Monthly Archives: December 2004

Welcome 2005

At midnight I hope to be no where close to a computer, so I’ll post this now because I’m sure it’s 2005 someplace already. Thank you, everyone, for such a wonderful year and I wish you all the very best for the coming one.

Here are my resolutions for 2005:

  • Build up my piano chops — On some level I always wondered how things would be different if I stuck with piano instead of switching to sax. I’d like to learn a lot more piano.
  • Read more — I got some great books for Christmas and I think more offline reading would be good for me.
  • Release more — I let releases build up too long, I think most things I’m doing would benefit from a shorter development cycle. I also still have a lot of code I still need to clean up and GPL, more for the *Press family perhaps.
  • Write more — I’ve been happy with my code output lately, but my regular writing has suffered and I haven’t composed or arranged any significant music in about two years now.
  • No more mental roadblocks — For any of the above it would be easy to say “it would be easy to do X if I had Z” but this year I’ve learned that Z is just holding me back. Physical or habitual crutches may be more comfortable, but comfort is a terrible thing when you’re trying to push the envelope.

Yearly Tasks

As the year draws to a close, and it has been a wonderful year, I find myself drawn to a few tasks that always seem to catch me around this time:

  • Updating copyright years on sites that don’t use the PHP trick.
  • Archiving old mail and logs to local server.
  • Checking none of the low-traffic stuff broke without me noticing.
  • Backing up.
  • Cleaning out old/dead accounts, consolidating where possible.
  • Putting everything remotely versionable into Subversion (new for me this year).
  • Writing notes to old friends.
  • Organizing music.
  • Making lists (much like this one).

What catches up with you at the end of the year?

Post-Party Cleanup

Thanks to everyone who came out. The dinner was excellent and the after-party was packed. Judging from the number of cups and such I think about 40-50 people came out, but I really don’t have any idea. Much to my surprise, pictures are already online! You can browse Nicole’s afterparty and geekdinner tags, Jasmeet’s geek dinner tag, and Jonas’ photos. Some other people (Om and Russell) were taking photos but I don’t know where they went. There might be something to this Flickr thing. Scoble looks like he had a good time here.

Geek Dinner Afterparty

After every good party, there’s an afterparty, and Robert’s geek dinner Thursday night is no different. When it turned out the venue was just a stone’s throw from my place in SF it just made sense to allow the festivities to continue after the restaurant kicks us out. So after the dinner we’ll walk down to my place (about two blocks) where the fun can continue with food, refreshments, and of course wifi. Everyone is invited, as long as you’re XFN Friendly. (Though I’m willing to make an exception for Marc.) If you haven’t already let me know you’re coming via email or IM please leave a comment so I can stock up accordingly. 🙂

Announcing bbPress

The software that was running the WordPress support forums was getting long in the tooth and was not handling the load of increased exposure terribly well. A PHP upgrade rendered it nearly unusable. Anyway, long story short, I wrote some forum software. It’s called bbPress and is similar to WordPress in a lot of ways, including being Free-as-in-Software. The things that WP does well—unicode, timezones, XHTML, speed–it does well too. You can read all about it on the new bbPress site and grok its philosophy, comment on the blog, join the mailing list, checkout the code, submit bugs, patches, et cetera. I have been putting this off for almost a year now, so it’s very fufilling to get this project rolling. It went so fast that I’m kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner.

The goal of bbPress is to bring some weblog and WordPress sensibilities to forum software. It’s never going to have a tenth of the features of phpBB or vBulletin, but that’s a feature itself. My experience with those packages is they’re like a herd of elephants who evolved on a strange island in bizzare ways, and they tend to foster a type of community that is antithetical to I’m trying to accomplish. We’ve learned a lot in the past few years about how the interactive web works, why do most forums look and act the same they did in 2000? Why is it still so hard to integrate user systems or mesh designs? Why can’t I ping a thread like I can a weblog post? Why can’t I filter by XFN values?

bbPress is not and will not be right for everyone. There are open source traditional forum packages, like PunBB, that get a lot of things right and push the envelope in interesting ways, so that’s covered. bbPress is not going to have avatars, or put post counts next to your name, or give every user 80 options about how they want their dates formatted, and for some people (maybe most people) that just won’t work. However even if WordPress.org is the only site that ever runs this software, it’ll be totally worth it just to get the forum technology growing again and create a richer support experience for the WP community.

Address Change

Those of you who I had given my address to as “333” please change that to “355.” Sorry for the confusion! I just got a heap of Christmas cards today that had gone to the wrong address.