Chaos Communication Children & Caravaning Camp 2023 (CCCCC | C5) – a goodbye.

I was visiting the #Camp2023 this year from 14th to 19th of August 2023 in Mildenberg, Brandenburg, Germany or how it is officially named, the Chaos Communication Camp, the outdoor hacker camp by the well known Chaos Computer Club.

DISCLAIMER: I am member of a CCC ERFA (Erfahrungsaustauschkreis) and the following is just my personal view and opinion how I have experienced the 2023 camp. Your view will for sure be different and I know for many other people the 2023 camp was in fact experienced very different compared to what I describe in the following blog post.

I never wrote a blog post about the camps I visited in 2015 and 2019, because they were both awesome and I did not want to ruin my memories about them. But this time it was different for me and I’d like to share why.


I admit it, I was euphoric to visit the camp again. After an endless time of no chaos events at all (Chaos Congress 2022 was postponed last minute because of COVID-19), I thought this might be the next event I’d have to visit. COVID-19 created a void that felt to become bigger each year. I really wanted to visit this camp because I was lacking the contact to several people I only see at these events.

At the same time I was stressed out by not having had any serious vacation for several months in my job as an IT employee. I was already very exhausted when I decided to contribute to the camp by helping the Bits & Bäume village to thrive at the camp.

I think it was my strong wish for some self-efficacy which made me work on a contribution to Bits & Bäume that was unique and challenging at the same time.

a bits & bäume village sign

the idea

When the planning process for the village finally settled for an area, it seemed to be a very good idea to have some kind of sign and/or installation, that would help direct participants of the camp to the bits & bäume area. Since the village was located outside of the ‚regular‘ (access control was only provided for inside of the fence) camp area, we would need to attract participants on the inside of the area to take a walk to the outside.

Since I had recently seen a nice NEON-glowing sign created from LED’s, I offered to build such a sign for the village. On the one hand side the sign would nicely glow & work in the dark controlled by a microcontroller (bits), but it also would blend perfectly with a piece of wood (bäume), which shows a nice contrast between nature & technology united.


To start my challenge I went to the Bauhaus and bought a really big piece (200 x 40 cm) of wood. I was astonished that Bauhaus sells these very natural pieces of wooden board. I picked one out of several which had a nice bark. Since the board was huge in size, I needed to fiddle with one of my cars front seats to get the board to fit for transportation. That way the first transport of this big piece of wood from Bauhaus to home went smoothly. Sooner or later it should be transported all the way east from Bremen to Mildenberg via the autobahn.

Next I ordered 5 meters of LED-tube from ZEDFY (Datenblatt PDF). I also ordered their WLED-microcontroller, a fitting 12V power supply and a piece of cable to connect both, as also some aluminum clamps to attach the LED tube to the wooden underground. The power supply is more powerful than actually needed, but I wanted the power supply to have a metal casing instead of plastic and thus went for the bigger one. All parts arrived quickly and in pretty good shape. This was already a huge success, because there were only 7 days left until camp. If for some reason the delivery would have been delayed, it would have been impossible to finish the sign in time.

text & font

The styleguide for the camp23 revealed some interesting font choices to be used for this camp. I found the colors which were chosen pretty nice and using a stencil font does not happen that often. It gave the whole textual stuff a more urban feel and the stencil font was perfect to be rendered as a neon glowing sign – but the amount of work which would be necessary to make this thing a reality was completely underestimated by me.

At first I thought I should try different script like fonts, so I created a proof of concept image that displayed a script font. But I quickly recognized that this was not the way to move forward, because it would have just been too complicated to arrange all the curves of the font.

the BEON font

The basic idea was to have the text „BITS & BÄUME“ with the stencil font „Beon“ put on a wooden board like displayed in this arranged proof of concept. This looked way more doable than a script font. The first difficulty was, how to get the text on the board. I decided to use a mini beamer I had ready to use to project the text directly onto the wooden board. For this I created a special image just to project it.

It had to be black and white so that I could see the white text on the board.

transfer to board

I transferred the text with some pencil to the board character by character.
Just to remove all the drawn lines one hour later. Because when I had a closer look to the LED-tube, I recognized, that I could only cut the tube every 5 centimeters, because logically 3 LEDS were unionized to one programmable unit. This meant all the characters had to be built with LED-strips having a multiple of 5 centimeters length.

the 5cm limitation

The cut open piece of LED tube displays how the LEDs are arranged inside of the tube. This was a real bummer to me, because now I had to find a way how to craft every character with strips that needed to be a multiple of 5 cm in length.

I ended up measuring the length of each character already drawn on the board to get an idea of how I could adjust the scaling of the whole string to get the best fit to a multiple-of-5 approach. I found that the perfect height e.g. for the letter „I“ was 15 cm. From there I tried to interpolate the remaining pieces for all the other characters to best fit to there original values measured. This should at least provide a basic possibility to form most of the characters without too much painful corrections.

starting with a „B“

After finding out the target projection needed to be scaled down by roughly 16% to make the characters fit to the new 15 cm in height limitation, I reprojected everything and again put the characters on the board with a pencil. I was really annoyed that I had to actually redo everything again, erase the old pencil drawings on the wooden surface, setup the beamer again, exactly adjust the projection and measure closely all the character heights. As soon as the transfer was ready I started cutting the first character „B“ and wired it up to power and the data line of the LED-controller.

