TikiFest Porto/WikiSym2008: Sex, Drugs and Open Source

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:

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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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