Dev8D Lightning Talk: Hacking with MS Kinnect

Ben O’Steen
Doing work today on using Kinnect as controller for an AR Drone
Kinnect not just camera, but also uses IR Projection – this allows it to calculate things like distance – darker stuff is further away

Open Sound Control library (OSC) – allows you to stream bytes from one place, and pick them up at another
Ben using OSC to broadcast tracking info from the Kinnect – just the data points – example tracking hands and shoulders

Has used this to make flapping motions map to up and down motion of AR Drone 🙂

But idea is that based on the byte stream from OSC – means you can easily consume data without having to have Kinnect etc. – so provides lightweight way of getting data out and using. E.g. someone today has built a spotify control based on byte stream

Ben demoing ‘raw capture’ from Kinnect – pointing out issues with very thin items (e.g. chair legs) and reflective items

Ben says – if you want to hack Kinnect, don’t buy one that comes bundled with XBox because doesn’t have separate power supply if you buy bundled version

OpenNI is the place to start with Kinnect hacking – but still not straightforward at the moment – be prepared to spend quite a bit of time on this!

Dev8D Lightning Talk: RDFa 1.1

Damian Steer
Linked Data requirements are scary!
RDFa = RDF in attributes – way of integrating structured data into HTML pages – people can read page, machines can read data


<html xmlns:foaf=““>
<div about=“#person” typeof=:foaf:Person”>
<h2 property=“foaf:name”>Damian Steer</h2>

The attributes allow you to say what the data is that you are representing, data lives in the page – in this case div attributes say you are going to talk about a ‘person’ – saying it is a foaf:Person means external consumer will know it is the same type of thing as other foaf:Persons. h2 attribute say you have a foaf:name, and then contents of h2 is the name

Augment your HTML – don’t write RDF
If you have more than two RDFa attributes on an element reconsider your design

Who is using RDFa? Google (Rich Snippets uses RDFa and other stuff), Facebook (Open Graph Protocol – dumbed down RDFa), Yahoo (Search Monkey), Rotten Tomatoes

Analysis of use of Microformats and RDFa
Can see spike in RDFa usage

RDFa 1.1
        Coming into html5
        Simplify prefixes
        Allows use of full URIs (instead of prefixes)

Dev8D Lightning Talk: ArchivesHub

Oops, missed a load:
ArchivesHub –
APIs available – SRU, OAI-PMH

Entry Level Vocabulary – available as SRU service – – e.g. search for world war, and get return of terms that co-occur in records – route of entry into controlled vocab from keyword search

        Genesis Project – Women’s History Sources
        LOCAH (see next talk)

Dev8D Lightning Talk: Dexy – creating code documeentation

Ana Nelson (@ananelson) presenting

Dexy is a documentation tool – runs through scripts and create documentation. Any code etc. produced in the documentation comes from the original code – so can easily refresh as code updates

Example shows how you can document multiple scripts in different languages in single set of documentation, and include outputs. Dexy runs tests so get test output. Dexy can also take screenshots as well while it runs the test.

Dexy can also output html and blog it directly to WordPress via API – Ana using code from ScraperWiki as an example. Dexy allows you to reference remote URL and it will pull into the document… can also pull source data from remote API/source.

Dexy is Python library, works well on Mac/Linux; Windows version there but not so polished; Command line tool

Dev8D Lightning Talk: SciVerse

Took OpenSocial API and extended it – specifically so it could access some context from the web page you are viewing at the time
Applied extended OpenSocial to ScienceDirect – so can build gadgets that can be displayed next to articles etc.
SciVerse –

Now have open market place for gadgets at – open to all – need to register and then can develop – to develop need to know:

Examples include:
        Integration of library catalogue data that matches keyword search next to article

[Presumably could integrate an OpenURL resolver?]

Dev8D Lightning Talk: Open Bibliographic Data Challenge

Details at
Challenge from the Open Knowledge Foundation
Got datasets from
        British Library (
        Cambridge University Library (
        IUCr dataset (
You can enter challenge with just an idea as well as a development
Post ideas to tagged with ‘openbiblio-challenge’

Example (not an entry into competition) –

Dev8D Lightning Talk: MyMobileBristol
12 month JISC funded project – funding ends July 2011
Collaboration with Bristol City Council and others
Looking to integrte local area time and location sensitive data
Optimise delivery of data – esp. transport and sustainability information – for mobile devices

Supporting a ‘beta’ service at – mainly aimed at students

Brings in data from OpenStreetMap as well

What next?
        Integration with University systems
        Single Sign On
        LDAP (contacts search)
        Z39.50 + Aleph API (Library Catalogue – Aleph is software that runs it)
        Portal data

Going to work with a user experience expert, also looking to redesign UI
Working with council to see if can get more data

Developing a Virtual Tour of the University – iPhone and Android applications

Application is Java based; RESTful
Expose data as HTML; JSON and RDF

Data is stored in RDF store – now also support a SPARQL endpoint

Wiki at:
Source code at:

Dev8D Lightning Talk: PIMS API Challenge

Stephen Wilton (@StephenCWilton)
JISC Project Information Management System (PIMS) –
Developed API to expose data – (currently in Beta)

        Exposes data over http
        Allows creation and update of core data
        Relationships between entities are represented as URI

CHALLENGE … – produce a mobile app that users the PIMS API

Platform agnostic but … within JISC staff the breakdown of mobile usage is roughly
        40% iPhone
        40% Android
        10% Blackberry

Tips – DTDs exist for all GET calls
        ML Schema Definitions exist for all PUT and POST calls
        DTDs and XSDs are NOT symmetric
        PUT and POST will only succedd if you authenticate
        Some resources expose more information when authenticated

        Announcement in
        £50 Amazon Voucher

Dev8D Lightning Talk: Blackboard

Blackboard – special project to show what can be done with Blackboard – all done with Building Blocks – so could be done by any existing Bb users
All done – Bb Learn 9.1 – 2 months of coding with 3 p/t devs – now over 10,000 users system
Result: – free site, anyone can setup a course
Publish to open web as well
Login via OpenID – i.e. use ‘login with twitter/google/yahoo/etc.’)
Ability to pull in blog content via RSS
Ability to blog directly into Bb (using Pebble –
Custom themes
Pull in Social media – embed OpenGraph data into ‘splash page’ – capture social sharing information
Not everything can be ‘shared’ yet due to privacy concerns
Custom workflow for creating a course