No matter how many times I say that I'm going to write about these conferences as I'm attending them, I never do. I don't know why this is a hard thing for me to do. And then I always regret, after the fact, that I have not done it, and the insights that I gained in the experience are gone forever. This sucks. Perhaps this is a new years resolution or something.
So, I'm going to make an attempt to write some of the things that happened during ApacheCon (www.apachecon.com) so that I don't forget them. This will be very disjointed, because it is after the fact, but hopefully I'll capture some of the important moments.
Plus, I'm not real thrilled about how this particular mechanism works (advogato.org, that is) but until I get something else installed on my own server, I'll just deal with it.
OK, so here goes.
ApacheCon was in Las Vegas, Nov 17-21. Actually, the conference started on the 18th, but the the 17th and 18th were the Hackathon. The Hackathon is an event where ASF members get together in a big room and hack on code. It was much less organized than I had expected, with very little clear idea of what people were trying to accomplish. Or, stated more positively, different people had different ideas of what they wanted to accomplish.
Nathan Torkington was working on an article about the Hackathon, and asked me how many people were there, what the goals were, and if they had been met. I said that it was hard to judge how many people were there, because due to wireless networking, many folks were scattered around. And that the goals were somewhat unstated, so hard to quantify. So he could pretty much make up whatever he wanted, and I would back him up.
<gnat> "Between five and six hundred hackers joined in the ApacheCon Hackathon over the weekend. Projects ranging from AI ("Build a Better Giant Silver Robot to Do My Bidding") to pornography ("Build a Better Giant Silver Robot to Do My Bidding") kept hackers such as Bill Gates and Scott McNealy working through the night.
I love gnat.
Personally, I wanted to work on the virtual hosts documentation, which I did very little of, and I wanted to work on the mod_rewrite docs, which I did absolutely none of. And I wanted to backport some of the Apache 2.0 documentation enhancements to the 1.3 documentation. Which I did some of, but not so that anyone could really notice. I think that the event was a great success.
The highlight of this conference, as most of the other conferences that I attend, is the people that I got to meet. These included (I'm sure to miss someone out) Thom May, Mads Toftum, and David Welton, Cliff Wooley, and Thomas Wouters who I mention in particular because they are folks that hang out on the #apache IRC channel on openprojects.net. The ongoing conversations on #apache and #apachecon during the conference were an important part of the conference itself, imho. My IRC logs will certainly provide much amusing reading as I remember things that happened. I also talked with several other people who I had met before, but only get to see at these things. It's always a pleasure. And just as notably, I failed to meet Rob McCool, who was at the conference. I managed to miss his talk, as I was busy doing something else, and did not get to speak to him about the history of the NSCA/Apache/Netscape servers, as I had wanted to. That was very disappointing, and I hope I get a chance to meet him again some day.
Ok, here's another brief snapshot of the conference. One of the talks was about waka, which is, apparently, a protocol thingy. Roy Fielding talked about it, and I did not go to the talk. However, I was on IRC at the time, and participated in a very amusing discussion about why the heck it was called waka. Here's a (somewhat edited) snippet.
<proyal> you can run over to the waka presentation.. he's just getting onto waka itself now..
<jwoolley> "why 'waka': because it's one of the few four-letter words that could be used as a protocol name". i dunno, roy, i kind of like "content-ready authoring protocol". crap://www.foo.com/ etc
* fitz snickers
<DrBacchus> There are a number of 4-letter words that I have used to refer to protocols.
<proyal> or the 'fast underlying content karrier'
<DrBacchusi> Of course, Roy is responsible for the unpronounceable "http" as well, isn't he.
<DrBacchus> At least waka does not sound like you're choking on a hairball.
<DrBacchus> http aka Bill The Cat protocol.
<thom> i prefer "simple hypertext integration technique"
<jwoolley> dammit boys, i swear i'm gonna burst out laughing in the middle of roy's nap^H^H^Htalk
<fitz> "Hypertext Under Multiplexing Protocol"
<DrBacchus> Hypertext User Retrieval Lingo
<fitz> I will die laughing
<thom> if it goes faster, they'll be early adopters
<proyal> if it makes pr0n go faster, it'll get adopted
<DrBacchus> waka chika
<fitz> bop bop
<fitz> DrBacchus: shake it baby!
* jwoolley tries to gasp for breath without laughing his ass off
<fitz> XML slam bam!
If you can imagine it, it kinda degenerated from there.