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Wikimania 2007 Taipei :: a Globe in Accord
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Reception

  • There was no signage towards the registration desk, and there was no signage saying when the desk was open. I spent quite some time wandering around yesterday until finally somebody clued me in that they had closed already...! -- 125.225.111.9
The service time is already publish on registration desk. We help you to check in our conference from 08:30 to 17:00. Registration will be closed on 11:00 on Sunday.--KaurJmeb 11:53, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Reception at airport and subway station was the most welcoming start of Wikimania one could imagine, awesome. Very much appreciated. Thank you for waiting there several long days. Erik Zachte
  • And "Don't Get Lost". I arrived CTOYAC alone, but felt as if I were walking in a familiar place ... it is almost a straight way and most of people wouldn't imagine to create it, but you locals did it. Also google map with several pieces information, colored guideways. A great hospitality of you I would much appreciate. --Aphaia 15:32, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Registration

  • Perfect: the WM bag, the indications and the feeling! --Esenabre 12:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
    • lovely bags, lovely puzzle
  • Perfect: Registration follow-up. emails before and during the registration process. Welcome email. Room assignment during the conference timeframe (the before and after needs to be a little brused up). Readiness of badges and registration packages. All in all, a great achievement, as this is one of the hardest things to get right. :-) Notafish 14:00, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Perfect: Registration follow-up also. Emails are very helpful and informative. Also coordination between the team and CTOYAC staff. I arrived very late when our own reception was closed, but there was no problem ... even for the breakfast (they issued me the ticket without payment, checking I was there as Wikimaniac. This kind of treatment is not always expected in this world). --Aphaia 15:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • And, Smile staff is always important. 203.218.52.4 23:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Venue

Catering & Accommodation

  • Breakfast time finishes at 8:30 :( Too soon 4 my jetlag... --Esenabre
    • ++, but lovely that there is breakfast
  • We had to leave the lounge too early. It would be nice to have a comfortable place on the venue to hang around all night long.
  • The venue should not be too large and distributed so people likely meet just by walking around. This year's venue was a good choice!
    • I think that's the limitation of the site. There's another canteen nearby, but not FREE! Stewart 13:30, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Agreed with Stewart. It is less expensive, and such accommodation has its own limitation. As for lounge, Open Space was available till 2am or around, and if you would like to have overnight conversation, you had 士林夜市 in 5 minute walk distance ... <g> --Aphaia 04:32, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Breakfast and announcements

Maybe it would be more comfortable to have the announcements on a place where everybody is likely to be. Either directly after breakfast in a large room, either just before a session with everyone attending. Otherwise it could also be possible to print them at least out and stick them to the entrences. Effeietsanders 02:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I've got confused at the first time too. Stewart 13:30, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Me too. A CTOYAC staff brought me to the room ... through laundry area. Cathering would need an additional expence, so some guidance papers on the wall would have been nice in such a circumstance. --Aphaia 04:32, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Bicycle to accommodation

I should have suggested this in Taipei, sorry for I'd forgotten this before. I found that there's place to store bicycles at Exit 1 at Jiantan MRT Station. In fact this suggestion should refer to CTOYAC, that the center should provide some bicycle for those who live there. --Jerry~雨雨 09:15, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and I realize I even forgot some youth hostel have bikes for lent or just letting their guests borrow. My another forgetting was to propose for a receipt box. I'm not sure its result deserves the volunteers' time to find the "winner" among many receipt strips. I found some of such in the downtown, set by other non-profits.--Aphaia 15:25, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Hacking Days / Hacking Days Extra

The organizer's confession

  • We should set some more review criteria to attendees; I will be sorry to do so but we do need people truly related to MediaWiki and Wikimedia. (?)
    • Better to leave moderations to attendees themselves, especially to MediaWiki committers; they have senses and credits to their projects that are highly related to Wikimania's tone. (?)
    • I don't think we have to make the conference Wikimedian-exclusive. I enjoyed interaction with outer-place people as well as my fellow Wikimedians. --Aphaia 04:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Interruptions always hurt. Next time we will want a more smooth progress. (?)
    • Although conferences tend to be social, but not everyone prefers to socialize. (?)
  • La Fonera is not very suitable for us, since its compatibility is not very good and its DNS settings are not trustful. (?)
  • We may need to reserve some spaces 24 hours for hacking. (?)

