PDX11 Civic Unconference Hacking report

Last weekend we had more than 70 people out for a civic hackathon associated with PDX11, the joint effort between community, the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission to promote software development in Portland. We kicked things off last Friday with a 30-minute, whirlwind status update since the kickoff of three initiatives in December 2010. Scroll down for a video! The next morning, Saturday April 2, we had another orientation, but focused on people’s hacking projects and an unconference. Many thanks to Kris Wetzel of Emma who organized all our food and drink Friday and Saturday, and to Tropo, who sponsored Saturday’s lunch. A big thanks to the project coordinators who prepared feature lists, wrote out tickets, and mentored others during the event:

  • Aaron Pareki
  • Amber Case
  • Audrey Eschright
  • Igal Koshevoy
  • Kyle Drake
  • Reid Beels
  • Kirsten Commandich
  • Don Park
  • Rafa Gutierrez

There were definitely more folks working on things — sorry I didn’t get all your names. Here are the project reports!

From Aaron Pareki:

The guys from BarBird built a layer in Geoloqi so you can receive real-time updates about upcoming happy hours or special events happening near you. See: this blog post. Myself and Jill Burrows worked on a way to extract sentences from Wikipedia articles to push interesting tidbits of information to you about nearby landmarks. The source code is on Github. Both of these layers send out SMSs via Tropo’s messaging platform, and they will be launching in the Geoloqi app soon! Amber Case and Kyle Drake worked on Bandasaur, a music discovery website with over 300,000 free songs from all over the world which you can also legally download. From Igal:
I haven’t published the official report for what we did on Calagator yet because we’re trying to get the final tweaks in before publishing it, but we’re very close. However, here’s the overview of some of the open source projects we worked on…. Calagator: * Added Plancast integration to display attendees and allow people to indicate that they’re going. * Added ePDX integration to associate events with ePDX groups. * Fixed exports to Google Calendar so it doesn’t fail if an event has a very long description. * Re-enabled importing and added theme-specific messages explaining what appropriate content is to “Add event” and “Import source” pages. * Fixed and improved event previewing to use the same rules as event display. * Replaced obsolete, problematic Vpim library with modern RiCal for importing iCalendar data. * Discussed a wizard for the event form that would display per-field suggestions for improving the content, e.g. make the title a reasonable length, provide a long enough description, use a reasonable time of day, autosuggest tags, indicate that the event may be too far away for users of the calendar to be interested, etc. ePDX: * Added JSONP support to allow make it easier to embed ePDX content in other sites. * Improved JSON output to include associated data for a record. * Added “show all” links to paginated collections. Compticketeer: * Updated and began sending out complimentary tickets for Open Source Bridge 2011. * Updated libraries. There were also teams working on pulling real-time bus data and mapping it for a Hawthorne route. We also had a group of Geo hackers working on 3D visualization hacking in the back room. A video of Friday’s report-out is below, hosted by Gerald Baugh, who has led the PDX11 effort.
A 13-minute video is below of the Saturday unconference kickoff:

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