Georgia Tech Hack Day


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Georgia Tech Hack Day

  1. HackTech Christian Heilmann | | Georgia, Atlanta, US, Hack-U Georgia Tech, March 2009
  2. Hello, I am Chris.
  3. I am a hacker and a geek.
  4. And I love to share my passion.
  6. It is nice to be back in Atlanta.
  7. Last time I was here for the Webmaster Jam session
  8. All work and no play.
  9. This time I am here to help out with the University Hack Day for Georgia Tech.
  10. As part of a big hack team.
  11. All of which are not here yet because of snow.
  12. I live in London, England.
  13. And coming here I made a new enemy.
  14. Arrival + Passport Control + waiting for luggage. Hartsfield Airport
  15. Go through customs + put luggage on another conveyor belt. Hartsfield Airport
  16. Go through security once more – belt out, shoes off, laptop out. Hartsfield Airport
  17. Take train to main Hartsfield Airport baggage retrieval
  18. Your luggage is probably here Hartsfield Airport
  19. All the luggage from all the flights of the same airline gets collected in the arrivals hall for pickup at a single point.
  20. This baggage belt is publicly available, no need to have a ticket.
  21. Asking for the reason of this procedure built to delay people and make it easy to steal luggage what is the answer?
  22. Security, sir.
  23. This was not built by geeks.
  24. Geeks are great to have as they get excited about everything.
  25. Geeks are also full of ideas and need a channel to release these ideas.
  26. This is why we at Yahoo have Hack Days.
  27. For 24 hours normal work is put on hold and the geeks are allowed to roam free.
  28. We can take any of our systems and build something totally new with it.
  29. This allows people to do what they always wanted but didn’t have a chance to.
  30. It also allows people to play with new technologies.
  31. This was such a massive success that we thought to take it on the road.
  32. We now have Open Hack Days around the globe. Sunnyvale (2x), Taiwan, London, Bangalore (2x), Sao Paulo
  33. These are massive affairs
  34. And we do University Hack Days! USA, India, Great Britain
  35. These are somewhat smaller.
  36. But they follow the same flow.
  37. But they follow the same flow. Hack
  38. Snack Hack Recharge Eat!
  39. Hack Fix Present Win!
  40. The question is though: where do you start?
  41. After all, you are not a geek, right?
  42. A good hack starts with an idea.
  43. It starts with something you care about.
  44. And it starts with having fun with it.
  45. Nobody expects you to deliver the hottest new thing for the market.
  46. But we expect you to have a good stab at building something new.
  47. A good hack doesn’t need to be a big thing.
  48. But it should make a difference.
  49. Here’s one not so current example.
  50. HACKER!
  51. John Snow helped the London authorities in 1854 to trace back the reason of cholera...
  52. placing the deaths caused by cholera on a map and analyze the surroudings.
  53. The answer: water supply!
  54. This hack relied on the first thing you should think about.
  55. DATA
  56. John Snow spent quite a while collecting his data.
  57. Nowadays this is much easier and you don’t need to be a data wizard.
  58. What do you see when you surf the web?
  59. End users see web sites
  60. Developers see code.
  61. I see sweet, sweet data!
  62. And it has never been easier to get these sweets and bake them into something new.
  63. The oldest way is to cheat your way in using a very cool piece of software.
  64. Using cURL, you can be your own browser and get any data from the web to remix.
  65. The problems are that you don’t get the data back in a structured way.
  66. You’re at the mercy of the HTML structure and if that one changes your hack fails to work.
  67. This is why clever companies realized that it does make sense to offer their data in easier to digest formats.
  68. RSS or Really Simple Syndication was born.
  71. Using RSS or Atom feeds you get data in a predictable and easy to convert format.
  72. It doesn’t allow you to request specific data or define a different format though.
  73. This was the next step: REST APIs or Web Services.
  74. REST based Web Services allow you to request the correct data from a system.
  75. Yahoo Answers
  76. AnswersService/V1/questionSearch? query=sunderland&region=uk&lang=e n&appid=yahoodemo
  77. ... lots more...
  79. A lot of web services also allow you to choose your data format.
  80. AnswersService/V1/questionSearch? query=sunderland&region=uk&lang=e n&appid=yahoodemo&start=1&output= json&callback=useme
  81. This makes it dead easy to get the data and re-use it in your own interfaces.
  82. What if you want to use several sources?
  83. There’s Yahoo Pipes for mixing, filtering and matching.
  85. Or if you like SQL-style data conversion there’s YQL:
  87. Both of these systems allow you to reach data from Yahoo and other services and pre- filter it for use in your own hacks.
  88. Let’s think about the next thing you should consider about your hack.
  89. A working and interesting interface.
  90. I don’t care what interface your hack uses.
  91. However, if your build a web application...
  92. ... be aware that it is deceptively easy to write HTML, CSS and JavaScript...
  93. ... but there are dozens of ways to mess it up.
  94. The wild wild web is full of bad browsers and setups.
  95. You have no right to require a certain setup and you have no clue about what is used.
  96. Therefore it is a good idea to find a way to abstract these unknowns away from you.
  97. If you’re thinking about building something running on mobiles (cell phones), this increases tenfold.
  98. Two helpers (from us) are available to you:
  99. Here are our helpers: YUI BluePrint
  100. There will be detailed talks about these later in the week.
  101. One thing I want people to think about when building interfaces.
  102. Think about accessibility.
  103. Any web product should be available to users regardless of their ability.
  104. The next thing to wonder is how to get users for your hack.
  105. One cool thing is that companies nowadays not only offer their data to you...
  106. ...but also allow you to piggy- back on their user relationships.
  108. You can also build applications for where people are anyways.
  110. vv v ||v |v | .-, | | | .--./ / | _.---.| '-. (__..-quot; And of course a| ',.__. ,__.-'/ there is Twitter. '--/_.'----'` T H E W HA L E SLEEPS T O N I G HT
  111. How about some hack examples?
  112. Let’s take Twitter.
  113. I’m a big Twitter user.
  114. I like that I get notified when there is a new person following me.
  115. What I don’t know is when people left me.
  116. Or what I was telling the world before they left me.
  117. (which could be related)
  118. So I read the API docs, and found the user_timeline function.
  119. Notice the repetition.
  120. For every tweet there is the whole user information and a timestamp.
  121. Using this I could show the change in user numbers and see if that happened in a very short period of time.
  122. Adding YUI CSS grids and Google Charts I built
  124. And ended up where I quite didn’t expect to be.
  125. Another quick example. This time from Rasmus.
  126. How do you get a map of all the current earthquakes on the planet?
  127. jslibrary4.php
  128. What about reach? That was us, time for you to show what you can do!
  129. Build teams and think of a hack.
  130. Find a need.
  131. Or look at an existing solution from a different angle.
  132. And then know where to go.
  133. All of our APIs, documentation and examples:
  134. Very quick and dirty code examples for hacks:
  135. Rasmus Lerdorf’s demos
  136. Start thinking about the hack and plan it.
  137. You will have 24 hours to build a working prototype.
  138. Don’t get lost in shiny bells and whistles and try to impress with a snazzy interface.
  139. Don’t be too shy to ask for help, we are here all week!
  140. Don’t listen to the feature creature on your shoulder to add yet another thing to the hack.
  141. Instead plan for a solid base functionality and then build on top of that.
  142. However, don’t get too stressed when there are a few broken bits.
  143. We want you to find your own potential and show us what you can do with our offers!
  144. THANKS! Keep in touch: Christian Heilmann