Programme, Session and Schedule

Open Space sessions

For my feeling the open space was not successfull. The problem was that it was too noisy, so a real serious discussion with more then roughly three people was not possible. I was forced to have two discussions in the open space, and both failed on behalf of the number of attendees. (stewards panel and conferences BoF) I have the feeling that that was partially caused by the fact that the discussion was not very inviting because of the too open character. I myself found me very hesitating to attend to any discussion there because it was very vague, and also the problem was that it was very hard to follow due to the background distractions. Effeietsanders 02:50, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the space was great for unstructured sitting around and talking, but it was too small to also have organised events there. --commons:User:pfctdayelise 08:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Poster session

When the time for my one minute reading of my poster, sniff, there was no such session occurring. Jidanni 10:10, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Times

I do think that next time the schedule needs to be ajusted to the side events such as wikimania party. If on saturday night htere is the party, the sunday should start some later, especially when free beer is involved. It is clear that people stayed late, and the number of attendees was shocking low in the morning sunday sessions. Effeietsanders 02:50, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Certainly agree . . . . heard that someone took the high speed rail after the party just for the sheer fun of it . . . maybe too much beer Allentchang 22:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Audience

As I understood, there were quite some people here who have not the basic knowledge of wikimedia. Maybe it would be nice that if we want this kind of public too, we also should have a few sessions, especially the first day, explaining the very basics? (What is Wikipedia etc) Maybe just "give" them one daytrack? Effeietsanders 03:00, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I think in the future all efforts should be done to encourage people not familiar with Wikimedia or the casual Wikimedian user (ie those who don't want to lead projects or are just content to edit Wikipedia) to attend the conference. It could serve as a type of Expo where the average person can be more aware of what's going on. Of course, people can learn more about Wikimania and allied projects trhough video streaming, but that serves no subsitute as to actually being in the conference in person. Allentchang 22:34, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe some introduction classes about Wikimedia foundation projects and How to edit on Wikipedia canbe considered next year.Stewart 13:27, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Schedule

I hope in the future we could ask the speakers not to constantly change their speaking schedule. Perhaps the schedule should be frozen one week before the conference as there has been too many last minute changes to the schedule this year. One local attendee was upset that a Friday session was suddenly moved to Sunday because the attendee applied a leave of absence from work just to hear the talk. Allentchang 14:37, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Equipment and help

It was really fantastic that you only had to look up and there were always volunteers there to help you with any technical thing. It was fantastic and really smooth. --commons:User:pfctdayelise 08:59, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, they rocked. I was really helped by them as both attendee and presenter. I would like to add sometimes those volunteers served as occasional translator(s). See this report. --Aphaia 15:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Awards

One thing in particular in this otherwise outstandingly organized conference could use some more preparation next year: for two years the awards ceremony suffered from bad wifi connections that could not handle bandwidth needed for large images or streams. Both award presentations looked somewhat ill prepared (I'm sure because the selection process itself will have used all available time). Both years the presenters showed their enthusiasm but seemed somewhat distracted by techno mishaps. Next year I hope to see a smoother running presentation that does better justice to the amount of work that artists must have spent:

  • A slide show of the best contributions per category, not just the winner (in 2007 we missed out on some real gems)
  • Images presized for good viewing and prearranged in viewing order (in 2006 we saw a real juggling act with too much unorganized tabbing and scrolling back and fro, made even more tedious by the slow page builds)
  • Images prechached on local disc so that the show runs smoothly and does not depend on availability and speed of network

Why not prepare an Impress presentation so that the speaker can focus on the speech and not on taming the technology and on GUI dexterity? Erik Zachte 20:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

