We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-18 17:07:40

Four sets of four:

  1. Leah Steinberg's Hacker School diary, in illustrated form: 1, 2, 3, 4.

  2. "Four Search Requests, Presented In Descending Order Of Politeness."

  3. Surprises, failures, jokes, and disorientations.

  4. New York, Montreal, San Francisco, New York. (I've been away from home, presenting at PyCon and getting information from colleagues at the Wikimedia Foundation -- then home to work with the new skills I've absorbed. Perhaps I have finally found a rhythm for my life.)

Sumana Harihareswara | Cogito, Ergo Sumana | 2014-04-18 14:30:48

At PyCon this year, I had the pleasure of announcing pip install pyladies.

Yes! You really can install a PyLadies package! It's available on PyPI, with the handbook portion available on Read the Docs.

The pyladies package contains all that a PyLady needs to start her own local PyLadies:

  • Complete handbook that walks through how to start a PyLadies group,
  • A script that launches the handbook, with more functionality slated to be added, including:
    • Interactive script to submit initial interest form,
    • Interactive script to submit final registration form,
    • Tools to admins to interact with Twitter and Meetup APIs,
  • Workshop materials for ideas and blueprints to run events,
  • Images and other assets for swag printing, global and local logos, etc.

This is the bare minimum for a shippable viable product - so issues/ideas and pull requests are welcomed!!

Pyladies | PyLadies | 2014-04-18 01:28:00

On Saturday, April 26th, there is going to be an Open Source Comes to Campus event at Northeastern Illinois University. It's open to all students. I've been helping a bit with organizing it and I'll be mentoring at the event. If you'd like to learn the basics and make your first contribution to FOSS, please follow the link below and sign up :) 

Hope to see you then, and happy hacking.

Meg Ford | Meg Ford | 2014-04-17 23:13:02

Lately I’ve been blogging about the proposal for new Fedora websites to account for the Fedora.next effort. So far, the proposal has been met with warm reception and excitement! (Yay!)

We Really Would Love Your Help

Two very important things that I’d like to make clear at this point:

  • This plan is not set in stone. It’s very sketchy, and needs more refinement and ideas. There is most certainly room to join in and contribute to the plan! Things are still quite flexible; we’re still in the early stages!
  • We would love your help! I know this usually goes without saying in FLOSS, but I still think it is worth saying. We would love more folks – with any skillset – to help us figure this out and make this new web presence for Fedora happen!

Are you interested in helping out? Or perhaps you’d just like to play around with our assets – no strings attached – for fun, or follow along on the progress at a lower level than just reading these blog posts? Let’s talk about where the action is happening so you can get in on it! :)

How To Get Involved

Up until this point, the Fedora.next web ideas and mockups have been scattered across various blogs, Fedora people pages, and git repos. We talked a bit last week in #fedora-design about centralizing all of our assets in one place to make it easier to collaborate and for new folks to come on board and help us out. Here’s what we’ve set up so far:

  • A Fedora Design GitHub group – I’ve already added many of our friends from the Fedora Design team. If you’d like to be included, let me know your github usersname!
  • nextweb-assets git repo – This repo has the Inkscape SVG source for the mockups and diagrams I’ve been blogging here. Please feel free to check them out, remix them, or contribute your own! I tried to set up a sensible directory structure. I recommend hooking this repo up to SparkleShare for a nice workflow with Inkscape.
  • mockups-getfedora git repo – This repo holds the prototype Ryan has been working on for the new getfedora.org ‘Brochure Site’ in the proposal.

We also, of course, have #fedora-design in freenode IRC for discussing the design, as well as the design-team mailing list for discussion.

The Fedora Websites team will be setting up a branch for the new websites work sometime by the end of next week. For now, you can take a look at the mockups-getfedora repo. You also might want to set up a local copy of the Fedora websites repo by following these instructions to get familiar with the Fedora websites workflow.

Okay, I hope this makes it abundantly clear that we’d love your help and gives you some clear steps towards starting to get involved should you be interested. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or really anyone on the design team or websites team if you’d like to get started!

Mairin Duffy | Mirn Duffy | 2014-04-17 20:45:35

The Eye Opener, as the name states, is meant to get you back on your feet in the morning. Like many drinks with eggs in them, this is meant as a hangover drink. The yolk is meant to help coat your tummy, and of course the liquor is for your classic hair of the dog. The Lommebogen recipe is unlike any others I've seen. It is quite different from the Savoy and Café Royal books, as well as the modern version, most notably due to using cognac instead of rum, and adding lemon juice. I couldn't find any trails that could show me why the Lommebogen recipe is so different. It just seems to be an outlier that Axel picked up, off from the classic recipe.

In the Savoy/Café Royal recipe one of the sweetening liqueurs is Crème de Noyaux. I had to sort out what that was and if I was going to track it down to add to my bar. It's an almond-flavored liqueur made from apricot pits, and it has a bright red color. Apparently this is generally similar to amaretto except for the color and being a bit sweeter. You can read more about Crème de Noyaux over on the Cold Glass blog, along with another recipe that uses it, the Fairbank. For my purposes I just went ahead with using amaretto. I didn't feel like tracking down a whole bottle for two dashes.

Tip: I've written about using eggs in cocktails before. If you are using egg yolks, in particular, you really need to double strain. (That is, don't rely on just your cocktail strainer, but pour it through a small sieve as well.) The ookey string that attaches to the yolk (the chalaza) is a nasty thing to sip in your drink. Double strain that thing out of there.

Eye Opener

The Recipes

2 oz cognac
1 egg yolk
little lemon juice
1 spoon sugar

Café Royal and Savoy
2 oz rum
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
2 dashes absinthe
2 dashes curaçao
2 dashes crème de noyaux (or substitute amaretto)

The Tasting

The Lommebogen recipe is just yuck. Completely unbalanced. Perhaps if the lemon and sugar were upped, or something. I dunno, I can't even figure out how to fix it from the taste. I ended up dumping it out.

The Savoy/Café Royal was better, but still not hitting it for me. It's like it wanted to be egg nog, but just really wasn't. I didn't feel that the egg yolk was balancing out the liquor without more sugar, I think. I did prefer the rum version, mostly because it tasted a little sweeter, with the rum and liqueurs there. More modern versions of the recipe cut the rum a little and have a tiny bit more of the liqueurs in there. I think that would turn this into a palatable drink. I love a fair number of flips (which use a whole egg in them) and I'd steer towards one of those before coming back to this one.

This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender's notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen. You can read more about this project in my initial post, or browse all Lommebogen posts.

Addison Berry | rocktreesky | 2014-04-17 08:58:49

This morning as I was about to get on a plane back from a conference I found out that Dana McCallum, aka Dana L. Contreras, a software engineer at Twitter as well as a feminist activist, was arrested in late January and charged with several felonies including rape, false imprisonment, and domestic violence. Some details of the charges are described on SFgate: SF Women’s Rights Advocate Accused of Raping Wife.

Many of us associated with geekfeminism.org and its sister organizations would like to make a statement in response.

This is horrifying and came as a shock to many of us in feminist communities, as McCallum has been a fellow feminist activist for some time. The bloggers at geekfeminism.org would like to express our empathy and support for the victim/survivor and her family.

Another aspect of this case is that the media coverage of the rape and assault charges are almost universally misogynist and transphobic both in their perpetuation of rape culture (for one, by providing an uncritical platform for McCallum’s lawyer) and in their misgendering and obsessive focus on McCallum’s gender identity and history.  Some radical feminist activists (and their many obvious sockpuppets) have also been writing hateful “trans panic” or TERF articles and tweets. We strongly repudiate such responses.

Rape is a horrible violent crime no matter who the rapist is.

The National Center for Transgender Equality director Mara Keisling says on a comment on a post by Nitasha Tiku,

“Rape is a horrific crime. Sexual violence is never okay. But this isn’t a transgender story. We can’t speak to the specifics of this case but sexual assault knows no gender. That’s why the FBI recently revised their definition of rape. As this case gains more attention, we must avoid using it as a reason to misrepresent transgender people.”

For anyone who has experienced abuse or sexual assault, it can be helpful to turn to local or broader resources. Here is a list of trans-friendly and inclusive rape survivor organizations and resources.  In San Francisco,  San Francisco Women Against Rape is a good resource;  WOMAN Inc, the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, and GLIDE also provide many resources for people in the SF Bay Area who have experienced domestic violence. Please don’t go through this on your own; reach out to people around you — you’re not alone.

- Liz Henry


Leigh Honeywell

Valerie Aurora

Brenda Wallace

Tim Chevalier

Annalee Flower Horne

Beth Flanagan

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-16 23:43:11

So a couple of weeks ago we talked about a proposal for the new Fedora website that Ryan Lerch, Matthew Miller, and myself came up with. The feedback we’ve gotten thus far has been overwhelmingly positive, so I’ve put some time into coming up with less vague and hand-wavy ideas as to what a particular sub hub on the Fedora ‘Community Hub’ might look like. Remember, this thing we talked about:


We’re talking about what one of those individual little hubs might look like. The theoretical examples above are very Fedora team-centric; I would like us to follow a model a little more flexible than that in the spirit of Reddit. E.g., it should be easy to break out a new subhub for a specific topic, or a cross-team collaboration / project, etc. So the sub-hubs won’t necessarily be along team lines.

A Sub-hub for the Design Team


Okay, okay, not that kind of sub. (I have a sandwich graphic too, just waiting for its opportunity. :) ) I understand pretty deeply how the Fedora design team works, the workflows and processes we’re involved with, so I figured it’d make the most sense to mock up a subhub for that team. The lovely Tatica volunteered to be the subject of this mockup. :)

This is going to be an obnoxiously big one. We’ll walk through it. Here goes:


Alert Box

The first thing that should hit you is the purple alert box. (I think the color should probably be customizable from a pre-selected set of choices on a per-sub hub basis.) From looking around at various online communities and forums and chatting with folks, it seems a common meme for organizing online communities is having a set of guidelines for how the community is run. The idea with this box is that the community owners / mods can set the message, and it’ll be display to newcomers to the hub or to everybody (if it is ever updated.) It can be dismissed and won’t show up again unless the content is changed. It also links up to a fuller set of community rules and guidelines.

