Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference


It's nice to be busy, but sometimes it makes my head spin.

I spent yesterday in Oxford with the Canonical team, who are working on a great Debian-derived Linux distribution. There are a lot of reasons to be believe that their work will be a success. One big reason for me is that, although Debian-derived, they are not working apart from Debian. The goodness will be given back.

Although they don't raise hopes too high for their first release ("it's called warty for a reason", they say) I still think it's pretty special. I did a test installation and was gratified to get, after a largely hands-free install, a system that works pretty much out of the box, and one that's very similar to how I have my GNOME desktops set up.

I was really pleased to see so many top free software hackers together in one place, and so energized and excited about the stuff they were working on. It's also great that I can count several friends among their number.

Now for some other stuff that's been making me spin this week.

Debian packaging work. As the next release nears, I've been trying to get my packages nicely in order, and have done uploads of new Bluetooth stuff, as well as sponsoring a number of Dave Beckett's Redland packages in. The next release of Debian will totally rock for Bluetooth and RDF support!

DOAP (Description of a Project) continues to grow. As well as general increasing interest, I've got at least one public software registry that wants to experiment with DOAP support and an increasing number of emerging tools. Chris Schmidt has made a prototype which, given a DOAP file, checks out and builds a software project from CVS. I've also been sent a prototype of a Java DOAP editor. Niel Bornstein made a .NET DOAP tool that generates DOAP from Mono or .NET assemblies. And, to top it all off, DOAP got a nice writeup in a Linux Gazette article about the semantic web. Am still looking for conspirators to help me make DOAP generation from things like Python distutils and Perl MakeMaker fly.

Mono book. Saw a nice review here posted on a blog. Niel wrote a cool article on using Mono/Gtk# on Windows for ONDotnet.com. Having gotten some great feedback from my previous post, I'm now busy working on book proposals. No idea where the time to do it will come from!

XML-Deviant. I'm really enjoying writing the community coverage for the XML world. One of the things I've noticed is that I now need to dip into blogs as well as mailing lists to find the debates. I've been including more RDF topics, as there's a thriving community of experimentation there.

XML Europe. Seems pretty certain I'll be chairing this conference again next year. I want to change how things work a little, and include some new content. Right now the biggest candidate for that in my mind is more webby content. With the revival in browser innovation and heightened awareness of standards-based content development, it seems appropriate. Please do email me with suggestions of what you'd like from XML Europe 2005 (and don't necessarily consider "XML" to be a constraining factor.)

Will soon be off to Jordan.

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