First Open Wonderland Code-A-Thon

By Nicole Yankelovich

This is a call for participation for our first ever Open Wonderland code-a-thon. This event is being managed via Eventbrite:

Sign up for the
First Open Wonderland Code-A-Thon

Sunday, October 14th
1-9pm US Eastern time
See time in your timezone

During the code-a-thon, participants will divide up into a set of cooperating teams to design and build a new Open Wonderland feature. The theme for this first code-a-thon is Postcards From Wonderland.

Physical "postcards from Wonderland"
Design of original physical postcards from Wonderland

Postcards From Wonderland

If you review the notes from the October 3rd code-a-thon planning meeting, you will see that we established a set of goals for the code-a-thons and discussed desirable attributes of code-a-thon projects. In that meeting, after brainstorming a list of possible project ideas, we selected the Postcards From Wonderland theme because it met the criteria of being a small, but fun project that we felt was doable in the code-a-thon timeframe. When complete, it will also demonstrate a number of important aspects of the Wonderland environment, including the ease of building a small new feature and the flexibility that the development environment offers in terms of integrating with external web services. In this case, the integration is all “outbound” integration. That is, taking data from within a Wonderland world and pushing it out to other services.

The idea for the project dates back almost to the time the Wonderland project was launched at Sun Microsystems in 2007. For one of our early public demos, we created the set of physical postcards shown above to hand out to visitors. We gave these to people along with postcard stamps so they could write the cards and send them to friends via postal mail telling them about the cool new virtual environment.

Inspired by this concept, the project theme for the first code-a-thon is to design and implement a feature that allows people visiting any in-world location to automatically generate a postcard from the scene they are looking at, add some text, and send the card. Depending on how many teams we have, we will tackle ways to send cards via email or to post them on web sites that have programmatic access (eg, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, etc.).

Call for Participation

Given the nature of the 3D environment, Open Wonderland code-a-thons are not just for hackers. Of course, software developers are crucial to the endeavor, but for the event to be a success, we will also need people with a range of other skills. We need people to help design the user interface for the new project. We need 3D artists and world builders to create an interesting 3D world to show off the new project. We need writers to create documentation, write blog posts, and update social media feeds. And we need people to help with logistics, system administration tasks, and web research.

We understand that people are in different timezones and probably have family commitments on the weekend, so it is not necessary to attend the entire event. We do request, however, that if you sign up, you will commit to a minimum of two hours of time helping out during the course of the event. Also, to the extent possible, we would like everyone to attend for the first half an hour. That will be the time when we do an overview of the project and divide up into teams.

No prior Open Wonderland experience is necessary to participate. These code-a-thons are an excellent way to get started with Open Wonderland development and world building. They are also an opportunity to see how we use the environment ourselves to organize group work and to collaborate.

Follow the link above to register for the event. It’s free!

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