Día W3C en España: La nueva generación de estándares Web Report

Introduction

Pablo Priesca, Pilar Conesa, Martín Álvarez during the Welcome
Opening and Welcome

As in previous years, during the first half of the year, the W3C Spanish Members are gathered together to discuss about their concerns on W3C and its standards. This event is called 'Día del W3C en España: la nueva generación de Estándares Web' (W3C Day in Spain: The New Generation of Web Standards) and it has been organized by the Spanish Office, and Fundación CTIC. This year, the Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona City Council) has taken part in the organization, collaborating with logistics, providing the room and lunches.

All the W3C Members with presence in Spain were invited to take part in the event. They were offered to give a talk (or participate in a panel) about use cases, failures, and successes using W3C technologies.

Ajuntament de Barcelona is an organization on good terms with Fundación CTIC. As soon as they received the proposal of co-organizing the event, they accept. The event was held on 16th April 2009, at the Agbar Tower, in Barcelona. Agbar (Barcelona's Water Company) collaborated lending the room.

Venue

The Agbar Tower Auditorium, with a capacity of 320 seats, was the room used to hold the event. This skyscraper is one of the most emblematic buildings in Barcelona, located in the hearth of a new area in Barcelona where are hosted many ICT companies.

Agbar Tower from Diagonal Street
Agbar Tower from Diagonal Street

Attendees

The event was open and free, but it was required previous registration through a Web form. In spite of the capacity of the auditorium is 320 seats, the registration form was closed after receiving 370 entries, thinking in people who were not going to attend the event. It was an important decision due to the Agbar's security policy, which is very strict about the attendees; they don't allow to have more people than the capacity of the room. Finally, almost 300 people attended the event.

The average profile of the audience was technical: project managers, developers, designers, and some head of departments from a wide range of organizations. There were present representatives of big companies (i.e, Accenture, Capgemini, Indra, etc.), banks, universities, public administrations (national, regional, and local), and other small and medium local enterprises.

Almost all were Spanish, and the half part of them was from Catalonia.

Spreading Material and Logistics

The Public received spreading material related to W3C and standards, and some gifts. In the registration desk, and during the event, hostesses distributed the material listed below.

Attendees before the event started
Attendees look through guides

Also, there were 3 totems with the branding of the W3C Day in Spain, which were located beside the stage and outside the auditorium. One of them, the one on the left hand side of the stage, included the logos of all the Spanish W3C Members.

Ajuntament de Barcelona staff giving a hand
Ajuntament de Barcelona staff giving a hand

All this material arrived to the building on 15th April, the day before the event, in 38 packages. During that afternoon all was got ready for the conferences with the help of Marc Garriga (Ajuntament de Barcelona), the person in charge of helping organize the event. Apart from Marc, Ajuntament de Barcelona assigned four volunteers to help in the organization. Also, two hostesses were hired because the Agbar's security policy in force to use the cloakroom and they were also needed for managing microphones and other businesses.

Programme

The agenda was organized in three sessions: Social Networking, eGovernment, and Accessibility. Each session was composed of several lightning talks (maximum 20 minutes) and a panel to discuss the questions about the talks. Most of the speakers were designated by W3C Members. All the Spanish Members received a message, through the Spanish AC-Rep mailing list (member-ac-spain@w3.org), inviting them to participate in the event, by giving a talk or in a panel. Also, Yahoo! was invited, because they have a researching lab in Barcelona with many people involved in standard technologies.

The registration desk opened at 8:30.

Welcome

The event started at 9:00 with Martin Alvarez's welcome speech, giving thanks to the other co-organizers, represented by: Pablo Priesca, Managing Director at Fundación CTIC; and Pilar Conesa, Managet at Ajuntament de Barcelona's Department of eGovernment and Electronic Services. During half an hour, they welcomed the audience. Ms. Conesa offered to co-organize the event again, in 2010.

Social Networking Session

Hugo Zaragoza talks about Semantic Search
Hugo Zaragoza talks about Semantic Search

The first session began at 9:30 with three talks of 20 minutes each: Hugo Zaragoza, from Yahoo!, gave a talk titled 'The Power of the Web 2.0'. His talk was focused on their work in the researching labs in Barcelona, some open initiatives , using Semantic Web technologies; María Jesús Fernández, Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, gave a speech about a semantic infrastructure used in their systems; Miguel Acosta, from Garrigues, talked about privacy in the Web, and the potential problems of the Social Networks.

After these talks, for an hour, there was a panel for discussing the topics dealt with before. The panel was moderated by Mari Carmen Marcos, a well-known professor at Pompeu Fabra University.

Coffee Break

At 11:30, and for 30 minutes, coffee was served outside the auditorium, but inside the Agbar's premises.

Coffee Break
Coffee Break

eGovernment Session

Second Session
Auditorioum during the eGovernment session

At 12:00, the second session started, with the same dynamics, but only two talks. José Manuel Alonso had been confirmed as a speaker, but he took medical leave and he was not able to attend the event. The first speaker was Miguel A. Amutio, from the Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas (Spanish Ministry of Pubic Administrations), and talked about the National Interoperability Scheme and the relevance of the W3C standards in this schema used to assure the interoperability among public departments in Spain. The second speaker was Pere Comas, from the Information Architecture Department of the IT Institute at Ajuntament de Barcelona, who presented the information arquitecture used in the Barcelona City Council.

