A huge Thank-You to our Hackers

Posted on 03/18/2011 by

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Stuart Harrison ConcentratesThis has been such an exciting week, as we’ve begun the process of moving beyond “stealth-mode” and into Beta testing (expect more about that next week!). Our hackday on Wednesday was an outstanding opportunity to share what we’ve built so far with a few invited guests, and get their feedback as we hacked alongside. (NB: many attendees used the #kasabi hashtag on twitter.)

Several people managed in the short time available to turn out surprisingly complete projects built on Kasabi-hosted datasets.

Stuart Harrison put together a Recipe app that takes data held in the Kasabi-hosted Foodista dataset and matches recipes with ingredients. You simply tell it that you have a cabbage in your kitchen, and it gives you a list of options for what you can do with it. (Sadly, making a cabbage-catapult didn’t turn up anywhere.)

Dan Smith built a dataset visualiser and explorer which looks into a dataset and lets you explore the nodes it contains and plots relationships between them. You can navigate your way visually through a set, and see what’s related and how.

Our own Ian Davis made a mapping tool which takes shape-files from English Heritage, and maps them according to Borough, and outputs them into an Open Streetmap. The result is an interactive map that shows you historical sites on a present-day map.

Other hacks included a tool for displaying projects by participant by Wilbert Kraan, a timeline of school closures by place by Bright Lemon’s Leon Tong, Paul Downey’s mashed-up technology world map of geeky terms and places, Leigh Dodds’ Lego minifig rotator, and Dean Reilly’s app that calculates an actor’s “Bacon Number”.

Alongside the fun of putting together apps and widgets on top of Kasabi’s datasets, the hackers were performing a huge service to the future of Kasabi by being honest in their feedback. They were thorough in suggesting improvements, pointing out bugs, and (thankfully) letting us know which things worked well for them. We cannot hope to build an application that’s geared toward developers’ needs without the support and advice from people like these. I can’t express my thanks enough for the time our developers have given for the Hackday, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what will be done next!

So, what are the next steps for shifting the cloak around Kasabi? Well, we’ll be releasing a number of private beta invites in the next few days for a period of testing, feedback and tweaking. If you are interested in joining Kasabi’s journey by being a beta tester:

  • register your interest on kasabi.com
  • Drop into the #kasabi IRC channel on freenode.net
  • follow @teamkasabi on twitter for more
  • and, of course, check back here for more info.
Posted in: Beta