Moderator Box

This is kind of a meta help box. It’s in right sidebar, towards the top. It has a list of the group owners / mods; you can click on their names to get more info about them. It also has a link to the community rules & guidelines (helpful in case you closed out the alert box.) One idea we’ve been kicking around is letting people notify the mods of any issues from this widget; the tension there is making sure it doesn’t become a spam outlet.

Custom subhub banner

Following Reddit’s lead, there’s a space below the main navbar designated for the subhub’s branding. Some of the subreddit artwork I’ve seen isn’t the best quality though. We’ll probably offer a design team service to design the banners for different subhubs in the system. We can also provide a precanned set of nice backgrounds that teams can choose from. The way we’re thinking the banner will work is you can set a repeatable background tile, and then set a graphic that will be displayed left, center, or right.

User / profile config center

This isn’t mocked up yet; the vision there is that it would let you visit your profile page and would also provide a lot of the functionality you have in the FAS2 website today: change your password, change your ssh key, location, etc., as well as manage your group memberships.

Messaging center

This one is also not yet mocked up. It will likely be getting its own blog post soon. There’s a lot of different types of messages/notifications a user could get, so I think we need to sit down and catalogue the ones we know about before mocking anything up. I think it might also be cool to have a place to save/store stuff you like; like a favorites list you can refer back to later.

Nav bar

Okay, so here’s the idea with the navbar. It’s another Reddit-inspired thing. Users logging in for the first time with fresh FAS accounts by default will have a few select hubs in their navbar – perhaps ‘front,’ ‘planet,’ and ‘announce.’ (‘front’ could be maybe some kind of aggregation of the most popular content; planet would be a hub that basically repeats Fedora planet maybe, announce would basically mirror the Fedora project announce-list.)

Once a user joins different FAS groups – or if they are already a member of FAS groups – the hubs associated with the groups they are a member of could appear in their navbar. So here, you see Tatica has ‘designteam,’ ‘ambassadors,’ ‘marketing,’, and ‘LATAM’ subhubs in her navbar, as an example.

You can customize your nav bar by hitting the ‘edit’ button on the far right side of it. Maybe there could be a directory of subhubs across the system when you click on the ‘hubs’ logo in the upper right, and you can add them to your nav from their as well.

Subhub meta bar

This is the topmost widget in the right-hand sidebar. It gives you an idea of how many people are ‘members’ of the subhub (analogous to how many people are members of the FAS group it’s assocaited with,) and how many people follow the hub (‘subscribers.’) It also provides a mechanism for you to subscribe or unsubscribe from the hub.

Example Hyperkitty post

There’s an example post, ‘Fedora Design Github org,’ that I posted to the design-team mailing list a few days ago. This is mean to show how a post from Hyperkitty could appear in this system. The thought / hope is that we could use the Hyperkitty/Mailman API to send comments, or at the very least simply display them and link back out to Hyperkitty for replying and reading other posts.

Alternatively, we could just have a widget for the design-team mailing list, and not integrate posts into the news stream on the hub. We could instead show some of the Hyperkitty widgets currently displayed on list overviews, like the most active threads list or the most recent threads list. That’s another way to go. I’m not sure what’s best yet. Maybe we give subhub owners a choice, depending on how much they actively use the mailing list or not in their particular community.

Glitter Gallery post

We have another example post below the Hyperkitty one; this one is an example Glitter Gallery post. You can view the artwork and make comments on it, and the comments should get sent back to Glitter Gallery.

Example blog post

Further down the main news feed area we have a small snippet of a blog post to show how that would look in the subhub context. The idea here is that the design team has a subplanet on planet.fedoraproject.org associated with it – planet.fedoraproject.org/design – so those posts could show up in the chronological news stream as well.

Chat widget

Another idea in the right-hand sidebar – inspired by waartaa and ideally driven by it – a little chat client that connects to #fedora-design on freenode IRC, where the design team tends to hang out. I do not think the backlog should be blanked on every page load – I think there should always be at least a few hundred lines of backlog stored with the subhub so anybody coming in can follow the conversation from before they joined that they missed out on. It’ll let folks catch up and participate. :)

Nauncier widget

This is just a simple little widget to show that widgets don’t have to be complex – this one drives users who haven’t yet voted on the Fedora supplemental wallpapers to go and vote!

Ticket Widget

The design team has trac queue where we accept requests for artwork and design from across the project. It might be nice to inspire folks to help out with a ticket by having available tickets listed right there. It might be some good motivation too – if someone finishes a ticket or posts something to a ticket – that would be shown in the feed too. When you do good work and complete something, or submit something and are looking for feedback – you’d get more exposure by having that broadcast to the subhub news feed.

Some thoughts

Okay, so hopefully that little tour through the mockup made sense. What do you think?

Overall, I would like to point out that as with Hyperkitty, the design principle here is the same – we do not want to displace folks who are already happy with the tools they use and force them to log into this web system and use only that. If someone posts a reply to a mailing list post through this hubs system, the reply should get send back to the mailing list as a reply and should be perfectly readable by folks using only a mail client to receive postings by email. If someone sends a message in the chat, folks using a traditional IRC client in that channel should be able to see that message and communicate with the sender without issue. The hope here is to bring things together to make it easier and less intimidating for newcomers without sacrificing anything on the current contributors’ side.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Mairin Duffy | Mirn Duffy | 2014-04-16 18:36:49

Were you at PyCon? Did you stop by the Geek Feminism Hackerspace? What did you think of the talks? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-16 16:02:41

Great panel on women leaders in technology with Angie Byron, Holly Ross, and Atefeh Riazi, UN CIO.


Original panel details with speaker bios: http://www.nyccamp.org/session/female-technology-leadership-panel

Women in Drupal | Women in Drupal (Formerly DrupalChix) | 2014-04-16 14:56:51


Dan Walsh had a great idea for explaining SELinux policy concepts in a fun way – creating an SELinux coloring book! He wrote up a script, I illustrated it using my Wacom in Inkscape on Fedora, and we turned it into an opensource.com article. Still. We needed physical coloring books, and what better place to hand them out than at the Red Hat Summit?

We got them printed up and shipped off to the Summit (some in assorted volunteers’ baggage :) ), and they’ve been so popular that Dan is getting close to running out, except a reserve he’s kept for the SELinux for Mere Mortals talk later today. We also handed out some slightly imperfect misprints in the Westford Red Hat office, and we’ve been told a co-worker’s daughter brought hers to pre-school and it was a big hit – the other kids want their own. When it comes to SELinux, we’re starting ‘em young on the setenforce 1 path. :)

How might you get your own copy? Well, we’ve made the coloring book, including the text and artwork, available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. So download, print, share, remix, and enjoy! :)

Mairin Duffy | Mirn Duffy | 2014-04-16 14:33:01

I started a new job about a month back where I develop web apps to teach high school science concepts, and I must say that I like it very much. It’s hard work, but I am learning a lot, and getting “curiouser and curiouser” by the day.

Besides the debugger on a web browser, I’ve started using this interesting idea of “Rubber duck debugging”[1] while I code, and it helped me solve one or two bugs that I couldn’t solve with the traditional debugger. It’s rather interesting actually, and how it works is that you explain your program line by line to a rubber duck that you place near your laptop. I mostly isolate the section of code that I think is problematic and then use the technique.

I guess it’s mostly just talking your program out for the especially lonely, but it really amuses me, and I’ve started using it more and more often. I use my handy Mallard stress ball instead of a rubber duck, so I haven’t had a chance to name my programming-confidant yet. Maybe it’s time to get a new toy.

[1] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging

Aruna Sankaranarayanan | ... | 2014-04-16 06:17:18

In the last few days, I have got several requests from different people, asking me to suggest them how they should start blogging and give them some tips on blogging. 

On one hand, it makes me feel proud to think that my blogs are encouraging others to become a blogger, but at the same time, it increases my responsibility towards my readers.
These questions actually did force me to put on my thinking cap and ponder over the real secrets of being a good blogger. Is blogging really an art?

Photo source: http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2011/08/why-i-blog.html

For me, blogging is as simple as writing your journal. You just need to put your thoughts into words.

If I had to jot down a few important tips on blogging, these would probably be the ones:
  • Know your readers. I am sure while making a blog post, most of us have a target audience in mind. Understanding the reader's perspective is important. Just as a speaker needs to strike the right strings in his or her audience, a writer also needs to do the same.
  • Keep your blog simple. There is not much need to put in too many flowery or high technical words (unless there is an absolute need or requirement for it). A simple blog is easier to read and understand.
  • Make your blog interesting to read. Unless you are writing a completely technical blog, there is no harm in putting in a few light jokes here and there. [Just a word of caution here, let the jokes not be at the cost of anyone's sentiments.]
  • If you have a very techy blog post, you can always add a few screen casts or screen-shots here and there.
    If you are writing a blog on your travel experience etc, adding a few pictures is always fun and interesting.
I do not hold more experience than this about blogging....so someone seeking an answer to this question can search a little more for available stuff on the internet.

Also, it would be great if some of my readers can leave their views on this topic as a comment on this post.