After these speeches, Carlos de la Fuente from Fundación CTIC explained briefly José Manuel's work at W3C. After that, he moderated the second panel during approximately an hour. There was a discussion about the openness, transparency in the public administrations, specially in Spain.

Lunch

From 13:45 to 15:00 an informal lunch was served, which was provided by Ajuntament de Barcelona. This lunch was held outside the auditorium, and fostered the networking among the attendees, who commented the highlights of the event. After that, most of the attendees went out the premises and returned a few minutes before the last session started.

Accessibility Session

Session about Accessibility. Chus Garcia Speaking
Chus Garcia speaks about Accessibility

At 15:00, Jesús García, the Spain Office Coordinator, gave a speech about W3C, focused on WCAG 2.0. His talk was longer than the rest due to him introducing W3C (an overview, its goals, Members, Groups, etc.). After him, Lourdes González Perea, from Fundación ONCE, talked about the need of the W3C-WAI technologies and exposed an example of a project which uses the Mobile Web as an interface for blind ATM users. Manuel Lavín, Adesis Netlife, was the third speaker of this session and explained the real challenges of the Spanish enterprises in order to achieve the accessibility goals of their sites, since the government set a law about it. J. Manrique López, Fundación CTIC, gave his point of view about the relationship of Accessibility and Mobility, presenting a project used to adapt Web content to mobile devices.

All this speakers discussed for more than an hour about accessibility issues. The audience was very active in this panel, moderated by Jaime Delgado, Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya.

For this session, it was expected the attendance of a deaf person, so a couple of sign language interpreters were hired.

Audience Reactions and Survey

Feedback from the public is very important. In order to avoid the shyness of the Spanish audience, a backchannel (public chat on the Web) was enabled during the event, where all the people could express their opinion, send questions or comments. Chairs of each panel accessed this backchannel and followed the concerns of the public, asking the proposed questions. Also, an email address was enabled to gather questions from people who preferred this way and because the backchannel was not accessible for all. Dozens of questions and comments were received.

During the last part of the event, in the panel on accessibility, the chair offered a book for each attendee who ask a single question. That book, the Spanish version of 'Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design', by Shawn Lawton Henry, was an attractive gift for the attendees and many questions were proposed since the chair make the announcement. More than 100 books were distributed among the attendees, speakers, and collaborators.

Most of the comments about the conference have been positive. The event official email address (info@w3c.es) has received more than a dozen of messages thanking and congratulating organizers on their work. Through an email, all the attendees were asked for fulfil a survey about the W3C Day and their impressions, via web. Although only 62 people submitted the web form, almost all the responses have been coherent, and positive.

Questions asked were:

Content of the Programme

Survey results

20% of the attendees think that the agenda has been excellent, 60% good, and the rest (16%), 'so, so'.

Some comments suggested that they have found some topics without interest for them.

Timming

Survey Graph

15% of the attendees think that timing was excellent, 56% good, 23% 'So, so', 5% poor, and the rest (2%) did not answered.

Negative comments were referred to the length of talks, they would prefer longer talks. But, most of the people valued positively this dynamics.

Social Networking Sessions

Session 1

26% of the attendees think that timing was excellent, 44% good, 25% 'So, so', 2% quite poor, and the rest (3%) did not answered.

eGovernment Session

Session 2

10% of the attendees think that this session was excellent, 15% good, 34% 'So, so', 26% poor, 13% quite poor, and the rest (2%) did not answered.

Maybe this session was the worst valued due to the cancellation of the José Manuel Alonso's talk.

Accessibility Session

Session 3

59% of the attendees think that this session was excellent, 28% good, 10% 'So, so', and the rest (3%) did not answered.

This has been the best valued session. People suggested to be more focused on this topic.

Suggested Topics

Attendees suggested other topics such as HTML5, Semantic Web, Usability, RIA.

Organization in General

Graph

31% of the attendees think that organization in general was excellent, 57% good, 8% 'So, so', and the rest (3%) did not answered.

The negative comments were about the lack of power plugs in the room.

Spreading Material (Gifts)

Graph

48% of the attendees think that the spreading material was excellent, 36% good, 11% 'So, so', 2% poor, 2% quite poor, and the rest (2%) did not answered.The negative comments suggested not to give printed material, but online material.

Premises

Graph

49% of the attendees think that premises were excellent, 39% good, 8% 'So, so', and the rest (3%) did not answered.The negative comments were about the lack of power plugs in the room.

Coffee Break and Lunch

Graph

38% of the attendees think that premises were excellent, 42% good, 13% 'So, so', and the rest (7%) did not answered.

Will you attend next year?

Graph

Only the 3% of the attendees would not attend again. They did not explained why. The rest (97%) would repeat.

Media Coverage

The day before the conference, a press release was sent to the main media representatives, and some digital media announced the event.

During the morning, Carles Del Collado, a Spanish journalist, gathered information about W3C, the Spanish Office, and the W3C Day in Spain to compose a special article for the newspaper Computing · Redes&Telecom. He interviewed Martín Alvarez, asking him questions and taking pictures during more than 45 minutes.

Martin during the interview
Meeting with the press

Most of the attendees covered the event using the social tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.

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