Last night I attended my first DemoCamp. It’s an event where people get 15 minutes to demo one of their project.
Francois Magnan from Categorical Design Studios started the night and seemed really nervous and didn’t talk very loud. He spent five minutes talking about the semantic web just to get to say that his product uses OWL for an ontology. I guess this is good thing? Did it allowed you to do any thing cool, or something that would be very tough without OWL? (I’m sorry. I never saw anything really useful with semantic web technologies (or they have huge implementation problem) and am always fascinated why some people need to mention they used one, yet can’t explain any clear advantages.)
The presentation was hard to follow so here is what I think I understood: Braincuts is a scenario editor that allows you to mix video, images and sound. It can be used for e-learning.
I saw glimpses of a really cool UI, very impressive stuff done entirely using web standard technologies, but I’m not sure what all this tech is used for.
David Xu presented PodBean, a side project while he finishes his studies at McGill. For a side project, it is very impressive. I think the best way to describe PodBean is wordpress.com for podcasts (it actuallly seems to be built on wordpress). If podcasting interests you, check it out.
Mitch Cohen presented ClixConnect, which offers live chat (support / sales) 24/7 for any website. They target SME which can’t afford to have the staff for this. I think it’s an interesting business model. It’s not for everyone, but things seems to be going well for them (they just launched in april).
One of the presentation spot was left open this afternoon, so Josh Nursing put something together real quick, and it showed. Half of the presentation was about a bug he found in IronRuby, and the other half about some king of autocompletion for e (a text editor). I’m sorry, but I was bored to tears. Each could have been shown in under a minute, yet he found ways to keep rambling. I guess this depends on the technical level of the audience.
Daniel Haran finished the night with url_pipe. The idea is to bring the power of the unix command line to the web. A simple example he showed involved running a news feed to a geocode service and then displaying the results in Google Maps. He also showed a filter where you draw a shape on google maps so you could see only what’s happening in that region.
The final objective is to be able to have a command line where you could chain all these commands together. Yahoo! Pipes does something similar, albeit in a less powerful and graphical way. Daniel mentioned another use case for this utility: finding an apartment. You could search an rss feed for only 4 and a half apartments, geocode them, and then make sure they are situated in the areas you wanted on google maps. Now that’s cool!
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