Tulsa School of Dev

Tulsa School of DevThis year's Tulsa School of Dev had lots of changes from last year.

  1. New event "chairperson" - Sean Whitesell
  2. New event venue - TCC Northeast Campus
  3. New event website platform - WordPress with custom plugins
  4. New event focus - "hands-on" content

First, the rough edges

For one, we (i.e., Tulsa Web Devs) didn't polish up the website as much as we should have. It was clumsy to do speakers, talks, and technologies with custom post types. I'm still looking for a good open-source lanyrd/eventbrite-type cms - anyone know of one?

TCC Northeast wasn't a good venue - the campus has a weird layout; the common area wasn't suited for lunch and rooms were far away from registration and not conducive to a good hallway track.

Aside from the above issues, I liked the event.

I especially liked mingling with the developers. I had a chance to meet Lindsey, Cory, and Matt from The Div and I hope we do many more events together. I also met Jesse Harlin who did a mobile HTML5 geolocating note app for the 2nd half of the web track. Tulsa Web Devs got together to watch the ustream of the April meeting of OKC.js - the group Jesse and Vance Lucas are running in OKC. I also rubbed shoulders with developers from outside our web community bubble - i.e., mostly Enterprise and Microsoft developers. I still wish there was more interaction between the two "camps" though, along with the sizable Java group in town.

Microsoft was really cool - they gave away a free Windows Phone to attendees who built and published a Windows Phone app that day. I may have to ask if we can give phones away at Tulsa Tech Fest to HTML5 mobile web app developers - let them pick between a B2G phone or a Windows Phone. ;)

I'm looking forward to next year's School of Dev. My notes for improvement:

  1. Improve the format preparation (talks in the morning, workshops in the afternoon?)
  2. Book a better venue
  3. Promote earlier

Most importantly, we'll keep bringing Tulsa area developers together!

Beer & Tech Community Events

Disclaimer: I like beer. I read about beer. I make my own beer. I even go to a Benedictine Abbey once a month to brew beer with monks.

Chris shared Ryan Funduk's post describing the tech community's enthusiasm for alcohol that implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, excludes non-drinkers. Ryan makes a keen insight that deserves wider consideration - that the alcohol "fun gamut" attracts brogrammers.

Obviously, "brogrammers" aren't the only ones in our community who enjoy alcohol. Ryan correctly points out that drinking is widespread, yet "brogrammers" are, thankfully, a small though obnoxious minority. So we can ask bigger questions - What is it about alcohol that we like? What does it do to us? Then finally, how should we incorporate it into community events?

What is it about CH3CH2OH that we like?

Science!Alcohol directly affects the prefrontal cortex responsible for judgement and inhibition by prolonging the opening of chloride ion channels which floods post-synaptic cells with chloride ions so the cells cannot as readily respond to stimuli. Alcohol also inhibits dopamine breakdown which extends our dopamine system's pleasure sensations. Alcohol acts as a sedative on our entire central nervous system.[1]

Our brains need some R&R -  All of this can be especially relaxing for people (like developers?) who are constantly exercising their central nervous system; the prefrontal cortex is particularly believed to work on complex cognitive behavior like solving abstract problems. No wonder we like to give it a rest!

Alcohol is an identity microscope

True SelfAs we relax our prefrontal cortex, we also lose inhibitions and judgement.

A couple years ago I discussed this from a Christian perspective with my theology professors (over a couple pints of beer, of course!). Drinking alcohol ranges from religiously required (as in my Catholic tradition!) to socially taboo (in some mainline Evangelical traditions) to religiously forbidden (in Mormon and some fundamentalist traditions) among Christian worldviews. So, we covered lots of angles. I left with an opinion that as alcohol lowers our inhibitions, we can somewhat discover how much of our faith is just inhibitory religious codes, and how much we are actually allowing our "true selves" (as Thomas Merton calls it) to be transformed to the life of Jesus.

It's not just a religious thing. We all know "sloppy drunks", "mean drunks", "emotional drunks", "tired drunks", etc. But alcohol doesn't make us mean or angry or sexist or emotional - alcohol removes other inhibitions we pile on top of those parts of ourselves. So here's the point - if I make a sexist comment while intoxicated, I'm sexist. (For whatever definition of 'sexist' we use.) If I'm sexist, that's something I need to change, regardless of alcohol consumption.

We need to improve as a community in lots of ways, with or without alcohol.

Can we put alcohol on the same level as caffeine?

Since I'm only making my rough observations and opinions, I don't have any specific suggestions for how we should handle alcohol at tech community events. Ryan makes some good ones in his post, there's a decent little discussion going on in Mozilla's engagement-developers list, and Rob gives some good general advice.

I very much agree with Ryan and Rob. I'd like to see alcohol as one entertainment among many at technology events. It can be an aspect of any event, but shouldn't ever be the main aspect of any event. I personally will always go check out the craft and local beers available at any event. (I make a habit to try to visit a brewery and a cathedral anytime I travel.)

But what I really want at these events, and what happens the vast majority of the time, even the "party" events, is to mingle with others who are passionate about technology - no matter what drink they're holding.

Tulsa Web Devs press tour

This Land PressOr as close to anything like a press release that we'll ever have. This Land Press ran a Government 2.0 in Oklahoma article and featured Tulsa Web Devs! w00t!

They also did a live stream from our Tulsa Hackathon event last fall.

Thanks This Land for helping us tell our story!

MDN 2.4.5

Late as usual! MDN 2.4.5 bug list and backlog.


  • Wiki
    Syntax Highlighting
    KumaScript is in! (Though it's not available on stage9 yet.)
    Migrations are running on stage9
  • Bugs

Check the MDN 2.5 backlog for what we're pushing next!

