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Weeknotes #4 (05/03/10)

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Tristan Ferne | 16:05 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010


Almost everyone is in the office this morning and we have a possibly over-long stand up to start the week. George hands out some lovely new pink R&D lanyards - we are now appropriately branded. The final report for Music Resolver is delivered in paper form and, in another tree-related delivery, I receive a copy of a journal for which I wrote an introduction a while ago and had completely forgotten about. That means I have several hours of reading ahead of me this week.

Vicky and Theo meet with Maxine from R&D’s audience experience team to evaluate the Multitouch work so far and talk about future collaborations. Chris G, Theo and I spend an hour shuffling and rewriting bits of paper for our Mythology presentation next week.

Dave is continuing work on the Microblogging project. We have three user interface approaches which he’s been developing, he is adding content to the visuals now and by end of the week we should have a presentation to demonstrate the key selling points.


We try to work out how to watch Mark Thompson’s announcement on the BBC’s future in our office, give up and head to the 8th floor where they’re showing it. Later in the morning Sam gives us a sneak preview of his talk later in the week on P2PNext, HTML5 and time-synchronisation. This week he’s mainly preparing for an EC review of the project in Brussels next week. And we plan out the first iteration of Coventry now Chris N and Chris B are back in, we’ve got a good direction now and they start on a new revision of the data model.

Akua buys cakes for Chris’s birthday. We eat those while going through this week’s work and next quarter’s priorities, we’ve got lots of project ideas and we’re trying to identify some themes. Tony from the Archive project is in the office at the end of the day and Chris G shows off the Mythology demo.


Chris G and I revive some work we’ve been putting off, its aim is to describe what the team aspires to do - for both a common team understanding and for communicating to others. We’re having some problems with connectivity on our incubator servers which means we have to work round things and re-prioritise some of our tasks. Glen is having to play sysadmin a lot.

George has a useful meeting with strategy people from the World Service to talk about how one of our recent projects might be used on a new service they are planning. Later Peter B from R&D comes in to talk about a proposed recommendation service, I think we made some constructive suggestions that should help to shape it.

The microblogging chain from Glen and Duncan is now sucking in data and we’re going to leave it going for further analysis later. Duncan continues working on message queues, trying out AMQP, websockets and Rabbit MQ. Our work on phase 1 of this is done so we hand it over to Audio & Music in the afternoon and it’s over to them to make suggestions for phase 2.


Vicky puts our future project themes up on a wall so anyone can add project ideas to it. We want new ideas, suggestions for improvement in the themes and a sanity check for our suggestions. Theo is working late this evening putting the finishing touches to our Mythology presentation which now looks pretty good and Sean is finishing of his ejabberd module for Presence so that it will be fully compatible with various BBC systems.


I start the day writing speaker notes for our presentation on Mythology while Theo is still tweaking it. And Coventry is starting to look good. Chris N has finally managed to deploy it to our servers - we’re really struggling from not having a sysadmin, he lost about two days to it this week. Chris B has already got it looking pretty nice and has found some issues with some of our data sources and it feels like we’re learning something and getting somewhere. Right now I’ve just finished reading the Resolver report and I’m about to hit publish on this…



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