• Portretfoto van Coen van der Kamp
    Coen van der Kamp

Looking back on Wagtail Space NL 2022

Wagtail Space NL was a huge success. Here are some highlights.

31 people attended the sprint. They came from all over Europe. Dan, for example, cycled from Bristol, England, a trip of hundreds of km's. Well done!

Wednesday, sprint day 1

The first day was about arriving and settling in. After a photo with the Wagtail Space UFO, choosing a T-shirt and getting a beverage, we kicked off the sprint.

Entrance at the office

I have the same display, so I felt right at home. -- Sumi from Overcast, Iceland

The majority of the attendees had concrete plans. We had a couple of people who hadn't contributed to Wagtail before. They formed the getting-started group and helped each other with setting up Wagtail development environments. There were some discussions here and some brain-picking there.

Wednesday is traditionally meatball day. After lunch, we stretched our legs and visited beautiful Sonsbeek park.

Do you call that a waterfall? -- Someone from Austria

At 16:00, we held a Wagtail core team meeting, free to attend by anyone. The Google Summer of Code participants joined remotely and told us about their projects. We extended the meeting with the end-of-the-day standup. Everybody reported the progress they made that day.

We had dinner at Goed Proeven. They served all kinds of dishes to share.

Thursday, sprint day 2

Attendees came dripping in, and at ten o'clock, we kicked off with a stand-up. We welcomed new faces. Although there were no blockers, I did see a couple of people huddling together afterwards to exchange ideas.

We enjoyed lunch in the sun. The weather was excellent. In the afternoon, there was more sprinting, and we took a group picture.

Group picture

We wrapped up the day with show-and-tell. The highlights:

  • Headless Wagtail, GraphQL, API improvements, and NextJS are hot topics.
  • Matthew gave an example of how open-source benefits from unexpected -- but valuable-- contributions. Each release note has a date now.
  • Image filters are hidden gems.
  • Dan worked on an image optimisation feature. It can lead to a 66% reduction in file size. Just install the needed system packages.
  • A couple of people worked on Wagtail Roadrunner. It allows managing Twitter Bootstrap rows and columns. Streamfield blocks show a preview in the admin, and the edit form opens in a modal.
  • Jacob worked on a hooks-debugging panel for Django Debug Toolbar.
  • Viggo improved the page mover and made his first pull request to Wagtail. 👏
List of Github issues

We celebrated the sprint with a barbecue and a pub quiz.


Friday, talks

The talks were at Rozet, a lively cultural house at the centre of Arnhem. 68 people attended the talks. At the entrance, there was the opportunity to get a picture with the Wagtail Space logo.

The photo opporunity at the Rozet entrance

Fabrique handed out rubber ducks for rubber ducking. Problems solved, thank you! We handed out Wagtail T-shirts in various colours and designs.

We had a difficult time getting the presenters set up. It caused some delays, giggles and hilarity.

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,
and at the worst possible time. -- Murphy

  • The first speaker was Tom Dyson (Torchbox). His talk was about the state of Wagtail. Wagtail is healthy, and the future is bright. The core team monitors Wagtail's health by tracking weekly figures.
Tom Dyson
  • Lucas Moeskops (Fabrique) showed how he converted the Wagtail demo website to NextJS. Routing, pre-loading, renditions, speed!
Lucas Moeskops
  • Yvan Pinto (CarNext.com) told us the primary purpose of the Agile manifesto. Create value! To do that, you need a clear picture of your target audience.

  • Jacob Topp-Mugglestone, Phil Dexter, and Karl Hobley (all Torchbox) showed us Wagtail Builder. A new Torchbox product to create a Wagtail project through-the-web. Content modelling, running, and exporting your Wagtail Project has never been easier.

We had lunch on the panorama terrace. ☀️

The view from Rozet rooftop
  • Dan Braghis (Torchbox) outlined the Wagtail frontend architecture options. Should you go headless? There is no definitive answer, but you have many options! Personal preference is a motivator. A clear contract between front and backend development teams is a much-heard reason. Are we headless yet? Yes! But there’s plenty we could improve for Wagtail’s developers.
Dan Braghis
  • Maikel Martens (Four Digits) gave a lightning talk about his Digital Nomad life. He combined his coding career with traveling. His orange PostNL van was easy to spot. It took him to Europe's most beautiful paces.

  • Viggo de Vries (Highbiza) improved the user experience for moving pages. He dropped the view to select a target page and replaced it with the page chooser. Viggo's first contribution to Wagtail, and a nice one! Thank you! :heart:

  • Lars van de Kerkhof (Highbiza) showed us unobtrusive internationalisation. You can create translation fields in your code and third-party packages. The trick is a special migration command and ORM backend that queries the correct database fields based on the active locale. All this without performance loss. :clap:

Lars van de Kerkhof
  • Sævar Öfjörð Magnússon & Arnar Tumi Þorsteinsson (Overcast) told us about Wagtail in the newsroom. Each journalist produces a couple of articles per day. Content creation at this velocity quickly accumulates to a big Wagtail site with hundreds of thousands of pages and images.

  • Lars van de Kerkhof (Highbiza) gave a talk about Wagtail Roadrunner. This package extends Wagtail streamfields. It makes it possible to define Bootstrap rows and columns. A significant difference from regular Streamfields is that the layout of the blocks reflects the actual positions. On top of that, each block has a preview. You'd need to click to open a modal to edit. Wagtail Roadrunner declutters the user interface and gives content editors an overview of the page layout.

  • Sævar Öfjörð Magnússon (Overcast) showed how to create a Wagtail Projects in 5 minutes with his Docker template project. For the occasion, he put on his favourite T-shirt.

Sævar Öfjörð Magnússon
  • Dan Braghis (Torchbox) told us about his bike trip and the things he learned (and relearned).

  • Arnar Tumi Þorsteinsson (Overcast) – Working with Image Filters.

  • Matthew Westcott (Torchbox) told us about his work to improve choosers. How digging into the code leads to new insights. He likes the integrators' side of the code to be as graceful as a swan, it doesn't matter that underneath the surface the swans feet are paddling like mad to do the right thing.

A big thank you to our silver sponsors: Fabrique, Torchbox and Lab Digital. And bronze sponsor Highbiza.

We called all speakers to the stage to thank them for their efforts and talks. Each speaker was presented with a Wagtail Lego bird in an exhibit box.

Wagtail Lego Bird

We ended Wagtail Space with drinks and snacks on the rooftop terrace.

Thank you all. It was great. See you next time! 👋

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