I don't know how I survived long-distance travel before mp3s. You can only carry around so many cassettes or CDs. When I leave the house for a trip my earbuds are pretty much a permanent fixture until I am home again. At home, if I'm at my computer, I'm probably listening to something all the time. I listen to lots of different genres of music, but overall my standard, fall back is something within the electronic realm.
I've been on the go so much that I haven't had the mental space to sit down and articulate a lot of the cool stuff that is going on. A few weeks ago I took part in a new open source conference, Writing Open Source (WOScon). The conference was born from conversations Emma Jane Hogbin and I had last fall, and she took the ideas and made it a reality in Owen Sound, Ontario. It was very small but packed with awesomeness, from people to ideas to food.
A few weeks ago I posted a draft Drupal documentation roadmap on Drupal.org. In that post I attached the full roadmap of goals, but focused on the first two we are tackling: a new information architecture (IA) and recognition/reward for documentation contributors. We had a meeting in IRC shortly after and we discussed a number of questions and ideas.
Too many times I have written a post, got it ready to go, set up my Twitter module to tell the world, and then right after I hit submit, I realize that I forgot to add the Twitter hashtags that will carry my tweet to glory. It occurred to me that maybe I should give myself a reminder by adding some hashtags to my Tweet by default, and the taxonomy terms I am using for the post are a pretty good bet for general usefulness. I whipped up a site-specific hack to do just that and thought others might be interested. It could probably be generalized so that it could be made a patch to Twitter module, but I'm not sure that is a great idea anyway and I don't have the time to even think it through, so have at.
Just one month from today I'm going to get three days of hanging out with brilliant folks from a number of open source projects to talk shop, brainstorm and generally have a great time. I'm heading to the Writing Open Source conference up in Canada from June 12-14. In the true spirit of open source, we're coming together to help each other out. The conference is about collaboration, learning, and getting stuff done. We all have a lot to gain and I hope that anyone who can get there, makes the effort.
At the beginning of the year I decided to join a "picture a day" group on Flickr, Project 366-1. I'm not a "photographer," nor do I aspire to be. I joined the group because it seemed like a fun way to get myself documenting the things around me. I view it as a visual diary, which should be quite fascinating to look back on. I'm now just over a third of the way in to the year, 126 days, and it is interesting to look back so far. In January I was pretty fired up so I kept on track. Keeping up with a picture every day has been hard at times. For February and March, I didn't manage to do it and there are some gaps in the calendar. I redoubled my efforts in April though and managed a complete month again. The calendar archive view on Flickr pulls from all of my photos, so I set up a collection of monthly sets so that I can see what I thought was the most important or "best" picture each day. As you can see, some days were just a mark of desperation as I took any old picture, just to meet my deadline.
I know that we have done the issue queue work as a challenge already, the very first one in January as a matter of fact. We got a lot accomplished in January, so let's do a spring cleanup. The reason I want to come back to the issue queue is two-fold. First, it still needs lots of love, as always, and second, I plan to finally post a beginning docs roadmap, and get some working groups kick-started around some of our big issues this month. We will be creating a lot of new issues in the docs issue queue, so I'd love for us to tidy up our work area before heading in to some ambitious new projects.
In the last month or so I had a period where I felt things going into a bit of a tailspin. It is a cyclical thing where life just feels overwhelming, out of control, meaningless even. I spent almost a week feeling down in the dumps and like I was letting everyone around me down. I didn't know what to do "about it" so I just sat with it, really poking at it for a few days. By the end of the week I had come to accept some things about myself and life. I'll forget them and eventually, around some other corner, I'll meet the dip in the road again.
While I was at Drupalcamp Galway, Stéphane (scor) recorded an interview with me about not just the Galway doc sprint, but also about future doc sprints around the world. He's got the interview up on his blog and it's only 6 minutes long. Give it a listen and let me know about your Drupal event and how I can help you out.
I managed to get my hands on a pre-release version of a new Drupal book that just came out this week. The book is Front End Drupal and it is written by Emma Jane Hogbin and Konstantin Kaefer. The book says on the cover, Designing, Theming, Scripting, and I'm excited to see another book that really gets into Drupal 6 theming. When we, at Lullabot, wrote Using Drupal and we had to draw the line at a basic intro to theming, I was looking for a book to carry that forward. Since I am lucky enough to have myself a copy and found some time to sit down and read it, I thought I'd share my thoughts for those that may be trying to decide whether to order it (short answer is "yes").