November 30, 2004
Open Source conferences in 2005
It's time to start planning the 2005 conference season and it looks as though there will be no shortage of Open Source related conferences in the neighbourhood next year. Our "regular" JAX will be held from 9.-13. May in Frankfurt in a new location. Although more of a "Java" conference, it will retain some of its focus on Open Source. Of course it will have to compete with some nearby competition. LinuxTag is from 22.-25. June in Karlsruhe and the Call for Papers is open. A new kid on the block is ApacheCon Europe, which will be held in Stuttgart from 18.-22. of July. I haven't heard anything further on O'Reilly's plans for a European OSCON - but that may be another one to look out for.
November 28, 2004
A year ago today
Exactly one year ago today I was quite pleased with myself for having survived 3 days of looking after the kids while my wife was away on a course. Little did I know that at the same time I wrote this happy little entry, my fate for the next few months had already been decided.
November 26, 2004
FUD - the movie
Michi (aka Michael Wechner) is making a film about the Open Source scene. Bertrand points to the trailer. It's great to see a film being made about the current state of Open Source and I can spot several friends in the trailer. I can't wait for the finished product.
November 25, 2004
Are the Gods angry?
Ok, so maybe I should have been more enthusiastic about seeing all the ancient Roman buildings and eating all the good food. It's the only explanation I have for this. Sorry. Really.
Where the restaurants have no name
After a long day of meetings we headed into downtown Rome last night for another lengthy meal. I just can't get used to starting the meal at 9pm and finishing up at around midnight. At least I then got a spectacular drive through nighttime Rome and saw the colosseum again - at 1am.
The interesting part of last night was going down the side-street of a side-street to reach a restaurant. We had an excellent long meal of typical local food there. Now the restaurant didn't have any signs up on the outside and the windows were covered with metal grates that gave the impression of there actually not being a restaurant there. Hidden. But inside the place was full. Evidently you had to know about the restaurant ("I know the owner") and advertisement was just through word-of-mouth. This reminded me a bit about how people also latch on to good software even if the particular framework or tool isn't that well know.
"Build it and they will come".
November 24, 2004
History on every corner
I had an amazing history lesson last night. It went something like this: Get in a car, drive to downtown Rome, walk down a small cobbled street, turn a corner: The Pantheon. A quick look inside (they were closing). Back down another narrow street, turn the next corner: Piazza Navona. Back down the next street - Palazzo Farnese. And this went on for about an hour. Then we all got back into the car and headed somewhere else for a late Italian evening meal which lasted from about 9pm to midnight. On our trip to the restaurant we drove past the Colosseum. Already I know I must come back with more "tourist time".
Update: Andrew put some quick moblog shots up.
November 23, 2004
Landed in Rome
I arrived in Rome after an uneventful flight with EasyJet. I was able to take a few snapshots as we circled before landing and am now sitting in an office somewhere in the city. Don't ask me where we are - we relied on the taxi driver getting us where we wanted to go. And I need to get a pair of sunglasses. I feel very uncool without a pair of sunglasses on my forehead.
Traveling with EasyJet was actually rather good and my first time with a no-frills airline.
German Froogle launched
Google has just launched the German version of Froogle. Just in time for Christmas.
November 22, 2004
What's new in Jetspeed-2?
I am off to Rome tomorrow for a short business trip. I've never been to Italy, so it will be a "first". My Italian is somewhat limited or rather non existent. I can ask "what time is it" or "where is the car" - but I've tried those out on Gianugo already.
Speaking to your spouse
In the evenings, my wife and I often both sit on the couch with our respective laptops. We figured this isn't such a good thing and we should start talking more again. So I set her up with an AIM/iChat account :-).
Sign 'o' the times
Dixons, a UK electrical retailer, is saying bye-bye to the VCR. Add the VCR to the list of things we will keep mentioning to our kids, like that large black plastic grooved disk with music on it. Now what was it called again....
November 21, 2004
A small step..
