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Hackathon Recap

Posted on 11 April 2008 by Quentin Mathé

Étoilé hackathon ended ten days ago, I left Swansea on Tuesday afternoon to flight back to Paris after a mix of train and bus. Afterwards David and Damien Pollet succeeded in closing the hackaton by writing the first bits of a bridge between GNU Smalltalk and Objective-C.

Following Friday talks, we wandered around the university looking for a pub where we could eat. We finally ended up at David's place and had a nice break around beers (that aren't beers but ales), coffee, saucissons and we ordered some real food too. Afterwards Nicolas was still motivated to learn more about EtoileUI. His interest for EtoileUI had the bad side-effect of shortening the night quite dramatically!

During the week-end, we discussed the proper way to implement a semantic editor and how to integrate it with EtoileUI and CoreObject. Nicolas spent most of his time writing a new prototype. He already wrote a very rough one few years ago.

Damien arrived from Lugano on the second day of the hackaton. After having installed Étoilé, he started to play with the possibility to hack a Smalltalk bridge. In the meantime, David continued his work on EtoileSerialize, while I spent a large part of the week-end cleaning stuff here and there and hunting bugs of EtoileUI on GNUstep (Saturday and Sunday night especially :-).

We also began to clean EtoileFoundation a bit, David moved EtoileThread to it, and last week I recently managed to bring EtoileXML too and have both compiles fine as subframeworks (EtoileFoundation.h playing the role of an umbrella header). In the middle of our discussions centered around CoreObject and EtoileSerialize, I got the impression David was doing some coding on LLVM too, while Damien was fighting with autotools next to me. At least, I was able to follow David's presence on the #llvm channel right on the wall screen where Jesse appeared the previous day. I'm pretty sure everything went on rougly that way until Monday!

On Saturday evening, I lost myself in Swansea suburbs and the five minutes walk to buy a few ales became a one hour walk in the Welsh drizzle. The next day, the weather persisted to be quite unstable, constantly hesitating between storm, sun and waxy clouds. Monday, our own trinity (EtoileSerialize, CoreObject and EtoileUI) was expecting us for a last serious day of hacking. The sky was now in a better shape and could have been qualified of sunny and warm by previous day standards ;-) David had the good idea to plan a break at the pub for the evenining, so we could slow down a bit before really ending the hackaton. For the last day, I went to a coffee shop where I previously bought some nice scones and Chelsea cakes (iirc), then we left David's place for the university and our daily coffee session with a nice vista on the sea and the sound of the seagulls in background (or is it just my vivid imagination?).

The hackaton was just great, although the time went by very quickly. David had well organized everything and after our daily hacking sessions, he even managed to cook some very nice stuff (like weird and tasty squashes) for the hungry french hackers, so I'm looking forward to the next one. May be in France…