Playing with electricity. Kids, creativity, and the basics of interaction.

5 years old kid playing with a motor circuit

In collaboration with Odile Fayet and Marie-Claude Beck from Pompidou Center in Paris, I designed and set up a family-oriented creative workshop using electricity and circuits: “Je suis une vraie pile électrique !” (From a french idiomatic meaning that a kid is unable to stand still. Literally, “I’m a real electric battery!” ).

In “Je suis une vraie pile électrique !” the emphasis is on the wonder of building and interacting with electric circuits: switching on and switching off a circuit, making something strange or beautiful happen.

Read more

Programming in a museum? Creative coding for art mediation

kid with generative art projected

With Jonathan Perret, we designed a workshop inspired by computer art for 9-13 year-old at Pompidou Center: “Code, colors and cookies”. You can find all the codes and some of the kids creations on the Github for the workshop.

Read more

What Open Creative Communities Tend To Forget About Free-Libre Licenses

A common is not owned by anyone, not even the community that is creating it.

Free licenses are here to protect the end users, not the authors. Copyright already over-protects the authors.

A good license for open creative communities is a license that aims to protect the users *from* the contributors, not to protect the contributors from the users.

Because, in the end, the one with all the power is the author.

By licensing work under a free-libre license, an author willingly chose to give a broad, permanent protection to the user against the author’s own rights.

Read more

You'll have to explain how your community works again and again and again…

Never assume that people understand how your community is organized. Most of the time, from outside, they will see your community as a traditional organization.

(this post is adapted from the book Building an Open Community, chapter From Many to Massive.)

People tend to apply organizational patterns they have seen working before.

That’s why they will first try to find the hierarchy and the leaders in your community using a traditional approach.

Read more

Why Coding Goûter is not a class, is not a lesson, and has no teachers

Coding Goûter is about enjoying programming together

This is part of a short series of articles on Coding Goûter. Read them on ils.sont.la

Coding Goûter is a monthly event where kids and parents play with a variety of programming tools, algorithmic games and puzzles, development environments, and languages. Goûter is French for a child’s afternoon snack or party, so we eat cakes and candies too!

So, what’s so special about Coding Goûter? How is it different from coding lessons?

Read more

Code Culture, between freedom, power, and illiteracy

This is part of a short series of articles on Coding Goûter. Read them on ils.sont.la

You are awakened by your phone, you start the washing machine. Oh look, a new fully automated train in the metro. At lunch you pay with your credit card. In the evening you enjoy the lights on the Eiffel Tower. It’s an endless list. There is not an hour of our life (one minute?) without a programmer participating in it by writing… code.

When code is everywhere, is there a new illiteracy? Read more…

Kids, code, and cakes at the Coding Goûter in Paris

Emma helping Jim and Léo with Scratch

This is part of a short series of articles on Coding Goûter. Read them on ils.sont.la

Coding Goûter – “Goûter” being the french for a children afternoon snack – is a monthly event where children and their parents put their hands on various programming tools, algorithmic games and puzzles, development environments, languages. And as it’s an afternoon snack, we eat cakes and candies throughout the afternoon!

Where is it? How does it works? Read more here…

Introducing MetaFragments, a common format for timed metadata in HTML

MetaFragments gives to web tools, mobile apps, browser and search engines a simple way to explore, connect and share the inside content of web videos.



Even when liberated from Flash, web videos are data dead-ends. Meta-data for video or audio is mostly non-existent in exposed, usable form.


Read more

Teaching journalists how to fish?

News orgs are now competing with web and mobile apps developers like Flipboard or Instapaper – and loosing on user experience.

You know the saying: teach people how to fish… instead of giving them a fish. Because of the web, because of the iPad, and because of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, newsrooms have a cruel choice to make. 


They can hope that someone else will built tools and formats for the digital age, and that the tools and formats will be simple enough for anyone (including a classically trained journalist) to use and apply in their newsroom. Or they can learn to fish, and try to turn the newsroom into a full speed tech company.


Read more

Why HTML5 alone can't unify videos and the web

For documents, the web is the API

If you were to draw a map of videos on the web, you would find that your map is composed mostly of dead-ends. 


HTML 5 started a big change for video, making in it a «first class citizen of the web». We can manipulate videos via Javascript and CSS. Media files are exposed as web resources, referenced natively via URLs.


But there is other dead-ends for web videos. Data dead-ends. Findability dead-ends.


Read more