Popathon London

Popathon

Last weekend was Popathon London #2. An event aimed at hacking video with open source tools to make new, web native video content. It was a great event with lots of interesting people and a great learning experience for me, and hopefully all the other participants.

The event covered the entirety of the weekend, and started with a morning of what was essentially keynotes that introduced the ideas of web native video, and the possibilities it opens up to filmmakers, and developers.

With the interactive multimedia capacity of the web, stories are now starting to take new shapes and forms, allowing for new engaging experiences around them.
-- The Popathon Organizers

Philo - Popathon Organiser

The hack jam was well thought out, and I'll leave the explanation of its structure to the wonderful Jessica Rose. I will however say that it was nice to see the parallels between the structure of Popathon and other events that I've organised. Sure a hack jam is a hack jam… but its the subtleties that make or break it. Popathon was a win on the make front.

Talking of the make front, what did I work on? Well that would be the wrong question. I contributed to a project, dubbed Kettle, with a great team of people who took my basic, rough around the edges idea, and turned it into a well thought out, much better defined idea.

Kettle conception

Kettle is/will be a library that makes use of both Popcorn, and the Make API to create dynamically loaded playlists of popcorn makes. Right now its still in the early stages and there are some issues with detecting the end of a popcorn makes (kind of essential for Kettle to work properly).

Let me give you a quick rundown of the Kettle team:

  • Simon Phillips from Tools of Directing was our project manager. He kept us within scope for the hack jam, as well as helped surface the current status of the project, and what needed doing.
  • Jessica Rose acted as front-end developer and did the initial work on the landing pages for the project. Learning a little more about the world of development going from 60 to 100mph in a day.
  • Matt Mullarkey-Toner helped with Popcorn Maker training, and demo content creation. Here's to the wonderful popcats
  • Elena Klaudis was our thinker and doer. She asked all the right questions at all the right times. Made us think about the edge case usage, and how we should explain the project to a larger audience. (No link to her online presence I'm afraid.)
  • Mohammed Hussien was the fabulous designer who brought us our team logo, and took my initial rough wireframe, and turned it into something we could actually work from.
  • William Duyck. This is me! I worked on code development, and brought the concept to the table. I didn't want to be the lead however… I knew what I wanted to create… and that was a spark of inspiration for the rest of the team to expand upon and turn into something that will have uses far beyond my initial use case.

All our code is on github. It is extremely hacky, and likely to explode at the time of this posting… though we do plan on taking this further, and have a basic roadmap that will be going onto the big ol' internet soon.

Cheers Popathon for a great weekend!