[openbeos] Re: Haiku Presenticasts

  • From: Simon Taylor <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 10:46:44 +0000

Hi again everyone,

I just had my last exam (possibly ever, woo!) yesterday, so I'm catching up on 
stuff now.

> From: "Axel Dörfler" <axeld@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>
> While the idea isn't bad in general, there is also a lot of work 
> involved - and don't forget Haiku is still a moving target which will 
> easily make that effort outdated.

True, which may make presentations about internals infeasible. Although that 
would be a shame, there's still things that are fixed - the goals of the 
project and reasons for it's existance, the core Be API, and the general "Be 
way" of doing things.

It will be a fair amount of work, but so is producing high-quality written 
articles. Articles are perhaps easier to update but still I believe 
presentations are an easier route to getting information for a lot of people 
and so it is worth doing.
 
> > "Getting Started With Haiku using BeOS R5"
> 
> With the limited choice of hardware BeOS runs on, I'm not sure if 
> that's a good idea (especially if the plan is to get new people 
> involved) - maybe we should instead advertise Linux as the build and 
> development platform.
> Most of the people who want to run BeOS already do if they can.

True. I should have made it clear my initial list was things _I_ could produce. 
I don't use linux so someone else would need to volunteer for that. On the BeOS 
front, I was considering producing an minimal R5 "distro" which was R5.0.3 with 
a few newer drivers, the development tools, Haiku's jam, etc. If nothing else 
people could download the image and use it through VMWare.

> From: "Ben Allen" <ben.allen@xxxxxxxxx>
>
> 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.

Thanks for the link. I had a look at the first one and had a few comments. 
Firstly it seemed a bit rushed - I've never seen Ruby and just didn't get it. 
The fact it was happening live was interesting but I found it kind of 
distracting - I'd rather see a slide that described the code and have the 
presenter talk through what each line did, rather than typing it quickly, 
switching windows, and shouting "oops!" repeatedly (which was pretty funny 
after a few minutes).

> [...]
> 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. 

Yes, I wouldn't try to stick to any schedule religiously, providing they're 
vaguely frequent (like the OpenBeOS newsletters were, Back In The Day (2)). 
Those screencasts seemed pretty quick to produce - 15 minutes to do and record 
the voiceover, there wasn't much editing. Obviously it had to be planned and 
practiced a bit too. The content I'm envisaging is a bit more involved but 
again I don't think it's much more time consuming than good quality written 
stuff and is more engaging for the audience.

> [Content: based on stable stuff, not hardware/setup issues]

Agreed.

> [suggestion:] 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.  [...]
> Something like this would take less time and manpower than
> a full video presentation

The type of video I'm imagining would not be much harder - it would be similar 
to the Google Tech Talk - mainly a slide with an inset with the video. A few 
cuts to screenshots/casts to demonstrate stuff being described. Probably less 
effort initially in fact, as it has low server-side requirements (videos can 
just be uploaded to YouTube or similar).

> 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.

Per-slide presentation does have a number of advantages, especially in terms of 
updating. I suspect presentations would be short enough that an overall list of 
realted links/downloads for the entire video would be OK though (not 
necessarily the case in a 1 hour distance learning lecture). I'd definately 
like the "presentation" on a page with proper interactivity (not just a load of 
YouTube comments!) allowing Q&A and follow ups, related stuff links, along with 
general comments.

> A couple of comments about an existing screencast

I'm thinking more presentation-style than screencast-with-voiceover, but for 
certain topics that may be a better approach.

I'm intending to give the first one of these a go in the next couple of weeks, 
I'll post a message when it's done in order to get some feedback.

Simon

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