[tpm] This month's meeting

Scott Elcomb psema4 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 24 14:14:51 PST 2013

On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM, J. Bobby Lopez <jbl at jbldata.com> wrote:
> On 13-01-24 03:14 PM, Olaf Alders wrote:
>>>         • Making meetings more accessible to those who may not be able to
>>> be there physically.  Conf-call type setup with audio/video, and remote
>>> users providing input/feedback via some kind of messaging platform (twitter,
>>> email, irc)
>>>                 • This may have been discussed several times in the past,
>>> but with the emerging popularity of telecommute, and our interest in
>>> nurturing new (often younger) developers, we may want to do more to get with
>>> the (social) times.
>>>                 • Even if we can't come up with a solution for the next
>>> few meetings, a discussion still may be useful with an aim to have some new
>>> changes/improvements to how meetings are held going forward.  Tighter
>>> integration with the new TPM site is also be a possibility!
>> I don't know what can be done here.  At the very least, we could project
>> #tpm via the projector and let people participate remotely.  Combined with
>> an audio feed (like a Skype conference call), that could potentially be
>> pretty interesting.
> Sounds like an interesting project.  The video feed of the group could be
> simple enough with a webcam + VLC (sound may be a challenge).  The
> desktop/projector sharing could be done via some kind of Webex or VNC
> technology.  I like the way webex does conferencing, with the public/private
> messages, the ability to raise your hand (to chime in verbally) and the
> ability to flag a comment as a question to the presenter/host, so that it
> doesn't get lost, for example, in a continuous discussion stream such as
> IRC.
> Some of those features may not get much use in general, but I know I'd use
> it.  I like the thought of filtering out general banter from topic
> discussions, so that the discussion can flow uninterrupted, while still
> having an opportunity to participate in the general banter.
> Twitter-style (140 character limit messages) communication could also work
> well, as it would allow questions/comments to be focused, and (IMO) prevent
> people from going too far off on a tangent.

Serious case of deja vu: I have a half-formed proposal for the Pirate
Party of Canada that intends to solve a number of these issues.  The
future is coming, it's just taking a while.  :-(

For now I'll just speak to the live presentation aspect...

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications, <http://www.webrtc.org/>) is a
browser-based P2P solution that can currently handle most of the
infrastructure required (video/audio/screencasting).  Unfortunately,
different browser implementations don't work well together just yet.

If remote participants could settle on one browser* initially, it
shouldn't take long (a couple weeks, maybe a month) to put something
together.  As other browsers improve support, only minimal code
changes (if any) would be required to support them.

For a quick summary & crash course, see

- Scott

* AFAIK, Google's Chrome has the best WebRTC support to-date.

PS - The Pirate Party of Canada used to use a custom IRC bot for
managing online meetings, handling things like giving the floor to a
speaker and taking votes.  It had a number of issues (having been
written in PHP was one IMO) and it's use was discontinued.  If anyone
wants the source though, it can be found at

  Scott Elcomb
  @psema4 on Twitter / Identi.ca / Github & more

  Atomic OS: Self Contained Microsystems

  Member of the Pirate Party of Canada

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