Monday, July 28, 2008


BarCamp was held in Kuala Lumpur for the first time over the weekend. I didn't expect much of it, thinking that it would be a lame attempt to for pseudo web2.0 wannabes to 'network'. I was pleasantly surprised, as at the end of the first day it was encouraging to see a good sharing community growing here OTHER than the MyOSS one.

Ditesh volunteered me to speak a month back, and I thought I had ample time to prepare a presentation. I left it really late, and only started work on the presentation 2 days prior. I drew up a rough mind map on things worth talking about regarding the 2 year story of OpenMalaysiaBlog, and was figuring out how to present it. After all, a standard presentation with bullet points would have driven people insane, and a steve-jobs type one takes way too much time in preparation and rehearsals, and would severely limit audience interaction.

So the best thing I figured was to present the big picture; the mind map itself.

I was asked during the presentation on how I created it. I said "Adobe Illustrator, of course!" This brought on boos and jeers, of which I said "... kidding, I used Inkscape; a Free and Open Source vector illustration program. The source file is in svg."

What I realy like about Inkscape is its a real quality software. It has never crashed on me yet. The output to png is impeccable. It has great blur effects which makes for good drop shadows. The gradient tool is useful and usable. I also found a hidden feature, which is to embed bitmap images within the svg. By default, images are linked from external files.

To present, I just used plain ol' Eye-Of-Gnome (EOG). You will need to make sure that you set the background to white or to a solid colour:
Whats good about EOG is that it worked really well with my eeePC's touchpad. The vertical and horizontal scroll edges worked smooth and consistent scrolling, and pressing Control and manipulating the vertical scroll allowed me to zoom in and out effortlessly. It was surprisingly easy to manipulate the touchpad standing up and infront of the few people in the room.

What I liked about the talk was the interactiveness, and there were at least 4 people in the room who were outspoken, which encouraged a robust discussion. We eventually ended up taking a significant amount of time talking about Software Patents, of which I was surprised that non MyOSS members were clued up on. As a bonus it was good to know that they too understood the dangers it mounted on software development both proprietary and open source, in Malaysia.

At the end of it, was a rendition of Bob Dylan's "For the times they are a-changing'" by our resident musician and GSoC personality, Raj Deelan.

Hasan explained that this song was featured in our first blog post at, and it represented the changing times we are currently experiencing. I apologised for the bad transcript which was projected, as I left out 2 verses of the song, which left the karaoke afficiandos in the lurch (Aizat, it was reported that they could hear you 3 rooms away). However I made sure that this verse was in:
"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
Theres a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your Windows (tm)
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."
Well done to the BarCamp organisers, the two Daniels, Kamal Fariz and many others for holding a quite spectacular event which brought together a community willing to share.


Picture credits goes to Azman Saini's Flickr photostream. Thanks!

Small mentions of my talk by Ditesh
There were many questions from the audience, most seemed to be awed by the level of dedication the OpenMalaysia people seemed to have put in to promote openness and transparency in Malaysia’s government ICT policies.
Yuen Chi
I liked how Yoon Kit's presented the stories in a mind-mapping-like diagram.
... how OpenMalaysia Blog got started ,how the reaction from .MY Goverment in Opensource. Yeah how the big company starts lobbying around ... IMHO, this is to ensure the future of country is control by our own wills not other.
Meng Wong
The opensource guys related the story of ODF versus OOXML; not only that, they whipped out a guitar and, in a slightly cheesy but earnest moment we sang "The times, they are a-changing."

Monday, July 14, 2008


Wow. Malaysia's very own Minister of Science Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) called his fellow constituent party within Barisan National a "political bitch".

"The worst kind of enemy is the one that is within," he said in a statement, noting the Sabah Progressive Party's "persistent flirting with the opposition to bring down the Government".

Maximus, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said in doing so the party renders itself being viewed as nothing more than a political bitch.

I guess nowadays language like this is of the norm for Malaysian politicians, where 18SX words are exchanged on a daily basis. I wonder what it must be like to be a kid reading mainstream papers today. One would have to be exposed to words like sodomy, anal sex, rape, bugger, bitch, homo, etc, and have its explanations skirted around.

Why do they even bother with censorship then?

[ Malaysiakini also reports on this issue. ]