in conference, development, geek stuff, linux, random, rdf, seminars, thoughts


I’ve been on Dev8D this year and I noticed that if you don’t blog your notes as soon as possible, the time just passes and you forget the little things you kept in your mind and decided to not put down in paper (or in the notepad on the computer).

So here is the highlight of what I witnessed:

On WEDNESDAY, I mostly spend time on Lightning talks, because I saw as a way of gathering general information and a taster of what everyone was doing.

Blackboard – interface seems fast and easy to use, better looking compared with other CMS/Moodle style of things. You can check general company information at, but if you just want to start publishing your own course you can do it for FREE (up to 5 courses) at

Talk was done by George Kroner, he blogs at and is @georgekroner on Twitter

PIMS – Stephen Wilton – project manager at JISC – @StephenCWilton on Twitter
The PIMS database is a record of all JISC-run programmes and projects, from 2002 to present.
PIMS API Documentation can be found at

MyMobileBristol is an exciting collaboration between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council that intends to facilitate communities of developers, data providers, policy makers and user groups to promote the development and deployment of innovative technologies. Site:
The mobile interface is at
The talk was done by Mike Jones he blogs at and is @MrJ1971 on Twitter

Open Bibliographic Data Challenge – Mark Macgillivray opened a challenge on Dev8D to use one of the 3 datasets mentioned and anything else that you want, the challenge page is at (I think it closed on Feb 2011 but good to see the general information and examples) – He mentioned – Bibliographica is an open catalogue of cultural works. And also gave an example that was created by Ben using the data available:

Mark blogs at and is @odaesa on Twitter

SciVerse – Elsevier – search engine over oracle – allows performing advanced searches across SciVerse ScienceDirect and SciVerse Scopus content, and web content –

Talk by Remko Caprio, he blogs at: and is @sciversedev on Twitter

Open Planets – Digital Preservation & Format Identification
Tools for digital preservation and the importance of Format identification and a community taking care of the integrity of the information for format identification – all under opensource licence – talk by Bram Van Der Werf he blogs at

The Molly Project is an open source (AFLv3) mobile framework that allows institutions to quickly develop mobile web services which target a wide range of devices. Talk was given by Tim Fernando – he blogs at and is @timfernando on Twitter

Microsoft Academic Search – Alex Wade made a demonstration using searching for “Les Carr” and at the time I used Google Chrome to see the website and took AGES to load the page… still today is a bit slower compared with other browsers, but the loading improved 100% (well, considering didn’t load to load) but at least now you can see some cool features like the publication/citation graph and the co-authors link where you can see not only a very interesting Graph but also pictures of the faces (much better than just names)!

He also mentioned about which now, reviewing my notes is just an address, without any meaninful link to my memories… but seeing the website it seems that is about giving students Microsoft tools at no charge… so great! (you just have to be a student!)

Talk was done by Alex Wade and @alexwade on Twitter.

Nature Locator
During the summer of 2010, the Conker Tree Science project engaged with members of the public across the UK by appealing for geo and photographic evidence of the spread of the horse chestnut leaf-mining moth ( The JISC funded “Nature Locator” project will help the researchers by creating mobile applications that provide geo-tagged photographs, and visualisation tools to facilitate crowd-sourced verification of the data submitted during 2011.
Talk by Mike Jones, he blogs at and is @MrJ1971 on Twitter

Android Development by Phil Raymonds
This talk is interesting and quite unusual… Phil uses Eclipse to develop his apps plus loads of plugins… the presentation itself was a bit poor was really brief about Android coding and how to make apps (which suppose to be the focus of the talk) but demonstrated that anyone willing to develop will develop applications for phones… the success of them will depend on the need and quality… I couldn’t find his apps without my memory but they weren’t great on design but was good on functionality.

What developers who don’t believe the hype actually need to know about RDF.
Talk by Chris Gutteridge, he blogs at and is @cgutteridge on Twitter

Primary keys is a web address (global unique id)
He mentioned about Graphite: He also send me later on Twitter the crash course in RDF for hackers in a hurry: which is quite good!

