This week Bill Roberts, Asger Blekinge, Andy Jackson, Paul Wheatley, Bram van der Werf and I attended the DevCSI Developer Days in London. Next to the workshops, lightning talks, coding labs and Guru Sessions there were several challenges created by attending organizations. OPF also created two very interesting challenges.
The main challenge was to improve the coverage and quality of the signature files for Fido. The developers would create or update format signatures, and to ensure the quality we specified the required information and embedded a peer review process where a second developer had to sign-off on the new format record.
An alternative and parallel challenge was to improve Fido itself (this required Python expertise), or improve other identification tools in impressive ways.
The winner of the Fido improvement challenge is Bill Ray, freelance Android developer, for which he was awarded a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. He choose to improve Fido so it could run in Jython (Python for the Java Platform). While trying to make it run in Jython he experienced some compatibility problems regarding opening files and printing messages. At the end of the day he managed to fix those things and Fido was running on Java while keeping it compatible with Python! This is a great thing because now we are able to create a JAR file and have Fido deployed as a Java application or wrap it as a webservice for the Planets Testbed. Both the improved Python code and the Fido JAR file will be available for testing at the end of next week.
Unfortunately there were no entrants for the signature challenge, but in the preparation for this challenge I have created an example signature to recognize the Intalev Cayra Mindmapping file format which will be added to the Fido signature extension file.