James Mead by James Mead

Week 282

Having finished our work at MakieLab on Friday, we spent Monday in our office catching our breath before heading off to FutureLearn in the British Library for the rest of the week to hand-over our video-related work to the development team.

We find that the best way to hand over work like this is to pair program on some real user stories and I think this worked pretty well. We also did a presentation to the wider product team to explain how the current solution works and the reasoning behind the decisions that had got us there. Luckily we’d written up a lot of notes as we’ve gone along, so this was more a case of highlighting some of the more salient points.

Anyway, I hope the FutureLearn folk feel like we’ve left them in a decent position to pick up where we’ve left off.

Show and Tell

Back at GFRHQ on Wednesday evening we ran another Show and Tell session. Luckily our shiny new Mac Mini and Chromecast arrived just in time so that we could involve James A from across the pond via a live video link.

First up, Tom Stuart talked about his experience of recording a screencast with Drew Neil of Vimcasts fame. I’m very jealous of how proficient at vim Tom has become in recent months, but being recorded working on a problem like this sight-unseen sounded very scary.

He also showed us some of the JavaScript code he’s been working on recently with Nat Buckley which was commissioned by Artangel. The commission involves orchestrating a bunch of video and audio assets and they’ve achieved this using backbone.js custom events and the WebAudio API.

Lastly Tom showed us the tool chain he’s using to write his upcoming e-book about writing web apps in Ruby. I don’t remember all the details, but he’s doing something clever with Ruby & Pygments to add code syntax highlighting tags to his DocBook markup.

James A chipped in at this point to show us the latest design for the Harmonia home page which I notice he has now deployed. James also mentioned a service he’s been playing with called Peek which allows you to see and hear a 5-minute video of a real person using your website.

Finally, Chris gave us a quick tour of his awesome Roosmarks and MoneyTracker projects, before talking in a bit more detail about his Thames Time-Lapse project. He’s been using an old Android phone to capture photos from his flat which overlooks the Thames and then stitching the photos together to make time-lapse videos like this one which includes a beautiful sunrise. Chris has got some really interesting ideas for things to do with his photos and I’m looking forward to seeing the results!

We then adjourned to The Fox for a few more beers. People seemed to enjoy the evening and we’ve already planned the next one.

Until next time.

– James

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