Monthly Archives: May 2008

Barcamp Singapore II – 21st May 2008

It has been quite a few days after the Barcamp Singapore II. I have yet to spare the time to talk about it until today. Even I started writing about it here, right now, but I don’t have confidence to finish it since I’m not feeling well today and I have some disruptions everywhere around me. Haha ..well, let me at least tell you the theme for this time, it is themed as “Maps and Mobile Unconference” gathering. Hehe, it’s a cool one if you really want me to describe anything about it. I would said it’s a pity if you didn’t make it to there. But, don’t feel bad or too sad as you can still wait for all the videos and photos, including presentation slides to get uploaded to the Barcamp official websites at Barcamp SingaporeII.

It’s co-organised by Entrepreneur 27/Garage 3 and the Singapore PHP User Group. It’s sponsored by Google, and supported by NUS Entreprise and SG Entrepreneur. We have attendees coming from very diverse background and that including people from IT big guys like Google, Microsoft, and etc. And the whole event started by Google big heads.

The first one was a short introduction by Derek Callow (Head of Marketing, Google Singapore) on Google Maps API, but I think in the end it’s only presented by Andrew McGlinchey (Geo Product Manager for SE Asia, Google Singapore). It’s quite interesting to know what we can do with Google Maps API, but it’s quite controversial as I heard from PerfectApps from FUG (I’m a member too, to find out more or to join us, please visit FUG) saying that the API does not support multi layer and it’s actually flattened into a single layer. Well, whether it’s useful for most of us, I guess you should give it a try since it seemed to be quite powerful to me during the presentation, at least when it’s presented to us by Andrew, it’s impressive!

Well, here come a rather boring presentation, which I would say it could be a sales talk ;-) Pardon me Gerard, if you think my feedbacks offended you in any way :p I think it’s just like what Shunjie had pointed out to me earlier, it’s mainly treating us like a normal users who don’t know how to secure our mobile devices. Well, after all he never shown us how his solutions work out and only talk about how to secure your devices and feel free to visit their website. Ooh, i forgot to tell you, Gerard Lim is a CTO from Bak2u (http://www.bak2u.com).

Well, soon after his presentation, we are given the choice of two breakout sessions, one is Maps, the other one is Mobile. Of course you can still feel free to move around, but I chose to follow the Breakout Session 2 – Mobile. And the first one is the only iPhone application demo and sharing session, it’s a web application for iPhone third party SDK and UI supports =)

The app name is Cinepura and it started out as an application sharing among the developer’s friends and it basically retrieve movie information from IMDB, like movie ratings and descriptions, but if I remember correctly it doesn’t allow you to view other people’s reviews if I remember correctly. Then there had been some arguments from the floor on that iPhone web app. From there we moved on to TenCube which si called WaveSecure now (http://www.tencube.com), this is a commercial talk again, sharing of a web-based integrated platform to secure your mobile devices. It’s still working towards supporting devices like iPhone since it’s getting very hot in the market right now with the breaking news that it’s going to come in Singapore very soon, some rumours said that it’ll be a 3G version istead of the official announcement – a 2.5G version. Well, whether it would be a 2.5G or 3G version, we will know the truth when it’s officially announced ;-)

The next one I’m going to talk about is properly the start of the night at Barcamp Singapore II. More information of them can be found at http://www.widgeo.us/ and what they basically do is to provide a centralized platform and API to allow all registered members to communicate effectively to the targeted recipient, regardless of where you are and what means you use to communicate with each other. For example, one could use IM to send a party invitation to another friend who is only available on mobile phone. Thus the message would be channeled to Widgeous platform and routed to his friend’s mobile phone as SMS. Just one of the possible illustration to let you understand how it works out to be ;-)

The last time is more on a “build once, deploy everywhere” ideology for mobile application developers. It’s another commercial talk but it’s still in development process and right now, not all the mobile devices are supported. But it’s a cool technology, or rather API to learn about. We can see from there that the future is going towards an integrated and centralized platform.

The breakout session 1 is more about MAPS and the APIs available. I don’t know much about their session since I was not inside their venue :p

Ok, they have sessions from SingGeo (http://www.singeo.com.sg), Shoplette (http://www.shoplette.com), Lilihood (http:/www.lilihood.com), Homespace (http://www.homespace.sg) and lastly Nokia Map APIs by Gary Chan. I won’t talk much about them as you can look at their websites since I’ve not attended those sessions.

