Where did last year go?

February 22, 2008

Counting off years at an arbitrary date on a calendar seems a bit meaningless - to many people I suppose it makes sense, because everyone gets together at New Year's Eve, and there's a big party to remember things by. With me it's different; for the last few New Years, things have been quiet. The big events in my life are not the times when I take a few days to relax, as pleasant as they are. Thinking about it, the biggest social events these days are software conferences. Sad, but true. I find myself reflecting on the year just gone.

So much has changed since last February. Looking back at last year's FOSDEM, I spent most of it in the GNOME devroom, as I recall. I met lots of people - I failed to meet any of the Hurd people properly, but made some GNOME UK friends that showed up later in the year at GUADEC. I also met Alasdair Kergon again (whom we had bumped into at the LinuxWorld Expo a few months previously), which led eventually to my being able to attend the LinuxConf.eu conference last September.

Even on the Eurostar we made contacts - Josette Garcia from O'Reilly was someone I subsequently encountered at almost every conference, and now she sends us free books. :)

Notably, I failed to really speak to any of the Debian crowd last year in Brussels, but made up for it at the Etch release party in May, and at DebConf7 in June. Those contacts led inadvertently to my current job, and since then I have picked up maintenance of a few Debian packages. In turn, one of those led to upstream maintenance of a GNU package. I'm not sure I would have predicted that a year ago - I was hoping to break into GNOME, iirc.

With the time off that I have this weekend, I want to give some thought to the direction that I want to take this year. I suspect I want to put more effort into Debian. Looking forward, it appears I'm also spending more time with PostgreSQL. Ideally, I want to help some of the more interesting GNU packages as well - helping gnash would be great, but there are some more obscure tasks that I've been thinking about. (Some things don't change.)

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