'Bass is almost lame
compared to locals with their drums. In the streets of Porto I even met the
founder of WickedPedia, Ricardo 'Poki' Assuncao (need some accents on that
surename). ;P
The locals are all really, really nice people. We got received with open arms
and were immediately part of their party. Many thanks for that!

And many thanks to everyone involved in this week - be it TikiFest, WikiHouse
or WikiSym! Everyone was just awesomely lovely and made us all have a great
time. Everything really was the WikiWay - everyone provides something small
and in the end something bigger emerges that is good for everyone!

Hope to see you guys some day soon! :)

For some pictures, see:

Published on Mon 11 of Aug, 2008

So that went fast...
... it only took a bunny-hop onto the pavement and then some menacing sound began - my rear derailleur was hanging inside the spokes of the wheel.


This image is already after I managed to get the derailleur out of the spokes, but yeah - the derailleur is gone for good, the hanger for it just ripped off, the axle is a bit bent, the master link is gone and the rear wheel is a bit askew.

Well, good that there is Corney - the best guy with a bike shop in this world. From somewhere he could magically get the parts I needed and I can ride again - took only about an hour to fix everything. It's not perfect yet as I now have a used and also slightly damaged rear derailleur, but at least I can ride again and only have to find a new rear derailleur.

Now that I think about it: Those exchangeable rear-derraileur hangers... they are a good idea, but they never did me good. With the last frame it didn't take enough of the shock to prevent breakage of the frame and now it actually even made things worse by breaking badly... :P

Published on Sun 20 of Jul, 2008

I just registered for WikiSym 2008 in Porto as there will also be TikiFest Porto 2008 and I must say that I'm highly satisfied with their concern for privacy. There were not only the usual checkboxes like "I don't want to receive further spam mails", but also "I don't want to be listed in the conference participants" - and this one:

I do not want my image or voice captured while at the Conference

Wow, kudos to WikiSym folks! :)

Published on Sun 20 of Jul, 2008

I just returned from my last after-study party, which happened to be TikiFest Strasbourg 2008. Just as with basically all the other parties before(that I will still have to blog about), something got lost or broke - only this time the whole trip was one continuous disaster for me. It started on the first day with a file system corruption, that took me about four hours to fix, so half the day was lost. On the next day the ink leaked out of my pen, into my pocket and lacquered my purse. The day after that I found out, that the triple room I booked was unneeded and I couldn't cancel it - great way to triple the costs for accomodation. The day after I again had a file system corruption, which this time couldn't be fixed, so no computer available any more for me and I will have to install it completely from scratch - "I mean: fuckin' hell!" (insider-quote ;) )

So only the last day went without major accidents, but apart from all those disasters this was one great TikiFest and a perfect final for my party weekends.

It was great to meet other Tiki contributors in person and discuss with them directly. So little time available and still so many decisions were made, people came closer together and understand each other better now, so much fun and laughing, so many people there and even met my bro again, four locals and people even came from Fiji islands - it was the biggest TikiFest so far afaik and it was a TikiFest that marks a major change in the community!

We released TikiWiki 2.0rc1, which will be the first major release since years. And the new release schedule plans to do a new major release every half a year. This will have major implications on the development of the software (and on the social aspects of the community), but I'll save that discussion for tikiwiki.org websites and mailing lists.

Sadly I had to acknowledge very quickly right on the first day, that I am really totally out of coding. After two years not really touching PHP-code or TikiWiki, it felt very strange to look at the contents of my vim. So I concentrated on getting into it again, rebuilding my nonexistent devel environment, getting familiar with the http://support.mozilla.com Tiki and throwing my two cents into the discussion when I felt comfortable with the topic. All in all it was a very successful TikiFest, which gave me a good start into the community again.

For some images, see:

Merci et au revoir! :)

CU guys in Porto

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Born, went to school, started hacking on free software, did some major high availability sysadmin work in between, now back to my original passion: managing knowledge. :) -- Long CV

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