Thursday, 14 August 2008

Popfly Experience - Photos

This is a set of photos showing my experience whilst out in Seattle for the week, the photos can also be found on Flickr here.

Highlights of photos:

Sumo Fight - UK Vs Canada
Shooting Range
.NET Beer

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Popfly Experience - Meet the Team

Video: The Popfly Experience 2 : Working with The Team

Heres the second of a series of videos that Ben and myself are doing from Seattle, talking to various memebers of the Popfly team.

Note: I look horriable sweaty at the start as I had been upholding British machismo by fighting Patrick in a sumo match (and it was hot!!).

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Popfly Mashup and Custom Block

As part of the work experience that I have been doing with the Popfly team I have been creating a number of mashups that would be able to be demoed as part of presentations and then be used with hands on labs so that the audience could go and create these mashup's themselves.

One of the mashups that has been created for the hands on labs is the creation of a twitter friend comparer, this will compaire the number of friends one user has against the other and give the results on a bar chart. The user who deploys the app will hard code their own user name in the app and then embed it into a website or facebook. Anyone visiting that page will then be able to input their own twitter screen name to see has the most friends.

(a number of errors may still occour with the mashup due to problem with the twitter API)

Creating this mashup posed a number of problems, one of which was that currently none of the social network API's/blocks support getting the number of friends a user has. Instead the API returns an array of objects that represent a friend. The number of friends can then be found by the number of objects in this array.

To do this I created a custom block that checks the ammount of entrys in the array from the input blocks. This can work for any number of blocks of any type, so if a Facebook block returns 147 friends the count block will output an integer with the value of 147.

This allows the above mashup to get the number of friends each of the users have and then display this integer to the bar graph block as data.

The created mashup can be found here and the "count" block can be found under the tool sub folder in Popfly.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Popfly Experience - Video

Ben Nunney has put together a quick video covering our first couple of days out in Seatle a where we are doing some work for the Popfly team.

Video: Popfly Experience Video Blog 1

Making Games the Hard Way

Making Games...before Popfly Game Creator

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Say hello to my little friend...

First time firing a gun, what an exhilarating experience. I want more ...

Popfly, America and Jetlag

It's coming to the end of the second day out in America working with the Popfly team, and I thought it was only appropriate to undate everyone with whats been happening over this past couple of days.

The first day with the Popfly team, started of extremly early, with Ben and myself making it into the office (MS Building 41) for around 8:30, which is earlier than ive been out of bed this last couple of weeks :s

We met up with John Montgomery who is the GPM for the Popfly and Visual Studio Express teams, and John showed us around some of campus and introduced us to various people on his teams. Then on to set up in our own offices and start to flesh out some of the idea's that we have had for the projects that we will be doing this week.
This involved lots of writing on white boards (is alot cooler than it sounds) and story boarding our 3 presentations which will cover an "Overview of Popfly", "Mashup's", and "Game Creation". For each presention we will have to deliver a 60 minute presentation with a number of demos / builds, complete demos and walk throughs for presenters and also hands on labs for the audience to either complete in their own time or after the presentation.

With the outlines of each presentation done and we started on building up a number of demos that will be introduced into the slides, these include some great mashup's such as an Live Image search and display mashup and a recreation of the classic Amiga game "Bouncing Babies" (no babies were hurt in the production of this game!) whereby babies would have to jump from a buring building to be caught by the firebrigade below. We have also got an idea for a Deepdive for the mashups and block creation where we will use a number of different social networking sites and RSS feeds to either create a friend feed esq. sidebar app or an online presence idicator which can be put on your blog as "Blog Bling" (also check out Pimp My Live) to show visitors to your blog where else they can find more info about you, such as your twitter, FB or Flickr profies.

The second day we continued with our fleshing out of ideas and creation of demos and walkthroughs...

*edit* Remove mention of how horrid JavaScrip is *edit*
Along with the request for a Merge block to be included in Popfly (stay posted for the latest).

Needless to say after minimal sleep and alot of work, jetlag has started to kick in, however I will keep updating when more cool stuff happens.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Jose Fajardo - Deep Zoom Video

Just found this short video on DeepZoom on the Delicate Genius blog which shows Jose Fajardo skimming over some very cool stuff that can be done with DeepZoom! I especially like the thought of embedded adverts and overlays within a DeepZoom image.

Check out this video: