Intermittence and such

As I mentioned in an earlier post, to which linking from the Blackberry is nigh on impossible, I’m headed to Serbia today with Vlad and Stuart, for a week of trying to not spend all my time working. First, though, I’ll going to dump the random contents of my brain. Viewer discretion is advised.

I’ve got a small number of things I need to wrap up before I really get my odmor on, for some partners and folks like the indefatigable Deb, but I hope to do most of that quickly and then retreat from work for a while. I’ll have email through the global wonders of my Blackberry, and while I’ll probably read or at least subject-scan most of what I get, I will be applying all of my scant willpower to avoiding replying as much as possible. If you’re the sort of person who has my cell number, you can call it if you need to get my attention. I probably don’t love you enough to answer at $4/min, but I’ll take a closer look at my mail when I see the call. (If you’re not the sort of person who knows my cell number, and you need to reach me with some urgency, the Mozilla universe is full of people who can help you.)

Generally, you should go after Chris Beard ( for strategic or partnership issues related to extensions and such, and Mike Morgan ( for operational stuff. (To be clear, you should do this when you would have escalated to me in email; please file bugs and use IRC and mailing lists first as appropriate.). For issues related to MDC, you should contact Deb Richardson (, but really you should always do that anyway; she’s a lot better about that stuff than I am.

On Wednesday, we three are going to be speaking to, or perhaps “at”, a University of Belgrade group of as-yet-unknown composition and size. If they are fortunate, I will not inflict upon them my stumbing, ill-pronounced Serbian. I’ve been trying to learn the language, and though I haven’t been able to spend as much time on it as I would have liked (o, familiar refrain!) , my time-on-task has been pretty productive. For that I credit the book I’m working with — “Teach Yourself Serbian”, CD edition — as well as my experience with Latin and French, and of course Vlad’s patient indulgence of my many mispronounced questions. I’m hoping that I’ll pick it up quickly enough during my week’s stay, but even if I’m still not confident enough to use it outside restaurants before it’s time to leave I hope I’ll continue to work on it. I’ve had a fun time learning it so far, and it’ll let me torture Vlad with the rending and tearing of his native tongue.

Far be it from me to speak for others, but I had a good time at XTech, and I was pretty excited to see the links being made between people in the “core” of our community and others who are working on bits and pieces that will lead to the next microevolution of the web in the next season or two. There was more energy and “practical innovation” on display this year than last, and it was pretty neat to see the technologies and patterns we were previewing in 2005 in pretty-wide use already.

David Humphrey, a Seneca professor who Mozilla sponsored to XTech, was a whirlwind nexus of connections and ideas just by himself, and when combined with the schmoozing powers of myself and Chris Beard to form a social Voltron great things could indeed come of it. I’m really excited about the prospects for working with Seneca’s students and faculty even more: they have a ton of energy and a really excellent focus on practical results, and their increasing work in all manner of open source is going to be fascinating to participate in. If I were going to school to learn how to do software, I’d be at Seneca.

[tags]mozilla, serbia, vacation, xtech[/tags]


Writing this as wind through Heathrow’s Terminal 1 in search of a power adapter and maaaaaaaybe some scotch. Vlad and I are flying through to Amsterdam today, to join 30 or so of our closest colleagues and collaborators for a week at XTech. Should be an exciting week, and not having signed up to do a talk this year means I can relax a tiny bit more. This year Mozilla’s conference guests include one of the key players in our emerging and exciting partnership with Seneca College, one of the leading lights from the AJAX toolkit world, the architect of the amazing Seaside and DabbleDB systems, a grad student working on formal aspects of the upcoming ES4/JS2 language, a Venkman hacker, and one of our most prolific and capable technical-QA contributors. Their participation and unique perspectives are icing on the rich and delicious XTech cake, perhaps, but I sure do like me some icing. (I could tell you that I’m not linking to the appropriate pages to identify the aforementioned folk out of respect for their privacy or something, but really it’s because finding those links sucks when I’m working on the Blackberry.)

Vlad didn’t manage to sleep on our red-eye from Toronto (he came to visit for a week or so, taking advantage of the fallout from some truly arcane travel arrangements he made around Christmas), so I’ve tucked him away in the BMI Lounge — excuse me, “bmi diamond club” — to relax and rest.

Of course, once I’d gone into the BMI lounge area, I could only return to the main shopping/eating/speaking-in-adorable-accents area by going through the Flight Connections security line, again, which is not really how I’d like to spend these 20 mins of our layover. Ah well, truly a hard knock life. (I’m completely certain, at this point, that the ban on photography in this area serves no security purpose, but is instead in place to avoid people knowing how grisly it is before they book their flights to connect through LHR.)

After Amsterdam, Vlad and Stuart and I will head to Serbia (Belgrade and Yagodina, if I’m not mistaken) for a week of semi-vacation. I’m really looking forward to it, and have been learning a bit of Serbian in preparation. More about that part later, though, as I’m just about to get to the scanning-my-stuff part of this adventure in queuing.