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Andrew Pollock


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Monday, 12 November 2007

Trip to Boston (well Cambridge really)

The week before last I spent in Cambridge. I didn't really see a lot of the place (although we ventured out on the T to have dinner in Boston a few times).

I quite liked what I saw of the place though. I like any city with half-decent mass-transit. I think ever since I saw the MTR in Hong Kong I've really liked big subway systems. Ones that run so often you don't need to have a timetable.

What I saw of Boston felt like New York without quite the same size and pace, which made it feel slightly less intense. I'd go visit again.

[21:35] [life/americania] [permalink]

My First Ubuntu Developer Summit

I've been procrastinating writing about my Boston trip, for no particular reason.

A bunch of us went to the Boston Ubuntu Developer Summit (in Cambridge, actually) for work purposes. We currently derive from the Long Term Support releases, and Hardy Heron is going to be an LTS, so I wanted us to get more involved directly, particularly at this stage of the game, rather than after it's already a done thing.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this in the "Debian" category is I found the whole thing to be totally awesome. Debian should do something similar.

Rather than being a conference, this was essentially a week of 1-2 hour small-group meetings to discuss various features for Hardy. I thought it worked pretty well. I'd never seen gobby used before, and it's basically a poor-man's Google Docs (although one could argue it handles real-time collaborative editing better).

They had VoIP up the wazoo. You could dial into a conference bridge to just listen in, or you could dial a different bridge to participate. Every room had a Polycom conference phone in it. That seemed to work pretty well.

I think the main reason I think Debian could take a leaf out of Ubuntu's book on this was it helps resolve potentially controversial technical decisions very quickly. Rather than having a two week protracted flame war on a mailing list, you can have a 30 minute rational debate in person and move on.

So I've no idea how this UDS stacked up to previous ones, but I was very impressed by the whole thing. I'm in total awe of Scott James Remnant and Colin Watson for not having burned out by now. Doing a release every 6 months, with all the associated stuff that goes around it (i.e. running a UDS) has got to take it out of you.

[21:30] [debian] [permalink]