【小學電視台】接受小學生記者訪問

八年前,在鏡頭前,接受了一個小學電視台來訪問我,淺談有關軟件工程師和開放源碼。幾個月前,這張感謝卡終於抵達我手中。

這八年間,相信當年小學生記者,今天也進入大學了。

這八年間,我也沒想過,當年香港毫無開源活動,今天卻準備舉辦第十個會議,GNOME亞洲峰會、香港開源年會、PyCon HK。

由起初至今,付出多少光陰、心思意念、犧牲,在困境下有苦自己知。我亦面對艱辛不公對待,雖有怨言但仍繼續做。這張感謝卡帶來少少的鼓勵。

開源會議管理系統 badgeprint

去年我開發了一套開放源碼系統 badgeprint,協助幾個幾百人的會議作現場管理之用。

過去六年,我幫手舉辦約十場的 IT 技術會議。參加者用 eventbrite 報名,然後我們使用手機 app 在現場 check-in。但這個方法遇到一些問題,主要是依據姓名尋找証件 (badge) 需時,有一次還試過場地沒有手機及 wifi 訊號,要臨時改用紙筆處理。

曾經某間做 event management solution 的香港 startup,多次主動 mass email 來提議他們的方案,但限制需要使用他們自家的登記系統,而我們已用 eventbrite 而沒成事。另一次卻報價過萬元的費用,我們舉辦的 IT 社群會議都是免費或成本價(或倒貼),不可能花費過萬元在「即場印label」上。

後來,經社群朋友介紹,我們採用另一間 startup 以成本價提供的方案,他們用心討論。透過跟我們合作,亦幫助發展他們的方案。

到了去年,我有機會開發這套 badgeprint,買了多台 label printers,用自己的技術來支持自己的社群會議

  • 由會議主辦者開發的方案,更能了解明白現場 check-in 工作實況。
  • 使用 Python 和少量 javascript 來開發,以 Django 作 web 框架。
  • 支援 Brother QL-720-NW 無線網絡標籤打印機,以及兩款會議常用的 DK-11202 和 DK-11209 標籤帶。
  • 可以在 DK-11209 標籤上印出席者名字 (英文或正體中文) 及公司名稱。
  • DK-11202 標籤已夠大,只須發標籤給出席者,badgeprint 還可加印會議 logo 或主辦者 logo 及其他會議資料。
  • badgeprint 支援多場活動資料、多台標籤打印機、多用戶。
  • 透過 web 介面來 check-in,可用姓名、電話、電郵地址等搜尋。
  • 亦可透過 API 來 check-in,實試在會議用過 iOS 和 Android 手機的 QR code scanner 程式,掃描後經 custom URL 來「scan & print」來簡單而快速 check-in。
  • 透過 Django 自家 web admin UI 來管理資料。
  • 包括一個 python script 作例子,可以載入 CSV 檔案 (例如 eventbrite) 的參加者資料存在 Django 資料庫內。
  • 還有其他小功能。
  • 開放源碼 (Open Source)!不會被單一公司限制如何使用和改動,更多彈性。

如果你要辦會議或活動,可以支持和採用 badgeprint,歡迎找我洽談商業方案或非牟利方案。

最後,要感謝 Henry、HKCOTAOSHK、Cla 的支持開發 badgeprint,令我們將來可以做更多會議的 features。

badgeprint @ GitHub: https://github.com/sammyfung/badgeprint

6 year difficulties of open source conferences in Hong Kong (COSCUP 2017 version)

I shares a topic of 「6 year difficulties of open source conferences in Hong Kong」 (Chinese title: 香港開源會議的六年辛酸) at 「The Art of Conducting Open Community 開放社群經營藝術」 track in COSCUP 2017 in Taipei. Hereby is my speaker script and resources.

Community leaders, event organisers and participants, Hello, I am Sammy Fung from Hong Kong.

I co-organised more than 10 conferences in Asia and Hong Kong since 2012, from GNOME Asia Summit, Hong Kong Open Source Conference, COSCUP, PyCon HK and other events. It is my pleasure to work with people with passion among the world. In past 3 years, I and my team in Hong Kong got some difficulties, and I will share with yours in next 5 minutes.

3 cases of our difficulities

The 1st case, at our community events, we meet new potential leaders and they appreciated our works to support them and the community. But they are not interested to help us or make little donation to support our work. And later on, our relationship with them turns poor, because they thinks why we are not happy with them about no helps and donation from them. It is a miscommunication issue, and we are always welcome to work with everyone for the community.

Before the 2nd case happens, sometimes an engineer was joking that 「(Someone, for an example,) Sammy is bad guy lor」 when he mind on some little things, for an example, he is ok with japanese dinner, but one night, he did’t want to have japanese dinner with me, he will say 「Sammy is bad guy lor」 (「Sammy 係衰人囉」).  XD

And the 2nd case, we supports this engineer to give his tech sharing for a couple of times. Two  years ago, during COSCUP, he posted to a Taiwan Facebook group with some thousands of members, this group is administrated by him. And he write on the facebook, without our consent, says: 」 『Big vendor A』 didn’t pay for sponsorship money to a Open Source Conference in Hong Kong after a month of the conference」.