As for your last point, I replied you somewhere ... on meta perhaps? (Trying to find but failing) --Aphaia 04:39, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Awards: Setting themes are a good idea, it makes diversity of applicants. However it should have accepted nomination much before .... at least one month earlier than the deadline? And categories should be more flexible or encourage many genres to apply for. I think we should open not only to images but 3D animation, articles or other genre content. --Aphaia 04:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Internet

  • Too many W-LAN routers at once (I can recieve more then a dozen) do not increase performance and stability of the net. Sometimes it was hard to find a really working router. -- JakobVoss 17:55, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
  • lack of powersplitters for laptops
  • Maybe try to make some european / american (the other then standard) available as well in the conference rooms. Not only for borrowing at the desk? Effeietsanders 02:56, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree with you.Stewart 13:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Streaming video

Thanks for getting the streaming video online. --68.109.175.242 04:00, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I cant find the links for streaming on the website. Please provide early a link on the main page. Eia in Taipei, on request of Dutch people. 18:56, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Streaming was good, but often there was certain dropouts for changing a DV tape. Perhaps try to allow the full session on one DV tape, therefore un-interrupted video stream can take place. E 08:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Video archives

  • "Video archives will be arranged after sessions of the day ends"
  • "it takes very long time to 'dump' DV tapes into disks"
    • Any estimate of how long?
      --68.109.175.242 16:16, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
      • We have 100 DV tapes and totally it takes about 151 hours to dump raw video to disks. --Foxkaworus 02:26, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Streaming is an OK feature, but people from every time zone around the world are interested in the conference, which means that they may not want to wake up in the middle of the night to watch a talk. It doesn't take that long to dump a DV to a hard disk and make it available on the web. If anything, rip a copy of the stream and make that available immediately. This system didn't work out very well this year. Let's improve it for next year by having the video available for download within 30-60 minutes after the talk. --Alterego 05:01, 5 August 2007 (UTC) (Brian Mingus)
  • Unfortunately there are still no video archives online (or do I miss something?). Jeroenvrp 12:24, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The technicians are trying to find a studio to help on ripping the DV tapes. It will be done ASAP. --H.T. Chien (Talk / Contributions) 03:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I look forward to the video being available. Considering how much was shot it would be a real shame if it never surfaces! commons:User:pfctdayelise 08:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I've been trying to use some of these OGG files. In particular, "room328_day_2.ogg" is a 714 Mb file, but only plays for about 1 minute 37 seconds before terminating. The part that does play seems to have a problem with the audio and seems to not be during a meeting session. Are there any instructions for how to get these files to play correctly? --68.109.175.242 19:13, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

example of OGG file problem - short (one minute) clip from room328_day_3.ogg.....it seems like half the frames are missing. Also, this file ends a few minutes into the session. --JWSchmidt 00:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Party

There are bad comment[citation needed] about the CC party. Ouch! Stewart 13:25, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Details

  • Namecards: maybe print them double sided next time? That way they dont flip all the time. Effeietsanders 02:53, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Great idea. --Alterego 05:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC) (Brian Mingus)

Windows Windows everywhere...

The Wikimedia Foundation uses only Open Source Software to run the servers. Next year I would like to see a Microsoft-free, proprietary-software-free conference. All of the available internet kiosks, the laptops available during talks, etc... were using Windows, which I find to be unacceptable. --Alterego 05:04, 5 August 2007 (UTC) (Brian Mingus)

