Monday, August 31, 2009

Sprints and Conferences

I've been traveling a lot recently and didn't really report about what I've been doing. So here's a short summary of the last months and what is to come.

From Easter until end of June I stayed at a customer site in Copenhagen and helped push the new Plone-based website into going live. After quite a long time of being in development it was good to get this out to the public. Most of July I spent back in Tønsberg in a new apartment relaxing and enjoying the warm and quiet Norwegian summer.

In early August I visited Bristol again, this time for the Balloon sprint organized by the awesome Team Rubber. Their offices are really nice and strategically placed in a lively neighborhood with lots of pubs around. While I missed out on the actual Balloon festival itself, I got around to help MJ fix some nasty Acquisition and Python 2.5+ 64-bit issues. Otherwise I spent my time on attacking some long standing annoyances in plone.reload cumulating in a 1.0 beta 1 release. plone.reload allows to reload the code and ZCML configuration for a running Plone process based on an idea from Guido for a better reload mechanism. Now it comes with 100% test coverage and supports reloading code inside decorated methods.

With some time at home and regular work, next up was the Repoze "CMS" sprint in Arlington, Virginia. Irene and Chris Shenton together with all the other sprinters made this one of the best social experiences I had on a sprint. By the end of the sprint we had managed to empty a keg of beer and enjoy lots of good food and conversations :-) On the actual work side I participated in all the opinionated discussions we had, but kept to my own little toy project for the code side of things. Still being work-in-progress I got a long way into integrating Babel with Zope. An attempt to replace the dated and custom zope.i18n package we use with the de-facto standard for i18n and l10n in Python web environments. I made this into an experiment to try out Mercurial some more, so the code ended up on bitbucket. The code is far from finished - the message catalog and translation infrastructure is working, but the language negotiation and locale data support is still missing.

Next up I'm going to attend the unofficial Zope conference of the year, better known as the German Zope User Group conference in Munich next week. In my role as Plone 5's release manager I was invited to give a keynote about the state of Plone along side two keynotes from Martin von Löwis and Lennart Regebro. I'll attend the after-conference sprint, hoping to do some work on Distribute and head straight to the second incarnation of the Grok Neanderthal sprint for a couple of days in Cologne. I'll try to spent some time working on the Zope Toolkit - the extraction of more reusable packages from the former Zope 3 project. Ending another two week roadtrip with some well-deserved vacation in my former home town Hamburg.

And then it's only a short time to the annual Plone conference in Budapest, which I'll be attending with my fellows co-workers from Jarn. A company that values their employees and makes all of my travels possible thanks to our 10% manifesto.

At the end of the year I will have stretched myself to being on the road for 150 days, attended six sprints and three conferences including their sprints. I think next year I'll try to stay a bit more in one place. If only the Python, Zope and Plone communities weren't so much fun to hang out with ;-)

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