This evening I introduced Christopher to programming. Thanks to Ted's article on how his daughters love the turtle graphics in Python, I knew how to start. I installed Python onto Christopher's computer and then showed him how to draw some simple graphics using the turtle. He seemed interested and then drew a house and stick-man himself. Tomorrow - Loops :-).
November 20, 2004
Russ goes Yahoo
Russell will be starting at Yahoo on Monday. Congratulations! Interesting to see (again) how his weblog has been helpful in opening doors.
November 19, 2004
Cocoon 2.1.6 released!
Carsten releases Cocoon 2.1.6 and then gets ready for his Florida vacation. Now he thinks he's safe there, without a mobile or a laptop. But of course, thanks to the power of the Net, we have ways....
You know your kids are growing up when:
- Your son makes a point of walking round puddles and not through them
- Your daughter asks what a tongue kiss is
November 18, 2004
Cocoon Portal session at W-JAX
Our Cocoon portal session at W-JAX was scheduled as the last session of the conference which was a bit unfortunate. However, over 50 people came to the session! We split the session into two parts. The first part gave an overview of the portal and then we did a hands-on. Even though much of the portal has to be configured in XML files, I hope we were able to show that it really isn't that difficult to get started. And of course once you start using the Cocoon portal to build you own solutions, you have all the advantages that Cocoon provides such as the available components for data integration and the flexible way of publishing using XSLT.
November 17, 2004
Today is the last day of the main W-JAX conference and I'm getting ready for my two sessions that happen to both be this afternoon. Carsten held a session on portal standards this morning and it went well. Even though the session started at 8:30 over 40 people were there. Hopefully some of them will now come to the Cocoon portal session which is the last session of the day. Before that I will be speaking on RSS and Atom.
November 16, 2004
What - no Apache?
Here at the W-JAX, I noticed that the subline has been altered to read: "Konferenz für Java, XML, Web Services". There used to be an "Apache" in there - I wonder what happened. Even so, there are Apache themes here at W-JAX - things like Struts and Cocoon of course.
November 15, 2004
Blogging from W-JAX
W-JAX has started and I've been given the "ok" to blog on the official weblog in English - which is still a lot easier for me than writing in German.
November 14, 2004
A sort of homecoming
I spent a very emotional Saturday meeting up with friends I hadn't seen for over 20 years. It was great to see them again and exchange stories of what we've been doing since those school days. The first thing I noticed is that we've not changed all that much - albeit all a lot "heavier" than when we were 12 or 13 :-). More importantly everyone still seemed "familiar" - i.e. in their gestures or the way they spoke. One of the sadder points was a class photo and my friend pointing out the 3 or 4 kids who are unfortunately no longer with us. We also went for a drive around the town I used to live in and a lot of memories came back. All in all a great weekend and I hope it won't be 20 years before we meet up again.
Arrived in Munich and I'm sitting in the lobby of the Arabella Sheraton. Wifi works (but only down here, not in the rooms). Chatting with the guys from S&S Verlag and it seems the number of people attending will be over 400 - that's nearly double the number from last year.
November 13, 2004
Social Software in the enterprise London dinner
Ross Mayfield from Socialtext is currently in Europe and Allan Engelhardt from Cybaea is putting on a Social Software in the Enterprise Dinner in central London next week. I have had the good fortune to interview and chat with Ross on various occasions and I met Allan at EuroFoo. Unfortunately I have to be in Munich on Tuesday, which is a real pity as I would have loved to be there. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.
November 12, 2004
Journey into the past
Tomorrow will see me setting off for some more traveling. My first stop is the area I grew up in here in Germany. My parents moved here when I was 11. The first German friends I had back then (1977) suddenly called me a few weeks ago and now we're going to meet-up. Should be interesting considering I haven't been in contact for the last 20 years. On Sunday it's on to Munich for W-JAX.
November 11, 2004
Setting up home
Setting up this website to host the new SilentPenguin was actually easier than I thought it would be. First I set up a virtual server for silentpenguin.com. Then I added a MySQL database that I would be using for the weblog. Next I downloaded MT 3.1 and followed the installation instructions, copied everything over to the server and added the cgi-bin stuff to my virtual server in httpd.conf. After realizing that I had to restart Apache for my changes to take effect - the new site was up and running within a couple of hours. Not bad for a newbie r00t.
