Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Tuesday 20 July 2010


I'd better say something about the Mozilla summit at Whistler before it recedes into the past...

It was fabulous, of course. The setting, the food, the people, the talks, the work, the demos, the mission, all really good.

Whistler was lovely. It had been cold up to the week we arrived so while it was 30C in the village at times later in the week, 20 minutes in a chairlift brought you up into the snow. And on top of Whistler Mountain the snow banks were six metres deep in places.

I wisely arrived a couple of days early and on the Monday I spent almost the entire day hiking alone up to Singing Pass. Unfortunately I didn't reach Singing Pass --- around the snow line the track was completely blocked by fallen trees (see below). I climbed over a couple of dozen of them but with no end in sight, decided that was a losing proposition and turned back. Nevertheless it was a wonderful time and some solitude was excellent fortification for the subsequent social overload.

I'm not really a party person and working large groups of people is a learned skill for me. It's helpful when I have goals to accomplish and I know a lot of the people. In some ways it wasn't all that different from networking at an academic conference, except we're all on the same side.

The main downside of the summit was that I was completely exhausted during most of it because I was simply too excited to sleep. Talking to people, going to sessions, playing games, and hacking code are irresistible.

Next time we should plan some "work week" days immediately after the summit. This would give us more time to talk in depth --- there were so many people at the summit I wanted to talk to, I couldn't give lots of time to more than a few. It would give us more time to code. We should have done it this time but I wasn't on the ball.

As usual I met many contributors for the first time. That's one of the best things about the summits. A few I really wanted to meet didn't make it --- you know who you are!

I managed to get together with some Mozilla Christians for some prayer time. That was very encouraging.

I saw bears. Woohoo!

trees fallen across the path up to Singing Pass

This is the track near the head of the valley leading up to Singing Pass. I'm looking back along the track at the trees I've already clambered over! Definitely more trees than track at this point. People told me it was probably the leftovers of an avalanche.

view over Whistler valley

View over Whistler valley from the top of Whistler Peak.


Siddharth Agarwal
You found time to hack on code? I'm impressed!
It was awesome meeting you and all the other folks I've only heard about or interacted with on IRC all these years. Thanks.
Jeff Walden
"I managed to get together with some Mozilla Christians for some prayer time. That was very encouraging."
You should publicize these things better/somehow. I probably would have shown up had I known it was happening (although I was so zonked out from lack of sleep I'm not sure how lucid I could have been).
Robert O'Callahan
It was a pleasure meeting you!
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