Priyanka Nag | IVY | 2014-04-16 03:15:07

Online Shopping This year I had planned to try to buy other products online, not only electronics.  I bought clothes at  otto.de and medicine/cosmetics at shop-apotheke.com. They were quick and I always had control: I knew what was going on from the time I paid to the time the products arrived. All went well until I tried […]

Camila Ayres | camilasan.com | 2014-04-15 18:58:57

  • So You’ve Got Yourself a Policy. Now What? | Stephanie Zvan at Freethough Blogs (April 10): “We know from situations in which they’ve failed that “zero-tolerance” policies, policies in which any act that is deemed to be unacceptable results in expulsion and exclusion, don’t work well. They fail in three main ways. People who are against harassment policies in general are quick to point out that they leave no room for honest mistakes. They are correct when talking about zero-tolerance policies, even if they make the same criticism about all policies.”
  • What’s Missing from Journalists’ Tactic of Snagging Stories from Twitter? Respect. | Tina Vasquez at bitchmedia (March 21): “Christine Fox does not consider herself a social justice advocate. On March 12, Fox’s timeline took a decidedly different turn. That night, to illustrate that there is no correlation between clothing and sexual assault, Fox asked her more than 12,000 followers to share what they were wearing when they were sexually assaulted. It was the first time Fox facilitated a conversation on this scale and it was also the first time she publicly shared her story as an assault survivor. She walked away from her computer that night feeling positive about what took place—and many tweeted to thank her, saying that through the tears, the discussion felt healing. But the next morning, Fox felt her hands go shaky. She felt nauseous and sweaty. She’d later learn from followers on Twitter that after reading through hundreds of tweets about assault, she had likely “triggered” herself, a term she was relatively unfamiliar with. Still, she knew something powerful had happened and she was proud to have sparked it. And then BuzzFeed came along and fucked everything up.”
  • My Cane is Not A Costume – Convention Exclusions and Ways to Think About Oppression at Cons | Derek Newman-Stille at Speculating Canada (April 7): “On a regular basis at speculative and other fan conventions, I get knocked around, shoved, pushed out of the way. People assume that because I am using a cane, I am taking up more than my fair space, after all, I have THREE whole legs on the ground (two legs and a cane). I hope this is because they assume that my cane is the equivalent to their lightsaber, a performative piece, a part of a costume… That is my hope. However, I have seen issues of systemic ableism at cons.”
  • Why are People Perennially Surprised By Internet Misogyny? | s.e. smith at meloukhia.net (April 14): “I have a confession: I was tempted to cut and paste this piece, since I’m pretty sure I’ve written it before. I realized that my desire to cut and paste was kind of an indicator of how endlessly circular this topic is, though. [...] I really don’t know how many times people need to say this before the message will sink through: the internet is a dangerous place for women. It’s especially dangerous for women living at the intersections of multiple marginalisations.”
  • Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters | Liz Zanis at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 3): “Published in 1979, the Supersisters trading cards were a playful, informative, and accessible way to spread feminism to younger audiences. The series was inspired by Lois Rich’s daughter, an eight-year-old baseball-card collector, who asked why there weren’t any pictures of girls on the cards. With a grant from the New York State Education Department, Lois Rich and her sister, Barbara Egerman, contacted five hundred women of achievement and created cards of the first seventy-two to respond.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on PinboardDelicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-15 15:00:39

This is SUPER cool. NCWIT and code.org are partnering in a Mother's Day campaign to show pictures of women coders, mother and daughter pairs, etc.

Let's make sure the amazing Women in Drupal are represented. Get your pictures of you, your daughters, you and your daughters, etc. coding away.

Feel free to share this information to as many women coders as you can.


Women in Drupal | Women in Drupal (Formerly DrupalChix) | 2014-04-14 17:49:38

PyCon 2014 happened. (Sprints are still happening.)

This was my 3rd PyCon, but my first year as a serious contributor to the event, which led to an incredibly different feel. I also came as a person running a company building a complex system in Python, and I loved having the overarching mission of what I'm building driving my approach to what I chose to do. PyCon is one of the few conferences I go to where the feeling of acceptance and at-homeness mitigates the introvert overwhelm at nonstop social interaction. It's truly a special event and community.

Here are some highlights:

  • I gave a tutorial about search, which was recorded in its entirety... if you watch this video, I highly recommend skipping the hands-on parts where I'm just walking around helping people out. :)
  • I gave a talk! It's called Subprocess to FFI, and you can find the video here. Through three full iterations of dry runs with feedback, I had a ton of fun preparing this talk. I'd like to give more like it in the future as I continue to level up my speaking skills.
  • Allen Downey came to my talk and found me later to say hi. Omg amazing, made my day.
  • Aux Vivres and Dieu du Ciel, amazing eats and drink with great new and old friends. Special shout out to old Debian friends Micah Anderson, Matt Zimmerman, and Antoine BeauprĂŠ for a good time at Dieu du Ciel.
  • The Geek Feminism open space was a great place to chill out and always find other women to hang with, much thanks to Liz Henry for organizing it.
  • Talking to the community from the Inbox booth on Startup Row in the Expo hall on Friday. Special thanks for Don Sheu and Yannick Gingras for making this happen, it was awesome!
  • The PyLadies lunch. Wow, was that amazing. Not only did I get to meet Julia Evans (who also liked meeting me!), but there was an amazing lineup of amazing women telling everyone about what they're doing. This and Noami Ceder's touching talk about openly transitioning while being a member of the Python community really show how the community walks the walk when it comes to diversity and is always improving.
  • Catching up with old friends like Biella Coleman, Selena Deckelmann, Deb Nicholson, Paul Tagliamonte, Jessica McKellar, Adam Fletcher, and even friends from the bay area who I don't see often. It was hard to walk places without getting too distracted running into people I knew, I got really good at waving and continuing on my way. :)

I didn't get to go to a lot of talks in person this year since my personal schedule was so full, but the PyCon video team is amazing as usual, so I'm looking forward to checking out the archive. It really is a gift to get the videos up while energy from the conference is still so high and people want to check out things they missed and share the talks they loved.

Thanks to everyone, hugs, peace out, et cetera!

Christine Spang | there's gotta be a better way | 2014-04-14 16:32:41

Acum câteva luni de zile plănuiam să plec în Franța, la Paris, și să fac un internship în cadrul proiectului Coccinelle. Între timp planurile mele s-au schimbat, dar nu ăsta e subiectul blog post-ului ăsta.

Prin luna ianuarie am completat o cerere online (cu greu! că la francezi toate site-urile sunt în franceză, iar dacă le trimiți un mail îți răspund în franceză și tot așa) pe site-ul ciup.fr, autoritatea care se ocupă cu distribuția locurilor în căminele pariziene.  Eu căutam cazare începând cu 1 mai. Mi-au spus că întrunirea de distribuție a locurilor pentru perioada de vară are loc în luna aprilie și că o să primesc un mail în perioada respectivă.

Am uitat că am făcut cererea respectivă. În mare parte pentru că mi s-a părut târziu să mă bazez pe ei pentru un răspuns spre finele lui aprilie. Cred că era frumos din partea mea să-i anunț că nu mai am nevoie. :)

Astăzi am primit un răspuns de la Accueil.ResidenceLila@ciup.fr în care mă anunță că am primit cazare în căminul respectiv. Am redat aici cu copy/paste conținutul mail-ului.

Eu nu știu franceză, dar deloc. Așa că m-am apucat să mă uit cu Google Translate la conținutul mesajului. Redau paragraful care mi-a atras atenția:

For payment of your deposit by credit card, you must first send us an email authorizing us to charge your credit card for the sum of € 200. You will then need to call us to give us your credit card number , expiry date and security code.

Aha, deci vor numărul de pe card, expiration date și security code. Buuuun.

Zic să-i răspund, înainte să pierd oportunitatea. :)

Thank you very very very much! :D

I would like to pay with my credit card:
the account number is: 1123 5813 2134 5589
expiration date 01/15
security code: 144

Please confirm that everything is OK.

Și-am primit chiar și-un răspuns:

Sorry but I can not charge this cart, I have the following message “invalid card”
Please send me another credit card number . 
Best regards

Mr RIGAUDEAU Pierre Alexandre
Résidence Lila
6 av René Fonck
75019 PARIS
Tél :

Și acum nu știu ce să le mai zic. Idei? :(

Laura Vasilescu | Laura Vasilescu | 2014-04-14 15:21:08

Thank you to everyone who dropped by. Thank you if you let me guide you through the map in the poster, if you took the handout, if you just looked at my Grumpy Cat telling you to test your code.

You'll be able to see and download a version of both poster and handout here in the next days.

And things might evolve into something more...

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-13 19:21:44

[Puts on her best wise auntie look.]

Growing up is also about choices.

[Wise auntie look comes crashing down.]

No, I'm not that good at following my own wisdom. I want to do everything, at once.

But you should also find out which way is your way. Start with your strength first, feel great, then challenge yoursef out of your comfort zone later.

For instance, let's say that you want to move your Python knowledge to yet another level.

But the further you go, the more the roads you see in front of you.

So now it's time for a test. You know, like those "Which Star Wars Character Are You?" tests. But simpler.

And let's hope that this time I don't come out as Greedo.

Q1: Where did you sit when you were in school?

  1. First row. Hand up.
  2. Last row. Under the radar.
  3. School?

Q2: Pick one light reading.

  1. War and Peace. And without skipping the philosophical digressions.
  2. Harry Potter.
  3. The Evil Genius Guide to Taking Over the World.

Q3: Are you still here?

  1. Of course. I don't leave what I'm reading behind.
  2. Uh... yeah?
  3. [Silence. Somewhere someone's smashing something to see how it works.]

Results! Majority of...

  1. Have a cookie. Yes, you can have it. Go to Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. You will be thorough, as usual, and patient. You will come out of the book with a methodic understanding of concepts with some theoretical background (you're allowed to peek into appendices before the end and see what the big-Oh notation is), the satisfaction of overcoming the tricks of many nice exercises, and a beautiful vocabulary (courtesy of the glossary at the end of each chapter).
  2. Have a cookie. Yes, you can take a cookie for each one of your friends. Bring them all here, while we're at it. No, I'm not sending you to the principal's office. I'm sending you to the intermediate projects of the Python Workshops that you can find via those great guys at OpenHatch. Some projects of the Boston Python Workshop are here; but you can find more, and they're always growing. If you're lucky (and, mostly, US-based) you can go and play with your friends live! at one of these workshops. But I guess that just the idea of making your own game of Snakes beats that tic-tac-toe that you were playing with over there.
  3. Have a cookie. Come on, come here. Please. I'll be quick. Have a cookie, yes. I know you're thinking about how to steal the jar. But I have something better for you: go to newcoder.io and see if you can get those tasty cookies. They're not easy to get. You have to deal with the world out there. You'll have to get your hands dirty, I'm afraid. I bet you... Hey! Where are you?

