Blog Posts by Sophie Major

  • YDN Sponsors COSCUP in Taiwan

    Last weekend, YDN Taiwan sponsored open source conference COSCUP in Taipei.

    Developers at COSCUP, Taiwan
    Photo credit: Joseph Jiang

    It was really a successful event for developers. Here are some of the things I enjoyed at the conference:

    Plurk is so popular!

    Everyone must have a plurk account or they are out of date. One of the sponsors even used plurk: if a developer adds KKBox as friend and replies to a plurk, they get a chance to win a lottery.

    Crazy topics

    - Let developers use JavaScript to write code on Google App Engine. jQuery on Google App Engine.
    - LXDE : A operating system using Firefox core. You only have to know HTML/CSS/JavaScript to write programs for this OS. See


    - More and more cloud topics, including programming language (Python, JavaScript, or PHP), Apache HBase, and Windows Azure. Even speakers about something unrelated would try to relate their topic to cloud computing.
    - 5 Google Android related sessions on the afternoon of the second day. People

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  • YDN Tuesday: Code Generation

    Every first Tuesday of the month is YDN Tuesday in London, a series in which Yahoo! engineers like me give free tech talks in partnership with open source training organisation Skills Matter. (I'm a front-end engineer for Yahoo! Europe based in London.) This time the topic was code generation, a technique that can increase developer productivity, morale, and code quality, among other things.

    About 30 people came to hear my talk, which covered:

    • Why one might choose to generate code
    • The different techniques by which code might be generated
    • Tools to use when generating code
    • How to get your team to adopt code generation

    The slides of my talk are available on Slideshare:

    The notes are available here. Skills Matter also filmed the talk - the video is available on their website.

    The next YDN Tuesday is Neil Crosby on Rapid Prototyping and Data Munging with Yahoo! Pipes on 1st September. See you there!

    Steve Marshall
    Web Developer, Yahoo! Europe

    Read More »from YDN Tuesday: Code Generation
  • Yahoo!7 Australia Open Sessions

    Yahoo!7 Australia is launching a series of ?Yahoo!7 Open Sessions? events for developers, hosting a range of international and local technology experts over the coming months.

    The first cab off the ranks is UK-based geek and hacker by heart, YDN road warrior Christian Heilmann. Chris is in Australia participating in in a series of workshops for Web Directions and will be giving a special free session at Yahoo!7?s Sydney offices on the evening of Wednesday, 22nd April.

    Come along to hear more about how Australian developers can tap into what Yahoo! Developer Network is doing, meet the man, and join us for free drinks and food.

    Numbers are limited so please head over to Upcoming to register!

    Amanda Millar
    Yahoo!7 Australia

  • YDN Tuesday – Automated Frontend Testing

    On Tuesday 7th April, we held our third monthly "YDN Tuesday" technical talk event in London, this time with me (Neil Crosby) talking about Automated Frontend Testing. We run YDN Tuesdays on the first Tuesday of every month, and you can find out about (and sign up for) future talks by keeping an eye on Upcoming.

    One of the things I'm tasked with at Yahoo! is making sure the frontend code we put into production is of a high quality. So, for the last few months I've been looking hard at implementing tools that can help to check for issues with our code where we deviate from our internal standards. And that's what I talked about last night...

    Coming soon! The vodcast on SkillsMatter's website

    As I mention in the talk, the Test Suite I've been writing is available on GitHub under a Creative Commons Attribution- Sharealike licence. So, you're able to grab it and make use of it (and contribute any improvements back into the project as well).

    I'm going to be writing a lot more about

    Read More »from YDN Tuesday – Automated Frontend Testing
  • Pipes, YQL talk in MSRIT, India

    On a bright Monday morning some weeks back, I gave a talk on Pipes, YQL, and web development to a group of students in MS Ramiah Institute of Technology.

    After meeting the Head of the Computer Science Department and other senior professors, I was taken to the seminar hall. There were at least 100 people in the room. They were all students - undergraduates in the third and fourth years of their Engineering degree. I started off slightly skeptical about them being able to digest what I was going to feed them. But in the end I was happy with the outcome.

    Harsha giving his talk
    Photo credit: Santosh Prasad

    First, I spoke to them about web development and how it is not yet fully supported in universities in India.

    Then I spoke about Yahoo! Pipes. Most of them appreciated the beauty of Pipes and some of them had already started thinking of using Pipes in their projects. I did a quick demo; where the news about "Lok Sabha Elections 2009" was aggregated from various sources (news sites and search) and the data was

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  • HackLite ? showcase your hacks in Bangalore!

