@media Session 8

Building on the Shoulders of Giants

Jonathan Snook

Culture
We come from a culture where developers tend to like to reinvent the wheel, whereas designers like to reuse. If, as developers, we want to use components of others’ work (under GPL or whatever), this provides us with some distinct advantages. Look how many times the Linux distribution has forked!

Tools
There are loads of PHP frameworks out there, and also for other languages. We dont’ have to write everything from scratch, but make use of pre-existing libraries and functions.

Flash - now has built in sockets support. Useful for charts in pages (if you need them)

Types of Data
Location, Time, Relationships etc

Pitfalls
Dynamic APIs can foul up your application; service availability; you are middleman – if something goes down people blame you, not the service provider.

Benefits
Dealing with well-tested code. Speeds up development. Solve problems outside original solution.

Ideas
Enables you to get stuff out fast. Iterate fast and often. Eg Overheard RSS feed built really quickly (using library elements from Cake PHP). You can see what works. You can put stuff out in hours, rather than days or weeks.

Jonathan’s presentation: slides (blog+links) | audio (mp3)

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