Ubuntu

Storing information-based information

This year I've collected an unreasonable number of notes across a variety of different capturing systems. I have notes from conference sessions and meetings and books that I've read and Web sites that I've visited and radio shows I've listened to. I have notes scattered in Tomboy and my paper-based DIY Planner (and the associated archive binder that lives on my desk) and a little orange notepad that goes with my little orange sharpie markers. I have notes in Thunderbird and Firefox and zotero. And occassionally I export my bookmarks to del.icio.us.

For the most part I subscribe to a Getting Things Done organizational methodology (except for times like right now when I am not GTD, I am PRCT). My inbox lives around zero items full and my TODO email folder has generally fewer than 10 things in it. I'm good at converting my lists of things to do into a single paper-based list that I check frequently. Paper related to client projects generally gets filed into the right folder. Paper related to invoices gets paid and then shuttled off to the bookkeeper. But that is how I organize my task-based information. I need a sane way of storing my information-based information. It might all be snippets of things that never gets used again, but I would prefer it be information that is at least accessible and not needed rather than forgotten because it has not been correctly stored.

Out of all the digital applications I use, Tomboy is definitely the easiest at capturing small snippets of text, but I don't like having more than 20 or so notes at a time. More than that seems like clutter. At the other end of the spectrum I could easily create a private (or perhaps even local) installation of Drupal to store all of these random bits of information, but somehow that seems a bit overkill. That gives me tools at both ends of the spectrum: from insufficient to overkill. And neither would deal with my paper-based notes (although they could be transcribed or scanned if they were images).

What is your toolset for dealing with information-based information? Does it live on the internets? Or on your personal computer? Or perhaps you've even found a way to put it in more than one place with sane syncing happening on a regular, and automated, basis?

Wicked Awesome Code Sprint

I'm at my first-ever code sprint at DrupalCon in Szeged, Hungary. It is awesome. The room is just buzzing with activity. I know that people have talked about this kind of thing before, and I know they always say it's awesome, but it really really is! We're all clustered into groups. I'm sitting with the documentation team and am working through the issue queue for the on-line handbooks. At this very moment (well actually not this very moment) I'm working on an update for the Node types page.

There are probably 20% of the conference participants attending the post-conference sprint. The best part is that there are absolutely all skill levels here. One of the biggest tasks for new contributors is sorting through the issue queue and making sure things have been assigned to the right team. At first it sounded overwhelming but with a few minutes of hands-on time people have installed IRC clients and are getting stuff done.

If you've never attended a code sprint before, I highly recommend it! In fact if you've got time next week you may want to join the fray this coming week in the Ubuntu Developer Week. IRC skillz will be useful, but there's some basic instructions on the Joining In page.

PS Angie also is working on her first-ever core patch commit (this is the first non-Dries commit for the Drupal 7 core). It's very exciting and there are a lot of cameras. And pizza and chocolate.

Form an orderly queue in Wolverhampton

Tony has done an amazing job of splicing together my 40 minute talk with my 123 slides from the Wolverhampton version of my talk Form an orderly queue, ladies. Thank you, Tony! This talk has changed a little bit on all three occasions that I've delivered it. First in San Francisco at LugRadioLive USA and a third time at OSCON. As far as I know the talk was not recorded at OSCON (which was the only time the talk had unicorns and slide transitions). I present you with the talk that inspired the rant (and later the blog entry rant) ...

Form an orderly queue, ladies - the Wolves edition

This video contains the use of coarse language and vaginas. Your employer may not approve. I am not responsible if you get fired.

A note about the language: I've had a few (men) tell me that they found the overuse of the "v" word unsettling. Yes. That was the point. I wanted a word that was technically correct but as jarring to the audience as I personally find "chix." Its use in this context is over the top and a bit ridiculous. And sometimes that's how I feel about "women in open source" discussions.

I don't want to spend more time than I need to discussing vaginas or the reasons why there aren't more of them in open source. If anything I want to get on with it--where "it" refers to getting more people involved in FOSS. Women are currently massively under represented in FOSS. And as approximately 50% of the world's population that makes "us" an excellent mark for increasing the use of FOSS world-wide. So let's change our language and our outlook and start focusing our efforts on the world domination of Free and Open Source Software. Form an orderly queue, ladies of all genders, we're going for a ride!

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