community, flock

Catching Up

I’ve been sort of (I like to think) conspicuously absent from the forums and the blogging world for a week or so. I actually left my home base in Tennessee (yes, we do have computers here, though we’re still working on refining that whole indoor plumbing thing) to spend a few days at Flock HQ. Here you can see me hard at work with Robin and Gandalf (who appears to be giving the camera the evil eye; he’s really a very nice guy). In this meeting, we’re planning our infrastructure needs. Those of us who sort of split up sysadmin duties are lobbying pretty hard for at least a part-time sysadmin. (If you know anybody good, let me know!) I also spent some time with Chris mapping out community sites and did lots of work on an as yet unfinished community dashboard that I hope will help us monitor activity and gauge how well we’re engaging with you guys. I’m sure I did other stuff as well, though I flew largely below the radar from a blogging perspective.

I flew out of San Francisco straight to my parents’ home in North Carolina (they have indoor plumbing there too), where I spent the weekend doing holidayish stuff. My whole family has since taken ill with a nasty stomach virus (hence my silence on Monday), and now I’m trying to catch up. I may be a little scarce at times in the coming few weeks as well, as I may be called upon to help get our mid-January early adopter’s release out rather than rubbernecking with the community. So if you wonder where I’ve been and what’s up with the community or you miss me or just want to send me presents, do drop me a line at daryl at and I’ll try to send out an update.

In the mean time, I’ve spent some time today trying to catch up a bit on the forums and the community in general, and I found a couple of neat things I thought I’d share. As documented here, one community member has built an OpenSuse build of Flock. Woo hoo! On a similar note, there’s talk on our flockstars list of trying to build .deb packages to make Flock easier to install on Ubuntu systems. I invite any Ubuntu hackers out there to join the discussion or, better yet, to whip out the package and let us know. Another tidbit in the forums that caught my eye was what seems to me like a nifty extension request that would let users map key-bindings easily. It’s probably not the sort of thing that’d ever make it into a core build, but it’s something many users would no doubt find useful, at least for the one or two key-bindings they find unintuitive or simply not available.

On the flockstars list a week or two ago, Neil proposed a few neat topbar ideas that I thought I’d toss out there for the benefit of any enterprising developers with some spare holiday time. How about a Netflix topbar? Or a wikipedia topbar? Or an amazon wishlist manager topbar? Or a package tracking (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) topbar? These all seem like great ideas and some of them (or variations) probably fairly low-hanging fruit.

Ok, that’s what I’ve got time for at the moment. In the not too terribly distant future (with any luck), I’ll have updates on, the community dashboard, a patch process for developers, and a new and improved bugzilla. We have much on our plates besides a simple software release!

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