Tag Archives: apachecon

Ready to be anchored

There comes a time at every conference when, as great as the conference is, I’m ready to get back home, ready to be anchored again.

Lately, that has come rather earlier than it once did, due to the many good reasons to be home. This time, in fact, although I’ve greatly enjoyed the conference, there are a litany of reasons that I’d rather be home this week. Fortunately, people on both sides of the ocean understand the ambivalence, and it doesn’t mean that either one is valued less. Frustrating, though.

ApacheCon EU 2008 so far

I invariably get to these conferences and then don’t have the time or inclination to keep a running commentary. This one is no different. There have been a few really good talks, but mostly, it has been really good conversations, meeting people that I either hadn’t met before, or hadn’t spoken with in way too long.

Highlights so far include:

Meeting Ivan Ristic of mod_security. He was scheduled to come to ApacheCon Stuttgart, and then was unable to, due to real life getting in the way, as it so often does. It was great to finally meet him, and his talk was fabulous. I’ve often said about my own talks that it’s all stuff that’s in the docs, so why do people come. I’m sure that everything Ivan talked about is in the docs, but his talk was amazingly valuable anyway, since it showed me things in one hour that would probably have taken me months to discover. And I’ve been using mod_security for years already, and wasn’t aware of them, or didn’t quite understand the syntax. Did you know that mod_security 2.5 lets you write rules in Lua? Crazy.

Speaking with Andrew Ford. I met him first in London in 2000, and I’m not sure if I’ve spoken with him since then. Certainly not more than a handful of times. He’s the author of Apache Pocket Reference – a great book, but greatly out of date. The cover proclaim that it covers Apache 1.3.12! Andrew is working on a new edition, which is truly good news for Apache httpd administrators. And we can hope to see Andrew on the documentation list in the coming months, which is also good news.

After hours dinners and chats have been fantastic across the board. Reconnecting with people that I only see for one or two weeks a year is always a highlight of ApacheCon.

But, as usual by this time in the week, I’m definitely ready to get back home, so there’s this tension between really wanting to be here, and really wanting to be home. Good, both directions.

Thanks, Ken

It occurred to me yesterday that this is only the second ApacheCon that Ken Coar has missed, since the very beginning. Including the one in 1998. If one doesn’t count the one in 1998, I’ve been to every one. (EDIT: Danese just reminded me that he missed Atlanta, too. For some reason, I thought he showed up briefly for Atlanta, but I remember now that he was in Moscow at the time.)

Ken was the conference committee chairman from the very first official ASF conference, in Orlando, in 2000. (The one in 1998 was put on by another company – CNET possibly? I forget.)

Ken got me involved in ApacheCon back in early 2000 by encouraging me to submit a talk, when I was pretty sure that I had nothing to talk about. I gave an “Introduction to the Apache Web Server” then, and have spoken at every ApacheCon since then, as well as having opportunities to speak at OSCon, LinixWorld, Comdex, Open Source Forum Moscow, ApacheCon Sri Lanka, PHP|Tek, Ohio LinuxFest, and others.

I’ve mentioned before, in various venues, how everything that I’ve managed to do over the last 15 years, and the amazing opportunities that I’ve had, are due to the great people that I’ve met in that time, who have encouraged me to do things that I knew I wasn’t competent to do.

Ken Coar, more than any one person, has opened opportunities to me that I would otherwise not have had. And, on top of all that, he’s a good friend, and showed up for my wedding. I could not adequately express the respect and gratefulness I have for this fine gentleman, and how grateful I am to his Significantly Better Half for sharing him with the rest of the world.

Thanks, Ken.


Arrived. Photos from my window.

Didn’t sleep much on the plane, due to the unabated natter of a very loud woman sitting right behind me. Got a little nap, but still feel rather bleh.

Going to try to walk around a bit, see some things. I suppose I should wait for Chris, but I can’t get his attention.

Arthur C Clarke: A legend passes

Arthur C Clarke

In August of 2006, while in Sri Lanka for ApacheCon, I had the opportunity to visit, briefly, with Sir Arthur C. Clarke in his home. We spoke very briefly, I shook his hand, and we took the above photograph. He was recovering from cataract surgery, so the photo was taken without a flash.

Today, he died, and the world is poorer for it. He was one of the greatest Sci Fi authors ever, and one of my favorite authors, of any genre.

I’m reminded that I met one of my other favorite authors, Douglas Adams, also at ApacheCon – that one in London, also very shortly before he died.

Here’s some more photos taken around Arthur C Clarke’s home. Not particularly good ones. The ones in my mind are much more vivid, as are all the stories that he ever told me.

ApacheCon Lightning Talks

Last night at ApacheCon, Fitz and Ted hosted the Lightning Talks, which are always a lot of fun.

I did the “Rewrite your configuration file” talk that I did in Amsterdam. Quite a few people had already seen it there, but it was still well received. And I had fun, which is what really matters. 😉

However, as usual, it really doesn’t work without the visuals, so I’m going to post up the slides somewhere soon, so that you can follow along. Warning to my non-geek readers, this has a geek rating of 9.

If you did a lightning talk last night and want an MP3 of your talk, come see me. I’m editing them right now, and should have them all done in the next hour.

ApacheCon EU 2008 CFP

We’re delighted to announce that the Call for Papers for ApacheCon EU 2008 is open, and ready to receive your submissions. We’re looking for talks about any of the many Apache technologies, and the various things surrounding them.

ApacheCon will be held 7 April through 11 April, 2008 at the new Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre. We were there last year, and it’s a great location in walking distance of a lot of fantastic places. I walked to the Van Gogh museum, but that’s probably a bit of a long hike for some folks.

Anyways, we’d like to see your submissions, so that we can make it yet another great conference.

And don’t forget that registration is still open for ApacheCon Atlanta, where I’ll be giving my half-day mod_rewrite tutorial. So register, before it’s too late!