The „B“ was the first character where I could actually see that my calculations of the multiple-of-5-cm-strips actually worked well. The first glow in the dark made me really upbeat about continuing the work. But at the same time I also recognised how much work it really was to place the strips and connect them after cutting them in pieces. Every cut would mean to cut 3 lines of copper wire to the perfect length and solder those with 6 connections, so the strip is connected to power and data.


I was able to also find proper solutions for the following characters. The „I“ was easy, but the „T“ already needed a new solution to how the character would be formed with LED-tube. When I reached the „S“ I was already like „Whoa, this is so much work, I will not cut the S in small pieces“.

So I went with a single strip for the whole „S“ instead. I also ran out of aluminum clamps to put the tube on the board. I knew that this would happen already a day earlier and had ordered more clamps (ca. 50 additional) a day earlier but those still needed to arrive in time to make the rest of the sign a reality.

Getting to the „E“ like end

I was cutting the LED-tube, placing the strips, screwing the aluminum clamps, measuring the length the next 3 copper wires would need, cut the wires, and solder the next 6 connections. This was basically the crazy work I needed to do with lots and lots of cuts and connections.

Overall I had to connect 28 different pieces, which makes for 168 connections to be soldered and 84 lines of wire to be cut and connected. This was just crazy! I totally underestimated how much damn work this would be. But hey, the „E“ of „BÄUME“ was finally placed and just needed soldering.

First light

So finally after several shifts of soldering – I went with soldering 3 characters and then had a pause again – the sign was in the late evening in a state of „first light“. All characters were finally lighting up. By the way the ampersand was really the most annoying character to build and solder. It was also the character where I went out of flexible copper wires and tried more rigid copper wires, which broke off the connections I had soldered the moment I wanted to place them properly on the board. I cannot recommend rigid copper wire to be used for this purpose.

The next hour I was just sitting in front of this sign and playing around with the configuration options of the controller. The first non-obvious thing was the amount of LEDs to configure for the power-budget feature of the controller. It took me some time that I actually needed to calculate with ONE LED per 5 cm to make the whole data-logic work the way it should. The great thing I found out after nearly an hour running through different effects, was the possibility to define segments running different effects.

This made it easily possible to configure different colors for actually each character if needed. I went with 3 segments for the beginning to make the two words and the ampersand light up in their own colors respectively.

Arrival at the camp

I started way too late towards camp. Actually the work on the sign delayed my arrival by 2 full days. And I was pretty exhausted already after I had packed everything in the car and started towards Mildenberg. When I left the autobahn near Oranienburg, I had to also find a gas station to refill the fuel tank of my car. But around this time 2100 in this rurual area only one gas station still had open hours. And this one was not so easy to find and stressed me out a little bit. It meant that I lost even more time arriving. There went my plans directly south of arriving at daylight to find a nice spot for the tent. I was pretty much done when I arrived at the camp site.

The gate

On arrival I was amazed by what the village had already accomplished in regard to building a wooden gate. Since it was already very dark on my arrival, I just was able to quickly fire up the sign once and then was just plain exhausted.

The next day the gate was erected and wow it looked really great. There was still some work to do on the gate and on the sign. The sign should hang from the top of the gate to direct the crowds towards „Bits & Bäume“ village. But for the sign to be placed there, the sign itself needed still some work.

The power-supply and the emergency-off-switch needed to be screwed on the back of the sign and put in proper water protection. Also the still open ends of the LED-tube needed to be closed with silicone and the wood needed to be protected against water with some biological water protection coating.

The Sign

At the end of a very long day of more work on the gate and the sign, we finally managed to put up the sign with some ropes to find the correct location and height. First we tried to attach it with rope, we had an expert among us who kew all kind of safe knots to attach it. But the available ropes were not that trustworthy to us.

Then someone suggested to use safety steel-ropes which are usually used to secure light installations on professional stages. We had some of those as part of our stage equipment. So we finally found a nice looking and safe way to attach the sign on top of the gate. This was looking better than I could have imagined. The gate was a really welcoming structure to mark the entry to our village. Without the gate it would have just been „some tents in the back on the green“ but the gate gave a clear indication „now you enter the bits & baeume village“.

Gate details

The gate got some nice functional decoration before it went into full operation. On the left side two screens were installed running the Infobeamer software package installed on two Raspberry PI’s. The left side was meant to represent the digital aspects. On the right we tried to represent the natural, biological side of the village name. Several lights made the final installation really shine.

The Damage

To my regret the sign was severely damaged not even 24 hours after it was successfully installed (see image above, which only allowed the sign to glow in blue colors for the remaining days of the camp). Some idiot with a 3-wheel-e-scooter and a long steel pole flag attached to the vehicle, crashed in the sign and ruptured the copper wires and contacts on the first „B“-character in a way that repair could only partially be applied and just fixed the power supply to the sign. The data wire was impossible to be reattached due to the made damage to the LED-tube.

A message to this person.

You damaged a piece of work in seconds which took days of precise work to be completed by many people with compassion. Do you feel excellent about this? But you know what, I think it is not worth that I get into rage about a person like you are. What did you actually provide to the camp? I am not the one to judge about you using a Pesthoernchen-flag as some folklore decoration to your steel-pole-flag damaging things. History will judge you about this. – This maybe looks like I have a rage management issue, but I was really upset about how this person reacted and it did hurt me.