As long as we don't want Wikimedia to be forkable and reusable by anyone, there is no need not to use prorietary software. These are just tools. As long as all content is usable by Open Source Software, I don't see the problem. If someone wants to organize the conference without prioprietary software then he should just do it. -- JakobVoss 07:41, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
"Just tools." That's an argument in favor of using proprietary software universally, including on the Wikimedia websites. Either we have free culture values or we don't. If we do, then I continue my challenge to the board to live up to them. --Alterego 13:54, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing shameful in using Windows. (or Mac OS X for that matter). The people who give presentations can use what that want to use. And those internet kiosks, if these are provided by a sponsor then we should be happy with whatever it is that it is running, so long it works.
What I do find not acceptable was the HiChannel video stream. In order of importance;
  1. It was a windows only solution (or maybe it did worked on Mac also, I don not know. At least it did not worked on Linux)
  2. you where forced to use a webbased video-player inside the browser, no full screen support
  3. the streaming service did not worked very well , many buffer under runs
  4. there was an advertisement on the video stream (I personally have not problem with that but I find it extremely strange that a organization/community that is so fundamentalistic against advertisement would allow a commercial in that video feed.
--Walter 13:41, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
It's the request from the largest sponsor, Chung-Hwa Telecom, to let them do the streaming for main track sessions (since CHT is the largest Internet service provider in Taiwan). And CHT choose to do it with Windows.
That's why the organization team also offers .ogg video streamings for side track sessions. Sorry if the HiChannel streaming makes you unconformable but the team tried to offer other solution to solve the issue.
For the web player issue, if you double clicks on the video window you will see the streaming video in full screen (double clicks again to restore it back). --H.T. Chien (Talk / Contributions) 11:34, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Requests can be rejected. In this case it should have been rejected. And this in first place because it was not platform independent. This was shameful.
And if it was not possible to rejected it because this would mean to lose them as a sponsor and the where necessary then there could be created a second live-stream of the main track sessions in a format that everybody could use.
Regarding the Ogg Theora streams; the only where provided from day 2 on. And so far I understand the where an at the moment created solution. And as an at the spot created solution it was very good. If it was a intented service then it was not good. The service was very unstable, even worse then the unstable HiChannel stream, and the audio was a room microphone, so the audio quality was (very) bad. Very good as an on the spot invented solution but if that was the normal service then it was very poorly.
The full-screen option did not worked by double clicking. Probably it is dependent on the version of Windows. I used Win XP pro, SP2 in an emulator. --Walter 14:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The presentation laptops I referred to were the ones made available by the conference organizers. I did not comment on laptops owned by conference attendees. If you don't find anything shameful about using Windows, we clearly have differing opinions, and I want that to be clear. --Alterego 13:54, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The presentation laptops are borrowed from a school free of charge and they have Windows pre-installed. It's not allowed by the school people to replace the OS to other software. If someone could provide resources to let the organization team buy (or own computers free of charge) they would love to install open source softwares on the laptops. --H.T. Chien (Talk / Contributions) 03:34, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, the internet kiosks in the open space lounge gave you the option of chosing between Ubuntu and Windows (as well as letting you use Cygwin under Windows) provided-- of course-- that you reboot the computer. Also, I think that realistically it will take several conferences before a Wikimania conference will use prorietary-free software. We unfortunately have to accept what the sponors give us because finding a sponsoring company that only has open-source software is not always that easy (ie sometimes vegans have to accept a non-vegan vegitarian compromise when eating outside of home). Or put it another way: Buddhist monks try to be vegitarian (as well as onion and garlic free) whenever possible, but whenever they travel around the world and beg for food along the way, they have to accept the meat that was given to them so long as the animal used for the meat was not killed for the intention of feeding the monk. Finally religiously forcing everyone one way makes us no different than say Bill Gates or George Bush. Allentchang 22:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Concerning the video streaming, it has been setted up in one night from scratches. 8 pc to install (even the OS) and configure. Meaning we have done our best. In my opinion, we should have live streaming only for the opening/closing sessions, and the pannels. For all the other stuff, file streaming.
Concerning Windows and proprietary software. Freedom means you can use whatever software/OS you want. If they had services and/or PC running on Windows/Mac OS provided by a sponsor, why would have they refused them? schiste 14:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Full text proceedings

Sure hope this year full text of papers presented will be archived, unlike 2006, where one cannot find more than abstracts it seems. Jidanni 10:39, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The minority of talks had full text papers. Full texts and slides will be linked from the abstract pages -- JakobVoss 12:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Live text caption on the screen ?! Stewart 13:24, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Local information

How can the Local information section be improved for future Wikimanias? I helped to write the Local information section and realized that I overdid it. I put too much unnecessary information there because I did not know what type of information the audience would need or be interested in. This made it difficult for translators to translate the material to other languages on time. Should a standard template be created for the local information of all future Wikimanias? Allentchang 14:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

See Also