Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
Since launching the new Birmingham.pm website, I've been amused/surprised by how many people have mailed me to ask about Labyrinth and where they can get it. Sorry to disappoint those that have asked, but it isn't available currently. Although there are docs and tests for the core code, they are by no means complete. Plus I wanted to have several plugins available to do the content management pieces, so that people had an example to go from and could create an instant website from the word go.
The original prototype (as I see it now), Mephisto, was designed and developed in 2001, and is still being used and deploy very successfully to LEAs (Local Education Authorities) around the UK. However, the original wasn't the best I could do. It had a design that was very heavily tied to XML, which made for a very cumbersome and often tricky backend. So with the idea of how everything fitted together and borrowing from an idea from part of a website application that was designed when I was at tw2, I sat down to design and write it all from the ground up. It coincided with me being made redundant at the end of 2002, when QIIS folded. Since then a lot of my free time has been spent on the concept of writing a "website in a box". A bunch of code that I can throw on a server and write on top of to create any website I wanted to. At the time there were only CMSs available and my thing needed much more than that. In fact the content management piece has been the easy bit. The hard parts are all the ACL and folder management pieces.
Now that I've got the Birmingham.pm site up and running with it, my tasks now are to get the other sites upgraded (I've been running older versions successfully already on a few other website for quite some time). I'll then be in a position to do the rest of the docs and tests.
Although, from the word go my task list has also had on it to write an installer. Two installers to be precise. The first is the basic installer, with both a command line and GUI interface, while the second is the more intriguing internet updater. There are several applications (eg Firefox) that can update themselves accessing a website repository. I want admins of Labyrinth sites to do the same, so that plugin modules can be upgraded simply by clicking a link. It's all still on bits of paper at the moment, but I think it'll save admins a lot of time. We tried something similar with Mephisto and it seemed to work quite nicely, so hopefully I can implement it.
Incidentally the name has nothing to do with the title of this post. I'll get round to writing that story into the HISTORY file when it gets released