The village

Finally I really liked being part of our village. Even though I was stressed out most of the time, I was happy I could contribute a tiny piece to the overall village experience of the camp participants. It was worth the effort and I would like to say a big thank you to the village team.

Camp 2023 post-mortem

no mediawiki

In the past most of the big Chaos events (like Chaos Communication Congress and Chaos Communication Camp) made heavy use of the MediaWiki open-source software. The wiki installation was THE go-to-place where to find latest and up-to-date information about the event. And all the stuff that was not to be found there was linked/referenced there.

One big advantage of using MediaWiki over everything else is the democratic access which allows everyone to participate. You just needed an account (just this ONE account in the MediaWiki installation) and you were able to edit and extend the content and be a vital part of the decentralized self-organizing chaos. You could register yourself for a lightning talk e.g., you could add yourself a user profile with links to projects and your own hackerspace, you could register and setup assemblies and villages (through a plugin for MediaWiki that enabled FORMS for more complex data entries).

Also the MediaWiki has a well known way how to edit content (if you edited a Wikipedia entry once, you know how to use it). Yes it has some specific syntax which is not so nice to first time users, but for all people who did not like the syntax there was a WYSIWYG-editor available and you could easily learn the syntax by just opening other pages in edit-mode and see the source code that revealed the syntax used.

static hierarchy

This time it was very different, and to my experience way worse. The general purpose application of MediaWiki was replaced by some self-written python/Django software still in its infancy called the „hub“ (see screenshots below). That software introduced hierarchy in the users and their accounts in a way that NOT any longer everyone could easily register and edit. The process of becoming a hub member became a clandestine thing of registering an account and then having some „admin“ allowing you access to one specific part of the software representing that camp village you are associated with.

So not only was a mature solution like the wiki exchanged by some immature new custom made piece of software, it also introduced control & hierarchy and silos of information. This to me is the exact opposite of how chaos works.

This was the only wiki left (just an alibi wiki):

It looks as if some enterprise software solution was the blueprint for the „hub“. I do not get where actually even the tiniest thing is improved by introducing the „hub“. But I do see where lots of cultural knowledge and democratic self-organizing structure was lost by introducing the hub. This I see as a warning sign for the chaos community because some people apparently decided that less chaos is better than more chaos and that more hierarchy is better than no hierarchy.

I know the MediaWiki installation has had its difficulties to be made performant for thousands of requests hitting the servers. And also that MediaWiki is not that easy to customize/theme. But even a very bad performing MediaWiki would have been way better than the „hub“ from my point of view. The „hub“ enforces a certain hierarchy of information and thinking and disallows the free association of information. It is a very special purpose application that is still in its infancy and does not provide the needed freedom of expression and organization.

I am deeply disappointed by this development and I decline to use the „hub“ as a „replacement“ for the general purpose MediaWiki which it definitely isn’t.

camp experience

My camp experience this time was pretty different to 2015 and 2019. The first thing I noticed was that actually the whole place was really packed with people. There was literally no place left to put another tent there. The additional 1000 tickets sold had a significant impact to the overall experience.

The first thing I noticed was, that there apparently was setup a two-class-society/-community: the hackers inside of the fence of the Ziegeleipark and the ones outside of the fence. Access control was only enforced when you entered the area inside of the fence. The additional 1000 tickets sold did not represent the amount of people which actually came.

the children & caravan camp

In 2019 there was a dedicated kids & parents area for camping. They had dedicated infrastructure like showers & toilets and were put in a place next to the kids facilities and the zoo of the Ziegeleipark. Kids did not count as participants but were accepted to be brought to the camp.

This year the situation was rather different. The first noticeable change was that way more caravans were allowed to enter the area. This at the same time reduced the available space for tents a lot. And then those people coming with a caravan were most likely also bringing their kids. They were not camping in the dedicated kids area but instead in the caravan area.

This has two noticeable impacts:

  1. kids were literally everywhere, on the train, on the dancing grounds, on the roads, crying in the early morning, crying in the early evening. I have seen 3-year olds running with their pampers on the roadways of the camp. The camp ground is also heavily used by human powered vehicles like scooters and bikes. So you had to be extra-extra careful not to run accidentially over a three-year-old crossing the street.
  2. from the 1000 additional tickets sold a solid number of ticket-owners would also bring their kids. So if you allow 6000 tickets to bring their kids, they will just do it. And that is what happened and from my point of view escalated this year. I would estimate a number of 350 to 450 kids were on the camp ground. The thing is, the infrastructure for freshwater, showers and toilets was highly likely just planned to work for 5000 people. The amount of infrastructure was from what I could recognise nearly the same as in 2019, and it just did not scale.

defect infrastructure

Starting already on day 2 more and more toilets went out of order / defect and were not repaired. Also the showers started to degrade massively in the north-eastern part of the camp to the point where actually no water at all was available from the shower anymore. I experienced this firsthand and went by bike to the western-most side of the camp ground to find a working shower (btw. there the water pressure was so high, that a lot of water was wasted for sure – don’t there exist water pressure limiters?).

