Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sending text like a pro

These are great tools for sending chunks of text around to others. If you are a developer and used to using IM then tools like these are invaluable since they make your content readable or protect it from prying eyes.
  1. Pastebin (
    Full featured, well supported, and fast. Pastebin has been around for awhile and has some very nifty options like automatic support for subdomains (e.g., format highlight support, expiration, and even limited privacy settings.
  2. Privnote (
    This is great for sending someone a password, id number, or anything that you do not want to send over the open wire or via email. Once the user clicks the link and views the content it is deleted.
    The formatting of the text is lost here though so it is not good for sending formatted text.
  3. Private Paste (
    An excellent tool for sending along large blocks of formatted text that you do not want others to see. This supports expiration, format highlights and line numbering, and security key auth.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

EuroSakai: Sakai QA and How to get Involved

Alan Berg, Anthony Whyte, Jean-François Lévêque, and I finished our final two presentations at the EuroSakai Valencia 2010 conference today. The overall theme of these presentations was "Get Involved". The presentations are What is Sakai QA and 10 ways to make a good Sakai release (my apologies to the attendees but 8:30am is just too early for a session). I hope that our main point got across and I hope we provided helpful information for those brave enough to attend.
A few highlights for those who could not make it:
  • Alan did another Mexican wave
  • I (and others) was still half asleep during the morning session
  • Jean-François made a lot of food related jokes
  • lolcatz were involved
Our major theme was "Blood and Treasure" (stolen from Anthony Whyte). If you have assets (people) then you have blood to contribute. If you are looking for ways to get involved please consider these opportunities. If you answer yes to any of these questions, or even if you don't, you may want to sign up to participate in one of these teams.
  • Sakai Maintenance Team - are you a java developer? an SVN wizard? want to learn more about Sakai codebase? do you love issue management and/or JIRA? do you like to write unit tests?
  • Release Management - are you a master of subversion? do you have a passion for merging code? are you running a 2.*.x branch in production?
  • Quality Assurance - can you use a web browser? do you like trying every little thing in software? are you tired of hearing complaints from users after you upgrade?
The other primary and very critical way to get involved is with treasure. If you have some money you can spend on open source and/or Sakai then you have treasure. Consider putting this money into foundation dues or buying into commercial support. Check out the end of the What is Sakai QA presentation for a few options to get involved when you have money but no people (or if you have money AND people).
One final point from our talk. If you are involved, thank you. If you see others who are involved, please thank them.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

EuroSakai Bootcamp

Anthony Whyte and I presented the programmers cafe bootcamp at EuroSakai Valencia 2010 on Monday March 1st. This also coincided with my first official act as a Uniconer (short for Unicon employee) and my first presentation as the Sakai Maintenance Team lead.
We had around 30 people in attendance with the majority from Spain. I felt like it went as well as these 1 day technical introductions to Sakai can reasonably go (i.e. a major overload for the participants) and I hope that the attendees had a good experience and learned something valuable. Anyone who wants to let us know what they thought of it can fill out our survey.

EuroSakai presentation - Sakai Best Practices

Alan Berg and I just finished our presentation on Sakai Best Practices at EuroSakai Valencia 2010. It started with a mexican wave (all Alan's fantastic idea) and included tips for creating JIRA tickets, an overview of best ways to take advantage of foundation resources, and some development best practices.
One key point we made during the presentation bears repeating. In many ways the Sakai community is a do-ocracy.
A do-ocracy is an organizational structure in which individuals choose roles and tasks for themselves and execute them. Responsibilities attach to people who do the work, rather than elected or selected officials.
I have also heard people refer to Sakai as a meritocracy and perhaps in some ways it is. But much more than that I think it is driven forward by those willing to act. I hope that we are encouraging people to get involved and act because that is the lifeblood of community source.