24 October 2005

Barcamp Amsterdam

Last Friday, several of us headed over to Mediamatic in the CS Post building to put our heads together with some other developers and code scripters at an event called Barcamp Amsterdam.

Ton was there to find out what everyone's doing to improve knowledge management. Jonathan was filming interviews (though completely frustrated with the sound environment), James was hanging out with some of his buddies working on tools, and I was there to listen and watch and discover.

I really enjoyed meeting the guys from Mediamatic. They're developing code to construct interesting platforms for creative adventures. Check out this amazing Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands. Each of these dots represents a Jewish family that was removed from The Netherlands during World War II and shipped off to a concentration camp. You can follow a set of families along a street and begin to understand how neighborhoods completely disappeared. Since they started this project, people have begun to contribute photos and stories, so they are continuing to build new elements into this digital monument, keeping it dynamic.

Boris was there from Drupal and asking some thought provoking questions to everyone presenting. It helped all us join in the conversation a bit more easily. Of course, once he decided that everyone had to drink beer every time they said the word "thing", the conversations certainly got more lively too.

As a treat, I also got to meet Rasmus Lerdorf, the man who developed PHP. PHP is the scripting language used for dynamic Web development and can be embedded into HTML. We wanted to interview him for our Preferred Futures project, but by then, Jonathan had given up trying to interview anyone because the background noise was cavernous and terrible.

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