No majority?

You got me. Have all the cookies, you deserve them. Now throw a dice with a number of faces that is a multiple of three to choose between the options above.


Now have fun. Whoever you are, Python's got something for you.

And after you had fun your way, explore the rest. Challenge and surprise yourself.

Let's learn Python and grow up.

My poster at PyCon 2014 will be tomorrow (today, in EST) at 10:00am. Come and say hello.

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-13 19:12:24

Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil, Planeta Terra Em fevereiro-março desse ano eu fui ao Brasil, como sempre, visitei principalmente a minha família, mas dessa vez decidimos (eu e o meu marido) descansar um pouco mais e irmos a Bonito, MS. Eu tenho uma amiga morando lá. Bonito é uma cidade indescritível. Eu sempre preferi […]

Camila Ayres | camilasan.com | 2014-04-13 14:07:34

I have fond memories of The Python Tutorial on python.org. My first Python textbook was Learn Python The Hard Way, but as you might have gathered, around the tenth chapter of printing text I was a bit dispirited. So I went for something that sounded short, to the point, and a bit official, even dry.

The Python Tutorial was a great help. I read (more on this "read") it, I found what I wanted to know: that's the way you write a while loop, this is the way you define a function, classes are written according to this syntax. Then I moved on, keeping the website as a go-to reference for my little doubts.

I've just gone through it again, and I realise that I was saved by my worst flaws. No, not from, by.

First of all, I can be restless: I got to Defining Functions I enjoyed it, then I peeked into the next chapter and I saw Data Structures, I thought that was useful and quite easy to understand, and that section on Lambda Expressions in the middle of the two left my radar.

Then there's the fact that I knew something about programming. It was in Java, it was very little, but it was more than zero. This means that I knew the names of the topics: if I wanted to write was a while, I knew to look for "loops." (Actually, the while is covered in an example in the chapter before loops. The organisation of the topics is not the strong point of The Python Tutorial.)

Even how I didn't know very much played in my favour: it that the scope of my quest to do what I already knew wasn't so wide to get myself lost in small(ish) details.

So I found The Python Tutorial a great tool, under these two conditions: some (even very basic) background in code, some tendency (ability?) to skim and overlook topics that you'll get back to at a second reading. Also, the topics are many but the pace is quick, and the examples are simple: it's a perfect complement to Dive Into Python 3.

Looking again at The Python Tutorial after using it as a "beginners' text" was a bit a "Princess and the Frog" story: you think that you're over what's in there, then you find out that there's a lot more. The most important thing is in the URL: it's the official tutorial on the PSF website, so it's a gateway for the official documentation.

And there are many other good reasons why The Python Tutorial should always be there in your bookmarks: that drop-down menu (on the upper left of each page) that takes you from the page in Python 2.x to the same page in Python 3.x; the glossary (again, both in the 2.x and 3.x flavour).

So: this official tutorial can sound (or even be) a bit aloof sometimes. But you can (and shall) become fond of the company of this gentleman.

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-12 19:38:25

The Women in Drupal reception, sponsored by Aten Design Group and Amazee Labs, will be held at Max's Wine Bar on Tuesday night starting at 5:30pm. This is an open event, so if you can't make 5:30, show up when you can. We have a fantastic selection of wines and good picked out for you. These events are a great opportunity for women of all experience levels, to meet other Women in Drupal and technology.

Please visit the web page on the Drupalcon Austin site for more information and to register for the event. https://austin2014.drupal.org/women-drupal-reception.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Women in Drupal | Women in Drupal (Formerly DrupalChix) | 2014-04-12 18:06:11

  • Women do not apply to ‘male-sounding’ job postings | Klaus Becker at Technische Universität München (April 3): “If the advertisement described a large number of traits associated with men, the women found it less appealing and were less inclined to apply. Such traits include ‘assertive’, ‘independent’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘analytical’. Women found words like ‘dedicated’, ‘responsible’, ‘conscientious’ and ‘sociable’ more appealing. For male test subjects, on the other hand, the wording of the job advertisement made no difference.” (Citations follow the press release.)
  • Is the Oculus Rift sexist? (plus response to criticism) | danah boyd at apophenia (April 3): “[M]ilitary researchers had noticed that women seemed to get sick at higher rates in simulators than men. While they seemed to be able to eventually adjust to the simulator, they would then get sick again when switching back into reality. Being an activist and a troublemaker, I walked straight into the office of the head CAVE researcher and declared the CAVE sexist.” Warning: as discussed at the end of the piece, boyd uses some language that trans people have criticised, explaining it as the language of her trans informants.
  • Introducing ‘Sexism Ed’ | Kelly J. Baker at Chronicle Vitae (April 2): “But look: We could lean in until our backs were permanently bent forward and still face discrimination, bias, harassment, and more recently, rescinded job offers… I’ll be writing an occasional column—I’ll call it Sexism Ed—as a way to continue the conversation on sexism and gender discrimination in higher ed.”
  • Creepshots: Microsoft discovers an on-campus peeping tom | Nate Anderson at Ars Technica (April 5): “The Muvi camera [found by a Microsoft vendor employee] contained ‘upskirt’ video footage of women climbing stairs or escalators—or sometimes just standing in checkout lines—and some of it had been shot on Microsoft’s campus.”

Lots of goodness in Model View Culture‘s Funding issue, including:

Check out the whole issue!

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-11 16:17:59

It’s passed a year and a new Summer will begin…a new summer for the women that will be chosen and that will start soon the GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women.

This summer Mozilla will participate with three different projects listed here and among them the Mozilla Bug Wrangler for Desktop QA that is the one I applied for last year. It has been a great experience for me and I want to wish good luck to everyone who submitted the application.

I hope you’ll have a wonderful and productive summer :)

Tiziana Sellitto | Tiziana Sellitto's blog | 2014-04-11 14:14:51

Over the last few months, I've been working through various leadership resources in an effort to learn more about being a better manager through leading instead of managing. I've been in a couple of courses that had me dive into myself first. Knowing who you are, and what motivates you, has a huge impact on how you approach others and the problems before you. It's been an interesting journey, and in some ways raised more questions for me to tackle. In particular I have been pondering my "core values" and my "why," which are supposed to define a quintessential "me." I've been questioning my final, distilled list, and I find that interesting in light of the list I have created. Here are the results of the 21 Day Leadership challenge (mountains and valleys core values exercise) and Simon Sinek's "Start with Why" course:

Core Values

  • Honesty: Being real, being true to myself and others
  • Trust: Something I can count on, including being able to rely on myself
  • Acceptance: Being truly seen for who and what you are
  • Exploration: Honesty comes from questioning and rethinking

To act with humanity and integrity so that everyone gets a fair shot.

You can see that honesty and integrity are important to me. What's interesting is that I feel these very strongly in relation to myself (perhaps more so than I do for honesty with others), which makes me question if I've really gotten to the heart of it. Let me try to explain. I often spend time questioning my own thoughts and reasoning. I want to make sure I am being truly honest with myself about who I am, warts and all. It feels like a fundamental need that underpins everything else listed. I poke and prod myself to try to flush out self-deception. I catch myself in self-deception all the time. I examine my actions to see patterns of self-deception and look for them going forward. Anyway, it's a big part of my internal dialog every day. So I've identified that as a core value, along with other things that I do think highly of and have emotional reactions to. The problem now though is that I am constantly questioning if this list is things I aspire to, or things I actively believe in. Are these truly my values, or the values I want to have? And round it goes.

I have shared this list with others in more private circles, but whenever I do I feel I need to temper it—to qualify it—with something about how I'm not sure these are my values. I'm afraid that others will look at the list, compare it to me, and find me wanting. I'm afraid others will see blatant self-deception. I bet I'm not the only one out there who feels like this, and I feel like sharing this list with room for lots of explanation around it helps me carry the internal conversation further. I'd certainly welcome discussion with anyone else who feels this resonates.

While I've been learning a lot about management and leadership, this plumbing of my internal depths in a new context has been a very rich experience for me—God knows, I've done enough therapy and self-help investigation in the past—even if it isn't as all tidy and neat as it sounds like it should be on the tin. Like much in life, leadership isn't something you learn and you're done. It's a constantly evolving exploration, and it starts with me. Hopefully I will come to a place where I feel more settled with a list of personal core values, but even if I never feel set with them, the examination and exposing of the questions themselves is something I don't want to lose.

Addison Berry | rocktreesky | 2014-04-11 08:19:04

We're kicking off our Spring Fundraising Campaign! Our goal this year is to raise $1,000,000 with a spending budget of $900,000.

As we embark on our 15th year of serving the FreeBSD Project and community, we are proud of how we've helped FreeBSD become the most innovative, realiable, and high-performance operating system. We are doing this by:
  • funding development projects,
  • having an internal technical staff available to work on small and large projects, fixing problems, and areas of system administration and release engineering,
  • providing legal support,
  • funding conferences and summits that allow face-to-face interaction and collaboration between FreeBSD contributors, users, and advocates,
  • and advocating for and educating people about FreeBSD by providing high-quality brochures, white papers, and the FreeBSD Journal.

We can't do this without you! You can help by making a donation today.

Help spread the word by posting on FaceBook, Twitter, your blogs, and asking your company to help. Did you know there are thousands of companies that wil match their employee's donations? Check with your company to see if you can automatically double your donation by having your company match your donation.

Thanks for your support!

Dru Lavigne | FreeBSD Foundation | 2014-04-11 08:17:44

So, are you ready for the next level?

