Archive for October, 2006

BarCamp Ireland was a run away success

After an unexpected bad traffic jam at Abbeyleix, I finally made it down to Cork late Friday.  (It was only unexpected because I forgot the National Ploughing Champianships were nearby).  

The first person I met when I entered Webworks on Saturday morning was Conor O'Neill.  I don't think I have ever met anyone with so much energy.  Conor, Damien and Walter really out did themselves with all the organization for the day and hense the day ran like a dream.  The venue was amazing and allowed people to flow between the talk with ease.

Anyone that wanted to talk were invited to add there name to the time slots marked out on the flip chart.  The first talk I listened to was Simon McGarr.  I must apologise for tapping away at my keyboard all the way through Simon's talk as I was trying to put my slides back together.  I left the slides at home in Dublin.  I wasn't sure what the connectivity would be like on the day so luckily I had recorded all my demos to avi.   I still had them on the laptop so was able to add them to the slides.

Simon talked about Digital Rights Ireland and their action against Minister for Justice, Minister for Communications, Garda Commissioner, AG and Ireland.  (Hope I didn't leave anyone out there)  After this, I moved upstairs to hear Conor O'Neill talk about Microformats.  I was not aware that I was already using micorformats and it definitely seems like an interesting area.  The next session I attended was Eoghan McCabe's discussion on Search Engine Optimisation.  This was a great interactive discussion with a lot of various and conflicting views in the room.

I then moved downstairs to see Brian Caulfield's talk on Understanding and accessing venture capital funding.  I really enjoyed Brian's talk and got a good insight into what influences a VC's decision to fund or not to fund.

We broke for lunch and I had a good chat with Jan Blanchard, Craig Powell and Eoghan McCabe.  Eoghan showed me his business card and I have to say, I was well impressed.  The sponsors really outdid themselves with sambo's, soft drinks and of course the wine from bubble brothers.  I decided to stay off the wine myself but by all accounts it was pretty good.

After lunch I went to see Walter Higgins of Sxoop talk about Javascript Bombshells which was I found pretty interesting.  He has been doing a bit of work with templating using Trimpath Template.  He has also been using JKL.parseXML by Yusuke Kawasaki. This seems to put a wrapper around the XML DOM to allow for cleaner DOM tree manipulation.   I have been doing a bit of work manipulation DOM trees in Javascript lately so will have to look into this one further.  

I slipped out of Walters talk earlier as I was due to talk next in another room and wasn't sure if the other speakers were finished yet.  It turned out that we were running a little behind so I caught the end of John Breslin's talk about the Semantic Web.  It is amazing how disjointed a lot of the information is on the "World Wide Web".  The semantic web tries to structure and link information together. 

After John's talk I went up stairs give my talk on what AJAX is and an overview of the various technologies involved.  I have to admit I was pretty nervous after loosing the slides and trying to remember everything I had planned to talk about it.  I think it went well but on reflection, maybe I should have ran all of my demos live rather than prerecording them.  This would have giving the audience a better understanding of AJAX's ability. Well we live and we learn.

After my Ajax talk, James Corbett talked about OPML's ability to group RSS feeds together and move then from one application to another.  This was then followed by Tom Morris who showed some mashups that he developed using OPML.

Finally I went to the Pecha Kucha session.  Walter and Conor are both keeping pretty quiet about what is involved so I going to follow their example.  Let's just saw, it is great craic and the perfect way to finish up the day.

One unique thing about the day is that everyone got a different experience.  As there were always three talks on at any one time, it was impossible to see all the talkers.  Hence, the one complaint I have of Barcamp is that I could not be in three places at one time.  Who knows that maybe possible at some future Barcamp. :-)

So all in all, Barcamp Ireland was a total success where techies and technologist alike came together to talk about what ever they wanted.  Thank you to everyone involved for a fantastic day.

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