[openbeos] Re: Waltercon 07

  • From: Simon Taylor <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 9:55:44 +0000

Hi Koki and all,

> Who talked about a professional, business-style conference?

I chose the wrong paragraph to quote in my email. You mentioned to determine 
content you need to agree on goals, I was making the point that to agree on 
goals one must have a target audience in mind, and suggested  the professional 
developer with no Haiku knowledge was not a sensible target audience. Apologies 
if my presentation implied that was your suggestion, that wasn't intentional.

Now I will not attempt to reply to all your points individually as I don't want 
my core argument to be lost. Hopefully I'll deal with some of them below though.

What type of people is Haiku looking for now? I'd say some more developers may 
be useful (we've just had an influx of GSoCers so too many more would make it 
hard for Axel to police the coding-guideline-conformity of every new check-in!) 
Also we can build awareness in the group that is open to trying new OSes as 
users, people in the Linux community for example, who may be interested in 
taking a look at Haiku when it is released. It is important for the developers 
to move along the awareness->understanding pathway you mentioned, but for the 
casual interested users I would settle for awareness->"maintained interest" for 
now. For them interest can be maintained simply by having an active website and 
community. Certainly I wouldn't expect those people to pay large sums of money 
to attend a Haiku conference, regardless of content - it's not as though 
there's any really cool Haiku end-user apps in development that they might like 
to see demoed.

So then we move to the potential Haiku developers. If these people are to be 
successful contributors to the project, they will be required to work things 
out for themselves and work independently and remotely from other contributors. 
If they are unable to work out what to do given good web resources (more on 
that below) they are unlikely to be good long term contributors to the project.

If I attended an event like SCaLE, saw Haiku demoed and picked up a flyer, what 
would I do? My first step would be to look at the website for more information. 
I might then go into the IRC channel to meet people and chat about the project, 
and get my questions answered "live". Only then would I consider going to a 
conference on the OS. Although it's true that some people prefer presentations 
as a way of picking up information - paying $100s and spending a weekend to see 
a presentation on the BeAPI is a much bigger barrier to entry than just reading 
the BeBook online.

In order to allow as many potential developers as possible to gain the 
understanding required to take the plunge it would be good to have information 
available in different forms. But why limit the presentation audience to those 
who can afford the time and money to attend WC? Why not use the web? If 
developers (or even non-haiku devs who know the BeAPI - I might even be 
persuaded to get the ball rolling) could produce and record video presentations 
we could host them on the website and hugely increase the reach of the 
information - especially among the target very-web-savvy audience. If new 
presentations were made on a semi-regular basis it would keep people coming 
back to the website, both making the project look active and providing a new 
introductory path in Haiku development for people. Note this is different from 
simply providing a video of a live talk - the videos are actually intended for 
a web audience, can be edited so the slides are digital rather than recorded 
  a projector, could contain associated sample code downloads, could be part of 
an ongoing series rather than a one-off event, and don't make web users feel as 
though they missed out from not attending the latest WC.

Bringing it back to WC - I think it's still good to have an event to meet up 
with other people, but no-one outside the regulars are likely to spend the time 
and effort to attend. If people are willing to create presentation-style 
content, Haiku's limited time and resources would be far better spent creating 
the content for a web audience - making it available to a greatly larger 
audience, at a time that suits them.

Koki, if you still believe WC as an event holds real unique power to attract 
new people outside the regulars - then what group of people do you think they 
are, and what content is there that would attract them that wouldn't be better 
available to everyone on the web?

ps: grr, I really intended this to be a short email!

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