UKLUG 2009

Ah, UKLUG is done for another year, and what a fantastic conference it was. Warren, Kitty and the rest of “Team Amazing” did the unthinkable yet again. I honestly have no idea how these guys manage to put on such superb events, and for free too.

Mrs. P and m’self travelled up to the beautiful city of Edinburgh on Wednesday, arriving at the hotel late lunchtime. We spent the afternoon tootling around, which was smashing, especially with such dazzling weather. I’m glad we took the time to do this: all too often with conferences / business trips you miss out on what the venue has to offer.

Anyway, after a little work (OK, panicking over my presentation), the time came to join up with the unholy gang down in the bar. When introducing the Buchan, the McDonagh, the Elgort, and others to my wife these words came up time and time again: “Oh you could do so much better. What do you see in him?” Thanks for that chaps :-) (Bill wins the prize though—he knows why!)

Then came the grand-sounding “Speakers dinner”, where everyone was treated to a wee bit of froggy Lego kit. Excellent! In addition, speakers received personalised diddy Lego people! (no idea where the idea to use Lego came from *cough*)

Speaker pressie!

Wednesday night finished early on Thursday, in Rob Novak’s suite. We were all somewhat perturbed at Julian’s sleeping arrangements in said suite however. Very sinister, and not right at all (note the restraint). Hmm…

Julian’s bed: disturbing

So to Thursday, the first of the two days in conference proper. After an enjoyable and candid opening session (Bob Picciano! Ron Sebastian!) there were plenty of good sessions on offer. Sadly I missed much of the afternoon as I was with Mark either finishing up our presentation, copying VMs, dashing around Edinburgh in pursuit of Relentless shots (more on that later) or working. It was all a bit of a blur. Wish I’d made the ceilidh though: that looked like good fun, and the blackmail possibilities would have been endless.

And so to Friday, D-Day. m’co-op colleague Matt White was up first, with an excellent session on tips for Xpages. Enjoyed that, and it made for an excellent companion to Tim Clarke’s session the previous day (which we did make), Xpages 101.

Then, the longest hour: Myers and I were up! We continued our “Muppets” theme from Dublin last year. The first half of our session focussed on adding a bit of eye candy and modern webby feature-itis to non-Xpages Domino apps, mainly using jQuery. Once I’d done that bit, Mark took over to walk the audience through a splendid Flex app he put together, which brings private views back to Notes—specially back to Domino web apps. Very nifty!

We certainly had a room-full God help them, and I don’t think we put Darren to sleep this time. Our ludicrous slides were definitely appreciated! So all in all, not bad.

I mentioned Relentless earlier; well, we gave out wee shots of said energy beverage to those who needed them after the shenanigans Thursday night. Good move I reckon. Just a shame we didn’t have many: we wiped out the Edinburgh rail station branch of W.H. Smith buying those… Anyway, the session went without a hitch until the Wookie got his hands on my MacBook and crashed it.

Can’t take him anywhere.

Once done, I could remove my tongue from the roof of my mouth, suck on a lolly or two (that’s not a euphemism) and get on with enjoying the rest of the conference.

Maureen’s session, Domino Designer: Over The Rainbow was informative as ever (I even got to bend her ear later that evening. Bet she loved that), and after coffee in the afternoon it was time for the insanity that was the McDonagh / Buchan session, The Hairy Bikers Web Development Cookbook. As one might expect from these two characters, this was a rather dry humourless session (and a little long-winded), but we somehow scraped through intact (look! A squirrel!)

The Hairy Bikers

After the closing session (with standing ovation I might add), there was some kit-lugging to be done, which made the beer(s) all the sweeter. Marvellous.

Lotus in Edinburgh

Hats off to Warren and Kitty for organising another top-notch conference, and of course a massive huzzah to the larger organising team. The event is one thing, the networking quite another: it was fantastic to meet up with everyone, old acquaintances and new. Let’s do it again soon!


  1. Was indeed a quality couple of days superbly executed by the UKLUG crew.

    I had forgotten about "that" restraint :)Steve Castledine#

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