Coko’s Efforts getting Out ‘n About

It seems the Coko meme is getting out there. Just these last few weeks we have seen the following: – we put some money into assisting ‘, including flying the founder Nokome over to San Francisco and introducing him to funders. The result is that Nokome just landed a very nice grant from the Sloan Foundation. We don’t lay any claim to Nokome’s great work, but it’s good to see that our help was instrumental in helping this great project along the way.

HTML Typescript – Recently (last week) Wendell Piez, who we work with for Docx to HTML file conversion, presented at the well known JATSCon about his work with Coko. The preliminary proceedings are available online for Wendell’s talk and I hear the video will be available soon too.

Texture – if one slot at JATSCon wasn’t enough… Texture was also presented. It is an online JATS editor produced by the Substance Consortium which we co-founded. Proceedings here.

Penguicon, Carnegie Mellon – I recently presented Coko at these two events and upcoming we will be presenting Coko and various projects at SSP, AUP, Open Source Lisbon, Wikicite, OSEHRA, Open Source Albania and more!

March for Science – Coko CoFounder Kristen Ratan was lead organiser for the San Francisco March for Science. I couldn’t be there (was in the desert) but it apparently was a wonderful event.

Open Source Alliance for Open Science – we have 28 open source projects for open science coming to join in a day working out how to work together. Starts tomorrow in Portland!

Lots happening 🙂

Off to Portland

Now off to Portland for the Open Source Alliance for Open Science meeting. It’s going to be a one-day event (which I’ll facilitate). The day is aimed at creating a network of good faith actors that wish to work together to help open science through open source. First, we must establish group ownership of the idea. It should be a great day!

WDTR Detroit

Today I went on a short tour around Detroit to look at some of the infamous ‘ruins of Detroit’. It was pretty fascinating. What struck me most was not so much the ‘big spaces’ (a church, school & factory) we visited but how many suburban houses were completely derelict. It was astonishing. On some streets, up to 80% of the houses were not just empty, but decayed to ruin… its really unbelievable. These were beautiful big homes that stand silently side by side in decay. Street after street, suburb after suburb.

The process of decay is apparently helped by scavengers that rip out any valuable resources – mainly copper wire and plumbing. The next thing to go is the roof and/or windows and once the weather can get in its all over.

In addition to the pics I already posted, we visited an abandoned broadcasting school – WDTR. They used to broadcast both radio (FM) and television from these premises. I used to manage radio stations in New Zealand and have a long history of working in radio (and started a TV station in NZ too) so I was really fascinated to see this. The building was only relatively recently abandoned, and apparently, the scavengers have only just started to tear it apart, so there was some amazing stuff left in the building… it was a really incredible afternoon… sobering and fascinating. It reminded me also of ex-Soviet Union ruins I had explored in Latvia (eg. RT32) and gave me some time to reflect on how no society is impervious to massive decay.

Included are some photos of the announcer studios, old school TV cameras, video mixers, reel to reel 32 track tapes and much more…including a couple of old photos we found on the floor of the days when the radio station was operational.




















Feedback from Penguis

I just did my first presentation of the Cabbage Tree Method and Coko at an Open Source conf…very nice conf and the people attending my talk were awesome. I asked for feedback and got some great comments. Jotting down the feedback here so I don’t forget!

  • get to the point quicker
  • outline where the Cabbage Tree Method would work as a ‘design first, design with the user’ method, and where other contexts would require another approach
  • check Conways Law
  • be clearer about what Editoria is if used as an example

Conference Month

May will be a busy month of conferences for me. First, I travel to PenguinCon in Detroit this Friday to give a presentation about Coko and the Cabbage Tree Method. Then it’s on to Portland, Oregon to attend (and facilitate) the Open Source Alliance for Open Science 1 day conference Coko has organised. The next 2 days I’ll attend the CSVConf in the same venue.

Then I fly to Austin, Texas for the Community Leadership Summit. Then to Vancouver for the Shuttleworth Gathering. Immediately after that, I’m off to Albania to present on Coko and the Cabbage Tree Method at Open Source Conference Albania. Finally to Athens for a 3 day Coko PubSweet meeting. All in 2 weeks! Crazy time.

More Pics from Joshua Tree


It was a great hike on Joshua Tree. We hiked about 6-8 miles a day for 3 days through the park. The park is in ‘super bloom’ mode because of intense rains recently. Hence there was a ton of wildflowers. We also saw a lot of wildlife including a desert tortoise, a desert boa (!) and lot of chuckwallas. It was a pretty cool time, despite the near 90 degree (99 on the last day) heat (about 35 Celsius).




















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