[Edinburgh-pm] Edinburgh Hackathon?

Aaron Crane perl at aaroncrane.co.uk
Wed Apr 23 10:59:10 PDT 2008

(Sorry I've taken so long to say anything about this.)

Venue.  I'm hoping that we can find a suitable venue for a local,
1-day hackathon to be held some weekend in the near-ish future.  Then
we could use that experience to help work out what would be needed for
a future, larger Edinburgh event (whether a hackathon or workshop or
whatever) that we'd expect people from out of town to attend.

With that in mind, I think approaching people at the university
(ideally through contacts we already have between us) would be the
best thing.  Next best would be a pub or similar with wi-fi and a
quiet back room.  (I'd say "function room", but we'd probably have to
either pay real money to use it, or commit to spending a lot behind
the bar.)  The disadvantage of a pub would be that we'd perhaps be
getting further from what we'd need for a bigger event, and so we'd
gain less from the experience of organising it.

Agenda.  There seems to be some interest in a Parrot/Rakudo/Perl 6
theme.  I'm happy with that; I've been meaning to find some time to
work on Rakudo, so allocating a day to do so sounds promising.

There may well be some attendees who have a clear idea of what they'd
like to hack on during the day.  They might treat the event essentially
as an opportunity to sit and hack in congenial company, or they might
be planning to discuss plans or design issues with other attendees
working on the same project.

Other people may hope to turn up and find suggestions of specific
tasks to tackle on projects they're interested in.  In principle, that
shouldn't necessarily require any specific preexisting knowledge on
their part, but it would probably need other attendees who can offer
direction and ideas.  That in turn suggests having specific volunteers
to coordinate matters, but it may be possible to rely on speaking to
existing project workers over IRC.  If we want to do that, we should
probably make arrangements with such remote hackathon attendees in

I don't see any a priori problem with a single event catering to
people in either group, or anywhere in between.

Indeed, the potential problem with a narrow theme or scope is that
if, between us, we have very little existing knowledge of (say)
Parrot, we might get to the end of the day without a sense of having
actually accomplished much.  So I'm definitely in favour of adopting
an inclusive answer to the question of what people should do at the

Does this help answer people's questions about what's being proposed?

Aaron Crane ** http://aaroncrane.co.uk/

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