That was the OggCamp that was

Last weekend was the 4th OggCamp – a free culture unconference organised by Linux Outlaws and the Ubuntu UK Podcast, along with some co-conspirators.

I’ve been to every OggCamp so far, but this was only my second as an organiser, in charge of the schedule.  That sounds like an easy job as an unconference is traditionally unscheduled, but we like to have 1 track of scheduled speakers so people know what they’re getting.  We managed to book some great speakers this year including Alan O’Donohoe, Simon Phipps (making this his third year as a speaker) and a special video message from Stephen Fry, to name but a few.  Alongside this we had a record 3 unconference tracks packed with talks, all managed by CampFireManager courtesy of Jon Spriggs and his team. In case that’s not enough, we also had hardware hacking at the Open Hardware Jam!

The venue this year was the Art and Design Academy at Liverpool John Moores University.  The building itself was huge, with great facilities and some fantastic spaces.  We had a few issues with locations on the first day, but you never really know how a space will work until there’s people in it.

All in all, the event blew me away.  So many people said so many lovely things about the venue, the community and the event as a whole, I’ll just let you read for yourself.  I’ll just say this: When we organise OggCamp, we have no way to know if anyone will show up or if people will offer talks. It’s a pretty scary proposition. With the community that’s formed around the event, I don’t know what I ever worried about.

The following people deserve my (and your) thanks:
Laura, Fab, Popey, Les and especially Dan, for putting the time and ball ache in to make the event happen.
Jon “The Nice Guy” Spriggs for sitting up coding well past my bedtime.
Andy Piper for stepping in to the breach when we were down a speaker.
The incredible OggCamp crew, who work like trojans for a free mug and t-shirt, and always seem to know what’s going on even when I don’t. You guys rock my world.
Our sponsors: LJMU, Bytemark, Transitiv Technologies, Canonical, O’Reilly and ScraperWiki, who the event happen. Buy their stuff.

See you next year?

Converting Drupal 6 to WordPress

I’ve just moved my blog from Drupal 6 to WordPress. There’s several reasons for this:

  • I was only using Drupal in the first place to get some experience using it. It’s a great CMS but is overkill for just running a blog.
  • WordPress comes with Akismet for reducing comment spam out-of-the-box.
  • I just got a Nexus 7, and there’s a nice WordPress app for Android.

I wasn’t, however, keen on losing my old posts and comments. No problem, Drupal and WordPress are both open source and widely used, there’ll be tools to convert between them, right? Actually, not so much.

The best thing I found was this post on Migrating Drupal to WordPress and the associated Java script (that’s a script, written in Java, not a JavaScript file).  I had to tweak the code a bit to get it working, I’ve put the resulting code on Github.

I’m not really a Java guy, so getting it to run was new for me. Here’s the steps I took (on Ubuntu 12.04):

  1. Dumped the databases for my existing Drupal and a clean WordPress install from my web server to SQL files on my local machine.
  2. Imported both files into a new database on my local machine.
  3. Downloaded the .java file
  4. Edited the database credentials in the .java file to match those on my local machine (wpPrefix variable, drPrefix variable and return line of getConnection method)
  5. Installed the dependencies required to compile and run the file
    ~/$: sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jdk libmysql-java
  6. Compiled and ran the file
    ~/$: javac -cp . DrupalToWordpress.java
    ~/$: java -cp .:/usr/share/java/mysql.jar DrupalToWordpress
  7. Exported the resulting WordPress tables from the local database, and imported them back into the database on my web server

A bit of a palava I think you’ll agree, but as you can see, it worked!