Contributed by jj on from the Vor-Bju-Det dept.
Here is my own view on the event:
The two previous Slackathons were big successes, I had lots of friends (not all OpenBSD-related) come talk about stuff surrounding BSD, open source or computing in general. One of the things I've been slowly planning came from the interview with Niklas Hallqvist in the first Slackathon, where he said he might get back into OpenBSD development for a short time if someone arranged for a developer gathering. So this year, I didn't just plan for a one-day event, but set my sights on a hack-n-slack event.
The slacking part is well covered, many of the visitors are now what you would call 'regulars', making sure they arrive in time for all of the talks, pockets full of ca$h to donate and pre-announcing their attendance so they can get a piece of the stew I offer the visitors. But I also wanted to get a hack-part going, hopefully without spending a fortune, since the Slackathon event is a no-entrance conference.
I mailed the developers before the event, asking who could hold a talk, but also if they would like to arrive a few days early and hack away. Since there isn't a long line of wealthy sponsors, the only thing I knew I could offer was couches at my friends' places. I was astonished to see so many developers wanting to come over for a three day pre-Slackathon hack event. The list ended up being: andreas@, miod@, gilles@, reyk@, henning@, art@, maja@, johan@, jj@, thib@, tobias@, oga@, rainer@ and blambert@.
Also, the number of OpenBSD users that could muster up a few bucks from their jobs to sponsor flights for the developers was also a pleasant surprise. Given the fact that most of the visiting developers were europeans and the low-cost flights seem to pass by Sweden, I was soon having some 10+ developers wanting to come over. Some of them actually refused getting their flights paid, so in the end, the travel costs weren't all that high.
I got a room set up at work and had the developers there from Wednesday to Friday, with a evening dinner scheduled on the first two nights and a beer-tasting session on the third. All in all, having a pre-conference hack session was very well received by the developers. Also, I collected a small list of stuff that was fixed/worked on during these days:
- miod@ fixed some acpi and azalia bugs on the amd64-capable HP laptop donated to him by johan@.
- henning@ finished the ntp DNS issue, lots of performance work in PF and some smaller BGP work.
- andreas@ got back into openbsd hacking after many years of slow committing, also cleaning up in the getpwent() and getpw*_r() calls, and finally some work on amd64 "boot -d" support for MP kernels.
- oga@ finally got time to port GEM (Graphics Execution Manager), to X.org although untested at this time.
- gilles@ is working on a out-of-src smtpd, so this time allowed him to implement aliases, forwards, basic loop detection, part of the virtuser code, use of an external mda and finish the relay code.
- tobias@ plugged a memory leak in OpenCVS and worked on other things that need to be reviewed first before they are committed.
Over to the Slackathon on the saturday:
It is designed to be a one-day event, from 12 to 22-something, with a presentation every hour. Only one speaker fell out, so my schedule almost worked this year. We had Gilles man the donation desk most of the time, and of course my trusted friends and colleagues doing sales, cafeteria and all kinds of invisible work like fixing the network and so on. Big thanks to all of them (Johan, Robert, Janj, Simon, Marcus, cd, Mi, Patrik).
We have held all the Slackathons in a 65-people lecture room, and this year it was finally too small. We had people sitting on the stairs, so I'm going to have to move to something bigger if it's going to grow like this - a very pleasant problem. We had a Slackathon t-shirt made for the event, which I gave to all the speakers, the developers and the helpers. The few shirts that were left, we auctioned to the visitors, getting a 100Eur and two 70Eur final bids for the three t-shirts sold this way, with optional developer signatures written on them. Thanks a lot to those three buyers!
We had visitors from Riga, Norway and Finland, developers from the US, Iceland, UK, Germany and France, so I feel safe to say, it isn't a Swedish-only event anymore. Pictures taken on the event by Vladi are available here.
The results: we had something like 1500EUR in direct donations and cafeteria sales profits, a handful of companies that funded tickets for flying in developers, and a $1000 donation from BSDfund.org.
And a bunch of happy users and developers.
See you all next year.
(Comments are closed)