Jul 122009

I spent lots of time last week working on cleaning up the main interface used to interact with video in my project. Most of those changes are reflected on github, and there are a few more I’d like to iron out early this week. I’ve uploaded a sample screenshot of the interface with a sample video I’m working on. I haven’t yet solved the problem regarding the background processing slowdown, but I’ve found that I can disable backgroundrb (./script/backgroundrb stop) when I’m quickly iterating through interface designs and pages load pretty quickly.

Most of my time is now going to be spent finishing up the outgoing parts of the project, components that facilitate the playback of video. I found this cool blog post talking about universal video playback in browsers using a wide-variety of playback elements degrading gracefully to the next one: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody.

Additionally I’ve spent some time working on Concerto, which is pretty popular open source project started at RPI run by the Web Tech Group. I remembered enough C# to write a Concerto screensaver for Windows, a neat addition to help show Concerto advertisements on individual laptops and computer screens. Right now the code exists in an alpha state and if you’re really interested you can check out the source code here: http://dev.studentsenate.rpi.edu/repositories/svn-senate/browser/extras/screensaver_win. Don’t worry if you’re a Mac user, we’ve recently updated the production server to the latest API version which produces RSS feeds that work by default in the “MobileMe and RSS” screen saver that comes with OS X. Just add a url like http://signage.rpi.edu/content/render/?select_id=1 to start drawing content from the Service & Community feed. Linux users… it looks like you are just out of luck right now; though I encourage you to write your own until we get around to it.

On the back end, I made some changes to Concerto in the hopes of speeding up performance. Image resizing & rendering was refactored a bit in an effort to streamline the process and I added memcache to speed up load times for browsers that can’t hold tons of images in their local cache.