So let's Dive Into Python 3.

You should know how to deal with an if or with a loop, in Python or in another language. You should have learned what a function is. You should have an idea of what "Object Oriented" means. You should be able to keep cool when you see that there's a parallel with a language you don't know.

So you dive straight into the good stuff. In detail.

I said "in detail": the chapters are quite long. But they're well subdivided into sections, so if you don't have to swallow everything in one gulp. I'm looking at you, dear chapter on regular expressions.

And since we're on the subject of chapters and sections: Dive Into Python 3 is probably the most pleasantly readable textbook that I have met. There are the collapsible tables of contents; there is just one column, so you're not distracted from what you're studying. The font is beautiful and easy to read.

Another great idea: the difficulty of each topic is marked at the beginning of each chapter. I think that difficulty is always quite subjective; but it's always good to remark that sometimes prerequisites are harder than more advanced topics.

And then there's the text itself. The writing is conversational but precise; it takes you seriously and it doesn't make you feel stupid if you don't know something. The examples and the snippets of code are neither trivial nor unnecessarily convoluted, and they are cleverly annotated outside the code itself.

So: if you're already comfortable with programming, if you automatically go beyond the "reading" part of teaching yourself into the "writing code and playing around with it" part, here's a fantastic book for you.

Now you might wonder where's the catch. There's mostly one: Dive Into Python 3 is, well, a textbook on Python 3. This means that you have to look elsewhere for Python 2.x; but if you're comfortable with Dive Into Python 3 you shouldn't find googling "Python 2 and 3 differences" too hard. I recommend this page on python.org, that being the website of the PSF is trustworthy by definition. Dive Into Python 3 has an appendix on the 2to3 script; but it's an appendix, and it's marked as "very difficult" in a book that is already not so easy.

Another possible issue is that you cannot really skip chapters. Sections, maybe. But you have to follow the path that's been laid down in the book. This is not a bad thing; but if you're reading something at this level you might sometimes wish to have the chance of a more flexible syllabus. But, on the other hand, if you're at this level you can realise when you have to go back and where to; so no harm done.

One last thing: there are many links from which you can take your study to a deeper level, so you can complement the somewhat "cookbook" flavour of Dive Into Python 3 by looking at the official documentation or even at a good post on a blog. But beware the "Problem with Wikipedia"...

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-10 19:14:54

Today I gave a tutorial at PyCon 2014 entitled Search 101: An Introduction to Information Retrieval.

It was an experiment of sorts: the first workshop I've run primarily by myself, my first tutorial at PyCon, my first paid teaching gig. It was an opportunity to take some of the lessons I learned from teaching the Boston Python Workshop and apply them to a new situation.

The material itself is a distillation of many hours of frustration with the documentation for various open source search engine libraries, frustration that they didn't tell me where to start or about the big picture, they just jumped straight into the details.

Here's what worked:

  • IPython Notebook. Oh em gee. I started writing the class's handout using IPython Notebook because it was a simple way to easily embed syntax-highlighted code into a markdown document that was viewable in a browser. Not only was it a super quick and fun way to write the handout, but many students used the interactive execution features to play around with the example code.
  • Not having a paper handout. Saved trees, printing hassle, and no one seemed to mind.
  • Putting everything in a git repo... git is sufficiently ubiquitous these days that students didn't really have trouble getting a copy, and appreciated having everything in one place, with simple setup instructions. I brought a clone of the repo on a USB stick as a backup plan.

Here's what caused problems:

  • Mostly, the IPython dependency pyzmq, which requires compilation. I don't know what the current landscape is for Python distribution, but installing these libraries through pip is still a pain. I've heard rumour that more ubiquitous wheels may solve this in the future.
  • Some people aren't used to using virtualenv everywhere. Even seeing that, I still think it's worth the confusion to put it forth as the recommended setup method.

Intermediate students are a different crowd than beginners. There was less of an air of discovery in the room, though I organized the class around open-ended tasks. Since the material allowed for folks to take it in the direction of their interest, I found it a bit difficult to gauge whether people were following or not. Overall though, everyone was attentive and studious. I had fun.

Ruben and Stuart, the PyCon tutorial organizers, had logistics running super smoothly, AV, lunch, everything. Thanks for that you guys, you rock. :) And thanks as well to my helpers: Leo, the tutorial host, Eben, my TA, and Roberto, on AV. It's impossible to pay adequate attention to 20+ people as a single person, couldn't have done a decent job without y'all. ;)

Christine Spang | there's gotta be a better way | 2014-04-10 18:00:36

At Inbox we're using Phabricator to review all code going to production. It's a great tool that enables us to easily learn from each other and increase the quality of the code we're writing.

Phabricator is pretty easy to install, but it requires running a bunch of daemons that perform background tasks. It provides a wrapper script called phd which, when invoked, spins up the default set of daemons and backgrounds them. Unfortunately, since it backgrounds the processes, it doesn't play well with the excellent Supervisor, which allows one to automatically bring the daemons up after a reboot or if they crash, since supervisor requires managed processes to stay in the foreground.

If you try to use the obvious phd launch under supervisor... wat wat.

$ supervisorctl status
phd              FATAL      Exited too quickly (process log may have details)

The process error log ends up looking like:

phd start: Unable to start daemons because daemons are already running.
You can view running daemons with 'phd status'.
You can stop running daemons with 'phd stop'.
You can use 'phd restart' to stop all daemons before starting new daemons.

supervisor starts the daemons, but it can't tell that they're running because they automatically background themselves!

There's a debug mode to phd, but running in production we don't necessarily want /var/log to fill up with mountains of debug spew.

Instead, stick the following in your supervisor configuration (on Debian/Ubuntu, paste into the new file /etc/supervisor/conf.d/phd.conf):

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorRepositoryPullLocalDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorGarbageCollectorDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorTaskmasterDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorTaskmasterDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorTaskmasterDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

command=/srv/phabricator/scripts/daemon/phd-daemon PhabricatorTaskmasterDaemon --phd=/var/tmp/phd/pid

Make sure you're not running phd manually, restart the supervisor service (sudo service supervisor restart on Debian/Ubuntu) and you should be good to go.

(Much thanks to Evan Priestley for the quick support and explanation on #phabricator.) Note that this solution is officially not supported and could break.

Christine Spang | there's gotta be a better way | 2014-04-10 18:00:36

This week, Ada Initiative founders Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora wrote about Funding Activism for Women in Open Source in the Funding issue of Model View Culture, drawing on lessons from their first years raising money for the Ada Initiative:

We founded the Ada Initiative with the principle of paying fair market wages to anyone doing work for us more than a few hours a week. In 2010, this was a moonshot. In 2014, it's increasingly how things are done. More and more diversity in technology initiatives are becoming paid activities, and a growing proportion of the technology industry recognizes this labour as something worth paying for[…]

[F]ull-time diversity activists who want to do effective, controversial, culture-changing work must often work out how to pay themselves, rather than taking existing jobs at tech companies or diversity in tech non-profits.

What follows is a survey of some of the most popular funding sources: corporate sponsorship, individual donations, and consulting and training.

Read the full article, The Ada Initiative Founders on Funding Activism for Women in Open Source, at Model View Culture to learn more about the rationale for each of these funding sources… and their pitfalls!

The Ada Initiative | Ada Initiative | 2014-04-10 16:57:56

Rip. Shred. Tear. Let’s gather up the obstacles to documentation contribution and tear them down one by one. I’ve designed a survey with the help of the OpenStack docs team to determine blockers for docs contributions. If you’ve contributed to OpenStack, please fill it out here:


I want to use this survey to avoid shouting opinions and instead make sure we gather data first. This survey helps us find the biggest barriers so that we can build the best collaboration systems for documentation on OpenStack. Here are the obstacles culled from discussions in the community:

  • The git/gerrit workflow isn’t in my normal work environment
  • The DocBook and WADL (XML source) tools are not in my normal work environment
  • My team or manager doesn’t value documentation so we don’t make time for it
  • Every time I want to contribute to docs, I can’t figure out where to put the information I know
  • When I’ve tried to patch documentation, the review process was difficult or took too long
  • When I’ve contributed to docs, developers changed things without concern for docs, so my efforts were wasted
  • Testing doc patches requires an OpenStack environment I don’t have set up or access to in a lab
  • I think someone else should write the documentation, not me
  • I would only contribute documentation if I were paid to do so

Based on the input from the survey, I want to gather requirements for doc collaboration.

We have different docs for different audiences:

  • cross-project docs for deploy/install/config: openstack-manuals
  • API docs references, standards: api-site and others

These are written with the git/gerrit method. I want to talk about standing up a new docs site that serves our requirements:

Solution must be completely open source
Content must be available online
Content must be indexable by search engines
Content must be searchable
Content should be easily cross-linked by topic and type (priority:low)
Enable comments, ratings, and analytics (or ask.openstack.org integration) (priority:low)

Readers must get versions of technical content specific to version of product
Modular authoring of content
Graphic and text content should be stored as files, not in a database
Consumers must get technical content in PDF, html, video, audio
Workflow for review and approval prior to publishing content

Content must be re-usable across authors and personas (Single source)
Must support many content authors with multiple authoring tools
Existing content must migrate smoothly
All content versions need to be comparable (diff) across versions
Content must be organizationally segregated based on user personas
Draft content must be reviewable in HTML
Link maintenance – Links must update with little manual maintenance to avoid broken links and link validation

Please take the survey and make your voice heard! Also please join us at a cross-project session at the OpenStack Summit to discuss doc contributions. We’ll go over the results there. The survey is open until the first week of May.

Anne Gentle | Just Write Click openstack | 2014-04-10 16:17:18

The FreeBSD Journal Issue #2 is now available! You can get it on Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon. In this issue you will find captivating articles on pkg(8), Poudriere, PBI Format, plus great pieces on hwpmc(4) and Journaled Soft-updates. If you haven't already subscribed, now is the time!

