First HaxeHybrid Retrospective

05 Aug 2022 By thomas

The Haxe event we put on on Monday was a success! The full stream is viewable on the twitch and individual talks are in a youtube playlist. See below. I managed to convince some interesting people to quickly put together talks on things they were working on. We brought people and ideas together. Haxe is an excellent programming language and the community around it is enthusiastic and full of good ideas and novel technologies.

There were some areas of improvement that could have made this unofficial Haxe event better:

I didn’t ask name or pronoun for any of the speakers.

This is basic business etiquette but when dealing with people I know via cryptic screen names (as typical in hacker culture) and robot avatars, it helps to know some basic things needed to introduce a person and their talk. Especially since my French pronunciation is atrocious.

I used up the entire time set aside for technical issues

I didn’t schedule anything important in the first half hour aside from one 10 minute talk I added at the last minute. I knew that time might be needed to sort out technical issues with the complex setup. I ended up eating into all that half hour with issues related to streaming and stream recording, both of which I ended up leaving to one of the speakers. Thanks Aurel300!

This also underscores the importance of not going alone and taking steps to simplify things. Also, the next point:

My aging laptop was barely up to the task

I have a habit of waiting awhile between upgrades because I don’t like new hardware potentially masking performance issues in code or setups I’m making. I also like ensuring that my projects are compatible with aging hardware. But it’s also good to have a newer machine for streaming and recording, surprisingly demanding tasks.

I could have made editing easier

The informal Google meeting-based stream meant that start and end points of presentations had to be found manually. Asking presenters to keep their final slide up while taking questions would have made it more clear when a given talk was over. Same for waiting until their screen share is active before beginning to talk. I did want to accomodate people who don’t want to use slides, but if someone uses slides, these rules can make editing easier.

Either keep things simple or do the complexity right

I changed my mind multiple times about whether or not to use the discord stage feature. I asked for a stage channel from the haxe discord admin and ended up not using it due to difficulties keeping audio in sync and no one using the raise hand feature. It would have been better to stick with either Google meet alone or discord stage channel or voice channel alone. Also, given that questions were coming in from multiple sources, it would have simplified things to use matterbridge, as I do with several chat places I manage. Questions posted to the Osaka Red twitch showed up in the Osaka Red private slack, but not in the haxe discord everyone was using. I could have also had a separate computer totally in charge of bringing different audio streams together, separate from one I use personally to project.

All in all it still turned out better than I thought other than there being no attendance on the in-person side. I hope it inspires others to put together similar events as well! And I will look into running an event next year if there aren’t already efforts by others to do something similar.

See full stream on twitch or view the youtube playlist below: