I arrived in Pretoria this evening in order to attend the ODF Users Workshop being held here on Thursday and Friday. I’m excited to be here for a couple of reasons.
First, I wasn’t able to attend last year’s meeting in Berlin and I was told by many sources that it was excellent.
Second, I’ve never been to Africa, and it’s taken me 50 years to get here. I only have two continents left on my world list, South America and Antarctica. I think it’s more likely I’ll get to the former than the latter.
My flight was from Washington’s Dulles airport to Johannesburg on South African Airlines. Delta also has a route from Atlanta, but Washington is closer to where I was starting. Evidently these flights sometimes stop in Dakar, Senegal, for refueling by mine was a nonstop. When I asked why we didn’t stop I heard answers that varied from the layover being done only seasonally to one about landing taxes not being paid. In any case, the flight still took almost fifteen and one-half hours. I slept for a good portion of it, though fitfully.
Once on the ground it took a long time to find my ride from the airport to the hotel in Pretoria. Whether he was late or somewhere else, let’s just say he wasn’t waiting for me any place obvious. This pushed the drive further into rush hour, so it was well over an hour before we made it to the hotel. Once there I connected with some industry colleagues from Google, the ODF Alliance, and Open Forum Europe, but I begged out of the barbeque dinner tonight. I was simply too tired, unshowered, and headachey to socialize much this evening.
I give one of the first talks in the morning. I’ll reminisce briefly about how we got to this point and then talk about things yet to be done for ODF and open standards in general.