The positive feedback from both the FreeBSD and outside communities has been incredible. In less than two months, we have signed up over 1,000 subscribers. This shows the hunger the FreeBSD community has had for a FreeBSD focused publication. We are also working on a dynamic version of the magazine that can be read in many web browsers, including those that run on FreeBSD.

The Journal is guided by a dedicated and enthusiastic editorial board made up of people from across the FreeBSD community. The editorial board is responsible for the acquisition and  vetting of content for the magazine.

Your subscriptions and the advertising revenue the Journal receives will help offset the costs of publishing this magazine. So, consider signing up for a subscription today! 

We know you are going to like what you see in the Journal! Please help us spread the word by tweeting, blogging, and posting on your FaceBook page. You can also help by asking your company to put an ad in the Journal. For advertising information contact freebsdjournal@freebsdfoundation.org.

And, don't forget you can support the Journal and FreeBSD by making a donation today!

Dru Lavigne | FreeBSD Foundation | 2014-04-10 15:16:21

Mashable just put out a nice-looking chart showing “Passwords You Need to Change Right Now” change in light of the recent Heartbleed carnage. However, it has some serious caveats that I wanted to mention:

  1. It’s probably better to be suspicious of companies whose statements are in present-tense (ex: “We have multiple protections” or even “We were not using OpenSSL”). The vulnerability existed since 2011, so even if a service was protected at the time of its disclosure 3 days ago, it could be have been affected at some point long before then. I am also skeptical that every single company on the list successfully made sure that nothing that they’ve used or given sensitive user data to had a vulnerable version of OpenSSL in the last 2 years.
  2. The article neglects to mention that password reuse means you might have to change passwords on several services for every one that was leaked. The same goes for the fact that one can trigger password resets on multiple services by authenticating a single email account.
  3. You should also clear all stored cookies just in case the server hasn’t invalidated them as they should; many sites use persistent CSRF tokens so logging out doesn’t automatically invalidate them. (Heartbleed trivially exposed user cookies.)
  4. Don’t forget to also change API keys if a service hasn’t force-rotated those already.
  5. It remains highly unclear whether any SSL certificates were compromised because of Heartbleed. If so, changing your password isn’t going to help against a MITM who has the SSL private key unless the website has revoked its SSL certificate and you’ve somehow gotten the revocation statement (LOL). This is complicated. Probably best not to worry about it right now because there’s not much you can do, but we all might have to worry about it a whole lot more depending on which way the pendulum swings in the next few days.
  6. Related-to-#5-but-much-easier: clear TLS session resumption data. I think this usually happens automatically when you restart the browser.

Nonetheless, Mashable made a pretty good chart for keeping track of what information companies have made public regarding the Heartbleed fallout.

Yan Zhu | discrete blogarithm | 2014-04-10 15:04:05

American Scientist is the good stuff. Accessible prose but not condescending, and covering a variety of biological, mathematical, physical, and social sciences. "Programming Your Quantum Computer", "The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs", and "Empirical Software Engineering" brought me much pleasure, as did Henry Petroski's engineering history column. In the March/April 2014 issue, Petroski goes on a tear regarding inaccurate graphical depictions of quadrupeds and sharpened pencils. For four angry pages. Whatever, it's Petroski, even his nerd rage is fun.

"Scalable Web Architecture and Distributed Systems" by Kate Matsudaira gives a general overview of web architecture; I found it helpful in understanding the context of "service-oriented architectures" and the challenges of big-scale web architecture in general. MediaWiki currently does NOT have a service-oriented architecture as Matsudaira describes it, but engineers are working on changing MediaWiki from a giant spaghetti ball into a more logical, convenient, and maintainable set of interfaces/services. (The overview also has a bit of humor; I especially laughed at Figure 1.6.)

"Little Ambushes" by Joanne Merriam portrays the thing I always want out of science fiction: making a real connection with the Other. Her "Harvest" and "Sundowning" tear my heart out, too. Her work reminds me of things I've loved in the work of Maureen McHugh, Nancy Kress, and Connie Willis.

Sumana Harihareswara | Cogito, Ergo Sumana | 2014-04-09 04:29:17

Bonus Game Jam Walkout Section

  • Game Jam Walkout | The Mary Sue (April 2): “GAME_JAM was supposed to be a YouTube-based webseries, a reality show about four teams of game developers competing to win prizes and promote their careers. According to many of the folks involved, it was hamstrung by terrible contracts, mismanaged sponsorship, and a director who sought every opportunity to fabricate conflict against the will of participants, and a general misunderstanding of what game development actually involved. But the thing that united the sixteen contestants into walking off the show was when it attempted to get them to impugn the place of women in coding and game making.”
  • How The Most Expensive Game Jam In History Crashed And Burned In A Single Day | Indie Statik (March 31): “Two of the other teams have women on them. Do you think they’re at a disadvantage?” Silence. It was like the wind was sucked out of the room behind the barrier
  • Let’s talk about accountability | msminotaur (March 31): Account from one of the women involved.
  • Unreality | Zoe Quinn: “My feelings after being on and subsequently walking off a reality show about game jams”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on PinboardDelicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-08 14:54:41

I'm noodling around, thinking about vision, perspectives, and leadership.

In a 2012 interview with MIT Technology Review (in their compilation Twelve Tomorrows), Neal Stephenson spoke about science fiction's role in innovation (pp. 5-6):

... a less obvious utility, that science fiction can provide a coherent picture of an alternate reality in which some innovation happened. Not just the technical innovation itself, but the social context and the economic context that causes that innovation to make sense. It can be sort of like an invisible magnetic field that gets iron filings to line up. In big engineering organizations, you've got all these people working on small pieces of a bigger problem, and there's an enormous amount of communication that has to take place to keep them all working in a coordinated fashion. That communication is tedious and expensive, but if everybody's got the same picture in their heads, maybe you don't have to communicate as much.

Worldviews and ideologies sure are powerful things, and nearly all of Stephenson's fiction and nonfiction has focused on the effects of people's diverse perspectives. (See some of my previous thoughts on Stephenson.) I used to say that he and Le Guin were my favorite authors, and they have this in common. You see the arbitrage possibilities of a new, subversive perspective, and you see how much power you unleash by converting a whole community to a new worldview.

In the late nineties, Simon Stow introduced me to the idea that the social sciences provide many useful lenses. I still remember him in that ground-floor Kroeber classroom, miming an optometrist, checking whether A or B made things clearer, then B or C.

A few years later, a pal of mine said something about the difficulty of explaining scientific concepts to people who did not already have sufficient bootloaded prerequisites:

That one sort of floored me, because radiation is one of my "basis concepts" that I use to explain other things. (Yes, I think of my scientific knowledge as being spanned by a basis set of conceptual eigenvectors. The basis set idea is also one of my "basis concepts". Yes, I also know that I'm weird.)
Eight years after that, I led a Foo Camp session called "Models We Use To Understand The World". We run into a lot of different situations, and pre-loading our 'scopes with different lenses provides requisite variety so we have a fighting chance to understand them. "Metaphors We Live By", right? Feel free to replicate that session at your next unconference, by the way.

For each of us, certain clichés are as foundational as the G, A, T, and C in DNA. I ought to really catalogue mine someday, but here's a start. I tell people about the career Venn diagram, or my version of exit, voice, and loyalty, or my rhetorical triangle. We cargo cult, or expand the Overton window, or arbitrage, or decide it's an efficient market. We decide that at least we'll earn some XP, or satisfice or do cognitive load-balancing, or concentrate on our core competence, or try to fix the kyriarchy. I think about that law of user interface, that if you make something 10% easier then twice as many people will do it. I remember the three skills of adulthood. Recently I started noticing the activist-organizer split in my work and in others'.

Wouldn't it be great if job interviews helped you check the other person's basis concepts? (Or if matchmaking sites offered that, come to think of it.)

You have to have lots of lenses if you're going to be a leader, because you'll get ambiguous and inadequate information about situations and you want to pattern-match to see what fits your plan and what doesn't. You need to develop a clear, robust vision, persuade others it's what they should want too, and negotiate with them.

And even if you don't aim for formal leadership positions, it's probably worthwhile to catalogue the lenses you tend to use. Blog it if you want.

Sumana Harihareswara | Cogito, Ergo Sumana | 2014-04-06 19:18:34

Last night I was talking with some folks at Subcontinental Drift (open mic for South Asian-ish folks) who are paratechnical but find learning to program frightening or intimidating. It's not their fault; we (technologists and educators) basically suck at helping people understand that

  1. this is indeed hard; it's not your fault if you have trouble
  2. but we have a lot of different approaches that work for different learning styles; finding the learning styles that work for you is pretty useful
  3. and if you try, and try a different approach when you get stuck, you WILL make progress
  4. and none of it is magic
  5. and none of it was God-given to the elite who currently act like it's easy

Nothing here is particularly new. But we gotta say it, because there are so many people saying or implying the opposite.

Sumana Harihareswara | Cogito, Ergo Sumana | 2014-04-06 18:51:49

Codecademy sweeps you off your feet. At least, as you might have guessed in the last post (sorry for the hiatus), it swept me off my feet. But you need a quiet bedroom to rest after the most amazing party, to regain the strength you need to plan the next one.

Welcome to Python for you and me.

Take a seat. A cup of tea, possibly caffeine-free. Reorganise what’s your mind has devoured.

The topics are already there for you, clearly subdivided into short chapters. Nothing too theoretical, mostly to-the-point examples that will immediately bring back to your mind what you’ve studied, or make you wish to learn more about something you haven’t seen before.

It’s great if you want to revise the very basics. It’s even better if you’ve never met the topic: you are likely to get the general idea of it, the sketch of a map to help you not to get lost when you will bring your study to the next level.

