Another Barcamp bites the dust

Barcamp Hong Kong 2008 sponsors
Photo: Ryanne Lai

Like last year, this years’ Barcamp Hong Kong attracted some amazing people. The sponsors have clearly grown too with big names such as Yahoo!, Adobe and Microsoft added to the pot.

Unfortunately I missed most of the morning talks, including the HKSUA launch. I arrived just in time to catch the last few slides of Julien Wong’s YUI Library talk. During the talk there were some interesting discussions on other JavaScript frameworks, a question that always pops up in such talks. I voiced my opinion saying that it is a matter of taste and in terms of core features, the offering amongst popular JavaScript frameworks are more or less the same.

Next I sat in the Making iPhone Apps (English) session. Wasn’t too impressed with Objective-C, actually more disappointed by the many pitfalls and gotchas that William Taysom, co-founder of JadeTower was alluring to. Didn’t get much out of this one unfortunately.

Gary Sweeting - Open Source and Microsoft
Photo: Ryanne Lai

The Open Source and Microsoft talk by Gary Sweeting, Platform Strategy Lead at Microsoft was very interesting. Gary tries to implant the idea of good business sense. What I got was Open Source Software (OSS) only makes sense to a certain degree in order for M$ to make an annual turnover of $60+ billion and that OSS and Proprietary can work together as mixed source (corrected from comment by Gary — was “can work together and converge at a neutral point”). In a way I could understand his arguments. Who wants to earn less when they know they could earn more? But on thinking about the philosophy of OSS it is not about making money but rather knowledge sharing and collective intelligence — much like the scientific world.

Napoleon Biggs - Twitter Visualisations
Photo: Belle Liu

The Twitter – Visualising Conversations talk was a real eye opener. I always found tweets very noisy; most tweeters use it to satisfy their own egos — who wants to know you’re brushing your teeth or in your pyjams?!? Napoleon Biggs took us through a journey of meaningful aggregation of twitter conversations through analysing people’s emotions. The highlight of his talk was which is an artwork of human emotions using visualisation movements — the Madness movements look a lot like code_swarm. Napoleon finishes off with a challenge for someone to create a Chinese version of Is anyone out there up to the challenge? I’m tempted but don’t have such time on my hands. If started aggregating conversations in Chinese their API would be very enticing [hint]. ;)

Edison Wong demonstrates Drupal theming. He gave us some useful tips on how to manage a single theme across version 5, 6 & 7. Hong Kong Drupallers have yearned for a meet-up and this talk is the catalyst! A Drupal meet-up will be happening sometime this month! Keep an eye on and the Hong Kong Drupal User Group.

The highlight of the day must surely be the Start-up Lightening talks! Each person with a start-up idea had 4 minutes to pitch it to the audience. The winner gets an Xbox 360. I voted for no. 8 as it was similar to an idea that’s been brewing in my mind for months! I hope he manages to pull this off!

Now that Barcamp is finally over all we could do is reminisce the past and look forward to the next Barcamp.


  1. Pingback: BarCamp Hong Kong 2008, A Great Event Experience! « Digital Anthology

  2. Daisy at

    Thanks for the link, see you in next barcamp :)

  3. caphun at

    No problem. Yep, will see you again in – and hopefully next time we can make conversation. I speak cantonese aswell! :)

  4. interesting write-up of the event! and thanks for linking to my blog/photos :D

    see you next time :)

  5. caphun at

    @ryanne: oops, so sorry about that. Corrected now :oops:

    Your photos are just too good so couldn't resist adding them to my post. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: Barcamp HK 2008: Well worth the time. | An Expat Educator in Asia

  7. Hi Ca Phun,

    Great post and thanks for the write up on our session. I rushed through the presentation, and apologise if I confused anyone further, and would like to clarify a couple points.

    At the code level it doesn’t matter how the code was developed, or the legalese surrounding it, OSS code and proprietary code work well together. The point I was trying to make is that there are numerous OSS communities that develop OSS solutions on top of the Microsoft Windows platform, and in fact tens of thousands of OSS applications/services only run on Windows.

    Regarding the move to the middle, I’m not suggesting that mixed source is a neutral point – and am not passing judgement on the alternate approaches to software development/distribution/licensing. I do think however, that some OSS companies are increasingly seeing value in providing proprietary alternatives to grow their business, just as proprietary vendors are learning that there is value in adopting an OSS strategy – whether they’re simply using it to reduce development costs by grabbing open source packages and wrapping it in proprietary code, or in providing open source solutions themselves.

    Sorry I didn’t get to catch up with you .. and I look forward to meeting you at future events.

    Thanks! Gary

  8. caphun at

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for the clarification. Have changed that sentence about neutral point to better reflect original meaning.

    Will also make better efforts to say hello next time – you're pretty easy to spot :)

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