I went to a European trip in October that turned out to be quite fruitful and dear to my career.
First I was in Amsterdam for a week to attend ATypI, one of the leading typography conferences. I got to visit +Thomas Milo
and Mirjam's library/office and apartment with fellow font people. Met Nadine Chahine, Pascal Zoghbi, and Titus Nemeth, the leading Arabic font designers of the web era, as well as Thomas Phinney and Even Sorkin, the usual suspects on webfont forums. Attended Color Fonts meeting with colleagues from Adobe, Microsoft, and Mozilla among others, as well as the W3C WOFF2 meeting. Met Werner Lemberg, the FreeType maintainer. It's always great to meet Werner and discuss technical issues in person. Also got to do two quick pair-programming bugfixes with +Raph Levien
and David Kuettel, of Google Fonts fame. Plus, got to hang out with my manager, +Stuart Gill
, and teammates from the Google Text & Fonts team from Mountain View.
Next was Paris to work with Jonathan Kew for a week as what we called the "Udupi HarfBuzz Hackfest". We implemented Javanese in HarfBuzz and fixed numerous bugs. We worked out of the awesome Mozilla Paris and Google Paris offices, where we ran into David Turner, the original FreeType author, so we discussed some more FreeType stuff and I got to demo GLyphy to him. Oh BTW, David said something along the lines of "only if I could write FreeType in C++". So I think it's clear now that when I get to rewrite FreeType, it will be in C++ :D. Anyway, I never thought I would meet two of the three FreeType developers in a span of a week!
The week after, I was in Luxembourg to visit friends. Nicolas Rougier of freetype-gl fame happened to be visiting Nancy, France, so I drove there and met him for the first time. We discussed GLyphy and GPU-accelerated curve rendering.
Finally, headed to Iceland to crash Iceland Airwaves music festival with 7 other friends who flew in from four different cities!
All in all, very productive trip. Oh, and here's a short clip of the ATypI "Friday Night Concert" fun event put together by Frank van Blokland,+Dave Crossland
, et al, with Werner and his lovely daughter, Katharina, playing. It's not in the video, but Donald Knuth was sitting right there in the front row. I didn't know that he is at the conference and seized the opportunity to walk to him after the concert and say "so, you just happened to be in around or what?" Kamal Mansour pulled me aside to say that Don was here to receive an award the next night. :D
So yeah, this is why I love my "work" travel :).