The BarCamp Collection
BarCamp time is time to write a blog post. The reason for writing this post, well, last weekend I visited BarCamp Graz 2011. The event was very, very, very well organized and by focusing on four different topics (Design, Politics, Knowledge and iPhone Development) the ratio of talks within and outside my "comfort zone" was perfect. This open (un)conference format is the best possibility to meet the web 2.0 affine iOS community based in Austria, old friends of the "common" BarCamp community and of course a lot of new people!
Two iOS talks did stand out in terms of topic for me. Martin Höller did a tutorial on "how to rape a UITabBarController" (aka Custom Tab Bars). Beside several useful hints on which parts you have to hack for a custom look and feel, I really enjoyed Martin's code centered presentation style. He build the whole customization project from zero and it was very easy to follow. Oliver Drobnik shared his recent experiences with CoreText, Apple's flexible framework for drawing text (which we also use for MindMeister). Appertaining Oliver introduced his open source project NSAttributedString-Additions-for-HTML. This collection of classes eases the creation of NSAttributedStrings which are used to format text drawn with CoreText. You can instantly create these attributed strings out of HTML within the OSX platform but the feature did not make it to iOS (so far). Oliver's code closes this gap and saves a lot of time for all who want to use CoreText combined with the convenience of HTML on iOS.
The badge for most unproductive session goes to "iOS vs. Android vs. Web App". The basic idea always sounds interesting, discussing strengths and weaknesses of mobile vs. native apps and pointing out which (technical) constraints and limits each platform has. I think the intended purpose was to create a superficial guide for market decisions to answer the
worn out old question: "Should I do a web app or create a native app. If the native app is the way to go, which platform?". As expected, it ended in kind of a religious war! Finally everything revolved around blaming Apple for being closed, laughing at Google for having less opportunities to earn money and accusing the Web for being not as smooth / fast / responsive / ... as native apps. Overall, most mentioned arguments sounded fine, but fanboys (-girls) tend to be emotional and start to defend their platform. Some people got even louder after one guy outed him self - he was one of the technicians primary enemies, the marketing guy without any technical background. He dared to question the discussion and ask why technicians can not just provide the stuff they (the business people) want.
One important outcome of this session, never pass the platform question to one of these people: (1) Apple fanboy, (2) Google evangelist or (3) web aficionado!
On every BarCamp you see me running around with my camera, one "click" out of then should be mine ;-). Therefore I have a quite big collection of pictures which I posted to FaceBook most of the time. But now I decided to get me a second Flickr Pro account to provide all these shots under CC. Furthermore all shots are now downloadable in full quality for everyone. You can find the collection of all BarCamps I visited (with my Camera) on Flickr. Feel free to share these pictures, tag people or leave a comment if you have anything on your mind. Add this account as an contact to stay tuned around pictures of BarCamps and similar web/technical centered events.