That’s basically the best and the worst about Python for you and me: it’s simple. It’s unthreatening, in the best meaning of the word, so you don’t spin into "I’ll never get this!" mode. But you must be wary of complacency. You read a chapter, then the other, then the next: everything is calm and quiet. So quiet that you don’t check if you really understood what you read. The code samples are simple. (I just tried to say the last sentence out loud, my tongue is tied in a knot. Let’s move on.) The lack of exercises is tempting you into not challenging yourself.

I love Python for you and me. It’s the reference text to keep on your (metaphorical) bedside table: you revise your background, you go back and forth a few chapter to get some context, you check your general position. It’s the perfect companion for Codecademy or Learn Python the Hard Way: I suggest a combination with the latter if you like the Hard Way and you don’t mind (or even enjoy) being taken between two opposite poles; if you like a more playful or relaxed approach, I would pair with the former.

Last but not least: don’t underestimate how far the book will take you. Under the unassuming look you will find an amazing guide to PEP 8 guidelines, a great introduction to testing (and since you will already be nervous because if test will fail, the relaxed approach of Python for you and me will be a real help), the basis of structuring and releasing a project (and since you will already be self-conscious of the big step, the Python for you and me style will put you at ease).

All in all: a fantastic resource. The soft bed from which you rise so much more rested, before moving on to the next level.

And now, on to the next level.

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-06 14:23:19

Nick Desaulniers is collecting brief statements from people who do open-source about what it means to them, as a text file extended via Github pull requests. You can add your own by forking the repository and submitting a pull request. I’d love to see more additions from people in communities that are marginalized in open-source development (and in tech generally).

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-05 21:47:01

One thing to be clear about is that the East India cocktail is very different from the East Indian (note the final "n"). Both of them appear in the Savoy book, but only the East India is in Lommebogen. (For the curious, the East Indian is half each French vermouth and sherry, with orange bitters.) The big "controversy" with the East India is in the details of the sweetener. Apparently the original recipe is from Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual, from 1882, and that has essentially the recipe below, except using pineapple syrup instead of juice, and with the addition of maraschino liqueur. A modern version, by Ted Haigh, in 2004, replaces the pineapple juice with raspberry syrup. I've also seen recipes with grenadine in that place. Luckily for me I'm staying limited to my three 1930s books, and they pretty much line up on this one.

East India Cocktail

The Recipe

Lommebogen and Savoy
1.5 oz cognac
.25 oz curaçao
.25 pineapple juice
1 dash Angostura

Cafe Royal just says cognac and 2 dashes of everything else, with a lemon twist and a cherry.

The Tasting

I made the Lommebogen version, and didn't do the Cafe Royal. It tastes fine, if a bit bland. The cognac shines, but I guess I was expecting a bit more flavor from the pineapple. (I should note that I used bottled pineapple juice, and I bet fresh juice would make a difference in this drink.) The pineapple is there, and gives a general fruity sweetness for sure, but it's pretty subdued.

This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender's notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen. You can read more about this project in my initial post, or browse all Lommebogen posts.

Addison Berry | rocktreesky | 2014-04-05 17:21:23

I have been spending my time taking courses at https://www.coursera.org  A member of one of my listservs, I believe it was devchix, made me aware of a beginning Android course -Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems. It was taught by Dr. Adam Porter of the University of Maryland - College Park. It was taught at the college sophomore/junior level so you didn't have to sit through beginning computer science stuff. The course assumed you knew Java. The course consisted of video lectures, online quizzes, and programming assignments. I started almost a month late so I had some catching up to do. The course is free and if you successfully complete the course you get a certificate of accomplishment. For $49 you can sign up for the signature track where you are expected to get 90% to get its certificate and the URL to it to put on your resume or give to your employer to show you successfully completed the course. This course had 150,000 students world wide so if only half of them signed up for the signature track Coursera stood to make a great deal of money so in the end the courses are paid for even though they are free to every one else. $49 is cheaper than a regular college course. I just wanted the knowledge so I wasn't going to pay $49 for it. This course is the beginning of a series of 4 courses in the Android Specialization. If you make it through all 4 courses on the signature track and are one of the top students Google will give you an iPad and the opportunity to put your final project in the App Store. The first course ended 18 days ago. I signed up for the next course, Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures: Programming Mobile Services for Android Handheld Systems, offered by Vanderbuilt University which starts in a month. I figured the Android knowledge would be good if some one wanted to use Errai to program for Androids beside the fact Android knowledge is in hot demand.

Right now I am taking 2 courses, Web Application Architectures offered by the University of New Mexico and Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing offered by Northwestern University. The Web Applications class assumes you know a programming language and teaches you full stack development using Ruby on Rails. I didn't know Ruby on Rails so I signed up. This course has turned out to be easier than the Android course but I am learning new things. The Digital Processing class which started last Monday looks like it is going to be harder even though I got 100% on the first quiz. The course expects you to know calculus and linear algebra and uses Matlab to program.. This course has knowledge I wish I had 2 years ago when I was looking for a thesis adviser. One professor I approached who worked on programming for MRIs gave me one of his papers and said if I could implement it he would be my thesis adviser. The paper had such advance math my math professor cousin couldn't help me with it. I attempted the paper but I don't know why I thought I could do it when I didn't even know the basics of digital processing. I still would like to be able to implement the paper so that professor didn't think I am stupid.

Coursera offers 400+ courses in a variety of subjects at varying levels of difficulty. They are offering a beginning computer science course right now that uses Python. I almost signed up for it but since it was designed to be a student's first computer science course and I have already spent time on Python I figured it would be too easy. Other programming courses are offered for different languages and advance math required for computer science. I have found the courses to be enjoyable.

I went back to finish another online course on Javascript and JQuery that I started in October 2012 that I almost but never finish. It was with Alison.com not Coursera. I soon realized why I didn't finish the course. It is all reading, no videos, with a couple of short exercises at the end of a module that are not graded. I believe there is an assessment at the end of the course to get a certificate but I haven't made it that far to find out. The most irritating part are all the ads you have to put up with between each page of the sections in the modules to take the course for free. Most pages of the sections are rarely longer than a screen shot. When you go to the next page you have to look at an ad for 15 seconds while the page of the section is loading. For 30 pounds you can get rid of the ads in the course and for 75 pounds you can get rid of all course and website ads. I am not going to pay money for a course I am not enjoying. I could just as easy read for free without the ads an online tutorial and get the same knowledge just not get the certificate. The course isn't even well written. Online tutorials often have you build an example program as you go along to demonstrate the concepts. The Alison course is just snippets of code for exercises that don't tie together or build into a working application unlike Coursera. Coursera courses run during a set time frame with deadlines for quizzes and programming assignments if you want a certificate. You can go back to the course archive to review when the course is over. Alison courses are not during a set time frame. The advantage of taking the course at the same time as other people like with Coursera is you can discuss the course with other people on the class forum. Coursera courses are kept up to date. Alison is still offering Microsoft Office 2003 with no courses on the most recent editions. There's no telling how out of date my Javascript and JQuery class is. There is a box at the bottom of a page of Alison to ask questions but I have no idea how long it takes to get an answer or whether anybody is paying attention to the course. Alison claims to have 600+ courses which is more than Coursera but the quality is not the same.

Petra Moessner | Petra's Outreach Program for Women Blog | 2014-04-05 00:39:11

Women in open tech/culture

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them. Learn more by reading our AdaCamp San Francisco final report.

In addition to AdaCamp Portland scheduled for June 21-22, 2014 at the New Relic offices in downtown Portland, Oregon, the Ada Initiative is planning to hold AdaCamps in Berlin and Bangalore in 2014. The Berlin AdaCamp will be October 11-12, 2014 at the Wikimedia Deutschland offices. Planning is underway for AdaCamp Bangalore will be on November 29-30, 2014.

To be the first to know when applications open for AdaCamp Berlin and AdaCamp Bangalore, follow us on social media, read our blog, or sign up for our mailing list.

About AdaCamp

Five pointed star with a rainbow of colors and the word "AdaCamp"

AdaCamp is the world's only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Attendance at AdaCamp is by invitation, with applications open to the public. Attendees will be selected based on experience in open tech/culture, experience or knowledge of feminism and advocacy, ability to collaborate with others, and any rare or notable experience or background that would add to AdaCamp.


A limited number of conference sponsorships are available. Benefits include making a public statement of your company's values, recruiting opportunities, and reserved attendance slots for qualified employees, depending on level. Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information.


If you have any questions, please email us at adacamp@adainitiative.org.

The Ada Initiative | Ada Initiative | 2014-04-04 23:26:02

I'm going to be running a GNOME and LUG booth tomorrow at Flourish! Other members of the LUG -- Jim Campbell, Lincoln Bryant, and eviljoel -- are also going to be stopping by to help out at various points during the day. One of our group's founding members, Chris Webber (MediaGoblin*) is speaking about The Road Ahead for Network Freedom at 2 pm so I'm skipping out on booth-tending for that. If you are around, be sure to come by and say hello to us :)

* I've helpfully linked to the MediaGoblin campaign page, in case you forgot to donate :)

Meg Ford | Meg Ford | 2014-04-04 20:55:43

I had the unique pleasure last week of meeting many brilliant, innovative, and engaging libtech (library + tech) folks at the code4lib conference in Raleigh, NC last week.

Instead of writing all my feelings and thoughts, (and anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot!) I’m going to share my notes and impressions in bullet form below.

  • The pre-conference kicked off with a super workshop on project management called PM4Lib, taught by the amazing Rosalyn Metz and Becky Yoose. They spoiled us by baking incredibly delicious treats, so every other talk was definitely less sweet, though just as good. :) My notes are here
  • I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for the incredible keynote speakers! I am so admiring of the work of Sumana Harihareswara and Valerie Aurora, and to hear them speak was dreamy.  Also, it meant a lot to us to have both keynote speakers be around and open for conversations throughout the conference.Check out Sumana’s talk and Valerie’s interview
  • One awesome part of the conference was getting to hang out in the Hunt Library again.  This was my third time there, and it’s so cool and fun!
  • Similarly, the work of the NCSU librarians is incredible!  After meeting many of them a few weeks ago, I was impressed to hear about their innovative work
  • I gave a lightning talk on “How to be a part of an open source community.” My slides are here, and the actual (super enthusiastic!) talk is here (begin 1:04:50)
  • I still have so much Mozilla swag that I don’t know what to do with it!  Let me know if you want a sticker or a necklace or a pen!

