Tuesday, November 21, 2006

DemoCamp Ottawa 2, A look back

DemoCamp Ottawa was quite interesting, although not exactly
what I was expecting.

My spam filter managed to eat the confirmation e-mail from the organizer, so I
didn't appear on the schedule but fortunately I was able to demo anyways. I'm certainly going to have to look into
my spam filter, its eaten a few other decidedly non-spammy e-mails that I much rather have.

All of the other presentations had actual UIs [most of them quite nice] and the technology was way beyond the "I built the DB yesterday/this morning I hope it works", but hey whatever :-)

One of the demos (Context Discovery) looked really cool to me, essentially it attempts to create a summary of a text document based on an enhanced version of an algorithm that came out of the nrc. They seem to be getting ready to do a beta, and I'm certainly going to take a look at it once its released [although the demo was on a WIN32 platform, so there is a reasonable chance they won't release a linux version in there beta, I forgot to ask...]

I think its safe to say that the Race Dv people had the slickest user interface there. There product is aimed at racers (which I'm not), but it looks really cool. Spending Profile seems to be aimed as a web-based slimmed down Quicken/MsMoney alternative for people looking to track their spending habbits. The buttons for the UI were a bit hard to make out on the projector screen, but it looked like it could be a useful tool for people trying to make/follow a budget.ChoiceBot seems to be aimed to making it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for, which increase the conversion rate. Being able to specify the relative importance of various features seems like it would be useful for buying electronics and whatnot, but since the majority of my purchases are books I probably won't see it anytime soon.

The All The Code Demo didn't go particularly well, but the database didn't fall over dead either which is a good start. Some people wanted to know what All The Code does differently than Google Code and similar, and the best way I've found to summarise it is that it considers the relations between pieces of code. At some point in the future there are so many other things that I would like to implement as well to make it even more useful to people, but for now its important to get the foundation well built. Hopefully, eventually, it will do a bit more than that as well. I'm going to have to get better at giving demos, although I should probably make a reasonable user interface before I try and give another one :).

After the Demo one of the other presenters suggested that I e-mail him and that he might know someone who I could try and sell an early version to, but he cautioned me that they might just try and steal it. For some reason I'm not particularly worried about people trying to steal All The Code, I think its one of those things which you need someone really crazy to implement it, there are so many places where I think a lot of people would be put off and just give up [and hopefully buy my product :)]. Of course, I could be wrong, but such is life.

I actually met up with a number of people from a computer camp that I used to volunteer at back in the day, it was nice to see them again.

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