This post comes to you from the Ubuntu Developer Summit, La Hulpe, Brussels.
Tell me six months ago, hell, even two months ago, this would be the case and i would not have believed it for one moment.
So how did i get here? I haven't made a post to this blog in quite some time, but fatefully, my last post is about a little piece of code i wrote called pathbar.py. This code exists because i responded to a call for help for a then fledgling application named Ubuntu Software Center (S-C). S-C's purpose is to make it as simple as possible for Ubuntu desktop users to browse and install software from within the myriad of free applications made available on Ubuntu.
A while after i had pathbar.py working, i was put in contact with Michael Vogt, or mvo as he is known online. From this point we started to regularly chat on irc and i became interested in making further contributions to the project. A release later and my code went public to the millions of people around the world who use Ubuntu as their operating system of choice. My personal satisfaction was immense, and i was so excited for the project.
A few months before the release of the Lucid Lynx (the then development version of Ubuntu), mvo said he had put my name forward for sponsorship to UDS Brussels. At the time i thought little of it as it seemed unlikely to me that i would meet their criteria. Thankfully i was wrong!!
So here i am... in Brussels. So far my time here has been great. Along with mvo, i have met the other S-C developers, Gary Lasker and Olivier Tolloy. What a super great team of people we have. Everone is so interesting, humble and friendly. Mvo is amazing, he has undoubted technical skills, he is friendly, quietly spoken and unflappable. Gary has great music taste and has a particularly impressive knowledge of _good_ NZ music for an American. And Olivier is thoughtful, great to have a beer with, and a great room mate. I have also had lunch with fellow New Zealander and design rockstar, Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) and have had the opportunity to meet many of the other community rockstars.
As a first timer to UDS its been an eye-opening experience. Eye-opening in the sense that the whole exercise is actually a very smooth and efficient process. To see the processes behind one of the worlds greatest collaborative projects is fascinating, and fills you with such a sense of hope. Hope that future will be filled with the similar examples of international generosity and collaboration. The way a diverse community so enthusiastically deals with both the technical and social considerations gives me so much faith in mankind.
So with plans for the future direction of Ubuntu nearing completion, i am as enthused as ever about working with a great team on a hugely exciting project. I look forward to the coming six months with great anticipation.