It's official now: I'm joining Krimson on their trip to DrupalCon Boston 2008!
Not more than a month ago, the nice people of Krimson offered to fund the trip and stay at DrupalCon Boston for someone from the Belgian/European Drupal community. At first I didn't really consider filling in the application form, because I thought some well known Drupal big shot would be selected. But after my girlfriend pushed me (thank you girlfriend), I decided to give it a try and filled in in the form. When I received the mail of Krimson with the message that I was selected, I was completely flabbergasted. I'm sure this is only the beginning of an amazing experience and I'm really excited about it.
I guess I'm a bit off with my speculation that a well known Drupal big shot would get the plane ticket. So let me introduce myself a bit. Day job-wise I'm a PhD student at Ghent University, doing research on halftoning and printing. (Indeed, that's the same university where Dries got his PhD last month, but the funny thing is we didn't run into each other a lot even though we worked practically in the same building.)
I'm a Drupal user since 2005 (Drupal 4.5-ish) and I have a more than two year old Drupal account under the nickname soxofaan, but it was not before June 2007 I really began contributing. At that time I wanted to use the CAPTCHA module on a site I was building, but I couldn't get the module to work properly. In the mean time I already bought and read the very interesting Pro Drupal Development book and my problem with the CAPTCHA module was an ideal real world use case for testing and sharpening my fresh Drupal coding skills. This personal hackfest resulted in an almost completely rewrite of the module, which was the basis of the 5.x-3.x branch, now works properly and has better usability (I hope). I also (re)wrote the image CAPTCHA module (included in the CAPTCHA module package as submodule), inspired by Heine's MyCaptcha. Not long after, I got CVS write permissions for the CAPTCHA module. Currently I'm active co-maintainer of CAPTCHA (together with Rob Loach and wundo aka Fabiano Sant'Ana) and try to follow up the bug reports an support requests as closely as my (free) time permits.
Beside the CAPTCHA module, which is roughly an API module, I also wrote the CAPTCHA Pack module, which is a collection of lightweight challenges. It includes for example challenges based on ASCII art, CSS-tricks and textual math representation. You've probably seen it in action already on groups.drupal.org for example.
In August 2007 I also took over maintainership of GeSHi Filter for syntax highlighting, a Drupal flavored wrapper for the GeSHi (Generic Syntax Highlighter) PHP library, which supports syntax highlighting of over 80 programming languages. At that time, only a version for Drupal 4.7.x was available and maintenance was near-dead. After an initial port to Drupal 5, I also did a mayor overhaul (as the 5.x-2.x branch) with more features and better admin usability (and maintainability). See the user part in action on DrupalBin.com.
As a last item of shameless self promotion I'd also like to mention the Search Engine Referers module (yes, I know "referers" should be spelled "referrers", but it's the web slang). It's a very small and simple module for parsing the search engine referers in your access log, so you know with what keywords visitors found your site.
All these modules have already a version for Drupal 6 in some form (from usable beta to 'stable' 6.x-1.0).
So, that's already too much as a first introduction probably. I'm very grateful to Krimson for offering me this tremendous opportunity and I hope to live up to their expectations.
See you at Boston.