To me the degrading toilets – more and more toilets went out of order and the existing ones were very dirty up to the point where you were unable to really use them anymore – were the most disgusting experience I ever had in an outdoor event. The amazing thing was that nothing was repaired, instead just a „DEFECT/OUT OF ORDER“ sign was placed on the defective piece of infrastructure. Since I was forced to use that infrastructure at least 3 times per day, it was a part of my experience I could not bypass or easily route around. It made the camp to me a personally disgusting experience.

silent camping

One thing future camps should really consider is emission of sound. I had the strong impression, that this year even more sources of sound/noise were setup (see map). There were times where at least in 7 different places there was nearly the same type of music (techno/electro/dnb) running. Depending on where you were you heard a cacophony of sounds from different places. I think less stages for music but rather high quality stages would be a way better choice for the future. And then put all the music areas in a dedicated place which is already loud by design (e.g. marketplace).

There was no real silent area even though one was labelled silent camping. I think for a good camp experience there should be also silence for several hours per day – but maybe I am just getting too old for this. At least in one dedicated place. This was a very difficult to find place this time. I think this should strongly be reconsidered next time.

missing infrastructure

I know that the huge tents which were installed 2019 were considered to be too big. But the solution we had this year – to use open tarps instead of real tents for stages, was not a very good idea. Since the tarps did not provide enough shelter and protection against weather, stage programs needed to cancel/abort/shut down as soon as some rains was coming.

Also the open tarp did make the beamer screens unreadable due to the sunlight entering the stage at all times. Also the open stages under the tarps did only provide very limited facilities for seating. This was very disappointing! I visited several Milliways talks and experienced first hand that seating was a big problem and also light conditions made slides of speakers unreadable.

But I was also missing workshop tents which could be booked in a self-organized way. I was prepared to give a nice workshop on building a little tabletop-lamp called FireFairy but since the mediawiki was not there and the workshop tents were not there I just did not give my workshop. I just saw no opportunity to do it.

be excellent to each other: the good things

I did find some very nice artwork after the camp here by Mat Brady. Really nice work built with blender.

There is also a strong decline in blogging from my point of view, or the search engines just do not scrape the blogosphere anymore. I just found korrupt blogging about it and korrupt referring to stk blogging about the camp. I did not read korrupt’s blog entries until I had my entry finished. But I was surprised to see, he also identifies the missing MediaWiki as a blocker for more chaotic engagement. I tell myself now that I am just getting old and that culture is a fluid thing. This is the point where I want to refer to my disclaimer again.

DISCLAIMER: I am member of a CCC ERFA (Erfahrungsaustauschkreis) and the following is just my personal view and opinion how I have experienced the 2023 camp. Your view will for sure be different and I know for many other people the 2023 camp was in fact experienced very different compared to what I describe in this blog post.

More blog reviews / links / snippets found on the interwebz

the streams

To me the megaasset of the camp & chaos infrastructure were the streams & content recording. The recording and broadcasting of the streams was essential, since seating in front of stages was so limited. Also the recording allows to rewatch the slides which were most of the time so difficult to read in sunlight that only in the stream you could read that stuff clearly. Big thanks to the VOC and all the angels working on this which from my point of view did an awesome job here.

Update 17.9.2023: recommended recordings

I have been watching several recordings of the camp, some while I was still at the camp via the Re-Live feature that is awesome (thanks VOC), some later at home. My primary way to watch the recordings was through the iOS Chaos Communication Camp app. Thanks again to Thomas for providing the app and updating all the relevant data sources to make this work. I know how much tedious work this can be, as I have provided apps for congress more than once.

The app provides to me the following advantage compared to using the website directly:

  1. Only the recordings of the camp are displayed. This is actually helpful, on you need to click through the events list and then select Camp23 to reduce the amount of hits to camp content only.
  2. I could start playing the video on the iDevice and could easily transfer playing of it to the Apple TV (via AirPlay). This is very convenient!
  3. The app does the book keeping which recordings I have already seen.

To my regret the Apple TV CCC app was never updated after the initial release and is not working / defect for several years now. Apple also censored some of the recordings in the existing app, maybe that is one reason noone updated the app. There does seem to be a release and tutorial for installing it on your device manually, bypassing the AppStore, but it refers to a release from 2015, that was more than seven years ago. Looks like one has to build a new app using the proper API. For the Camp23 you can fetch the JSON via following API call:

List of recordings:

  • The difficult path to Climate Neutrality
    This talk gives you a real world view on what really needs to be changed in production processes to stop emitting carbon dioxide. Trigger warning, this will be very disappointing to you, because nearly every solution will need huge amounts of carbon neutrally sourced energy.

  • FireSide Hackerspaces
    Mitch Altman and aprica give an update about past & future of hackerspaces. I heard for the first time about the

  • Hacken, dass…?
    I would highly recommend watching this as a classic saturday evening entertainment show. It is really funny and I loved the coffee-bots LIVE act performance brought to you by c-atre. Here is some additional movie of the coffeebots. Aaaaand I also learned about FlatCat (movie).

  • Bosch sensors in the flow3r badge
    I really enjoyed this talk because it gives some real insight into how e.g. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) components are designed. Several of these sensors are built into the flow3r-badge.

  • Freie interaktive Karten mit VersaTiles
    I really liked this talk about because I work with maps on a regular basis and I also know mapbox and leaflet and maplibre. This could be a nice addition to my portfolio of map-stack skills.

  • Delta Chat messenger
    No real news on delta chat here. The only thing I recognized is that delta chat now pushes their own web-based application format called WEBXDC. Why you would need this I do not know.