There were quite a few talks at this conference that went way over my head, further solidifying for me that what’s important about conferences is the connections you make and the people you meet. People “threw up code” a lot, which was about as inscrutable as it sounds, though certain speakers did a good job making their code more friendly, in particular Jason Ronallo.

What stood out to me was the conference’s focus on social justice as a library and a tech issue, demonstrated by the choice of keynotes. I have become increasingly disillusioned with the academic library world and what I see as a mostly head down approach to many of the issues that concern us as librarians like access, feminism, and class struggle. To me, social justice and librarianship are deeply intertwined, and to hear librarians cross-functionally stand up and assert that there is a class differential in librarianship was extremely powerful.

Further than that, the safe space of the conference and the constant +1-ing was sweet! Supporting each others’ work made me so happy! One thing I’d like to see next year is a greater inclusion of public libraries in order to expand the scope to include folks who may be disenfranchised or disconnected from the larger community. Academic libraries may be the most prominent sources of technological innovation, but it doesn’t mean that they are the only source.

code4lib was inspiring, but also frustrating because the issues of gender, class, and race within my field were brought into even sharper relief for me. As Valerie Aurora said in her talk (paraphrasing), “Notice when you feel discomfort or guilt. That means you are learning something.” In this regard, I suppose that the my experience at the conference was a success.  We may not solve these problems overnight, and I am not sure that we’ll solve them with code, but I look forward to continue working for positive change in my field as a librarian, a coder, and a feminist.

Jennie Rose Halperin | jennie rose halperin | 2014-04-04 14:49:33

Muda de Thyene imperialis <in Explore> #51

Don’t worry, nobody died here! It’s just a molt.

Photo by Oscar Mendez.

Kelley Nielsen | Salticid of the Earth | 2014-04-04 09:00:31

I recently caught up with Joy Liddicoat, and interviewed her about her work with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).

What is the Association for Progressive Communications?

APC is both a network and an organisation. APC members are groups working in their own countries to advance the same mission as APC. APC has more than 40 members in over 30 countries, the majority from developing countries.

When and why was it formed?

APC was founded in 1990 growing from computer networks that were established in 1987 which had been founded by people with experience in communication and international collaboration in the NGO world, and a deep commitment to making new communication techniques available to movements working for social change. Most networks were founded by a small number of people who devoted their personal equipment and all their free time to spread electronic communication to their colleagues working for change. Today APC’s mission is still focused on being a movement for social change. You can find out more about our history here: https://www.apc.org/en/about/history

How does it relate to other entities such as the United Nations, or GenderIT?

In relation to the UN, we are an active participant in high level international ICT policy discussions, and were granted category one consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1995. We participate in women’s rights, human rights, internet governance and a variety of other areas of the UN’s work. But the UN is only one space where we work.

GenderIT.org emerged from the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s RightsProgramme’s advocacy work in information and communications technologies (ICTs). The need to have examples of national policy, gender-sensitive language, tools for lobbying, and an understanding of the impact of poor or positive policy all within easy access has been expressed by ICT advocates and policy makers alike.

The APC WRP also developed the Monitor for gender advocates – women’s organisations and movements across the world who are just beginning to explore gender issues in the deployment and application of ICTs, and need to understand the intersections with key women’s issues such as violence against women or economic empowerment.

What’s your involvement with APC, do you have a cool job title?

My job title is “Human Rights Specialist” and I started working for APC in 2011. I think my job title could be a lot cooler – any ideas?

Who turns up at a typical APC forum/event?

Awesomely cool interesting people – human rights defenders, techies with politics, feminists, bloggers,  political activists – we have the best parties!

Tell me about development of “feminist principles for the Internet”. Where did this come from as a goal or APC’s upcoming event? Is there any prior work we can see?

This meeting has been inspired by our work on women’s rights, digital security and sexual rights. You can see some of that work from our Erotics project https://www.apc.org/en/projects/erotics-exploratory-research-project-sexuality-and-0 , take back the tech https://www.takebackthetech.net/ violence against women https://www.apc.org/en/node/15007/ , as well as our internet rights work: https://www.apc.org/en/node/11424 . Our goals for this meeting are to:

+ Articulate, deepen, and clarify thinking and analysis around contentious issues of gender, sexuality, and the internet including questions around ‘harmful content,’ pornography, ‘hate speech,’ gender-based violence, and sexual rights.
+ Develop a set of evolving Feminist Principles of the Internet.
+ Build a network of feminist and queer activists, academics, internet rights experts, and techies to identify collaborative strategies across movements
+ Build capacity on engaging with human rights mechanisms and UN instruments to advance sexual rights and women’s human rights in relation to the internet.

I see use of the term “Women’s rights” in APC. How broadly are APC using the term “woman”? Is there any statement of further inclusiveness and safe spaces (e.g. transwomen, genderqueer).

We use the term very broadly and inclusively.

Can geek feminist readers be involved? Is there any remote participation?

We are still trying to work this out in terms of the actual meeting, hashtags etc – will let you know.  We do plan on follow up to share the draft principles and consult – so there will be an opportunity for being involved, but the exact plans are still being developed.


Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-03 15:38:57

This time I'm going to play it safe. Maybe too safe. But hey - I've always been against criticising something just because it's fashionable.

So, let's talk about Codecademy: the Python track and beyond.

I was wary of Codecademy. Exercises without apparent theory? Mmmh. A little stern teacher inside me kept repeating me sermons about pampering myself too much. But then, at PyCon 2013, Jessica McKellar introduced Python for beginners with the hands-on Codecademy tool. And I fell in love.

Codecademy is the Addictive and Playful Way to approach the Hard Way. It's the cool aunt who gives you her Led Zeppelin CDs, teaches you not to give up listening even if it's not what you're used to, but never brags about "in my times". And as an icing on the cake she tells you about her escapades when she was listening to that song.

You do your exercises and you don't fool yourself into thinking that you know how to do something just because you read the theory. Even better: your exercises are checked as soon as you've done them, so you know if you know or you don't know. You soon become committed not to lose your winning streak, so you exercise every day. You want to grab those nice colourful badges, so you challenge your fear of not being good enough.

And you learn. Not so slowly, and surely.

The topics are introduced at a fundamentally constant pace. If you pick up the basics quickly, you can dash through the first tutorials and then take your time to absorb the harder stuff (and since the track touches concepts as far as lambda expressions, the harder stuff is not always so intuitive). If you are the kind of student who gains velocity over time, you can spend your first days to get acquainted with the first concepts and then enjoy the more complex ideas.

After you've learned your concepts (even if you didn't notice that you were learning, you were too busy solving the problem at hand), for each section of the track you have a project to put in practice everything: a project on larger and more satisfying scale than an "exercise section" in a traditional textbook, but small enough not to derail you in an overwhelmingly ambitious plan. (There isn't one for the Advanced Topics, but once you'll be there you'll be old and wise enough to take care of yourself. It would be nice, but that's a minor issue.)

And then, you go beyond! The community gives you nice projects. You can give back to the community with nice projects.

You try your skills at dealing with APIs, and you learn the wider concepts you need for those APIs.

You learn to ask questions and get answers (and that's another skill, and a most useful one) discussing with other students in the forum: a good practice for when you will eventually interact with others on Stack Overflow.

To top it all off, you have a glossary that will help you in those "I knew what this word meant"/"How should I say that?" moments.

Theory and practice, play and commitment. You have it all. You just have not to fall into the trap of "it's not serious if it's not painful."


The title of this post is a reference to my favourite movie of this past winter, the story of a young woman who learns to control her power and to put it to a better use, for the fun of everyone including herself. Here's something to show you its funny side:

Marta Maria Casetti | Planning a dinner. | 2014-04-02 17:05:09

Skud and I were both separately musing recently on the complex ancestry of some of the Geek Feminism, geek feminist, geek social justice and similar initiatives. Things like this: Double Union arose partly from discussions among AdaCamp San Francisco alumni, AdaCamp is a project of the Ada Initiative and draws on my experiences with my earlier LinuxChix miniconf (later Haecksen) event, the Ada Initiative exists in turn partly because Valerie Aurora and I met through LinuxChix, and so on.

Skud then founded the Geek Feminism family tree project which maps influences from one project to another in geek feminism and geek social justice projects. It’s enormous!

As an example, here’s the portion of the graph that relates most closely to the origins of the Geek Feminism blog and wiki, and the projects that have arisen from them:

Flowchart of relationships between geek feminist and social justice projects

Part of the Geek Feminism family tree

Important note: this is an edited version of the graph that excludes many projects not so directly related to the Geek Feminism blog and wiki. You can see the most recent version of the full image for a better idea of how complex this is. Please check it before reporting that your project hasn’t been added yet!

Contribution guidelines:

  • This project is ongoing and does not claim to be complete. We’d love your help. Corrections and additions welcome! If you’re a github user you could submit a pull request directly to Skud. Otherwise feel free to leave comments here with suggestions of what nodes and lines to add, change, delete or annotate!
  • A line is intended to denote some form of influence or inspiration, not ownership or perfect agreement. So, for example, a project might have been inspired by another, or filling gaps in another, or founded by members who met through another, and so on. The two projects may or may not be aligned with each other.
  • You can view a fuller description of some of the relationships between projects in the source file for the graph.

Geek Feminism | Geek Feminism Blog | 2014-04-02 15:27:07

It turns out you can go into your init.cfg file and change the usability flag from 0 to 1, and that improves user experience tremendously. I wonder why distributions ship it turned off by default?

Sumana Harihareswara | Cogito, Ergo Sumana | 2014-04-01 23:03:42