Author: Rob Drimmie

Workshop brings developers up to speed with

One of the major benefits of helping to organize a workshop for a new JavaScript framework is the obligation and privilege of attending. It was definitely a privilege to attend the May 22 “Get to Know” session, an introduction to the recently open sourced Led by Connor Turland, lead developer at, the workshop began with a quick review of the framework’s history. was originally announced to the public at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012 but only made available to the general public a few weeks ago. The framework’s claim to fame is that it enables native-like, 60fps rendering for browser-based applications written in JavaScript. It does this by bypassing the most significant bottleneck in classic browser layout engines, interacting with the DOM. Websites built with have an extremely flat DOM because, from a programmer’s point of view, replaces the DOM with its Render Tree. Like the DOM, the Render Tree is a tree, but nodes in a Render Tree are not HTML Elements; they are Renderables or Modifiers. In less than 40 minutes, Connor had the room full of developers up to speed on the core concepts and ready to write some code. We started by creating our own Surfaces, one of the two types of Renderable nodes. Everything in an application that gets displayed is contained in a Surface. For example, if you were...

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Apps Factory Presents: Jason Davitsky

The Apps Factory Prototyping Service is a great way to have an early stage version of an application built. This allows you to get an early version of your product into the hands of customers to get the most valuable feedback of all: from people you want to help. What the Apps Factory hasn’t been able to do is help people find those early customers, and that’s why we’re bringing Jason Davitsky to the Communitech Hub. Jason has years of experience creating and managing Early Adopter Programs, and will be sharing some of that knowledge with us on December 11, from 12pm to 1pm. During this free (as in pizza, which will also be there) one-hour public information session learn more about what Beta and Early Adopter programs are, including: benefits to your organization benefits to your customers how to run the programs how to find participants If you are interested, follow-up the public session with a private one-on-one meeting with Jason to get some advice tailored to your organization and learn more about how Jason may be able to help you. Please register for the public and private sessions if you plan on attending. Apps Factory Presents is a series of Collision Days hosted at the Communitech Hub. We highlight products and services for application developers in Waterloo Region. If you have such a product or service we...

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Apps Factory Presents: Primal

Primal is an interest network that connects your personal interests to related topics and content from across the real-time Web. Primal’s open interest data makes it easy and affordable to build personalized applications and services that leverage highly specific interests. Learn more about this innovative Waterloo company, discover how you can use it to give yourself and your clients an edge, and develop amazing learning interest networks. On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 the Apps Factory will be hosting a Collision Day for Primal. From 12 – 1, participate in a public information session where you can learn much more about this amazing technology, and enjoy some pizza – on Primal! As part of the Collision Day, you can register for 30-minute one-on-one sessions where you and your team can meet directly with members of the Primal team and learn in more detail how to apply this technology to your product or service are available throughout the afternoon. Please register for the public and private sessions at: To learn more about Primal visit their site where you can learn more about interest markets, about the company itself, and request an invitation to the Alpha program. Apps Factory Presents is a series of Collision Days hosted at the Communitech Hub. We highlight products and services for application developers in Waterloo Region. If you have such a product or service we...

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Apps Factory Demo Day Winter 2011

Every term, four co-op student software developers are brought into the Communitech Hub and with a little bit of help and guidance create four entirely new software prototypes. This term’s conclusion came on December 14th with our regularly occurring Apps Factory Demo Day. These ideas come from people we call Idea Sponsors. People who have a good idea and for whatever reason don’t have the development capacity or technical knowledge to develop it themselves. Every term we look for Idea Sponsors we can help, and every term we pick four. We’ll be looking for Idea Sponsors again sometime in late January or early February.  If you have a great idea for an app keep your eyes peeled! ANTVibes ANTVibes is an Accelerator Centre tenant taking the guesswork out of pronouncing names. You can read more in Anthony Reinhart’s profile of them from October. The Communitech Apps Factory helped research the options for a mobile application and have started building a prototype BlackBerry application that allows users to automatically attach their Audible Name Tag (ANT) to emails, as well as collect any ANTs on incoming emails and update the user’s contact information. Cultural Tourism In association with the The James Wegg Review, the Communitech Apps Factory developed a prototype of a new mobile application highlighting Cultural Tourism. This application currently focuses on the Niagara Region with big plans for expansion throughout...

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Apps Factory Demo Day

The Communitech Apps Factory was created to help ideas be realized. Our initial model was to hire four co-op students for four months and build four applications. This term’s efforts culminated on Wednesday, August 23rd with our very first Demo Day, hosted at the Communitech Hub. One of those ideas is the idea of the Apps Factory itself. As the term started we asked members of our community, organizations and people both, for ideas they had that needed to be developed. The community responded with 16 excellent ideas which were pared down into a shortlist of three, with an additional slot for a application to be developed specifically for Communitech. Scavenger The first application we started developing we call “Scavenger”. It was suggested and specified by Homick Labs, a member of the Accelerator Program. Scavenger is a game, a Scavenger Hunt, specifically used to make tours of University Campuses more engaging to the students who visit. There are two major components of Scavenger, a server-side component written in Ruby on Rails with a MySQL database that allows the administrators – called Campus Builders – to identify specific Places on campus. These Places are often times historically or culturally significant landmarks that the Campus Builders wish to emphasize. Places can be chained together into a Tour, and at each Place one or more Challenges can be created. Players access the...

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