I am back home again from DrupalCon Barcelona 2007. I must say that it was a very exciting event. It was fantastic to meet people with whom I last met in person in 2005 in Antwerp (on the first famous meet-in-person developer meeting which was in a hotel basement). The Drupal community grew a lot since then. Dries mentions that last years Brussels conference had 150 people while this years Barcelona event had 450, which means the conference is three times bigger.
It was great fun to stay with Earl Miles and family, Kristof van Tomme and Laura Vass as well as Dries Buytaert himself in an apartment. We all had crazy schedules: meeting with people, discussing projects and goals, eating proficient tapas, going around the city, and of course taking some of the technical conference program as well.
The first day was very much packed for me. Jose A. Reyero, me and Ian Ward had a two hour Multilingual Drupal (slides) presentation first day in the morning, and I took the first hour. Then just after lunch I had my own Translating Drupal (the new way) (slides) talk, which localization involved people just loved. (Warning: the revamped localization client module interface will make your heart just more warmer, watch my blog for the announcement soon). Then I had one hour to rest and the Google Summer of Code get together session started where all who were there (including me) presented their project, and webchick presented the remaining ones.
Having all my presentation duties done the first day, I had time to get actual work done the other days. I got lot of good input on the localization projects I do (the server, the client, the extractor), as well as took part in lot of chatter about Drupal event organization, the future of nodes and CCK, as well as possible theme improvements for Drupal 7. After all, every conference day I left with an increasing number of cool ideas and a growing mental TODO list, to the extent that I was unable to sleep well the day before the last.
Interestingly, I actually had some time to look around the city as well, walked down La Ramblas, seen the Sagrada Familia, checked out Park Güell (the city looks great at night from up there), eat lots of tapas of different quality and price, learn the tricks of the local subway system, and got to talk to a lot of new people.
Robert, Bert and friends did a very good job of organizing this event, although there were admittedly missing things, they set up a suggestion page right on the conference website, and were very kind to people with improvement requests. As Kristof put it: this was real agile development in life. Most problems were fixed in hours or at most the next day. Thanks for the experience, and for bringing the Drupal community to the next level. Both the size and quality of the event set high expectations on later conferences.
I made a few commitments as far as Drupal contributions go, and will blog about them as time goes. I hope to expand my perceived role from *the* localization (and in part internationalization) guy to something more realistic.