Lastly, before the end of the event that night, Widgeous was given a choice to present to all the attendees, and I’m glad to be one of the supporters who stayed put to show them support =)

Ok, that’s end my very brief review on Barcamp Singapore II. Hope you enjoy and below are some photos for your eyes. I apologize for the poor photo quality of my phone :p

FUG May Meeting – 14th May 2008

It was a nice Wednesday evening and I have headed to Suntec straight after I knock off from my office at Toa Payoh. Yes, for the Singapore Flex User Group May Meeting at Suntec Tower Three, Adobe PageMaker room.

It’s a nice room with nice and high-tech equipments, really conducive for holding meeting or mini conference. There are some food available there for people to fill up their stomach temporarily if they haven’t taken their dinner or anything yet. There are drinks available too, both cold packet drinks and plain water.

It’s nice to see so many members there when I reached there around 7pm, and just nice that they are still setting up and about to start in a few minutes time.

Meet quite some big brothers in this line, like people from CA and Microsoft, of course, some others great Flash and Flex developers too. We have Alvin Zhang to present first to all of us on Facebook Applications with Flash CS3, talking about how we can create an application for Facebook, what are the issues involved, the obstacles in developing application with Flash CS3 with ActionScript 3, the solution, the pros and cons of the solution, the responsibilities involved, and etc.

Next, we have Marco Kaiser from Germany, talking about the Twhirl application developed using AIR and it’s pretty good as it allows you to connect to Twitter and FriendFeed without having to use your browser, you can do everything from Twhirl itself, ever since it has become a hot app, it has been acquired by Seesmic (if I remember correctly) with undisclosed figure =) (though one of us there did ask him about the figure). This session is done via Skype Video Conferencing and we have a Q & A session after that.

I do learn a lot from them and I must say it’s a good exposure for everyone of us (of course, me too!), and I manage to get a few stickers from the meeting too, haha, the Flex and AIR stickers, which I can stick them on my notebook if I want as I can’t find any other better places to stick them on, spotted Shunjie’s MacBook Pro stuck with one straight row of stickers of Adobe products. haha…very interesting. I don’t know whether I would do like him if I get myself a MacBook next time. LOL…

I couldn’t wait any longer for the June meeting as it’s getting more and more exciting! Also, I’m looking forward to the workshop too! I really want to get my hands dirty most of the time with Flex and AIR!!!

It’s just too cool to do anything with Flex and AIR, and I can’t stop imagining if I miss out this and still focusing most of my time on Windows programming, .NET is good, but the loading and refreshing of web application pages are just a too painful thing to take on, I couldn’t imagine how frustrated the users are when they are loading a page like hell, or keep on getting every pages refreshed every time something is changed, like clicking a button, selecting dropdown list and fill up something there in the datagrid below and etc, there are just way too much a hassle to use .NET web application, even though it’s meant for good, it ended up disappointing, but with the AJAX supports, things do get improved somehow in some ways.

I’m looking into working with Flex and AIR on my own and hopefully I can master it in the shortest time possible and with something to show or share with other people, I wouldn’t want to stay in this company for any longer if they are not going to improve in their company culture, their ways of doing business, dealing with customers, and employees, and review their company policies as well as staff welfare. I’m so fed-up with them now. I’m always looking for opportunities to learn and grow, but they are not, always Microsoft, Microsoft, and Microsoft, and I’m sick of mainly dealing with Microsoft, I just want to try something new, it does not make sense that a developer only know Microsoft technologies, and only work with Microsoft tools and platforms. I think I would learn as much as I can and propose to company that we should try out Flex and AIR, and get my pathetic pay reviewed, else, I really feel hopeless for this company, and I should move on from there.

Geesh, great that I shown my interest in Flex and have since found the Singapore FUG and joined them, and even participated in their May meeting., everything looks so great and I think this is a good head start for me, and I should not look back!

If any of you would like to find out more on Singapore Flex User Group, please visit their website at Singapore FUG, if you want to find out more on Adobe Flex and AIR, please visit Flex and AIR

Cya for now! Enjoy this great and long holiday! :)