British appeal for hackers

15/06/2007 Written by Alberto Redi (halfmoon)

 Next week-​end the pres­ti­gious Alexan­dra Palace in Lon­don, will host hun­dreds of web devel­op­ers who are gath­er­ing in the British Cap­i­tal to join an Hack­day orga­nized by the BBC and Yahoo.

The event is actu­ally an occa­sion to show web devel­op­ers how to get more out of the data feeds and inter­faces the two organ­i­sa­tions make avail­able, the BBC reports.

Sem­i­nars and lab­o­ra­to­ries will be held by devel­op­ers from both the BBC and Yahoo.

Matt Cash­more, devel­op­ment pro­ducer for the BBC, said the hack­day event at Alexan­dra Palace was a chance for those in the Back­stage devel­oper com­mu­nity to meet and swap ideas.
“The devel­op­ers get a fan­tas­tic depth of infor­ma­tion about how they can open up our con­tent and resources,” he said.

The idea was to encour­age groups of devel­op­ers to work on new projects and cre­ate pro­to­types of new appli­ca­tions. How? Allow­ing IT pro­fes­sion­als to have “free-​style” hack­ing ses­sion that, in the inten­tions of the orga­niz­ers, could lead to unex­pected dis­cov­er­ies. For instance, Yahoo spokesman told that dur­ing last Yahoo hack­day one group came up with a blog­ging purse that had a pedome­ter and cam­era phone built in so it could take a snap every 100 steps that was then uploaded to a blog.

The spirit of the event is reminded by Mr, Cash­more when talk­ing about prizes: the best hack of the week end would win a prize but the event is not focused on show­ing off cod­ing skills.
“It’s doing it for the love of doing it,” he said.

Undoubt­edly this event could be an effec­tive form of adver­tis­ing for both the orga­niz­ing com­pa­nies but we could also con­sider it as an exam­ple to fol­low: nor­mally, hack­ing is seen as some­thing neg­a­tive, whereas such events could cast a light on the real pur­poses of what we con­sider as a real science.

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