What makes Dexy so Sexy for creating beautiful code documentation?
Quite good automated documentation, is open source, it generates screenshots on-the-fly and runs the program creating report with the results of the computation. I went to the workshop on the next day and was quite useful… the install and tutorials are quite straightforward and Ana was a great help and is very approachable so I don’t think she will mind giving more information if you have questions. Check tutorials etc here:
by Ana Nelson – on Twitter

The Lucero project at the OU is producing open linked data. eprints as linked data, using bebo.

this article, has an author, john smith (triple example)

Talk by Owen Stephens, he blogs at and is @ostephens on Twitter

Archives hub – Search and Retrieve via URL
Twitter account for the project is @archiveshub
Talk by John Harrison – @bloomonkey on Twitter

LOCAH – Adrian Stevenson/Julian Cheal
How they did: exposing linked data – model things into RDF/XML, enhance data, load into triple store, create data views, document the process
Adrian blogs at and is @adrianstevenson on Twitter

RDFa 1.1
RDFa – data in (x)html
Linked data reqs are scary: rdf? rdf/xml? content negotiation? 303?
webpages as records….

Reconsider design if you have more than 2 RDFa attributes on same element

Talk by Damian Steer – Bristol

I went to check the Drone being controlled by David Tarrant and a phone… was quite smooth but I didn’t give a try myself… maybe was shy???


One challenge was announced, with the chance of winning $15K (first prize)!!! More details at I’m not sure if that’s still going on, but is worth checking if you are keen on it…

‘registry catalog’
Share data, check if data is still available, etc

This workshop was a bit of a mistery, it worked using their instructions, I put the Dev8D rdf into the – you can see my test here: (last time I tried didn’t work… maybe they changed the test server)

What I could take it from this tutorial/workshop is that CKAN s a kind of framework, with storage and data normalising, enabling share with community. But I’m still getting my head around it, and trying to understand what to do once the data is there!!!

There are too many links that I made note of… here they are:


Cool visualisation:

CKAN from Javascript can be found here: – get the code at

Using CKAN apparently: just web, /

To quick start, go to – choose a file and upload, that’s it…

Group (it is a bit more controlled, you can limit the people accessing/inside group):
Example of it is the – running ‘vanilla’ ckan and the groups are here:

Another way of describing CKAN is that is a kind of ‘sourceforge’ of data.

Talk by Rufus Pollock – and @rufuspollock on Twitter


Great tutorial, check all the info at (I already mentioned a few things in the beginning of the post)

Unfortunatelly couldn’t get too deep on the workshop, and up until now I couldn’t stop and finish the tutorials to start using at work…


at the time of the tutorial, we had a little problem so to install we needed to type:
install dexy: sudo easy_install dexy==0.2.0
after installation, open terminal and use
dexy -p
if you have python version 2.6 (version 2.7 is ok, so just ‘dexy’ will do)

There are too many filters, test filters (test expectations, etc): ~/code/dexy/examples .dexy file – you can setup what you expect from a test output and dexy will throw an error if doesn’t match.


This workshop was quite good, however we didn’t have any step-by-step that we could go back to, so I had to quickly catch up with the VM installation and getting the source code… But once was there was not too hard.

Tim was really good on making sure everyone was in the same page and the and Chris mentioned that they would be posting somewhere a tutorial for trying again later at our own pace.

These are just some quick steps I could annotate to try again later…

go to: molly-deployment
source bin/activate
cd deploy startapp tube_status
create and templates folder
create tube_status folder inside templates and create index.html (to be the initial template)

some modifications: and (inside main folder)

Tim Fernando –
Christopher Northwood – and @cnorthwood

And last but not least, I meet up on the session “Why we need an open registry of academic developers”

Why we need an open academic developer register. How we should go about building one. Bring your ideas and opinions to this, see blog posting

Many ideas come from the discussion, for example:

  • swapping developer time (two institutions could swap developers for specific expertise in a project)
  • better coding practices (comments)
  • aggregation of skills (know better individual skills)
  • scrapping public profiles and user confirm/deny/accept
  • point on map with description of skills/projects (easier to find people and skills)
  • Example: 360 designs – bids of ideas/jobs (couldn’t find reference to this one…)
  • ‘dating’ type of site with profiles and skills
  • check Quora – – suggested by one of the participants, that in theory already have some aggregation of knowledge

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