Blog Posts by Sophie Major

  • Flash on the Beach: Day One

    This is the first in a series of articles reporting on Flash on the Beach, one of Europe's premier Flash conferences. I'm going to pick out my personal highlights.

    This morning, having arrived bright and early in a cold but sunny Brighton, I eagerly made my way to the Brighton Dome to register for this year's Flash on the Beach conference. This is the third year in a row that I have made the journey down to the South Coast for the conference, and once again the line-up of speakers over the three days is stellar. After grabbing a cup of YDN-sponsored tea (yes, we're doing our bit for all the caffeine-addicted Flash developers out there) I headed into the main auditorium for the start of the day.

    Adobe Keynote

    John Davey, conference organiser supremo, dropped a bombshell in his introduction to the keynote session: Flash on the Beach will be coming to Miami in April '09. If you've always wanted to get to Flash on the Beach but didn't want to brave the chill of the UK in October, then

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  • Taiwan Open Hack Day

    From the opening band to the exuberant prize-giving, Taiwan Open Hack Day 2008 was full of energy.

    Everyone was hacking even before the opening ceremony got underway and Yahoo! co-founder David Filo declared the event open by throwing a big yellow ball into the audience.

    40 teams participated, each with up to 6 people, from all over Taiwan. The event was held in a youth centre in Taipei on 20/21 September 2008.

    Yahoo! Taiwan YDN put on a great show, with involvement of many parts of the organisation. Since their launch in January 2008, YDN Taiwan have made available three local open APIS - Lifestyle (ratings and reviews of local businesses), Maps and Knowledge Plus (similar to Yahoo! Answers), with more in the pipeline.

    The evening entertainment (Hack Girls) was an interesting contrast to Girltalk at Sunnyvale Open Hack Day the weekend before.

    Yahoo! Taiwan Open Hack Day 2008 - Hack Girls
    (Photo credit: myhsu)

    Teams then worked through the night to put the finishing touches to their hacks, to be roused at 7.30am by an organised

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  • SearchMonkey events in Mexico and Argentina

    Following hot on the heels of Open Hack Day in Sunnyvale, California, we've got two upcoming SearchMonkey workshops in Mexico and Argentina.

    At these events developers will get an overview of what is happening in Yahoo! Search as well as an overview on how to use the SearchMonkey platform. We will cover how to build a Presentation and Custom Data Services, and all the necessary tools for you to get started using SearchMonkey.

    Spaces are limited and developers need to RSVP to secure a space. Please see the Upcoming links below for more information

    Yahoo! SearchMonkey workshop en Argentina September 16, 2008

    Yahoo! SearchMonkey workshop en México September 18, 2008

    Hope you can join us!

    SearchMonkey LATAM team

  • YDN at Mobile Monday London

    It seems like lately public awareness about mobile apps has grown exponentially: when pub conversations begin to include banter around the 3G iPhone, the cheapest pay-as-you-go plans and how to upload your mobile photos to Flickr, you know something is going on.

    Of course we developers want to get our apps running in those mini devices everybody has in their pockets as soon as possible... But how? Should we develop a mobile web version or a java j2me application? Or maybe try the Nokia SDK? What about those widget engines that run in many platforms? Or is it better to just target the iPhone?

    On 15th September, Mobile Monday London is organizing a panel discussion on this hot topic under the title of "Mobile Platforms: Too much choice or Hobson's choice?". YDN team will of course be there, commenting about our own mobile widget initiative and some of our lessons learned from our own mobile products.

    Check all the info about the event in Mobile Monday's blog and hope to see you there!

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  • Barcamp Brighton 3 – Fun at the Uni

    Last Weekend, right after the dConstruct conference, Brighton hosted the popular Barcamp unconference for the third time.

    The crowd gathered in the cosy rooms of Falmer House in the University of Sussex. A lot of faces looked familiar as at least 50% of them been to dConstruct and the glorious YDN/BBC Backstage powered afterparty just a few hours before.

    After the traditional welcome round, where everybody shortly introduced and tagged themselves, the sessions started. On the 2 days over 50 different sessions in 9 parallel slots offered a wide variety of different topics. Most of them can be found on the barcampbrighton3 backnetwork.

