15 06 2011
All this started when my wife Elizabeth and my son Jean-Baptiste wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday. So, it indeed all started months ago, probably early March or something (I don't yet have all the details).
Jean-Baptiste described this well on the web site, so I won't go again into details, but basically, this was about getting birthday wishes from my "free software family" in, as you might guess, as many languages as possible.
Elizabeth brought the original idea and JB helped her by setting up the website and collecting e-mail addresses of people I usually work with: he grabbed addresses from PO files on Debian website, plus some in his own set of GPG signatures and here we go. And then he started poking dozens of you folks in order to get your wishes for this birthday.
Gradually, contributions accumulated on the website, with many challenges for them: be sure to get as many people as possible, poking and re-poking all those FLOSS people who keep forgetting things... It seems that poking people is something that's probably in the Perrier's genes!
And they were doing all this without me noticing.
As usually in Debian, releasing on time is a no-no. So, it quickly turned out that having everything ready by April 2nd wouldn't be possible. So, their new goal was offering this to me on Pentecost Sunday, which was yesterday. And...here comes the gift.
Aha, this looks like a photo album. Could it be a "50 years of Christian" album?
But, EH, why is that pic of me, with the red Debconf5 tee-shirt (that features a world map) and a "bubulle" sign, in front of the book?
But, EH EH EH, what the .... are doing these word by H0lger, then Fil, then Joey doing on the following pages?
And only then, OMG, I discover the real gift they prepared. 106, often bilingual, wishes from 110 people (some were couples!). 18 postcards (one made of wood). 45 languages. One postcard with wishes from nearly every distro representatives at LinuxTag 2011. Dozens of photos from my friends all around the world. All this in a wonderful album.
I can't tell what I said. Anyway, JB was shooting a video, so...we'll see. OK, I didn't cry...but it wasn't that far and emotion was really really intense.
Guys, ladies, gentlemen, friends....it took me a while to realize what you contributed to. It took me the entire afternoon to realize the investment put by Elizabeth and JB (and JB's sisters support) into this. Yes, as many of you wrote, I have an awesome family and they really know how to share their love. I also have an awesome virtual family all around the world. Your words are wholeheartedly appreciated and some were indeed much much much appreciated.
Of course, I'll have the book in Banja Luka so that you can see the result. I know (because JB and Elizabeth told me) that many of you were really awaiting to see how it would be received (yes, that includes you, in Germany, who I visited in early May!!!).
Again, thank you so much for this incredible gift. Thank you Holger Levsen, Phil Hands, Joey Hess, Lior Kaplan, Martin Michlmayr, Alberto Gonzalez Iniesta, Kenshi "best friend" Muto, Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, Ana Carolina Comandulli (5 postcards!), Stefano Zacchiroli (1st contribution received by JB, of course), Gunnar Wolf, Enriiiiiico Zini, Clytie Siddall, Frans Pop (by way of Clytie), Tenzin Dendup, Otavio Salvador, Neil McGovern, Konstantinos Margaritis, Luk Claes, Jonas Smedegaard, Pema Geyleg, Meike "spätzle queen" Reichle, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Torsten Werner, "nette BSD" folks, CentOS Ralph and Brian, Fedora people, SUSE's Jan, Ubuntu's Lucia Tamara, Skolelinux' Paul, Raphaël Hertzog, Lars Wirzenius, Andrew McMillan (revenge in September!), Yasa Giridhar Appaji Nag (now I know my name in Telugu), Amaya Rodrigo, Stéphane Glondu, Martin Krafft, Jon "maddog" Hall (and God save the queen), Eddy Petrișor, Daniel Nylander, Aiet Kolkhi, Andreas "die Katze geht in die Küche, wunderbar" Tille, Paul "lets bend the elbow" Wise, Jordi "half-marathon in Banja Luka" Mallach, Steve "as ever-young as I am" Langasek, Obey Arthur Liu, YAMANE Hideki, Jaldhar H. Vyas, Vikram Vincent, Margarita "Bronx cross-country queen" Manterola, Patty Langasek, Aigars Mahinovs (finding a pic *with* you on it is tricky!), Thepittak Karoonboonyanan, Javier "nobody expects the Spanish inquisition" Fernández-Sanguino, Varun Hiremath, Moray Allan, David Moreno Garza, Ralf "marathon-man" Treinen, Arief S Fitrianto, Penny Leach, Adam D. Barrat, Wolfgang Martin Borgert, Christine "the mentee overtakes the mentor" Spang, Arjuna Rao Chevala, Gerfried "my best contradictor" Fuchs, Stefano Canepa, Samuel Thibault, Eloy "first samba maintainer" París, Josip Rodin, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Steve McIntyre, Guntupalli Karunakar, Janoš Guljaš, Karolina Kalić, Ben Hutchings, Matej Kovačič, Khoem Sokhem, Lisandro "I have the longest name in this list" Damián Nicanor Pérez-Meyer, Amanpreet Singh Alam, Héctor Orón, Hans Nordhaugn, Ivan Masár, Dr. Tirumurti Vasudevan, John "yes, Kansas is as flat as you can imagine" Goerzen, Jean-Baptiste "Piwet" Perrier, Elizabeth "I love you" Perrier, Peter Eisentraut, Jesus "enemy by nature" Climent, Peter Palfrader, Vasudev Kamath, Miroslav "Chicky" Kuře, Martín Ferrari, Ollivier Robert, Jure Čuhalev, Yunqiang Su, Jonathan McDowell, Sampada Nakhare, Nayan Nakhare, Dirk "rendez-vous for Chicago marathon" Eddelbuettel, Elian Myftiu, Tim Retout, Giuseppe Sacco, Changwoo Ryu, Pedro Ribeoro, Miguel "oh no, not him again" Figueiredo, Ana Guerrero, Aurélien Jarno, Kumar Appaiah, Arangel Angov, Faidon Liambotis, Mehdi Dogguy, Andrew Lee, Russ Allbery, Bjørn Steensrud, Mathieu Parent, Davide Viti, Steinar H. Gunderson, Kurt Gramlich, Vanja Cvelbar, Adam Conrad, Armi Beširović, Nattie Mayer-Hutchings, Joerg "dis shuld be REJECTed" Jaspert and Luca Capello.
Let's say it gain: