Fun with Gwibber themes

In order to be fully buzzword compliant, all conference type gatherings in this web 2.0 social media age now have a compulsory twitter tag and live twitter projected display. Oggcamp (which, I would just like to mention, The Open Learning Centre is sponsoring) is no exception to this rule, but being all about Free culture needs to incorporate (or dents alongside the tweets. The best way to do this is to leverage (I have a buzzword for every situation) the existing technology and make Gwibber fit for the purpose of projecting a continuous stream following a hash tag at a conference. The first thing it needs is a full screen mode. I have hacked one in, but it needs a bit of improvement, some more bits really need to be hidden when in presentation mode. The next thing I wanted to do was give each of the various hashtag pipelines (or “hash pipes” as I like to call them) it’s own theme. This bit was tricky as the search query isn’t currently available to the theme engine. I asked the upstream developers for a bit of guidance at this point and within 15 minutes of me explaining what I wanted to do I was given a new patch by segphault that exposes the search query to the theme.

So now I have a nearly finished Oggcamp theme which adapts when it sees you searching for #oggcamp, #ubuntu, #lo, #shotofjaq or #uupc. If I missed out any interesting hashtags then do let me know. Screenshot below is it running fullscreen on my 2048×1152 monitor. In reality it would be tracking two of them on a 1024×768 projector, but this shows all the hash pipe themes together, click to go large.

I will be pushing up a bzr branch of all this so you can play with it in the comfort of your own home or your own conference. If you have further suggestions, or want to help tweak it a bit more, then give me a shout in the comments.

OggCamp 10

It doesn’t seem a long time ago that the first OggCamp took place in Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton - full of classy shops

It was a great event featuring lots of wonderful speakers, and me.

Alan Bell speaking at OggCamp

My talk was on “selling Free Software” where I revealed how we at The Open Learning Centre are helping businesses to take advantage of Open Source software. We also sponsored OggCamp and used it to launch our Libertus Cognatio package along with a get rich quick plan for the community.

At the end of the first OggCamp we all loved it so much we decided to do it again. The conversation went something like: “Lets do another one, we will book out a hotel so we are all staying together, somewhere not so far north, maybe Southampton.” some of the details changed since that conversation (it is in Liverpool and not in a hotel) but the important bit remains: we are doing it again and it will be awesome!

It will be at the Black E in Liverpool, featuring a Free Culture festival on the Friday night and two full days of meeting friends and exchanging ideas around Free Software and Free Culture. I am pleased to announce that once again The Open Learning Centre will be sponsoring OggCamp, and I might put my name forward to do a little talk. If I do then it will be a rather different sort of talk to the last one.

Liverpool - Home of music, and Software Freedom