The upcoming W-JAX conference in Munich (15.-18.11.2004) has a German weblog. I have a login - so I will probably be posting some notes from the conference there next week.
A new home
This is the new home of my weblog. The first priority was to get everything running and now I can fiddle around with the various options without having to worry about my provider vanishing. I am particularly proud of the fact that this is running on my own box and I installed everything myself.
November 07, 2004
Between Heaven and Earth
The next few days will be light blogging-wise, so I'll just stick a timeless picture up here for your enjoyment (Binham Priory).
Posted by Matthew at 01:57 PM
All my business traveling this year seems to be in November. And everything starts later today. Luckily for me, Carsten has saved me a blog entry by writing about what we will be doing in the coming two weeks, so you can read his post. I just don't get to go on vacation like he does, but maybe I can use the coming days to change that :-).
Posted by Matthew at 09:33 AM
November 06, 2004
Bloghosts closing down
It seems Bloghosts is closing down January 1st. They are the hoster of this weblog and were really good. Now I need to see about moving Silent-Penguin over to another server. Thanks to Frank for the pointer.
If you have a suggestion where I should move to then drop me a line. I could move everything over to my new linux box but I'd really like to keep the weblog stuff separate and don't want the hassle of setting up the weblog software and administrating the email side of things. At least at the moment I don't. So I basically need a provider for Silent-Penguin who provides MT (or WordPress) and Email via POP3/SMTP.
Posted by Matthew at 07:24 PM
Binham prioryBinham Priory was well worth a visit.
Posted by Matthew at 06:21 PM
Take away business model
Here is my business model of the month for November. A chain of Indian take aways. Not in the UK (obviously) - but in Germany. All it takes are for some Indian take away owners to pack up and move over here. Please make sure you set up your first one in Paderborn. Thanks!
Posted by Matthew at 04:59 PM
Posted by Matthew at 04:54 PM
November 05, 2004
RSS/Atom session at W-Jax
I will now also be presenting a session on RSS and Atom at W-Jax. That means I only have a week to get the slides ready. Fun.
Posted by Matthew at 11:23 AM
November 04, 2004
If there is one thing to remember when deciding on your domain name (and URL), I think that has to be "make it guessable". I really hate it if I can't guess an URL. I hardly ever store URLs in a bookmark folder and reckon I can remember most of the ones I visit regularly (or they are in my aggregator). But sometimes I want to visit a certain site and can't remember the URL. So I try to guess it from what I can remember about it. Todays example is Doc Searl's DIY IT Garage site. I tied stuff like: diyit.com or diy-it.com etc. But of course it's garage.docsearls.com. I know, it's just me.
Posted by Matthew at 05:18 PM
Posted by Matthew at 05:10 PM
November 03, 2004
Four more years
Every country has the leader it deserves. Onward.
Posted by Matthew at 08:52 PM
Ebay customers - right to return
The highest German court ruled today that if you buy stuff on Ebay from a commercial vendor you then have a 14 day right to return the goods and get a refund - without giving a reason. This is conform to the German law allowing you to do the same if you buy anything online from commercial vendors. In doing so, the court has ruled that buying goods from a commercial vendor on Ebay is not an auction. In an auction the 14 day return right is waived.
Posted by Matthew at 12:04 PM
November 02, 2004
James is coming too
Posted by Matthew at 07:12 PM
November 01, 2004
Coverage of the pending US election seems to be higher this year in Germany than it was 4 years ago. Or maybe I'm just following it more closely this time. To see so much emphasis being put on making sure your vote is (actually) counted in the country that claims to be the most democratic nation on earth is scary. Not that I'm surprised after 2000 - I'm just surprised people there seem to have needed 4 years to wake up to how potentially screwed their electoral process is.
Posted by Matthew at 10:26 PM