Many thanks to Adobe for hosting barcamp delhi

Adobe India was amazingly generous in hosting BarCamp Delhi. They not only provided food, wifi, and two fully loaded conference rooms (with projectors, lcd screens, wireless mics, etc). They also turned off their security system, letting 100 people roam around their offices unescorted and without identification. This made it possible for us to use all their conference rooms, so that everybody who wanted to present would have an opportunity. Special thanks to Ajay Pande for making it all happen, Neeraj Chawla for setting up the facilities, and Dheeraj Muku for making sure we had the IT infrastructure we needed.
Thanks guys! You rock.

Live FLEX hacking by Manish Jethani

Manish Jethani stepped up to the stage at barcamp Delhi yesterday, opened up vi, and started hacking in FLEX. Within a period of about 15 minutes, he built a FLEX application that consumed the rss feeds from youtube, displayed the top videos in a data grid, and allowed you to play the videos. Check it out! An impressive testiment to the power of FLEX as a multimedia platform, all done with completely FREE (as in beer) technology. Really cool stuff.

Rakesh Agrawal demoing beyondtv

Rakesh Agrawal (CEO of SnapStream Media) is talking now.
His blog is lambipooch.blogspot.com (ambipooch means longtail in Hindi!).
He’s demonstrating the firefly mini, a new remote for SnapStream.
He also did a demo of the beyondtv user interface. Very slick stuff, implemented directly in Direct3D.
Here’s a snapshot of him trying to get his laptop hooked up for power (the plug kept falling out, but we managed to rig it so that it would stay in place).
RakeshAgrawal.gif

Knowledge Management 2.0

Manish Dhingra (from Tekriti) is talking about structured blogging: microcontent publishing / aggregation. In particular, he’s talking about the structured blogging plugins that they wrote for MovableType / WordPress.
He gives great examples of how structured blogging could be used in a knowledge work context to capture important pieces of information. Things like bugs, troubleshooting tips, etc. The best example he gave of this is the “I’m stuck” phenomenon. When you’re coding, you often are stuck on something simple. Getting unstuck fast has high ROI, and you’re probably stuck at a place where most people get stuck.
The key payoff of structured blogging in an enterprise context is easing “responsibility transition”. If your employees put their knowledge into a system, it’ll be easy to recover if they are sick / leave.
I asked about how to solve the motivation problem: he said basically that you have to reward employees for contributing knowledge to the system.
These modules seem like they might be really useful for a whole host of situations where you want to build an interface to capture structured data of some kind.

WATiR: Web Application Testing in Ruby

WATiR (Web Application Testing in Ruby) is being demoed by Angrez Singh from Persistent Systems now at delhibarcamp. It looks like a compelling way to generate test scripts for web applications. You turn it on, use the web application according to your test, and it automatically generates Ruby script that will replicate the action. You can also write the script yourself. The API looks pretty simple and well-designed. This would work for any application, you don’t need to use RUBY in your development.
WATiR is IE-specific, which is a drag. The folks at Persistent Systems (based out of Pune) have built a Firefox extension that lets you use WATiR to test on Firefox! They also have built an extension that supports querying the DOM by XPATH in your text scripts. Everything they’ve written is open-sourced and available for anyone to use for free.
Lots of Ruby and AJAX stuff is happening in Dehli. But frankly there are at least 10 people at this conference who flew in from Pune. If I was starting up in India I would consider Pune as a base: it seems to have a lot of super-enthusiastic hackers.