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FeedForward Scott Wilson & Kris Popat

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1 FeedForward Scott Wilson & Kris Popat

2 Put up your antennae! “… I’m not explicitly seeking particular content here - I’m establishing finely-tuned-antennae to catch useful intelligence …” Paul Walk, on the topic of “discovery to delivery”

3 A FeedForward view of information flow

4 Personal information flows are really complicated and go in both directions.

5 thankfully things are starting to converge in a way that makes things easier to process and manage

6 … though configuring all these services is still complicated and users need support. We do some of that in the FeedForward app but we also could use some support from services, registries, etc. (more later…)


8 FeedForward architecture plan, early 2007 What’s changed? - “Deposit API” - OAI-PMH - SRU - IESR - XSPF + SWORD + OAI-ORE? + OpenSearch? + TiCToCs + Twitter

9 Enough of this, show the demo!

10 Lessons learned

11 Some “high quality” sources can still produce pretty terrible RSS

12 Its more productive to get the RSS/Atom feeds right than waste time faffing with OAI- PMH or SRU or weird metadata profiles Particularly as small development teams like ours aren’t good at caring effectively interpreting specialised vertical specifications that require care and attention to detail

13 Registries have proved a bit of a problem We wanted to use registry services to help new users get a good batch of starting feeds Except none of them worked out for us One had a good API, but didn’t have any stuff in it (IESR) The other had loads of good stuff, but no API* (TicTocs) *to be remedied soon!?

14 If you need an API, and want to get people using it quickly, then steal someone else’s e.g. Magnolia “mirror” API == Delicious API e.g.2 SWORD == AtomPub+

15 SWORD is cool! BUT finding this inside it isn’t: METS MODS DIDL IMS Content Packaging Bagit OAI-ORE LOM DC Qualified DC PRISM OtherUnidentifiedStuff (plus zillions of “profiles” of the above) Packaging and metadata formats are a mess Is a simple, reliable, lowest-common-denominator standard too much to hope for?

16 On design: Its easy enough adding more features.

17 … but its when you take them away that you know you’re really getting somewhere!

18 Example: authoring Sometimes all you really need is a 140-character textbox We used to have a rich text editor - it was clunky as hell Now we just have a text box. Its good enough, and quick.

19 More info, download etc : FeedForward is Written in Eclipse/SWT. Uses Rome, Rome Propono, some Nebula widgets, and some leftover bits of Plex, RELOAD etc. It makes very extensive use of the Eclipse async job API. Its all up on SVN with an MIT- style license. Give us feedback, requests, ideas on our trac site @

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