So... where did I get to?
Saturday morning dawned Bright and Sunny. A delightful change from the constant rain and waterlogged ground I had left in Cornwall. I walked down to citilabs through the park.
This was the official day for the Documents stream: we had workshops scheduled all day, with breaks. And we worked. We found ourselves a corner and made ourselves at home, moving a table across so we could sit round with a large TV showing the maemo.org documents under discussion.
For the first session we brainstormed existing documents.
Each post-it note represents a document or set of documents which already exist. Once we thought we'd got them all, we started arranging them according to who they are aimed at (From total n00b like me to developers) and marked them as to whether they are the responsibility of Nokia, the Community or both. That gave us a good picture of what we already have. And made us well late for coffee break. Mary and Titta have taken the information away as part of their information gathering brief for Nokia.
After coffee, we turned to looking at the gaps: we focused away from our post-it wall and onto the existing pages.
We began to identify gaps and things missing, and bits that needed improving. Here it began to turn into more debate about what was wanted than simple information sharing. And I was speaking up for the noob. ;)
We agreed some priorities and projects we wanted to achieve... and set off for lunch. We walked to the little mall by the hotel (being glad of the chance to stretch our legs) and couldn't find the way to get to the upper floor where the eating places were. Some of our number ran up the down escalator. I'll leave you to guess who (no not me). Eventually we chose a small place to eat. It was cheap, but the food was a tad indigestible. I gather General Antilles had trouble concentrating in the afternoon as a result... though I didn't notice his distraction.
For the afternoon, we broke into groups to 'actually do something'.
One group of us worked on creating a suggestion for the contents page for the developer manual for Harmattan, effectively what the devs would like to have. I don't know where they posted that, so I'll leave them to explain it. It looked pretty good though! We discussed (in the feedback) that there may be bits that Nokia cannot release which are 'closed source' and the feeling of the group was that we'd rather have the complete manual with sections or paragraphs saying 'this section is not (yet) public' so you could see that it did exist and why you weren't getting it, rather than Nokia only releasing the open code and people being left wondering if they were missing bits. Does someone have the link to that work?
The second group worked on the support page. We had identified that if as a new-comer you got to maemo.org needing help and hit the 'get support' button the page wasn't actually very helpful. We'd made suggestions to improve it, so the second group's task was to implement them. You can see the fruits of their labours here: http://maemo.org/support/
The group I was with turned to the wiki. We had agreed that the page telling you how to write for the wiki was neither welcoming nor very helpful. It didn't encourage new people to write at all, let alone write well (it was basically a set of links to wikipedia pages). So we created a new page, and I gather it's going to be added above the 'edit' box of the wiki edit page. You can see what we created here: http://wiki.maemo.org/Contributing_to_t
It was great fun though we were working. Writing documents together means a lot of dictating, and wrangling over exact words and punctuation. We decided we needed to use Victor Borge's punctuation methods. (Here, for anyone who hasn't seen it: http://revdkathy.tumblr.com/post/272938
The groups fed-back what we'd done (by which time citilabs were trying to throw us out as we were about an hour over time) and we finally set a time to meet in the hotel lobby go out for dinner.
Again we took the train in. This time we had booked a restaurant asking for a table for 15. In the end, there were about 18 of us. We had a great meal and lovely conversation again. After dinner we again went in search of ice cream.
Then Mary (who had spent a year in Barcelona as a student) announced “You have to see Columbus! He’s on the T shirts. You can’t come to Barcelona and not see Columbus!” So while a few folk peeled off to a bar, we treked down to the harvour to see the Columbus monument;. Unfortunately, it’s a very high column. And not illuminated. So we had to take Mary’s word for it that Columbus was up there. What was illuminated was a giant piece of pasta advertising a pasta company. Nice to see the people of Barcelona have their priorities right!
We wandered along the harbour for a little while, then tackled the metro home again. For someone who lives in deepest Cornwall, I think I got the hang of metro maps and lines! We were so late that MacD was closed. I got to bed about 1:30.
Sunday was another clear, bright day. The Documents team assembled, and decided that we didn't need to workshop any more (well, most of us assembled: Dave had been out drinking till 4am and arrived a little later than the rest of us!) We decided to make use of the available computers and actually do some work on the documents. I Grabbed a Geek (in this case General Antilles) and a computer and set down to some serious learning.
The first thing I tried was ubuntu. I have never actually used anything except windows before (Though I've used that in most of its incarnations). So while I had linux geeks on hand was a good opportunity to try something new... and all the available computers had dual boot. The learning experience might have been easier had the computers not all been in Spanish - or had either GA or I been fluent in the language... but it was helpful. I'd quite like to get a dual boot set-up on my desktop (which is the oldest and most sluggish of my existing machines) so it was good to know how to operate it.
Then we logged into the wiki, and whereas on Saturday, GA had typed and formatted while Mary and I argued about content, this time I typed, while GA oversaw my mistakes. And I got a lot less scared about entering information into the wiki (and actually lost my fear of other bits of maemo-org, since they're all similar). By the time I had to leave, we'd done a decent amount of work to the wiki, and with other members of the doc-team around, we felt we'd made useful in-roads over the weekend.
Collected my suitcase from the hotel, and a group of us hopped on a bus to the airport. I finally got a chance to chat to Gary about liqbase and its possibilities. I stand in awe of people who can do stuff like that. He was showing me what the accelerometer can do, and I said I’d never used anything like that. He pointed out that it requires the same skills as those children’s games with little ball bearings you have to get into holes: I loved the ones where you had to get the balls up spiral mountains. I was hooked. By the time we reached the airport, I was designing a game featuring accelerometer sheep being rounded up into a pen....
I was the only one flying from terminal 2 so I got to find my own way, and shop in the duty free briefly. The only regret was that the way it ended with people leaving to catch busses and planes felt like we never had a proper chance to say goodbye. Though with Xchat IRC now loaded on both n900 (Thanks GA!) and my laptop, it wasn’t really ‘goodbye’ anyway. I got home before 11pm, and fell into bed exhausted. Brilliant, brilliant weekend.