Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mobile web applications development - VIA class 4


VIA is an Internet applications development course focusing on design of mobile web applications for students. VIA class number four took place on Thursday.  

We have finished the presentation of all the fourteen projects. All teams have created home pages and short description. The links are at our VIA projects pages. We can roughly break the applications to three categories. 

Scheduling applications enhancing and simplifying access to our very complex university information system. 
  • The Manager Calendar group is betting on the idea of publicly informing about participating or skipping a class. 
  • The Via-Gra team offers a calendar/task application alerting users about school important deadlines. 
  • Eager programmers are offering combination of courses schedule with entering notes and links to study materials. 
  • The Day Team suggests almost the same idea.  
  • The Vychodniary project is designing aggregation of the study materials from slightly different point. 
  • Fellow Me team wants to improve searching for students and university stuff using all information on net. 
  • SocDev team is trying to design a students oriented project management application.

The second largest group of applications leverages the power of social applications. 
  • Party Pool and Foko Team have very similar idea helping to find events based on location and time. 
  • ShareTimeProject is trying to help friends sharing activities through their calendars. 
  • Car share is more or less a general application automating hitch hiking. 

These applications are much more ambitious than what can be achieved in a school project. To create the critical mass of users nmaking the application useful is very difficult and takes lot of time and money. My suggestion is to design these ideas as Facebook application with the mobile UI.

The last group contains all the other applications. 
  • Happy meal wants to provide a list and scoring system for the university canteens. 
  • A great idea is an online presentation evaluation proposed by Via Team. 
  • Jamata team is offering games to kill free time.

Great, we have fourteen teams with a plan for an application. Next Thursday we will show how to install Eclipse plus plug-ins and explain a sample code. It will be an Android native application with single widget and a Google App Engine backend to store the entered data on server. Basically, we will use the Google suggested code. All will be placed on github to let all students easily download the initial source and start to experiment. 

The next deadline for all teams is the October 27th. I expect the teams to present validation of their applications, explaining their experiments proving their apps ideas. This also will be the time to limit the feature set of all apps and set realistic targets for the MVP.

It is a lot of work in front of all of us, but I hope it also will be a lot of fun. 



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