…to be continued/content added…

Why do I blog this? I just want to share my experience. I know that my experience sounds rather negative. This is due to the fact that the whole camp to me personally was too big to handle anymore. Also i was pre-stressed already when arriving at the camp, so that my resilience to fuckups just had reached ground zero. I picked the wrong spot for my tent and that added to a very noisy and exhausting overall experience – and this is purely my own fault. It shaped my negative view on the camp23 a lot. I am still unable to see the good things because I am angry about how this camp experience developed for me personally. I will stop visiting camps. This was the last camp I visited as a participant. Three things contributed to this decision primarily: 1. The amount of kids in that space. It felt to me (as not being a parent) like sitting on a playground for kids but not having kids on your own. I felt strongly in the wrong place because this camp just became a kids place. 2. The disturbing status of the hygiene infrastructure like dirty & broken toilets was to me so disgusting, that I will not do this again. 3. The two-class camp ground (inside of the fence and outside of the fence and the invasion of all the caravans/glampers with their own toilets and sucking additional current from the Diesel Generators vs. simple tents) — I am still happy I could provide something valuable to the Bits & Bäume village, but in hindsight, I should have left the camp already on day 2 – even though that would have meant to leave infrastructure behind which I brought to setup parts of the village. I am very disappointed by this years camp. To me the camp is now the C5, the Chaos Communication Children & Caravaning Camp I won’t visit any future camps anymore. Goodbye Camp, it was nice as long as it lasted! — All images shown in this blog post are my own creations. Except the header image with „#CCCAMP23“ which I borrowed from the website and the ones where I explicitly mention that they were created by someone else.

Rest in Peace Twitter, jetzt aber wirklich…

Seit dieser Woche hat Twitter, die Plattform die sich einstmals als Microblogging-Dienst sah, die Möglichkeiten abgeschafft, dass Drittanbieter z.B. mit Apps wie Tweetbot mit dem Dienst interagieren dürfen. Der API Zugriff für Apps wurde einfach gesperrt. Ich denke nahezu jeder der Twitter mal nutzte, tat dies überwiegend mit dem Smartphone, also mit einer App eines Drittanbieters. Denn im Vergleich, bot die eigene App von Twitter oft die deutlich schlechtere User Experience.

Ich nutze Twitter schon lang nicht mehr, aber es ist dennoch ein dickes Ding zusehen zu müssen, wie die Drittanbieter bzw. deren Entwickler vor vollendete Tatsachen gestellt werden und ihnen MATRIX-Movie-gleich der Stecker gezogen wird. Keine einzige Big Tech Company sollte sich wundern, warum ihnen kein einziger Entwickler vertraut. Egal ob Google, oder Apple, oder Twitter oder Facebook oder Amazon… diese Art des Vorgehens kommt einer öffentlichen Hinrichtung gleich wie damals im wilden Westen Verbrecher am nächsten Baum aufgehangen wurden.

Die baumelnden Leichen (Tweetbot, Twitterific, etc.) zeigen der aktuellen Generation von Entwicklern, auf was sie sich einlassen, wenn sie mit den Big Techs Geschäfte machen wollen. Die jetzt wertlosen Apps zeigen wunderschön, wer hier mächtig ist und wer ohnmächtig zuschauen muss. Ich hoffe die Entwickler die sich oft und gerne auf Konferenzen hinstellen und von INDIE Development fabulieren, lernen ebenfalls ihre Lektion aus dieser Geschichte.

Why do I blog this? Für mich ist bereits vor Jahren klar geworden auf welcher Sprengfalle man sitzt, sofern man sich als Entwickler in die Abhängigkeit von Big Tech Firmen begibt. Es ist eine beispielhafte Demonstration der Macht, die Twitter hier ausführt. Aus meiner Sicht ist damit Twitters Zukunft weitgehend besiegelt. Kein Drittentwickler wird Twitter nochmal anfassen und ihre eigene App wurde ja aus guten Gründen von vielen Nutzern des Dienstes gemieden. Daher: Rest in peace, Twitter. Jetzt auch aus Entwicklersicht!

0xfefe: Danke für Nichts (Post mortem)

Der eine oder andere hat vielleicht schonmal von Fefe’s Blog gehört. Das ist eine Blog-Installation, die durch die Person Felix von Leitner mit regelmäßigen Inhalten gefüllt wird. Ich weiß nicht wann ich zum ersten Mal mit dem Blog in Berührung gekommen bin, aber das muss so um den 27c3 herum gewesen sein. Ich bin zum ersten Mal mit Inhalten von Fefe konfrontiert worden im Rahmen der Fnord News Show bzw. der Fnord Jahresrückblick 2009 auf dem Chaos Communication Congress 26c3 (mein erster Congress).

Als ich zum Zeitpunkt des 27c3 ein Jahr später Langeweile hatte, begann ich während wir mit einigen CCC’lern dem 27c3 per Videostream beiwohnten, eine kleine iOS App zu basteln, die Inhalte von Fefe’s Blog per RSS-Feed abholen und anzeigen sollte. Die erste primitive Version funktionierte bereits gegen Ende des 27c3 auf meinem Development iDevice, damals noch ein iPhone 3GS.

Nachdem die App einigermaßen stabil lief, packte ich die einfach kostenlos in den AppStore. Zu dem Zeitpunkt war ich ein eher schlechter iOS Developer (weil noch Anfänger in Sachen iOS) und ich habe iOS an einigen Stellen absolut nicht verstanden. Die App lief zwar, aber sie hatte einige extrem CPU-ineffiziente Stellen, da ich ein paar fancy Animationen haben wollte und die Renderingmechanismen bis zur Unkenntlichkeit falsch benutzt habe.

