Last Saturday (October 4th, 2008) was a very special day for the Malagasy “cyber-community”. The FOKO Madagascar, a NGO registered under the laws of Canada and which aims to promote the use of blogs for Malagasy people, organized the very first Malagasy Barcamp at IVOTEL, Ambohidahy, in Antananarivo, ancestral capital of Madagascar.
The event started at a very unusual hour: 07.00am! (Do these guys know that it’s taboo to wake people up at such hour on a Saturday???). It officialy (officialy because most of us hang around with beer – the national THB (Take Home your Baby…))ended at 05.00pm.
People from different background made exchange there. There were people who talked bout the famous Web 2.0 and all its applications. Of course, in such event, Open Source is always among the most debated topics, what is more open source than Linux? Manda, a “Linuxist” made a very interesting presentation about it. I was really interested on it because I sincerely believe that the Malagasy government should start seriously to think about it. Among the priorities of the governmnet is the “E-governance”, it means to digitalize all the date of the administration. In order to save money, to assure a maximum of security against viruses and Electronic espionnage, Linux is among the best solutions we can afford. Some countries have done it with Linux, what are we a waiting for? The final flood from Microsoft?!
“Why the hell Madagascar has not got yet its IXP?” This is the question that Haja, the administrator of the .mg domain, member of AMUL and who works for Orchyd Systems (Tsy Orchidés Blanches akory an!), asked. IXP to make it brief, is a system which can enable internet connection through internal infrastructure. IXP will free our local internet providers from getting connection from abroad.
The presentation which stroke me the most was the one about lodjban, a new language, an alternative language which could be undestood by human beings and computers! The guy who did it (Gosh! what was his name already?) was a real geek and wanted to convince people to learn lodjban with him. When will we organize a lodjban speaking Barcamp?
We also had people from “Madagscar Au Temps Tic” (…) which talked about the organization of an International contest for software developers: “The International Olympiad for Informatics”. The speaker, a very young guy who wanted to appear more serious than death itself, explained to us in details the whole process.
I was a bit surprised to see representatives from Ebit who did also their part. Is the Barcamp a commercial event or a platform for win-win exchange?
Because we were mainly between bloggers, I was postively happy to, at last, see a real icon in the Malagasy bloggosphere: Ladies and Gentlemen, give a huge round of claps for Jentilisa! I was amazed to see his 2006 – 2007 publication book! A red book of someting like 200 or 300 pages, my Goodness, O Ry Jentilisa a! How do you do all of that?
We ended with Joan‘s speech which was about the initiative of Creative Commons (CC) in Madagascar. Briefly, Creative Commons is a kind of international treaty which allows an international covering of the protection of artistic and literary works. Their current objective si to extend such initiative to Madagscar. I have the feeling that I will talk more about it during the next days …
That was my first Barcamp, I remember when Tahina first time told it to me, I thought that it would be an International bar which would come to Madagascar! I really had the feeling that it was someting for a specific community, my community! Though all the topics were serious and interesting, I was amazed and happy to see the friendly and unformal attitude of people there. It was more like a get together of good friends rather than a “on the standards” conference.
Actually, this is my only summary of the Barcamp: “I got new friends there”.