Chicken UK 2012

(Banner by Sarah Snell-Pym)

When and Where

Friday 2012-09-28 until Monday 2012-10-01.

My (Alaric Snell-Pym) home, Gloucester, England.

How to get there

Ask me for my address on IRC or by email. I'm alaricsp in #chicken, and my email address can be found by looking in the chicken-users archives.

Get the train to Gloucester, or organise on chicken-users with people who will be driving up from London if you're interested in car-sharing.

Foreign folks may find it easy to fly into Bristol airport and get the train up from there rather than coming in from London.

If you have trouble figuring out the best way to get here, nab me on IRC or chicken-users.


People are welcome to stay in our house, and there's hotels and stuff nearby for people who don't want to queue for the bathroom in the morning! We have four guest beds, and loads of space to stretch out sleeping bags. You're also welcome to come earlier and/or leave later than the above period, we just won't be organising much stuff outside of those days. If we are oversubscribed for sleeping space, I'll give preference to people who beg harder for free sleeping space - tell me how poor your are!

If you'd rather stay in a hotel, there's a few near us.


We'll provide breakfast and lunch in the house for all who want it (we're vegetarians, so edit the table below if you're a vegan or beyond, or have allergies)


You're welcome to come even if you didn't fill in the Doodle - the Doodle existed to find a widespreadly agreeable date, not as a ticketing system! I've certainly got enough space for everyone who signed up to the Doodle, and we can fit a few more people, so just add yourself to the table below if you didn't join the Doodle and would like to come.


I plan to organise technical and social events on those four days, but people are welcome to stay over before and after that, be it if you want to travel up at convenient times and be refreshed and settled before the activities begin, or just for the heck of it.

Please suggest items for the programme in the following table, which we can flesh out into a schedule once we've got some ideas.

Event Type Speaker When
Opening Dinner for the Early Arrivers Social Alaric Thursday evening, at home: keep us posted on your arrival times and we'll try to arrange for pizza to be available
Ugarit Show and Tell Alaric Friday morning
Buffet Lunch Social Snell-Pym Family Friday lunchtime
Friday Hacking Hacking Sprint All Friday afternoon
Dinner+Pub Outing Social - Friday evening
A walk and a picnic lunch Social Alaric Saturday morning and lunchtime
Saturday Hacking Hacking Sprint - Saturday afternoon
Dinner+Pub Outing Social - Saturday evening
Doodle talk Show and Tell Christian Kellermann Sunday morning
Buffet Lunch Social Snell-Pym Family Sunday lunchtime
Sunday Hacking Hacking Sprint - Sunday afternoon
Dinner+Pub Outing Social - Saturday evening
Monday morning
Buffet Lunch Social Snell-Pym Family Monday lunchtime
Monday Hacking Hacking Sprint - Monday afternoon
Dinner+Pub Outing Social - Monday evening

Stuck for ideas? I propose the following kinds of sessions;

Hacking Sprints

There are where interested parties choose a project and hack on it, alone or in groups. I'll have places to sit at laptops, with Wifi, Ethernet, and UK and Euro power sockets. Totally unstructured, really just quiet time for us to get on with stuff, having been FUELLED with ENTHUSIASM by the other activities. If you don't have a project to hack on (or don't feel like hacking on your project), then join somebody else, ask them to get you started, and do some of the low-hanging-fruit tasks they never get around to. If you're a Scheme beginner, then a volunteer (Alaric if nobody else fancies it) will run a tutorial group.


Does anybody want to stand up and tell us about anything? I can try and borrow a projector, and we've already got a whiteboard!

In particular, I think it'd be great to have a Show and Tell of scheme projects we've been working on. Don't panic that your project is boring, or early-stage, or terrible code. The worse your code is, the more everyone can help you make it better ;-)

I'd suggest 30-minute slots for those, 10-15 minutes of you showing off your project and how it's implemented, then the rest as discussion.

So to get the ball rolling, I've suggested one on Ugarit.

Social events

For a start, I propose that we go out for evening meals to save me the cooking and washing-up effort, and as a pleasant outing.

But if there's interest, we could also take an afternoon or two out for an outing. Feel free to research Cheltenham, Stroud and Gloucester on the Internet and see if there's anything that appeals to you. I have three suggestions:

Oh, and if it's nasty and rainy outside, we have heaps of board games, including the legendary Robo Rally ( What do you all think? Please add suggestions to this page.

Also, I'm building up a list of round table discussion topics to enliven our social events:

Who's Coming?

Name Accommodation Needs Food Needs Notes
andyjpb Sleeping bag
Christian Kellermann Sleeping bag
Peter Sleeping bag
Kristian Lein-Mathisen Sleeping bag dairy intolerant
Affan Salman Self hosting No alcohol, vegetarian food is great. :-) I'd be able to attend on Saturday and Sunday only. Looking forward to it!
Ivan Raikov Will not be able to come ;-( Taco Bell and Mountain Dew :-D
Shawn Rutledge (ecloud) we'll see not picky, vegetarian is great not sure yet, sounds like fun though
mattw May not actually be coming, as was the only person not free on these dates :-(
Zaniyah Self hosting Probably Sat+Sun only
Mario Goulart Not coming Attending via IRC
Felix Not coming Can't come; maybe via IRC.

And Finally

And remember: This isn't some big formal conference. It's us inviting the Chicken community over to our new house for a nerdy housewarming :-) So if there's something you'd like to suggest or ask, just say! Don't be shy!