Die Fefe App (2010)

Hier ein Rückblick auf die erste Version der App die so um 2012 existierte und durchaus eine recht lustige User Experience bot durch die fancy Animationen:

Launch Screen Postingübersicht Posting mit Kommentaren Farbschema grün Farbschema Cyan

All diese runden Gebilde drehte sich in sich selbst und es gab ein herrlich dynamisches Gesamtbild. Man beachte, dass es zu dieser Zeit Kommentare zu Fefe’s Blog gab über eine nicht zum Blog selbst gehörende URL als Service refefe ( Das heisst Leute konnten da extern kommentieren und als ich das mitbekommen hatte, hab ich die Kommentare natürlich ebenfalls in der App angezeigt.

Aufgebaut hatte den re:Fefe-Service (vermutlich auch aus blossem Spass an der Freud) Linus Neumann. In 2013 hielt Linus zusammen mit anderen dazu einen recht empfehlenswerten und kurzweiligen Vortrag mit dem Titel „Die Trolldrossel (Erkenntnisse der empirischen Trollforschung)“ (hier bei Youtube).

Später bekam Linus für diese Aktion noch eine Abmahnung von Fefe’s Anwalt (zumindest sah das für Außenstehende so aus) das Schreiben (Seite 1, Seite 2, Seite 3) schaut zunächst ernstgemeint aus, aber das Veröffentlichungsdatum 1. April sollte bereits stutzig machen.

Und so berechtigt war es dann auch die Echtheit zu bezweifeln. Die Aufklärung zu dem Schreiben wurde auf der Anwaltsseite selbst veröffentlicht mit dem Wortlaut:

[…] Nachdem die Trollkommentar-Datenbank bemerkenswerte Ausmaße annahm und damit repräsentative Auswertung erlaubte, war es an der Zeit, das re Fefe-Blog würdig zu beenden.

Ein bloßes Abschalten hätten jedoch die Trolle nicht verstanden und als Zensur bewertet. Zudem konnte niemand voraussagen, wie die Trolle auf einen kalten Entzug reagieren würden. Um sich aus der Schusslinie zu nehmen, bat mich Linus um einen anwaltlichen False Flag-Angriff in Form einer 1.April-Abmahnung, die gegenüber den Trollen das Abschalten „erklärte“. Fefe war natürlich eingeweiht und einverstanden. […]

Der ReFefe-Service und die Kommentare wurden dann im April 2014 eingestellt mit Hinweis auf das Fake-Anwaltsschreiben mit dem folgenden Hinweis:

Da mir rechtliche Konsequenzen drohen, muss ich diese Seite leider schließen.
Mein Anwalt rät mir, mich nicht zum laufenden Verfahren zu äußern.
Ich hoffe ihr habt dafür Verständnis.

Mich hat damals – als ich begann Fefe’s Inhalte zu besuchen – denke ich die reine Sensationslust zu diesem Blog getrieben. Ich fand die Art und Weise wie dort polarisiert wurde vermutlich anziehend. Heute würde ich sagen, es war viel mehr mein Ego das von diesem Blog angezogen wurde. Das Ego, das nach einfachen Lösungen nach klaren Bewertungen, nach Empörung gesucht hat, um sich sein eigenes vielfach negatives Weltbild zu verstärken. Ich war unwissend. Mein Blick war verstellt. Mein Unbewusstsein hat es geschehen lassen, dass ich für dieses Blog eine App erstellt habe, die möglicherweise sogar noch zu dessen Popularität beigetragen hat (ebenso wie übrigens Re:Fefe).

Primär hatte mich eigentlich nur interessiert, iOS Aps zu entwickeln und die Möglichkeiten des iDevice auszureizen. Ich wollte mich optisch mit dem Userinterface alternativ ausprobieren und zugleich ein wenig mit CoreGraphics und CoreAnimation – zwei wichtigen iOS Frameworks – Spass haben. Rückblickend bedauere ich es sehr, für dieses Blog eine App entwickelt zu haben.

Nunja die Zeit ging ins Land, da die App funktionierte, bekam sie lange Zeit kein Update. iOS 7 brachte dann den großen UI-Style-Wechsel in UIKit und es war notwendig alle Apps anzupassen. Da ich eine Menge eigener Apps anpassen musste, nahm ich das zum Anlass eine zweite Version der App zu entwickeln und die Fefe App damit ebenso an den neuen Stil anzupassen. Diesmal, um meine Learnings im iOS Development einzubringen und das UI deutlich effizienter und performanter zu bauen. Für mich war es wieder eher die technische Challenge die mich erneut dazu trieb die App zu erweitern.

Die 0xfefe App (2014)

Es entstand die 0xfefe App, die App im Store wurde also auch umbenannt von Fefe in 0xfefe. Ziel der neuen Version war zugleich, die App nicht mehr ausschließlich an Fefe’s Blog zu koppeln. Stattdessen sollte die App beliebige RSS-Feeds als Quelle nutzen können. Diese App war daher in der Lage, jede beliebige RSS-Feed-URL als Konfiguration zu verwenden und den Feed dahinter anzuzeigen. Das ließ sich über die iOS Settings konfigurieren und war auch meine technische Rückversicherung, falls Apple die App wegen der Inhalte ablehnen sollte. Wär die App abgelehnt worden, hätte ich einfach einen anderen RSS-Feed integriert und den Nutzern einen Hinweis eingeblendet, wie sie ihr Lieblingsblog selbst konfigurieren könnten.

