This one time at the Barcamp..

For those who are aware of the American Pie movie series, the above line should definitely ring a bell. But here am referring this to the ongoing Barcamp Bangalore 6 at IIMB. Bangalore, The 6th summer edition 2008 is scheduled on 19th and 20th April.

The sessions were varied at its best. For geeks, for environmentalists, for social causes everyone had thing or the other to speak and discuss upon. Personally, I could attend sessions on Life Blob, RIA Web development, Kamasutra lessons and Dating sessions.

Started my day with demo of Life Blob. Life Blob is a social site for individuals and groups to post and track events as blobs. In a individuals life time in everything he has done has been captured as blobs in a timeline. So, if one were to look at a person’s profile, his timeline for a particular year will show all the stuffs he/she has referenced on the web at that particular time. These could the photos uploaded/ blogs or events attended. This startup has a 3 member team, all of them ex-Trilogy members and friends. It took them about 6 months to bring up the site with Ajax/Java/MySQL being the supporting technology behind it and currently with one server supporting the traffic. The site has a slidebar in the bottom to show the time line and facility to import photos from flickr and picassa among other features.

Next there was a 3 hour long session on RIA based web development. It consisted of 4 sub sessions. RIA products from different vendors were discussed. The sessions were, Introduction to RIA, RIA using flex, RIA with OpenLazzlo, RIA using MS Silverlight.

Mrinal gave a background and introduction of RIA. He took us through the complete evolution of software products on how they evolved from dumb terminals to the web 2.0 age. He pointed out the limitations of HTML based static rendering of UI and how RIA caught on due it its visual appeal and ease of development. This was followed by a demo cum introduction to Flex framework. This was done by Harish and Raghu from Adobe. They highlighted the advantages of building desktop like components with flex for the web to experience the RIA. The flex framework itself is a set of librarys on top of the flash, which is opensource. But currently, the IDE they have is licensed. Although there are free alternatives available.

Next on, OpenLazzlo- a open source framework built on top of flash was presented. It was pointed out that the OpenLazzlo apps on the web left lesser footprint when compared to SWFs generated by flex or flash. A full fledged IDE is still not avaliable for OpenLazzlo. Next up, two of the Microsoft members came out to talk on their RIA based framework Silverlight. Silverlight is used for their live search engine. I did not attend the same for obvious reasons!

Towards the end of the day, there were two non-tech sessions that I attended. First was tips from the great book of love – Kamasutra. This carpet session was taken by Shashi. I missed the initial 15 to 20 Mins, which was supposedly the most interesting parts. By the time I joined, he was reading out what the “scriptures” spoke about breaking the ice with the opposite sex. In his interpretation, he suggested all these lessons could be used by guys to create a impression on the girls they want to hit on. Most of his tips were received with loud cheer and applause. Trust me, I had never attended such a discussion! It was very interesting and filled with humour at times and even informative!

Dating session was the last one for the day for me. This was a casual and light open discussion on different dating related experiences. It was mostly directionless. but still the one liners from some of the participants made it worth attending. Most cleaches and stereotypes were discussed and at one point everyone were giving suggestions for a certain individuals problem in life. He somehow wanted to know if he could ever get to speak to a nice girl he knows in another team in his company!!

Overall satisfying day!

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