Summer of Geeknics Off to a Great Start!

After much worry about the weather (and possibly being thrown out of the park by park rangers), the Philadelphia Geeknic held yesterday, Sunday, April 19th, 2009, kicked off for a great day of fun in the (partial) sun, with food, fun, and geeks!  With about thirty people in attendance and plenty of food to go around, there was much to do.  Conversation centered around software, work, and harassing the “windows guy” while children played in the field.  Eventually a handful of geeks wandered off for a game of Frisbee at which they for the most part failed miserably. Despite the slightly cloudy day, the weather stayed mostly warm and comfortable.

Through a grave error, the geeknic cake was misplaced, thus ensuring that the cake was, in fact, a lie.  Fortunatly the selection of desserts did not suffer much from the missing cake, as there were plenty of treats to be found, including adorable ubuntu cupcakes.

All in all, everyone in attendance seemed to have a wonderful time, and we look ahead anxiously to the next Geeknic, in Dublin Ireland next month, and many others to follow!  We hope you can find your way to one or more of them.

If you would like to find out more, or see if there can be a Geeknic in your neck of the woods, send an email over to geeknic (at) geeknic (dot) org and the Geeknic team will see what they can do.

pdpc and the open source community

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, pdpc, the parent organization that operates freenode, is very interested in offering more to the community.  To this end we’ve begun a number of other projects such as the new free-as-in-node podcastand “geeknics“, but this is just a small part of the level of involvement we aspire to.  We want to do more for the projects and users that use freenode every day, and for the community they represent.

With this in mind, you will be seeing one aspect of this here on the blog, as we make an effort to highlight events, projects, and people in the open source community.  You will see references to these here, much like the “pimp my project” section on our podcast, as we strive to bring attention to these well deserving events, projects, and people.  We would, of  course, love to hear from you about any of this, or anything you think deserves a mention, but meanwhile we will be seeking out those that we find interesting and mentioning them here.

Expect to see more in the near future promoting interesting and fun things, along with some more community focused projects from the pdpc and freenode.  We want to offer you and everyone in the open source community even more.  Stay tuned!

Community Leadership Summit – July 18-19th 2009, San Jose, CA.

Jono Bacon, one of my friends and a FOSS contributor for which I have a lot of respect, known to many for his work as Ubuntu‘s Community Manager is one of the people behind arranging the Community Leadership Summit — a conference aimed at bringing people from various projects together to look at cross project collaboration and such things. The conference complements freenode and the PDPC’s Group Advisory Board very well and I for one shall be attending.

The goal is simple: if those passionate about building great communities can get together to compare notes and discuss and debate these topics, we will all benefit from better communities.

The summit gathers together community managers, leaders and organizers as well as the projects, organizations, commercial vendors, ISVs and others who have an interest in building a strong and enabled community. The purpose of the event is to get everyone together to talk about the many nuances of building strong and effective community, such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and more.

You can read the rest of that over at Jono’s blog and of course, head over to the conference website, check it out and sign up if you can make it and it sounds like a good fit for you!

Wikipedia licensing change?

Wikipedia to change license to Creative Commons BY-SA?  — From

A community vote is now underway, hopefully one of the final steps in the process the migration of Wikipedia (actually Wikipedias, as each language is its own site, and also other Wikimedia Foundation sites) to using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike as its primary content license.

This migration would be a huge boost for the free culture movement, and for Wikipedia and Creative Commons — until the migration happens there is an unnecessary licensing barrier between the most important free culture project (Wikipedia of course, currently under the Free Documentation License, intended for software documentation) and most other free culture projects and individual creators, which use the aforementioned CC BY-SA license.

To qualify to vote, one must have made 25 edits to a Wikimedia site prior to March 15. Make sure you’re logged in to the project on which you qualify, and you should see a site notice at the top of each page that looks like the image below (red outline added around notice).

If you are eligible, please head over to and find out how to cast your vote!

PHP TestFest

Jonathan mentioned in his blog post about the free-as-in-node podcast yesterday that this weeks guest on “Pimp My Project” was there to talk about PHP TestFest.

The TestFest is an event that aims at improving the code coverage of the test suite for the PHP language itself. As part of this event, local User Groups (UG) are invited to join the TestFest. These UGs can meet physically or come together virtually. The point however is that people network to learn together. Aside from being an opportunity for all of you to make friends with like minded people in your (virtual) community, it also will hopefully reduce the work load for the mentors. All it takes is someone to organize a UG to spearhead the event and to get others involved in writing phpt tests. The submissions will then be reviewed by members of before getting included in the official test suite.

As per Head over there if you want some more information on how to get involved!

Free-as-in-node episode 3 released!

The third installment of  free-as-in-node has just been released! Head on over to to listen or download.

In this episode, you’ll hear all about freenodes april fools joke and our exploding growth (currently at around 57,000 online users).  Also discussed is the php testfest with input from mgdm (Michael Maclean) in this weeks pimp my project, and then a bit of soapboxing and the announcement of the new “freenode party” in UK politics, so that we too can partake of free-as-in-shoes-your-taxpayers-bought-you.  Make sure you sign our petition before Christel shuts down freenode!

In addition, we’ll let you know whats going on in the world with our take on the talks between Sun and IBM, Debian eating FreeBSD, the new Gnome 3.0 roadmap, and news on TomTom’s settlement with Microsoft.  We’ll also talk about Fedora11beta with updates on our experience on the next episode.

We also discuss the “geeknic” once again with the announcement of yet another geeknic, this one in the Philadelphia area in less than a week! If you can make it, bring us a canoe or kayak.

This week closes again with a wonderful morsel from Bryn_S.  We’ll see you in two weeks!


When most people think of geeks, they think of pasty white people who never leave their basement. Well, we are aiming to change that… by getting you outside and making you a little less pasty white.

To this end, we’re going to be encouraging and promoting a number of “geeknics”all around the globe.  What is a geeknic, you ask? Quite simply, it’s a picnic for geeks! At the moment, there are two scheduled: One in Philadelphia PA, USA, on April 19th 2009, and one in Dublin Ireland, on May 9th 2009.  At both events, there will be food, fun, and geeks!

We very much look forward to seeing you at either of these events, but if either of these places and times don’t work for you we would be happy to help you set up your very own local geeknic, along with possibly getting a local freenode staffer to show up. More information can be found here.  If you would like help in setting up your very own geeknic, email [email protected]

PDPC Yahoo acquisition

It is with great fanfare that we announce the Yahoo acquisition of the PDPC, and by extension, freenode. After much deliberation, we have decided to accept Yahoo’s offer to purchase the freenode irc network and associated resources for the amount of  approximately £2,700,000.00 in yahoo shares.  At present it is expected that all current network staff will remain in place while certain yahoo employees will be added to the mix.

Yahoo intends to leverage our large user base and experience with operating large networks to supplement their existing yahoo chat functionality, and eventually replace it with a hybrid ircd designed for the large numbers of users they have in mind.  We are very excited at what this future may hold!

What this means for you, the users of freenode, is that you’ll have access to great new search technology right from irc! With the introduction of yahoo search into our ircd, you’ll be able to easily search the web from any channel on the network and display results right there, saving you and everyone else in the channel the time and trouble of browsing to yahoo, the worlds premier search engine, first.

Additionally, we’ll soon be implementing live phone support with the help of Yahoo call center employees based out of India.  We are very excited about this prospect and about improving response to our users through it!  Once the call center technology is fully in place, the #freenode channel will be shut down and all support requests will be handled via email and phone support.

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, thank you for using freenode!