Khaos Technical Meeting

On Monday evening Marty and I went to the technical meeting. This exhausted me as my understanding of Japanese isn’t really up to two and a half hours of technical talks. I was thrilled that Gugod spoke in English as it was a relief to be able to understand something – although when he started I thought he was going to give his talk in Japanese. The only other talk I understood was the one Miyagawa gave. But I had heard an English version of this in Vienna and he used English slides on Monday night.

Marty briefly mentioned one of the differences between this and the European meetings we used to attend but there were quite a few others. The meeting was really structured. They used a bell to let people know when their time was nearly up and they stopped the talks at the end of the allocated time slot. In Europe talks tend to go over and people don’t really seem to mind. Mind you we would have been there all night if they had let this happen as there were 3 ten minute talks, 2 twenty minute talks and 12 lightening talks scheduled.

There was less banter and heckling from the audience (I am not sure that there was any during the talks). Actually there was a lot less noise in general. During the breaks people were fairly quiet. There were around 100 people at the meeting and I couldn’t work out how many of them actually knew each other.

It was noticeable that lots of the talks were on topics associated with the web. The words “mash-up”, “catalyst”, “javascript” and “jifty” occurred quite frequently. Two talks also mentioned “gungho” which I hadn’t heard of before. There was also a lightening talk on Gopher and one of testing and refactoring but these were the exceptions. The lightening talks were also serious and not the stand-up comedy these have become at the YAPC conferences.

Two of the talks had slides that contained pictures of half naked women. I can’t remember seeing this at a technical meeting before. I have no idea why this sort of picture appeared in a talk on Class::Component – but then that’s because my Japanese isn’t good enough. The second set of pictures appeared in a talk which I think was about creating a web-site with erotic content using Plagger and Catalyst. I also don’t know why the women’s nipples were covered with stars in both pictures – but I think I have a lot to learn.

One Response to “ Technical Meeting”

  1. Tatsuhiko Miyagawa Says:

    Karen, thanks for sharing the feedback. This all makes sense.

    re: well structured meeting, I guess people stopped their talk right on time because at the beginning of the meeting Takesako and I clearly asked all speakers that they shouldn’t extend the talk too much because we had too many talks and there was a limit of time using the venue.

    Attendees being quiet during all talks is very common here in Japan. The only exception is dankogai, obviously 🙂

    The reason why most lightning talks are serious and not like standup comedy (like we actually saw in past YAPC::Asia’s) is also due to the fact that there were too many talks. They originally submitted their ideas and we assigned them only 5 minutes because there were too many. The only exception would be stuff like Takesako’s crazy image hack, which is originally planned as a lightning talk and hence so much fun.

    In Japan sexually explicit content is banned in a public place, and female nipples are one of them. Displaying them without covering stars might be considered a sexual harassment. I guess it *is* a harassment anyway even if they cover them, though :p