[openbeos] Re: Waltercon 07

  • From: "Ryan Leavengood" <leavengood@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 15:39:38 -0400

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.


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