In der Praxis, haben allerdings lange nicht alle RSS-Feeds so gut mit der App funktioniert, wie der Feed von Fefe’s Blog, was daran lag, dass viele der RSS-Feeds da draussen im Web keine Full-Content-Feeds sind. Ich selbst hab nur während der Entwicklung andere Feeds konfiguriert, um zu testen, ob alles damit klar geht. Im täglichen Betrieb hatte ich nie eine andere URL konfiguriert.

Die zweite Version der App war letztlich ein weitreichender Rewrite. Das gesamte UI wurde neu geschrieben und auch um eine SoundEngine mit vielen lustigen Sounds bereichert. Es gab Favoriten und Statistiken und umfangreiche Konfigurationsoptionen. Viele neue Farbschemata kamen hinzu (inklusive eines Tageslicht-Scheme; das früh die Dark-/Light-Theme Features die heute normal sind vorwegnahm), und die fancy Animationen der Post-Entry-Buttons wurden auf CoreAnimation-konforme Technik umgestellt, die nur einen winzigen Bruchteil der vorherigen Performance schluckte.

Wem einige der App Sounds bekannt vorkamen, der hat vielleicht bemerkt, dass ich einige Sounds aus einer Flash-Datei extrahiert hatte, die damals von Kim Schmitz (alias Kimble) auf seiner Webseite kimvestor abrufbar war. Ich fand die Sounds so schön futuristisch und da es mir ja lediglich um ein Spassprojekt ging, hab ich da auch beherzt reverse-engineered, um die Sounds aus der kimvestor-flash-Datei zu extrahieren.

Hier ein Überblick über die App Version 2:

Postingübersicht Posting Favoriten Statistik Einstellungen

Wie man in den Screenshots sehen kann, kamen eine Menge nützlicher Features hinzu. Unter anderem gab es jetzt einen Favoriten-Speicher. Jeder favorisierte Post wurde auf dem iPhone in der App persistent gespeichert und war Volltext-durchsuchbar und -exportierbar. Das war durchaus nützlich, wenn man mal einen Post von Fefe auf die Schnelle gesucht hat.

Ein weiteres schönes Feature, was gar nicht so trivial zu implementieren war, war die Statistik. Die App hat auf Wunsch eine Statistik über Verweilzeiten und Abrufzahlen geführt und ausschließlich lokal gespeichert (da wurde auch nie irgendwas aus der App jemals „nach Hause telefoniert“). Diese Statistik wurde dann fein in einem Tortendiagramm animiert aufbereitet. Es kann zuweilen erschrecken wenn einem die Statistik belegt, wieviel Lebenszeit man der App gewidmet hat. Ich werde meine persönliche Nutzungsstatistik weiter unten in meinem Fazit veröffentlichen.

Das Ende der App (2019)

Das Jahresende 2019 sollte dann das finale Ende der App einläuten (zumindest für alle anderen außer mir). Mitbekommen sollte ich das nur indirekt… über einen Post in Fefe’s Blog (den ich hier mal zitiere):

Einige Leser haben mich darauf hingewiesen, dass irgendeine ominöse App-Klitsche gegen Geld auf Android und Apple eine Fefe-App anbietet.

Nein, die App kommt nicht von mir. Nein, die haben vorher nicht gefragt. Nein, ich finde das nicht gut.

Sollte ich dagegen vorgehen? Gute Frage. Muss ich mal drüber nachdenken.

Der Beißreflex ist natürlich da. Auf der anderen Seite verkaufen die kein Abo, und natürlich hat die App nichts, was man nicht auch im Browser hat.

Ich sähe ehrlich gesagt akuteren Handlungsbedarf, wenn jemand eine App mit meinen Inhalten anbietet, die dann Werbung einblendet.

Auf der anderen Seite besteht natürlich die Gefahr, dass ich Nachahmer einlade, wenn ich da jetzt nicht verbrannte Erde hinterlasse.

Alles nicht so einfach. […]

Ein wenig Recherche ergab dann auch, warum es da plötzlich eine solche Interruption gab, denn auf Twitter wurde ich recht schnell fündig:

Ich möchte auf den Post den Fefe dazu schrieb gar nicht mehr groß eingehen (man soll Vergangenes ruhen lassen), aber es ist schlicht nicht wahr, dass Fefe nicht von der App wusste. Denn ich hatte ihm sogar am 2. Januar 2015 im Nachgang des Congress einen echten Brief (so richtig auf Papier) geschrieben an die Adresse die im Impressum steht:

Fefes Blog
c/o Raumfahrtagentur
Gerichtsstrasse 66
D-13347 Berlin

Hier ein Auszug aus dem Brief der an Fefe ging…

Wer sich fragt um welche Sticker es da in dem Brief geht… hier eine Übersicht:

Diese Sticker hatte ich für den Congress in 2014 erstellt und in den Stickerboxen des Congress auch unter die Teilnehmer gebracht. Ich fand das Logo so hübsch, dass ich da paar Sticker von haben wollte.

