The first day of the Cocoon GetTogether 2007 Hackathon has just ended and I have to say the it’s great to be in Rome. We’ve been really lucky with the beautiful weather here. It’s about 26 degrees Celsius,lots of sunshine and a perfect blue sky and it appears to stay that way for the next couple of days. The past 1,5 day have been great. Italy is such a wonderful country.

Our journey started on tuesday when Arthur, Jasha and I left the Hippo office around 4pm and took a cab to Schiphol airport, where we met Arje. The check-in went pretty smooth and after a while we boarded the plane. During the flight to Rome we had a great view of the Italian Alps, because of the great weather, which ended in some beautiful images.


Peaks In the evening we arrived at the Leonardo da Vinci airport near Rome. I was a bit surprised by the distance between the airport and the city itself. Traffic was hectic and I can’t believe the driving skills of the people in Rome. It seems they drive like crazy, but apparently it’s normal here. It seems like an organized chaos, so I guess you just have to get used to it. After dropping our bags at the hotel we went out for some late dinner. Apparently all the restaurants are open until 1.00 am, so we had plenty of time for some real Italian pizza and some beers. We ended the evening with a nice grappa. Although I have been to Italy before, I never heard of this drink, but we all took a glass and this is a drink I will never forget! It’s a bit strong and the smell was awful, but the alcohol had a nice effect. After a short walk we went back to the hotel, because we had to get up pretty early in the morning for the first day of the Cocoon GT Hackathon.
In the morning we started off with a good breakfast and went off to go to the Villa Borgese. Villa Borgese is a beautiful big parc in the middle of Rome and after a 15 minute walk we arrived the the Bio Parco, which was the location of the Apache Cocoon GetTogether 2007. The Bio Parco was actually some sort of zoo, which was of course an astonishing location for the GT. The Hackathon took place in the Elephant room, that got it’s name by being located next to the place where the elephants lived. It was actually really funny to hear them make loud noises while everybody was working very hard and exploring Cocoon 2.2. During the lunch or the short breaks I went out and walked around the zoo a bit. I love animals and took some great photos.
Today I also met Marco, who has made the Italian translation for Hippo CMS. It was great to finally meet him in person, since we had been having conversations by email over the past weeks. One of the great things of the GetTogether is the social gathering. Meeting (new) people in person is so much more fun then talking to people on the mailinglist. In the afternoon Jasha and I started trying out Cocoon 2.2 for which we now finally had some time. Things have been really busy at the office, so having a bit of a breather didn’t hurt. We got the default block archetype working and tried out adding the WebDAV block, but did not succeed in continuing our quest. We wanted to get a working sample with Cocoon 2.2 in combination with Hippo Repository, but it seems the commons-http client is giving us some troubles.
In the evening Gianugo was taking the group to dinner at a typical Italian restaurant, which was about 40 minutes drive by bus. Because of the heavy traffic, the bus did a touristic tour first instead of doing it after dinner. Rome is really amazing in the evening. I really have to return to Rome for a holiday or something, because there is so much to see and to do, but during the GT there is too little time. The restaurant he took us to was great! There was so much great Italian food and wine that was probably enough food for 20 more people.
After dinner some of us went into town for some more beers
Well this story is getting quite long now, so I’m off to bed. Last night was a bit of a short night. Arthur warned me that he could snore a bit, but he was louder then I had expected ;-) You’ve lived up to your reputation duder! For an impression of the Cocoon GT you can have a look at my Set on Flickr or look at all the Cocoon GT 2007 photos. More to follow soon…