    HackLite is a lightweight hacking event that Yahoo! is hosting at the Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) in Bangalore in April. This event provides an opportunity for you to showcase any application you create using Yahoo!'s Open APIs (e.g., Blueprint, BOSS, YQL, Maps, Flickr) and offers a chance to win cool prizes. You can register any hack that you?ve already built or are able to build before judgment day (April 25, 2009) at the GIDS event.

    With HackLite, the hacking concept is the same as our Open Hack Days ? that is, building great applications and widgets using Yahoo! Open APIs. But unlike Open Hack Days (where all the hacking happens during the event), HackLite allows developers to do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes, and demonstrate their hacks at the event. So, if you have written a superb piece of code and haven't yet had the chance to show it off, this is your opportunity!

    Aside from hacking, technical talks on Yahoo's Open Platforms will be conducted on all four

    Read More »from HackLite ? showcase your hacks in Bangalore!
  • YDN Tuesday talk: PHP security

    It's almost time for our next YDN Tuesday talk, a monthly program to get together with the London geek community to share our interests and expertise in various subjects.

    This next session covers the topic of web security through demos and examples in PHP, presented by Jose Palazon, security expert for the Yahoo! Mobile division.

    Jose will share a series of demos on how to exploit and prevent the most popular security flaws in web applications, such as SQL and blind SQL Injections, Cross Site Scripting, file uploads, file-handling functions, global variables and, favorite of them all, programmer ingenuity!

    The session takes place at SkillsMatter, located at 1 Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0BE starting around 6:30pm.

    It's completely free to attend, although you need to sign up in advance on the SkillsMatter site.

    Hope to see you all there!

    Ricardo Varela
    Engineering Lead, Yahoo! Europe Mobile Integration

    Read More »from YDN Tuesday talk: PHP security
  • University Hack Day in Bollywood!

    Like the sequel to a good movie, following the box-office hit of Hack U, IIT Delhi, it was time to visit IIT Mumbai, in Bollywood!

    Mumbai is well-known for its computer science engineering department, so we expected a strong response. We were not disappointed. Students registered in large numbers, curious to know about "Yahoo! Hack U."

    There was some initial misconception about the Hack U event. Some thought it they would learn how to crack or hack or break into websites but we explained that hack is about discovering creative new ways to mash up open data from Yahoo! and the rest of the web using Yahoo! tools and web services.

    The Yahoo! Hack U posters were everywhere on the huge campus. We were shocked to learn that the campus is close to a national park, full with wild bison, crocodiles, and wild cats.

    HackU IIT Mumbai attendees
    Photo credit: Subramanyan Murali

    For the first 2 days of the event, Yahoos provided tech talks on various Yahoo! technologies and Yahoo! web services. Rasmus Lerdorf described what

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  • Yahoo! Korea MashUp Camp in Seoul

    Question: Do you know what the biggest developer contest in Korea is? Answer: The Korea MashUp Contest.

    The Korea MashUp Contest 2009 is a three-month long competition. Major internet corporations sponsor the event, including Yahoo! Korea.

    As part of the ongoing program of events associated with the competition, over 30 developers participated in the Yahoo! MashUp camp held last week at Yahoo!'s office in Seoul, Korea. MashUp camp consisted of technical presentations, step-by-step tutorials, and practical coding missions.

    Korean developers at MashUp camp
    Photo credit: Jinho Jung

    We enjoyed Yahoo! Pipes, Korea's local Gugi Map API and YUI Library sessions all day long.

    Although some developers met Yahoo! Pipes for the first time at our camp, they became familiar with it in less than an hour.

    Korean developers discover the joys of Yahoo! Pipes
    Photo credit: Jinho Jung

    It's always exciting for the Yahoo! Korea team to meet passionate developers and university students full of curiosity. I had a very worthwhile time at Yahoo!'s mashup event and I presented the

    Read More »from Yahoo! Korea MashUp Camp in Seoul
  • #geomob London

    Last Thursday night I went to #geomob, the mobile developer's meetup in London. These events have been running for some time in San Francisco, but this was only the second one here in the UK.

    The event is already growing - the number of speakers had doubled since the inaugural meeting in late 2008. Many people I spoke to agreed that this reflects the rapid adoption of geolocation: we've moved very quickly from location as a new thing to location as a must-have for emerging web and mobile applications.

    Chris Osborne (@osbornec) kicks off #geomob
    Photo credit: Gary Gale

    There were 4 interesting presenters. The event was organised by Yahoo! Geo Technologies and you can read more about the event on their blog.

    I learnt that there are 13,000 satellites orbiting the earth. On the visualisation shown by Google Earth, the satellites appear as a giant haze around our planet.

    From the redoutable Alfie Dennen, we heard about an online/offline treasure hunt and the world's largest work of art taking place across the British Isles.

    Read More »from #geomob London


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