    Two of the presentations I found particularly interesting and useful were:

    Marc Tobias Kunisch allowed CSS Developers a peak on what's already possible in the new browser generations in his talk:"Beyond IE6: CSS in latest browser versions", taking a look at which CSS features are supported in latest webkit nightly builds, Firefox 3.1 and IE8 beta. The

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  • YDN UK at dConstruct

    dConstruct, for those of you that are unfamiliar with the name, is a one day web development conference held in Brighton at the Brighton Dome. This year the flavor of the talks was "Designing the social web", a very apt topic of conversation on the web right now.

    The day kicked off to a dismal start, in the true spirit of British summer, we were graced with cold, heavy rain and grey skies, a good reason to get inside and register. Inside the fantastic venue, we were warmly greeted by various members from the Clearleft team (who just so happened to have organised the event). The stalls area was inviting with the presence of the Yahoo! Developer Network, BBC Backstage, Clearleft, O'Reilly, Silverback and Wired Sussex. Groups formed around many of the big names in the web development arena including Andy Budd, Jeremy Keith, our own Christian Heilman, Ryan Carson, Peter-Paul Koch (PPK), Tantek Çelik, to name but a few. The shear attendance of these reputable industry figures confirmed that

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  • BarCamp Malaysia

    Barcamp Malaysia was a couple of wonderful days of geek-tech experience, the sort of which never really experienced in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. An estimated 200 people were crowded into relatively small training facilities near the iconic Petronas Twin Towers from 26th to 27th July 2008, many of which was their first experience of a Barcamp. Despite being the first Barcamp held in Malaysia, the organizers were spot on in coming up with the right mix of technical, entrepreneur and irreverent sessions, with lightning talks, werewolf games and seriously tech talks like multilingual web sites with Drupal and wireless network hacking.


    While many of the sessions and attendees were from Malaysia, there was a sizable contingent from neighbouring Singapore, giving it more South-East Asian feel. Yahoo! was represented by Henry and myself from Engineering and Jeremy from the Communications team. I did a session on SearchMonkey, adapted from slides provided by the SearchMonkey team (thanks

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  • Developer Relations Conference

    A bunch of Yahoos attended the Evans Data developer relations conference over the last couple of days.

    Our very own Jeremy Zawodny talked about "Appealing to Laziness and Impatience" -

    "Larry Wall, the father of the Perl scripting language, has often said that the three virtues of a good programmer are laziness, impatience, and hubris. In this talk, we'll look at how some of Yahoo's offerings have been successful without any sort of monetization plan. They're freely available, easy to use, and incredibly useful. In other words, they're great for the lazy and impatient."

    Here's his presentation.

    Attendees also heard about the ways various companies are nurturing their developer communities. There seems to be a whole range of types of program out there, from the well-funded corporate marketing machines to skunk-works efforts just getting off the ground.

    On the morning of the second day, we saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu checking into the hotel. Sadly he wasn't there to hear Jeremy, but to

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  • Over The Air

    Over The Air is a mobile developer event taking place on the 4th and 5th April at the Imperial College London in South Kensington. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about developing for mobile devices, and want to give it a try then this is the event for you. Part conference, part un-conference and part 48-hour open hack-a-thon, the event will be a great opportunity to learn about mobile development across Europe.

    The event is run by Mobile Monday London in association with a number of sponsors including Yahoo! We will be throwing a party on site for all attendees on the Friday evening at 8pm. The 48-hour event will culminate in an awards session – further details on this to follow!

    In addition, Yahoo! will be chairing a widget panel between 3-4pm on the 4th April. This will be an open forum where Yahoo!, along with other attendees, will be discussing widget platforms. This will be followed by our mobile developers giving a masterclass and hands-on demonstration on developing

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  • Call for Zimbra translators

    Do you speak Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Bulgarian or Czech? The Zimbra team is looking for linguists who are passionate about online messaging and collaboration software to contribute to Zimbra's translation efforts.

    Never used Zimbra? Zimbra's mail and calendaring client and server platform is employed by universities and companies the world over. The platform is fully open source, integrates with everything from Blackberry to Exchange servers and has a cool Ajax interface that users just love. Give Zimbra a try, you will be impressed. You can download the Zimbra Open Source Edition and the Zimbra Desktop for free.

    Here is what you need to know: start by learning about the translations process, then decide if you would like to be a moderator or a contributor. To make sure that the translations can be used by the whole community, we need you to sign a contribution agreement.

    Then you'll be ready to head over to Zimbra's translation wiki.

    So get started today,

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