[openbeos] Re: Haiku Presenticasts

  • From: "Ben Allen" <ben.allen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 14:24:59 -0500

On 5/4/07, Simon Taylor <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Presentations are a good way of communicating key points to people
quickly. Many people are more comfortable learning by watching a
presentation than by reading text. So let's put some presentations on the

I completely agree.  While reading documentation and tutorials is useful,
seeing and hearing someone walk through a process or project is much more
helpful to a lot of people.  As an example, check out
http://www.rubyonrails.org/screencasts , particularly the first two videos.
Each is a very short walkthrough of a developer creating a solution to a
problem in a short amount of time, and by the end, they have a working
finished product with some kind of practical value.

This serves two main purposes at once.  The first and most obvious purpose
is that the presentations have a tutorial aspect, allowing interested
developers to learn about certain techniques or technologies from a Haiku
expert.  Secondly, videos like this have a marketing/evangelistic aspect,
essentially "showing off" what the system can do.  The Rails videos linked
above are watchable and generally understandable even for those who aren't
familiar with the Rails system or the Ruby language; people who aren't
interested in code walk away from the presentation with a sense like "wow, I
can create a functional, useful web application with that system much more
quickly and easily than with the system I use now".

A series of videos like that for Haiku (even if only a few) could really be
useful and could possibly serve as potential viral marketing fodder.  The
only drawback I can see is finding someone with the equipment, time, and
talent to create them.  Even if one person were to write the
code/application, another person did the on-camera presentation and
voice-overs, and another did the video production and editing aspects,
producing a single video could take a significant amount of time.  I have a
feeling that unless we have a decent sized group of volunteers working on
this, posting a new video per week is probably a bit much.  Rather than
periodic content, I (personally at least) would prefer to see three or four
videos in the 4-6 minute range, released "when they're finished", on general
Haiku-related topics and on details that aren't going to change any time
soon (such as the API for creating a BApplication and a GUI).  Since a lot
of things are still in a state of flux, I'd think that avoiding anything
involving hardware or setup should probably be avoided since they are likely
to change (I'd hate to see people spend a lot of time and effort producing a
quality video that gets outdated and deleted in six months).

If no one steps forward to volunteer to assist with video production, may I
suggest an alternative that my University uses for distance learning and
Internet classes.  In lieu of a full video presentation, an online
presentation is created either as a series of "one-big-image" web pages or
as a flash video, and a presenter needs only to record voice-over clips that
play while you view the associated content.  This can be anything from a
slide show of screenshots detailing a step-by-step process to a video
capture of the presenter's desktop (or even a mix of the two).  The simplest
presentation is the screenshot/voice-over method, and a professor (working
alone) can typically take all the needed screenshots and record the audio
for a 4-6 minute presentation and have the presentation online in about two
hours of work (a presentation template already exists to simplify the online
side, just upload 1.png, 1.mp3, 2.png, 2.mp3, etc etc and the server does
the hard part).  Something like this would take less time and manpower than
a full video presentation, and if in the future something needed to be
changed, individual "slides" or "pages" can be added, removed, or changed
rather easily.  If a slide involves code, the page can include the text of
the code (or a link to download the file if the code is long) below the
image for readability and for ease of following along at home.  Links to
relevant API documentation, etc can also be provided on a per-slide basis.
For off-line viewing, a slide show with background audio can relatively
easily be produced in powerpoint/openoffice formats out of a web
presentation done this way.

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth of thoughts


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