I'd like to go public with an idea I've been developing in discussions with the other recently elected Parrot Foundation Board of Directors and some other Parrot contributors: A one-day gathering of Parrot developers to be held in Portland, Oregon, USA on Saturday, October 16.
This gathering would have three objectives and the division of the day into parts would match those objectives:
1. Enable Parrot developers to meet each other face-to-face, get to know one another better, and start to figure out how each can best contribute to the project.
2. Identify the major technological challenges facing the Parrot virtual machine now and start to figure out how we can best match our contributors with those challenges.
3. Start hacking on those challenges!
This gathering is not intended to be an official Parrot Developer Summit. In fact it probably won't be an offical Parrot Foundation activity at all, if only because we don't have the funds to put together anything "official." The gathering, if successful, will generate ideas that can then, depending on their scope, can be discussed on list, on IRC or at the periodic online developer summits.
So, it's basically a hackathon prepended with some discussion about Parrot as community and Parrot as technology.
Why am I suggesting we organize this gathering at this time and in this location?
Simple: I'm going on vacation and, as a newly elected director, I figure it would be nice to meet up with my fellow directors -- two of whom live in the Pacific Northwest -- and with other Parrot developers, a number of whom live in the Seattle and Portland areas. This gathering would be an interesting way for me to spend the last Saturday of my vacation. And I am a long-time advocate of the joys of face-to-face hacking: http://thenceforward.net/perl/yapc/YAPC-NA-2007/houslight/
But why should I and those who live in Portland and Seattle have all the fun? (1) If you can get to Portland on your own dime on this date, welcome! (2) I hope we can replicate this one-day gathering in the US East Coast sometime between Nov 2010 and April 2011. (3) I encourage our European, South American and Australasian comrades to do likewise!
Absolutely nothing concrete exists about this gathering at this time. In particular, we don't yet have a meeting location. So there is absolutely no guarantee that this gathering will actually take place. But I suggest Portland partly because the Portland OS community carries out two public hack sessions weekly, so I figure we've got a better chance of bringing this off there than almost anyplace else (including, regrettably, New York City).
If you'd like to help us make this happen, let us know, either on list or on IRC #parrot or at weekly #parrotsketch meeting (2030 UTC Tuesdays).