2022 in review

A year, gone, and for what? Let's see. Wrote some code, read some books, made some friends, and occasionally even had a life. A year in review:


GitHub lists 2042 commits for this year, down not much from the 2207 last year. A bunch of that is not code: blog posts, book reviews, various chaos.social maintenance and so on is on GitHub. Though, on the other hand, a bunch of code I write professionally isn't on there either, so things should balance out somewhat.


The pretalx changelog lists 105 items for this year (thank you, git, for git diff "@{one year ago}). Lots of small bug fixes and performance gains in pretty much every area, but also some really cool features:

  • Some clever caching of schedule pages, which also made me write my one and only blog post this year about Django's caching
  • Accepted proposal languages can now be set independently from the available UI languages! This was the longest-standing feature request (and, incidentally, PR).
  • Reviewers can configure the big review table to include whatever columns they like or need.
  • The API got more data, got faster, got more features, that people actually use and like.
  • The public schedule got live filters by track, and with that groundwork laid, more filters will be easier to add.
  • Reviewers can be assigned to specific proposals rather than just to tracks, another long-requested feature.
  • Social media preview images were improved some, and there are plans for further improvement.
  • You can send all review feedback to speakers.

Business-wise, pretalx had more events this year than ever before, 173 up from 152 last year. The amount of events hosted on pretalx.com is modest in comparison, but also went up. Considering that I do absolutely zero marketing, I'll count that as a win. (But also, come use pretalx.com! Who doesn't like safe servers, reliable backups, super fast super nice customer support, and schedule pages that will still be there in ten years.)

Other code

I did some Advent of Code this year, which was fun. I improved my websites (especially books.rixx.de and recipes.rixx.de) further, but without any major changes. A lot of other code was written for corporate clients of mine, and not public at the moment.


I confess I'm way, way behind on book reviews for this year. I read around 140 books, I think? But I reviewed only up to the end of March. I'm currently rewriting books.rixx.de to have a dynamic backend so editing will be a bit smoother, hopefully. However, here are the books that stood out to me among this year's reads (which included a lot of trashy Fantasy when I was down with Covid and other illnesses):

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz. A sci-fi classic that was basically written for me, a person who has a tag "space-monks". Starts out good, middle is alright, ending punched my feelings repeatedly.
  • Talking about Machines. Technical anthropology, following Xerox service technicians at their day-to-day job, with some super interesting musings about the nature of knowledge and the role that war stories play. Keen eye, great writing, would love to read more of this genre for different jobs.
  • Leviathan Falls, closing out the Expanse series. Not my favourite book out of the nine, but a super solid ending. Happy I read it.
  • Honourable mentions for some books that were just fun, but I don't know how good they were, really: The Last Watch by Dewes (for Expanse fans), the Blacktongue Thief by Buehlmann, Elder Race by Tchaikovsky, Low Town by Polansky, His Majesty's Dragons by Novik, the Black Company by Cook.

I re-read some of the books I like a lot: Rilke's Stundenbuch with its hard-to-beat poetry, Three Parts Dead which is one of the best books Max Gladstone has written, Krabat and Schloss Wildenstein, which both remain deeply embedded in my soul, and The Quantum Thief (in order to understand the rest of the trilogy). Oh, and all the Chrestomanci books when I wasn't feeling happy, which helped a lot.

There's also some short fiction available online that I loved:

  • Metal Like Blood in the Dark by T. Kingfisher, because yoo, sci-fi Kingfisher?
  • Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell was pure fluff
  • Mr Death is written exclusively to hurt your feelings, well done.
  • Laws of Night and Silk by Seth Dickinson, likewise. What is it with short fiction written so it's barely on the alright side of edgy-getting-under-your-skin, punching your feelings? Probably the only way to stand out, huh.

In a couple of weeks, my Year in Books page should be up to date, btw, which I think is a nice way to look at my reading over the course of the years.


This year had more people in it than last year, and for that I am thankful. Finally feels like I'm back home in Berlin, meeting friends regularly.


chaos.social has been a daily part of my life for nearly six years now, but this year it was a bit more prominent than in the past, when Twitter started falling over. We closed the instance completely for a while, reworked our rules, founded an association to handle donations, servers and liability, and I also redesigned and rewrote our blog into meta.chaos.social, which I'm somewhat proud of. More long texts to come, don't worry – and there you have one reason why my blog has been so quiet this year. I have limited long form writing in my brain, and this year, it went there.


I've been hanging out on Discord a lot, but this year I started one of my own. Originally meant to be just a place for freelancers / Python devs / folks from Germany, it's a nice and quiet place to hang out and talk. I want to use it more in the coming year, so if you feel like hanging out and talking about books, or code, or business, or life in general, hop in.


Life in general has been alright. I have debugged parts of my personality into improving – I have been able to hold on to regular meal times for several months in a row, complete with healthy meals, managed to get up early to go to the gym while feeling good about it (sorcery.), and also found a todo tool (and an attitude, the more important part) that works for me and that I've been using daily for over half a year now, which is a new record.

I attended EMF and GPN, two lovely events where I met people I hadn't seen since pre-pandemic times. Plus only one of them gave me Covid, which is surely a win. I spent more time than in the year before with my siblings, with my extended family, and with my friends. There's a lot left to debug and dig up and fix in my life, but things have been moving in the right direction, all things considered.

(As well they should – I turned 30 this year. Feels like it's about time to get a handle on these things.)


Quick notes on 2023:

  • I'll be busy with CCCamp for basically my whole summer. Meet me there!
  • I'm pretty good on work, but if you have cool Pyhton / web / Django projects, or know people who do, here is my page (which I also built in 2022, come to think of it)
  • I plan to do some cool things, but we'll see how much of that is worth posting about it. I don't anticipate too much in the way of blog posts, but you can follow me on Fedi for more posts, or join my Discord, or – if we know each other – follow my more private stream-of-consciousness account.