Last week in London LinuxWorld Expo and Conference was held and for the first time Joomla! was there.
Preparation for the expo had been a bit of a rush but thanks to the hard work of our lone Scot Andy (troozers) Stewart and Expo guru Brian the booth was ready for the start of the expo.
There was a slight hold up at the start when security would not let Troozers into the Expo and Brian walked past him twice before recognising him.
That's what happens when you live in a virtual world.
Also there for the start of the Expo were Andrew (MasterChief) and Kathy (TheRealChief) Eddie all the way from Australia and Peter (mediamagnate) Russell from Australia via Yorkshire.
At this point I have to admit that I started to panic if anyone would actually understand a word that they said. As you can see we beta tested the Joomla! t-shirt Release Candidate 1 which will shortly be available to everyone from the Joomla! shop.
Within 30 minutes of the expo opening I couldn't see the Joomla! booth from my vantage point of 5 metres away on the UKLinux.net booth as the Joomla! booth was swamped with users new and old who wanted to say hello. Reports that troozers had lost his voice were fortunately untrue and he was able to continue giving his 5 minute whistle stop tour of Joomla! without taking a breath for both days. How he did it I don't know but I guess they breed them tough in Scotland.
By lunchtime the Joomla! ranks were swelled with a contingent from Europe, Alex (akede) Kempkens, Arno (Jick) Zijlstra and Johan (Jinx) Janssens, and the t-shirts were passing every test we could throw at them. The crowds on the Joomla! booth were the envy of all bar the Debian guys in the Org Village who had discovered the winning combination of free software and free beer. I'm not sure how they smuggled the beer into the expo but it sure was popular.
After lunch Andrew gave his first talk in the Conference and if rumours are correct at least one person managed to stay awake for the whole time. The rest of the team, shining in their new t-shirts, continued to answer questions as quickly as they were asked and although Brian never did get his coffee it appeared that all was going well.
Day 1 of the expo closed at 5 o'clock and after the security guards had thrown the final visitor out we all went round the corner to sample a traditional English pub. Sadly although it looked like a traditional English pub with wooden floors etc they seemed to specialise in beer from Belgium. Andrew, Alex and Brian left them in the pub so that they could return to the hotel put on their finest suits and prepare for the awards ceremony to be held later that night. No need to mention any more about the awards as they have already been reported. Although Brian did appear to have difficulties getting into the lift to his room as he was floating 1 meter in the air after winning his award.
Day 2 began as Day 1 ended with a mass of visitors at the booth who were to be shortly joined by the second group of t-shirt beta testers led by Jean-Marie (Infograf) Simonet, Trijnie Wanders, Marko (predator) Schmuck and our first yank Andy (rhuk) Miller. The sight and sound of J-M greeting everyone with a cry of "JOOOOOMLA!!!!" certainly ensured that everyone knew where to find us although I'm not sure that Tony Blair really needed to hear from Downing Street. The proposed swap of project leaders with Drupal was abandoned as Andrew just didn't feel comfortable in an extra small t-shirt. Guess Kathie has fed Andrew one two many BBQs.
13:50 and the moment Andrew had been waiting for was upon us. His keynote address on Joomla! Past, Present and Future. This was the only time that the Org Village was quiet as Brian had quietly arranged with LinuxWorld for all the exhibitors in the Org Village to get in free. Good job he didn't tell Andrew as he would have been even more nervous. This time it was standing room only and no one fell asleep. The only person who wasn't there was our intrepid photographer and PR guru Peter who was still looking for an internet connection he could use to file his report on the awards. Thanks to Eddie the expo organiser and Charley from Novell for sorting out a connection.
And before we knew it the clock struck 4pm and the expo was over. Thanks to everyone of you who took the time to come over to say hello, we have really enjoyed meeting you all and putting faces to names and names to web sites. The t-shirts have passed their in house beta testing and survived the Drupal test and we will be releasing them shortly.