MDN 2.4

MDN 2.4 bug list. This was our first 1-week sprint and release, so there's not as much to report.


  • Wiki
    Nothing shipped, but Les filed the master bug for KumaScript - our replacement for DekiScript.
  • BrowserID
    Fixed lots of little bugs and enabled BrowserID for French, German, Spanish, Polish, and Chinese locales.

MDN 2.4.5

MDN 2.4.5 sprint backlog.

  • Wiki
    KumaScript lives and I ran it successfully on my local environment!
    Syntax highlighting for code samples - both new and migrated
    Profile doc activity feed switched to Kuma
  • Some bugs

So, wiki work continues at a good clip and our process seems to be going well. We're changing our standup time to 10am PT since most of the team is CT or ET now.

Editing MDN with VIM

UPDATED: New screenshot with html filetype! Thanks Screwtape for the tip in the comments!

Yes, it's possible! If you're like me you want to spend as much time in vim as possible. While I appreciate CKEditor on MDN, I personally prefer to edit text in vim, and I think many developers might agree. And since MDN should include content written by developers for developers, here's a way to edit your favorite web developer docs (that would be MDN), using vim. (In my case, MacVim)
It's All Text Preferences

  1. Install the It's All Text Firefox addon.
  2. Go to the IAT preferences
  3. set your editor to vim (MacVim.app in my case)
  4. set your hotkey. (alt+command+e in my case, now that I'm used to Firefox Dev Tools "Inspect" and "Console" keyboard hotkeys)
  5. Go to the MDN article you want to edit. (Apps/Getting Started in my case)
  6. Click Edit (duh)
  7. Click Source
  8. Type your hotkey!
  9. Drink beer and edit away!*
  10. :wq

* groovecoder is not responsible for whatever Sheppy might do to you if you actually edit MDN while intoxicated.

MacVim Quite on CloseNote: For MacVim you may need to set the "After last window closes: Quit MacVim" preference so it puts you right back to Firefox when you :wq.

Apps/Getting Started in vim

MDN 2.3

Released February 28th. We are moving to weekly releases on MDN so these posts are hard to keep up. I will probably start combining releases. And I'm just going to link to the MDN 2.3 bug list instead of linking individual bugs.

  • Wiki
    migrate tags from MindTouch to Kuma
    (Re-)enable tag display and editing
    remove extra redirect for locales
    verify code samples work post-migration
  • BrowserID
    fix login infinite redirect bug
  • HTML5 & Apps MWC pages
    Paul and Craig cranked out the new HTML5 and Apps landing pages in time for MWC

ScrumBugs for MDN 2.3While Paul was with us he created ScrumBugs! I love it! I always appreciated the way we did Agile/Scrum/XP/whatever at SourceForge.net, and I've been forcing pushing for Mozilla WebDev to adopt some of the same practices. And I just really like pretty graphs! Can you tell?! :)

MDN 2.4 & 2.4.5

We're calling our first weekly sprints 2.4 and 2.4.5, but I think next we'll just move to 2.5, 2.6, ... until we all meet up in New York for MDNYC. At that point we'll probably abandon bugzilla milestones and just use the whiteboard to organize bugs into sprints based on release dates. Until then, here's what we're working on for 2.4 and 2.4.5.

  • BrowserID
    Hopefully killing all the remaining BrowserID bugs so we can concentrate on wiki
  • Wiki
    Les is rocking lots of KumaScript work
    Migrate file attachments
    Wiki code syntax highlighting
    Refine UI for tag editing
    Activate continuous migration on staging server for MDN doc community

MDN 2.2

  • BrowserID
    bug 721171 to draw Sign in buttons with progressive enhancement - should hopefully fix our search results snippets too! ><
    bug 719945 to link to browserid on the demo submit page
  • MindTouch wiki migration
    prepare for localized page migration (bug 717380)
    scripting architecture (bug 715253)
  • More

Kumascript Diagram

I'm excited about kumascript - lmorchard's prototype for implementing server-side scripting in kuma to replace DekiScript. I'm glad we're using JavaScript. I was a little surprised that MediaWiki chose Lua for their new scripting language (is it ironic that DekiWiki and its Lua-based DekiScript has roots close to MediaWiki and now MediaWiki is going to Lua-based scripting too?). JavaScript just makes sense for us - a community of web developers writing web developer docs.

MDN 2.2.5

MDN 2.3

MDN 2.1

We're doing better at keeping away from big new features while we try to work on the wiki migration, so there's no big item in today's release notes.

  • More BrowserID cleanup
    bug 715723 was really annoying - Sign in was broken from wiki pages
    bug 715811 should help users who've forgotten which email address they use on MDN
  • MindTouch wiki migration
    James did a thorough job on bug 710734 to expand the markup allowed in kuma
    Les did some more great working discovering all MindTouch namespace pages (bug 710753) and script template usage (bug 714804)
    Craig fixed up a bunch of CSS issues we've discovered as we migrate real content (bug 710737)
  • More

MDN 2.2

MDN 2.0

Wow, that's how much of a non-event a "2.0" product release is these days. I forgot to publish this when we pushed 2.0. Might as well publish before our 2.1 push today. :)

MDN 2.1

  • Set up 'master' and 'next' branches and corresponding stage servers on allizom.org (bug 710747)
  • Wiki content migration & work
  • Architecture for migrating MindTouch DekiScript templates into Django JavaScript templates (bug 715253)

Small sprint this time, but Les made some great progress on our wiki migration. I'm forcing myself to do a migration script bug this sprint so I learn enough of that code to follow his architecture and contribute what I can.

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