The University of Southampton

ECS developers' success at national conference

Published: 5 March 2010

The School of Electronics and Computer Science and University of Southampton were very well represented at Dev8D, a JISC-sponsored event to train developers and to germinate new ideas and techniques.

Southampton staff won a total of three of the ten contests held during the event. Dave Tarrant, ECS PhD student, achieved joint first place for the "mobile challenge", building an open source iPhone app which could control a plug socket - enabling a light to be turned on and off from anywhere in the world.

Joint first-place with Dave Tarrant was a team of Christopher Gutteridge (ECS Web Projects Manager) and Sam Easterby-Smith who built an iPhone conference visualiser enabling users to 'see' what was currently on in each room, and what people were saying on Twitter.

Mark Borkum (School of Chemistry and ECS Alumnus)won the linked data challenge for creating 'Shredded Tweet', an example of a Web service that enhances Twitter search results to include RDF triples for 'hashtags', 'mentions', URLs and any user-defined regular expression!

Dave Challis (ECS webmaster) and Dr Mike Jewell (ECS Alumnus) won the 'Internet Archive' challenge for creating a way to graph and compare the history of websites.

"This event was a collision between an academic conference and a musicians' jam session,' said Chris Gutteridge. 'You see two or three delegates having a conversation and it results in a new tool or technique so blindingly simple and elegant that it seems odd nobody thought of it before! Too many people underestimate the huge value of motivated and imaginative developers to our growing information economy. Kudos to JISC for finding ways to strengthen the developer community.'

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