As is always the case this was the best Kohacon yet. Dublin is a fantastic city and the hospitality of Interleaf, PTFS Europe and the Dublin Business School is second to none.
The conference was held at the Dublin Business School, who are big champions of open source and open access. The school uses Koha, Moodle, Shibboleth, eprints (and I think others I have forgotten). It was spread over 5 days, 2 of presentations, 2 of workshops, and one day of cultural activities.
The talks were uniformly excellent, covering a wide range of topics, from Business analysis to migration stories. One of my favourites was Marcel giving the best non technical talk about containers (docker mainly) I’ve ever seen.
The workshops were also well received, with my favourite being the one on plugins.
But the best part was again the people. Kohacon are about kanohi ki te kanohi, about restrengthening bonds and creating new ones. It’s vitally important that online communities make the most of any in person time they can.
And because it’s me I’m going to finish with food photos.
As always this was the best Kohacon yet, I will write up a more technical post over on the work site but I wanted to write up a more personal one over here.
Kohacons are different to any other conferences I have attended, it feels less like a conference and more like a reunion. One of the other attendees remarked that there was a certain something that he couldn’t put his finger on. I replied that I thought it was whanaungatanga. And I really think that is what it is. The conference has a really great gender balance, and there were attendees from Pakistan, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Kenya, Guyana, Mexico, France, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina and of course USA. But despite our many differences, new friendships were quickly made and old friendships renewed.
Before the conference had even started people who had never met each other before drove off to look at Mt St Helens together. Others went to the zoo, others to the beach. Every night communal meals were organised, and over breakfast tales shared of the night before. One of the traditions we have is a day between the conference proper and the hackfest after where we all do something together. This year there were walking tours, jet boat rides, tours of Powells bookshop and tours of the Japanese gardens. Another of our tradition is sharing treats from all around the world at the hackfest.
This eating, drinking and talking together is the best part of the conference, it builds bonds that, even when we return home and are 1000s of kilometres apart, are still strong. When people ask how we manage to coordinate development across language and cultural differences, spending time kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) is how. Spending the time to whakawhanaungatanga with each other might not seem important at first glance, but it is what has kept the project strong and getting stronger for 18 years now. If anyone ever says there’s no time for mihimihi or whakawhanuangatanga, I think they are missing out, and are weakening whatever they are endeavouring to achieve
Chicken and tortilla soup, and a crab and shrimp sandwich
Sous vide ribeye
A “small” salad
Dirty fries (mushroom, beer cheese and jalapeno)
Cuba libre slushy
Heirloom tomato pizza
3 cheese, mushrooms and truffle oil pizza
Biscuit and sausage gravy
A ‘brewben’ and tots
What it says on the packet
Lobster and shrimp enchiladas
Buffalo chicken mac and cheese (and tots)
A vodka drinking board
Burger and tots
Another burger and totsWings
David Nind is one of a kind. Neither he nor the organisation he works for use Koha, but he has been active in the community for many many years. He helps with maintaining the wiki, running the twitter account, answering many many emails on the mailing list, attending user groups and so much more. The work he does has been incredibly valuable and is a major part of the success of Koha.
I was just talking about 3000 year old Welsh skulls and Māori not being tangata whenua and bam, patu right in my face. Had to stop, and go down to the A&E
Noel – a Historian (no really, you can just say you’re a historian and the Herald will print any drivel you make up)
As I was being consistently wrong about everything, as I am wont to do, I heard a mighty yell of ‘D haaa’ and smack, patu on the point of the jaw. Shut me right up I must say.
Alan – Author (sort of, he had one ok book but the rest are all pretty crap)
We were performing our ‘Haka’ to advertise insurance, when someone came running up, and screamed ‘Ana tō kai, kai toa’ and hit the head of marketing in the face with some sort of club thing.
Spokesperson for ARAG insurance
I don’t know what happened, one minute I was saying “muesli bars have too much sugar in them for growing bodies” and the next minute, tewhatewha upside the head. Well I never!
Judgey McJudgerson – Kindy parent/teacher
Look as the enlightened feminist I am I was just commenting on how ‘ethnic’ women are more attractive if they don’t look ‘ethnic’. Then crack, taiaha to the temple. I said don’t hit me I love women and what about fat yoga… and then pow, wahaika in the waha.
Someone whose core is super soft
He’s just three …
The “journalist” couldn’t finish this statement as he was promptly hit 16 times with a mere
Some one started an email to me with Kia ora, so I was typing out a reply saying “I’m not Māori please address me in English”. As I was about to hit send a felt an immense pain at the back of my head and someone yelled “English that, cracker”
Not only does Joy describe Bibframe by using the ontology of Tutu, but she probably currently knows the most about data migrations to Koha. This would be neat in itself, but she never hesitates to share this knowledge by answering questions on the mailing lists, attending and speaking at Kohacons, and participating on IRC.
Joy is a person of great integrity and she brings that to her work on Koha. The community and the project are lucky to have her.