And then about 2 weeks later, also without our consent, he also talked to 「big vendor A」 at event in person, and ask them when will they pay back sponsorship money to the conference. This behaviour show to others that he seems to be a representative of our conference, but unfortunately he is not our staff the conference without our consent.

When I and another core leader told him that he should not do this 2 things, but he still thinks he is right and he didn’t feel anything wrong about his behaviour, and no apologise to us. At the end of conversation, he turns to angry about us, and he starts to blaming and judging every events of my community. And he thinks and keep saying online and offline that, I and another core leader are bad guys for 2 years and still continues badmouthing. Keep saying 「Sammy is bad guy lor」 (「Sammy 係衰人囉」), but this time it is no longer a joke. It looks very funny (XD) but I and another core leader also have hard feeling to above events.

The case number 3 is that, when we reject a proposal from a maker, and another similar proposal was accepted by our program committee, the maker complains on his Facebook and phone call, to complain and blames a core leader who actually is not a member in the program committee, and he also blaming speakers (who are a team of seniors) not respecting their maker’s community culture.

For this 3 cases, it is no doubt that I and my team are doing right things, but we didn’t handle these cases perfectly after they happens. Sometimes our core members receives phone call and then blame on phone for fifteen minutes up to an half hour, so you found out how difficult does our team facing.

And I got more difficulties from community and personal, but I am not going to mention at this session.

So, in this two years, sometimes I think it again and try to think from more angles. And 3 things I learnt from this 3 cases.

3 things I learnt from above cases

The first thing I learnt from above cases: 「Be calm」. You can feel angry but stop your anger before the public know it. And we should forgive their sins. (Luke 11:4)

The second thing I learnt is, when Badmouth happens, let’s explain the case to public in simple language, deliver one to two key points, in less than 5 sentences, just answer a key point in his complaint. Keep open for discussions.

The third thing I learnt is, when bad mouth happens, don’t believe that the case will be gone soon, harm is already made. It is not a task we should care with, we should all care about our belief and mission, and how we should achieve it.

How did we start to organise open source conferences in Hong Kong ?

I started to join and contribute in open source community in 1997 starting with Hong Kong Linux Iser Group. After 2005, I stopped to organise community events for 2 years, and then it was no open source community in Hong Kong.

A community member told me on phone: 「oh, sammy, we need you」. I replied immediately: 「I hopes I can sit in front of the speaker stage as audiences」. Because I hopes I can listen to other people’s sharing at events , to achieve it, just organise them!  So, I rebuild the community from scratch, from almost zero.

In 2010, before I started to organise conferences, Haggen was invited to give a lecture in university about open source licenses and history, and he invited me to share for 10 minute about the local open source community. I told two hundred students that I want to participate FOSDEM in Europe and COSCUP in Taiwan, unfortunately we had no open source conference in Hong Kong, and when will we have it ? And I hopes students can help us.

Today, it is my Seven year attending COSCUP since 2011, and I still didn’t attend FOSDEM yet. And I and my team organise Hong Kong Open Source Conference for 5 years.

HKOSCon team and my suggestions

At Hong Kong Open Source Conference, we manages different functions: design, finance, marketing, operation, program, recording, sales, and web. I and another core leader looks over multiple teams because we are still lack of man power.

Thanks for my team’s contributions for 6 years, and the conference will be continued in next year. And I am giving 3 suggestions to our conference team.

Suggestion one, we should call for community participation before call for proposals for next year conference, and we hopes more community can help us to organise some sessions, like how does FOSDEM do and like how does COSCUP do, to reduce our time and cost on man power, and to increase the number of contributions to the open source community.

Suggestion two, we should change our sponsorship model. For higher level of sponsors, we will move their sessions from main conference at weekend to pre-event corporate training day, a day before conference.

Suggestion three, it is my idea from first year of our conference, we can work with more speakers and help them increase number of contributors to develop their open source projects. Overseas and local developers are always our speakers, and we would like to invite you to join our conference in Hong Kong, and meet with other developers at our conference in Hong Kong.

And from my sharing in this twenty minutes, I hopes you will understand the truth behind the story when someone says 「(Someone or) Sammy is bad guy」 (「Sammy 係衰人囉」)  XD

And when someone says 「Open Source Conferences in Hong Kong are bad」, and I hopes you will also understand that we are doing right and people should respect all other speakers, participants, volunteers, helpers, sponsors and organisers, no matter who they are.

My script can be found on my blog today, sammy.hk, and we can keep contact on twitter, my twitter is @sammyfung, thanks for your joining this sessions today and COSCUP. Thanks Irvin and his team, and COSCUP to organise this wonderful conference for 12 years. Thank you.

Remark: Presentation Slides and Speaker Notes are available at http://bit.ly/sammycoscup17