Tuesday, November 21, 2006

WebMonday 2 in Jena - Aftermath

Yesterday evening the 2nd WebModay took place in Jena Intershop Tower. I thought that the number of participants that happend to come by the last time could not be surpassed (we had almost 50 people up there), but belief it or not, I counted more than 70 people this time! Lars Zapf moderated the event and we had 4 interesting speakers this evening.
For me, the most interesting talk was the presentation of Prof. Benno Stein from the Bauhaus-University Weimar about Information Retrieval and current projects. He was addressing the way how we are using the web today for retrieving information. Most current search engines are only offering 'document retrieval', i.e. after evaluating the keywords given in the user's query string the search engine presents an ordered list of documents that the user has to read in order to get the information. Instead, the more 'common' way to get information would be to ask a question and to receive an 'real' answer (= fact retrieval). I will discuss these different types of 'user interfaces' in an upcoming post. Interesting thing to mention is that Weimar is so close to Jena and both our research really seems to have some interconnections (thus, this new contact might be considered to be another WebMonday's networking success).
After that, Matthias Leonhard was giving the first part of a series of talks related to Microsoft's .NET 3.0.
Then, Ryan Orrock addressed the problem of 'localisation' and translation of applications. If translating an application into another language, simple translation of all text parts is not sufficient. There are also different units of measure to consider as well as the adaption of screen design, if texts in different languages have diferent sizes.
In the last presentation Karsten Schmidt was addressing networking with openBC/Xing, an interesting social networking tool that is supposed to make business contacts.(At least, now I know that I need some other tool to store (physicaly) my (and other people's) business cards :) ).
Even more interesting was - as always - the socializing part after the presentations. Markus Kämmerer made some photos .

Here you can find other blog articles on the 2nd WebMonday: