I’ve got a few big news items for you today, the biggest being one I’ve been eagerly awaiting: early-bird registration for DConf 2019 London is now open!
We’re very fortunate, thanks to the generosity of Symmetry Investments, to be able to keep the normal registration fee to our standard $400 this year. Like last year, the early-bird discount is once again 15%, so register before March 17, 24:00 AOE, and you’ll only pay $340. Unfortunately, unlike past editions of DConf, we’re required to charge a VAT of 20% this year, so the early-bird rate with tax is $408 and the regular registration will be $480 with tax. The GBP value of the VAT is listed alongside the price on the registration page and will be updated when the average monthly exchange rate changes.
Currently, you’ll find two options for payment on the registration page: Flipcause and PayPal. Those of you who have been following the latest goings on will know that we’re using Flipcause to create donation campaigns. They also provide support to configure campaigns for events like DConf, allowing us to keep as much as possible coming into one place. In the long run, this will be more efficient for us than accepting money through other services, so if you aren’t paying with a PayPal balance for your DConf registration, we ask that you please choose the Flipcause option.
You’ll also find the DConf campaign listed in our Campaign Menu, which is accessible from the big Donate Now button in this blog’s sidebar as well as from the D Language Foundation’s donation page. In the past, we have supported Eventbrite as a payment option, but have not yet decided if we will do so this year.
Invited Keynote Speaker
I’m also happy to announce that Laeeth Isharc has accepted our invitation to be a keynote speaker at DConf 2019.
Every year, Walter and Andrei are joined by an invited keynote speaker to open each of the three presentation days of the conference. Sometimes, the speaker is from outside of the D community for a different perspective (Scott Meyers was the invited keynote speaker at DConfs 2014 and 2017, and Martin Odersky was the invited keynote speaker last year). This year, offering the invitation to Laeeth was a no-brainer.
Not only is Laeeth responsible for bringing DConf 2019 to London under the sponsorship of Symmetry Investments, he’s also an enthusiastic supporter of the D programming language. He hires D programmers, sponsors open-source D projects, initiated the Symmetry Autumn of Code (SAoC), and can be found in various forums around the internet answering questions about D. Despite all of that, he’s never spoken at a DConf. We can’t wait to hear what he has to say!
The SAoC Finalist
Three programmers started the Symmetry Autumn of Code. Each participant was to complete three milestones, each of one-month duration, and would receive $1000 upon the successful completion of each. After a final month of clean-up work (whatever was required by each project), one participant was to be selected for a final $1000 payment and a free pass to DConf 2019, including travel and lodging.
One participant was unable to continue after the first milestone. The other two—Francesco Mecca, whose project was porting Leandro Lucarella’s old D1 forking GC to DRuntime, and Francesco Galla, whose project was adding HTTP/2 support to vibe-http—were able to see the event through to the end. Both did some excellent work on their chosen projects, but only one would be selected for the final prize.
I can now announce that congratulations are in order for Francesco Galla! He’ll be receiving the final payment and the trip to DConf 2019. As it turns out, he and the other Francesco happen to be friends. They had an agreement beforehand that the finalist would use the extra $1000 to pay for the other to attend DConf. And we’ve been informed that we’ll be fortunate enough to meet both of them in London!
We’ll also be hearing from Francesco Mecca before then, as he has agreed to write about his project for this blog. Francesco Galla will either write a blog post or, depending on how the conference schedule comes together, give a presentation about his project at DConf (possibly both!). Keep an ear open for the announcements.
The New Fundraiser
The PR Manager Campaign was a tremendous success. Not only did we meet our goal well before the deadline, but Nicholas Wilson has done a great job cleaning up the pull request queues. We will continue that campaign for another quarter, starting next month.
First, Vladimir Panteleev has been paying for the server for the D Forums (and his other D services) out of his pocket for years. It’s time we put a stop to that. The forums are a crucial part of the D programming language community and it shouldn’t be up to one person to pay the bills.
Second, the forums have been experiencing performance issues at an increasing frequency over the past several months. Among the possible solutions that Vladimir has identified to improve this state of things, moving to better hardware is a big one. If ever there was a time for the community to take over the server bills, it’s now.
So we encourage you to donate to the cause! Helping us meet our $2000 goal will cover a new server for the forums and provide a cushion for any incidental expenses. Vladimir has graciously declined to accept any money from the D Language Foundation for the work he does in actually maintaining and improving the forums, so we’d like to draw your attention to his Patreon account, where you can more broadly support the open-source work he does.
We thank Vladimir for all the time and money he’s put into this over the years, and thank you in advance for your donations!