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22 November 2012

Utrecht and Amsterdam, Netherlands

by Željko Filipin

A couple of weeks ago I was in Utrecht and Amsterdam for a few days. I was there to work with MediaWiki (wiki software that Wikipedia uses) developers Antoine "hashar" Musso and Timo Tijhof (Krinkle). We also attended Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland 2012 and Wikimedia Nederland Hackathon 2012.

On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday we were working from Wikimedia Nederland office in Utrecht.

On Friday we attened the conference in Utrecht. One of three tracks was almost completely in English. The talks were pretty interesting. Since I am not really familiar with MediaWiki, the most interesting talk for me was Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia co-founder) keynote.

On Saturday we traveled to Amsterdam for the hackathon. Since I am pretty new to both the Wikimedia Foundation (a non-profit foundation that runs various open-content wiki projects including Wikipedia) and MediaWiki, most of the time while we were at the office or at the hackathon I was just trying to figure out how everything is set up. More specifically, I was working on MediaWiki browser tests or trying to install MediaWiki locally via Vagrant. I have found the bug in the installation script, reported it and it got fixed in 24 hours or so.

The last hour or two of the hackathon we had a few short talks. I gave a talk on how to install MediaWiki locally via Vagrant and how MediaWiki browser tests are set up. Timo talked about how MediaWiki and jQuery use TestSwarm to test JavaScript (jQuery TestSwarm). We had a few more talks, but I forgot the details.

By the way, according to my experience, everybody in the Netherlands speaks English. And I mean everybody. I have asked a few random people in the street, store or restaurant if they speak English and I got "yes" every single time. And pretty good English by the way.

Another surprising thing is lack of cars, really good public transportation and a surprising number of bikes. I was told that there will be a lot of bikes, so I was expecting it, but the number exceeded my expectations.

Update: more photos from the conference and the hackathon.

tags: event - facebook - photo - speaker - wikimedia