In September we had our first internal hackday which was a great success. Half a year passed and spring is just around the corner, new ideas are blossoming, so we thought it is time to have another. It happened last Thursday and Friday, so technically it was more of a hacktwoday.
Sure it was fun, but what did we achieve?
Tomaž Šolc worked on an algorithm to gain a better understanding of text by expanding terms in it. It didn’t work as well as he hoped, but as Edison said, we now know one more thing that doesn’t work too well.
Dušan Omercevic took a look at related articles and came up with an algorithm for forming a more descriptive lead than our “Related articles by Zemanta” line. Imagine you were writing a post about vacation in India and added a few related articles talking about the country. Wouldn’t it be great, if they were introduced with “Read more about India”?
Domen Grabec likes tools light, fast and unobtrusive. Hence he went for a big task of reimagining Zemanta widget and created Zemanta Lite. It is an interesting concept with some fresh ideas to which words can’t do justice so head to vimeo to see and comment on it.
Here at Zemanta we are big fans of Django framework and its admin interface, which would be perfect with an integrated Zemanta widget. Danijel Pancic agreed and developed a plugin that makes using Zemanta in Django easy.
I made two hacks. Floater, an interaction prototype to test how it would feel to use a bigger widget that can be moved anywhere on page and Zippy, your contextual assistant. Zippy is very much like our Zemanta widget except that it works on any page containing at least one editor. Another case where video speaks more than words, so visit my YouTube page to see demonstrations and tell us what you think.
Not bad, right?
Hacks provided lots of ideas for improvement of our service and I am sure we will implement at least some of them. We would also like to hear your opinion on what is worth keeping and what to discard.