Persönliches Fazit

Es war von Beginn an ein Fehler mit einer App Fefe’s Blog noch bekannter zu machen und den Zugang dazu auf einem iOS Gerät komfortabel über eine App kostenlos zu ermöglichen. Denn die Inhalte sind meiner Ansicht nach polarisierend, vereinfachend und überwiegend negativer Natur. Sie propagieren eine negative Weltsicht und füttern die empörungssüchtigen Egos der Besucher mittels Zynismus und Schadenfreude. Das lenkt ab von den eigentlich konstruktiven Möglichkeiten sich in der Welt positiv einzubringen. Daher rate ich vom Lesen von Fefe denjenigen ab, die nicht ihre negative Weltsicht (die ihnen ihr Verstand in Form des eigenen Ego präsentiert) weiter verstärken möchten.

Die App war übrigens fast immer kostenlos, bis auf eine Ausnahme, bei der ich Spam-Kommentare durch einen Minimalpreis von 0,79€ eine Zeit lang ausschließen wollte. Aber auch das hab ich dann später gelassen. Auch ein In-App-Purchase gab es mal, aber das war mehr, um IAP auszuprobieren und wurde ebenfalls eingestellt. Leider listet der AppStore einmal angelegte IAP’s für immer und ewig. Mein Pech.

Wer denkt ich hätte damit Geld verdient… der mache sich bitte sein eigenes Bild aus den Umsatz/Gewinn-Zahlen die Apple hier für den Zeitraum 2015 bis heute anzeigt:

Muss enttäuschend sein, wenn man erkennen muss, dass lediglich ca. 1000 Downloads von der App existierten und damit genau 0$ Umsatz/Gewinn gemacht wurden, tja. Was mich eher ärgert, dass die Apps soviele Crashes hatte, LOL.

Ich finde es schade, auf welche Art und Weise die App aus dem Store letztlich verschwand und möchte hier nochmal klarstellen, dass ich die App selbst aus dem Store genommen habe, weil ich keinen Bock auf irgend einen Fefe-Mob hatte, der mir dann eventuell meine anderen (für mich wirklich wichtigen) Apps oder andere Infrastruktur kaputtmacht. Ich hoffe dass der Mensch auf Twitter (den ich im Screenshot da oben verlinkt habe) sich nach seiner Aktion besser gefühlt hat. Er hat sein Ego sicher prima mit neuem Futter versorgt. Schade, denn für alle anderen hat er ein weitgehend ehrenamtlich gepflegtes Stück Software ungeplant deorbit’ed, für 15 minutes of fame!

Ich bin ihm jedoch im nachhinein dankbar für diesen Vorgang und vergebe seinem Ego. Denn für mich persönlich hat der Vorgang einen neuen Weg aufgezeigt, der mir persönlich eine deutlich konstruktivere und positivere Weiterentwicklung ermöglicht, die mir wichtiger ist als eine App die ich als Just-for-Fun-Projekt hatte.

Noch wichtiger ist jedoch, dass ich auch Zeit gewinne. Die App hat mich nicht nur bei der Entwicklung wertvolle Lebenszeit gekostet, sondern insgesamt über 329 Stunden wertvolle Zeit, das sind fast 2 volle Wochen meiner Lebenszeit nur durch das Lesen der Inhalte. Hier ein letzter Blick auf die App, bevor ich sie auch von meinem iDevice für immer heute gelöscht habe:

Letzte Übersicht Prozentuale Nutzung Absolute Zeit der Nutzung Anzahl Favoriten Löschung der App

Ich seh‘ es positiv: Ich hatte fast 10 Jahre meinen Spaß.

Dennoch, ich sage explizit an dieser Stelle „Danke für Nichts!“, denn letztlich hat mich das Blog und seine Postings fehlgeleitet und mich wertvolle Lebenszeit gekostet. Zumindest bin ich u.a. durch diese App ein deutlich besserer App Developer geworden. Und diese App war unter anderem auch die Source Code Grundlage für mehrere Congress Fahrplan Apps die es sonst so vermutlich nie gegeben hätte:

Why do I blog this? Ich schließe jetzt Anfang 2022 u.a. mit einigen Kapiteln meines bisherigen Lebens ab. Nämlich u.a. mit Negativität in jeder Form die meine Aufmerksamkeit in der Vergangenheit bekam. Fefe’s Blog ist für mich persönlich eine Quelle an Negativität. Mein Blick war lange Zeit verstellt das zu erkennen, aber es ist nicht gesund, sich Zynismus und Schadenfreude hinzugeben, oder auch nur seine negativen Erwartungen an die Zukunft verstärken zu lassen die so niemals eintreten müssen. Die Posts in Fefe’s Blog sollen aber Empörungscharakter haben und die negative Weltsicht von Fefe selbst bestärken, um letztlich sein Ego mit einem „Told you so“ zu boosten. Das Blog ist aus meiner Sicht ein Ego-Boosting-Projekt das jeden Besucher erfolgreich trollt. Eine positive Zukunft ist denkbar und möglich und es macht mehr Sinn sein eignes Ego nicht mit Negativität zu füttern und das fremde Ego von Fefe ebenso nicht mit Klickzahlen zu füttern. Man sollte es lassen die ganzen negativen Nachrichten in sich aufzusaugen. Das führt langfristig zu keiner einzigen Verbesserung. TL;DR: „Keep calm… …and don’t read Fefe.“ Andere bewerten das noch deutlich klarer und schrieben das auch nieder.