I just came back from BarCampMontreal3. It was an amazing event! You really missed something if you didn’t came!
Here’s a remix of the notes I’ve taken from the (un)conference.
How data will save the world
Hugh McGuire delivered a great talk about two of his projects: LibriVox and DataLibre. Excellent talk, that started up the event nicely. I didn’t took notes at that time so I can’t quote quotes, you had to be there.
(Oh I think I missed a couple one here…)
Marc-Andre Cournoyer presentation was boring… sorry about that. My computer crashed just when I plugged it on the projector. I had 5 minutes, so I improvised while waiting for the computer to reboot. But anyway, when I asked who knew about the project, a lot of people raised their hands, I was surprised!
Looks like a new language with a syntax similar to Java and built-in workflow stuff. I didn’t really understood it. Seems like a framework for building web apps with customizable business logic.
Deploying desktop apps
Avery Pennarun showed with his banking app, how deploying can be easy with desktop app. He showed, installing and updating, all with a simple click. The cool thing is, he did all this without using InstallShield or anything. He built it himself and said it took only 300 LOC or so. Impressive! He said it’s as easy as deploying a web app. Well I not sure from the point view of the user, he still has to click somewhere and be aware of the updating process.
Frank Lamontagne and Dan Simard presented their project. TimmyonTime allows anyone to fill in timesheets and manage tasks by IM. Sadly they couldn’t get the thing to work even tough they had 3 backups solutions! Somebody shouted you should have called it Murphy, Frank replied they also tough about calling it GeorgeOnTime but it doesn’t sound so nice… They did a great improvisation anyway and also organized another presentation afterwards to show the thing.
Francois Lane was next, announcing CakeMail public beta launch! The service, is for resellers only, it’s not branded. He had cool animated slides showing why they chose a cake as the logo and the name, because it’s all layers, API, something-I-forgot, plugins. It’s multilingual, has a couple of plugins for analytic, CRM and Google Maps. He also did a demo of it by sending and email to people registering to a mailing list live during the presentation, nice idea! Plus they offered cupcakes for lunch, they won me on that!
Evan Prodromou presented Keiki, a wiki for parents. After his success with WikiTravel and Vinisimo he was used to having free books and info. So when he and his wife got a baby he couldn’t travel that much anymore, that’s how he started Keiki.
Lunch was free! Sandwich, vegetables and salads. Dessert was offered by CakeMail, as mentioned before.
I had great talks with Denis Canuel, Mehdi Akiki about Blitzweekend and with Duncan More about CakeMail and multilingual issues in software.
gave plenty of tips on how to start a startup in Montreal. 40 meetings rule, 40 meetings before anything happens, shit that’s a lot! One of his lesson was : Knowing what will be your features is not that important… Knowing what’s gonna happen next is more. Location doesn’t matter, it is possible Montreal, he met more then 10 VCs here he claimed.
Marc Laport is a project manager of TikiWiki a wiki engine that is very active, top 20 most active project on SourceForge! Lots of documentation, he showed a 950 pages manual. Some features that make it different from MediaWiki and all are: builtin multilingual, better permissions, custom theme.
Denis Canuel started with a quote claiming everyone is a journalist. He talked about his upcoming social news site. He gave a couple of hints on what will be the features by saying how timelines could be useful to display what happened around an event. But sadly he presented no demo, saying it was too alpha yet but still asked people to register for alpha on the site.
Erik Wright and David Lemieux presented StickyCal.
Learn about events before they happen, like music shows for example. It’s simple to setup, put an
script tag on your page and you’re done. No authentication required and let your friends know you’re attending an event. It keeps the user on the band’s page. But again, no demo…
Notes on HTTP
Pierre Phaneuf was next presenting his guide on making your website faster with caching using
Modified-Date or ETags, compression and a couple of others. One memorable quote:
The faster way to handle a request : don’t handle it!
I wish this came before I had to optimize RefactorMyCode. But he forgot to mention YSlow!
Scott Annan showed MercuryGrove. Basecamp-like web app. Really looks like Basecamp + Highrise + Backpack.
Not enough time and the app was too slow.
Quick talk. Big company. They install a box on your web server and you get detailed real-time stats of the visits on your site.
Raising angel financing
Austin Hill was next with a talk on how to raise angel financing. Raising is like dating. You need to build a relationship first, not like getting a girl in bar. Look for second time entrepreneur, look for sold cie in your field., target groups of angels. Convertible dept is the preferred way. There was lots of interesting questions after the presentation: What is an angel investor? anyone who invest in private cie, lawyers, 2nd time entrepreneur. 3-6 month to put and angel round. Don’t commit to long term things
I left, before the end, sorry for all the other presenters.