back online! is back online! is back online!We have been working on getting back online as we lost access to (our old home for the past 3 years) due to an unwilling admin to give us access to both the domain and the server. That also means we had to start from an old backup I had “somewhere” (backup backup backup, and always do backups!) which was half working for no reason (oh, did I mention you also need to test your backups?).

Once the fun was over, all the work of updating content, upgrading to latest versions of stuff and integrating the new rocking SFD map and registration system (and localizing it) took place. I also want to thank Candis, our hosting partner in Asia, who is always here to support us whenever we need space and bandwidth.

Now, the system is only half integrated as I still need to figure out how to write an API to synchronize registrations between global SFD and local chapters. I personally feel this direction could boost SFD celebrations by letting local organizations handle promotion AND registration themselves (on their own infrastructure) while still getting the same centralized point where everyone knows how to find all the teams in the world.

We are still far from it as for example shipping companies require addresses in English only which means even if the form is localized and hosted by a local representative, people would still need to use English for the address. Also telephone format is an issue as a few of our team leaders never had to make international calls in their life and wonder what is their own international dialling code. Localizing the form and getting more teams will surely reveal several other issues.

But at the end of the day those problems of having new teams that we never heard of before are good problems to have. They are problems we need to resolve with highly motivated individuals or organizations in specific regions who could make SFD grow and therefore boost FOSS awareness and adoption. In China for example the local chapter takes care of getting their own team packs and shipping it to teams. This is one way and I am sure there are many others.

SFD preparation has been a blast for me this year and I can only think that 2012 will be even better. In the meantime let’s get ready for Saturday 17th, 2011 and Happy SFD to all! I’ll be celebrating in Shantou, China, where will you be?

I'm speaking at SFD, are you?