On 5/3/07, Simon Taylor <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
ps: Is anyone else actually reading this thread? I'd like to hear some other views on whether a "Haiku conference" actually makes any sense given the current state of development of the project and the people (new developers for the Haiku project itself) we are trying to attract.
I attended WalterCon 06 only because it was in Orlando, FL, which happens to be about three hours drive from where I live. While it was not as super-professional and structured as other conferences it was still enjoyable and re-invigorated my efforts to develop for the project. I still have the desire to continue my development efforts for Haiku, but other professional obligations keep me too busy at the moment. When time permits I'll be more active. Anyhow while certain kinds of presentations could help jump start some developers, I think just attending can start a certain "buzz" inside of someone to inspire them to work on the project. That is what happened with me. Of course I had developed for Haiku previously and was really just brought back from a hiatus, so I don't know if the same would happen with people completely new to the project. Also I would not have attended if it was not within driving distance. In regards to the email exchange between Simon and Jorge, I think both of you make good points. I heartily agree with Simon that some better web content would be very helpful, especially something like screencasts. I recently downloaded the latest Ubuntu and while I'm fairly technical, I decided to watch a screencast about downloading, validating and burning the Ubuntu image. In nine minutes of video hosted on Google Video I was brought up to speed and learned about several free and useful utilities for Windows which help in successfully getting ISO images into a CD. I think similar content could be fantastic for Haiku and would have minimal requirements on the Haiku servers with services like Google Video and YouTube. In fact I may see about producing some of these, once my schedule frees up :) In regards to Jorge's emails, I can see the point you are trying to make. Let me try to summarize some points that I got out of it: - The project is at a point where WalterCon needs to become a more serious event and not just an informal gathering of Haiku/BeOS geeks. - There should be plenty of time for planning the event. - There should be much more marketing of the event than just emails on a mailing list. - There should be a more structured schedule for the event, with one or more well-defined tracks of talks, a keynote or two, etc. I personally don't disagree with these points, but I do think Simon has a point that even with such efforts we may not attract many people outside the current BeOS/Haiku community at this stage of the project. One thing I would suggest is something that the Ruby programming language community originally did with their US conference: scheduled it in the same place and right before another conference with attendees with similar interests. In the case of Ruby the "other" conference was OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications.) I attended (and presented at) the first Ruby Conference in 2001, and I saw the overlap of people from OOPSLA who just decided to "drop by" Ruby Conf since they were in town and at a hotel already. Of course now that Ruby has gotten much more popularity (in large part due to the Rail web framework), RubyConf is scheduled and located independently. But in those first few years, "cuddling" up to OOPSLA helped get more attendees to the conference. I think the same could be done for Haiku. We would just need to figure out what conferences might hold the most people who would be curious about Haiku (LinuxExpo, an O'Reilly Conference like OSCON or Emerging Technology Conference?) People would be more willing to pay another $150 or so dollars to attend the Haiku conference if they are already paying for a flight and a few days in a hotel for another conference. Regards, Ryan