Developer Challenge at Open Repositories 2010 (Madrid)

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We have a winner! Congratulations to Richard Davis and Rory McNicholl from the University of London Computer Centre for winning the Developer Challenge this year at Open Repositories 2010 (Madrid). For details about the challenge, please see the DevCSI blog.

Create a functioning repository user-interface, presenting a single metadata record which includes as many automatically created, useful links to related external content as possible.


  • “functioning” in this sense means that mockups/screenshots are not sufficient – however a working prototype is OK
  • “related” in this sense means that the external content is related to this particular metadata record in some way.
  • “as many useful links” means that marks will be awarded for useful links, so an interface with fifty meaningless links does not beat one with three genuinely useful links!
  • * links must be related to content, not just a system. So, for example, a link to the page at is not legitimate, but a link to a specific page in Wikipedia could be. Only one link of each ‘type’ counts: i.e. having four links to URLs which reference ‘topics’ in a given system is fine but will count as one link for the challenge.

The tag for the challenge is:



  1. Entries should come from a team of at least one developer and one person representing ‘users’.
  2. The entries must be presented, in person, at OR10. Not all of the team members need be present at OR10, but at least one team-member must be.
  3. Teams must register their entry / idea using the OR10 Crowdvine Discusion Forum. Teams can enter before the conference and may change their idea/entry up to the deadline.

Judging Criteria

The entries will be presented/demonstrated at OR10 in a ‘show and tell’ session in the Palacio de Congresos, Room 2 in the mezzanine (just follow the ‘Show and Tell for the Developer Challenge Footsteps’) from:

1730 – 1900 – Wednesday 7th July, 2010

The ‘show and tell’ will be open to OR10 delegates to come along and see the presentations as they are being made. These presentations/demonstrations will be video-recorded. Refreshments and snacks will be available during 1715 – 1745, just outside the room.

There will be an opportunity for those delegates present (the ‘audience’) to ask questions and/or comment on the presentations. There will be a panel of judges who will observe and make notes.

The judges will take note of the responses from the audience.

Following the ‘show and tell’, the judges will privately discuss the entries and draw up a shortlist and decide a winner and runner up. These will be announced during the conference dinner on the same day after 2100.

The judges will particularly take into account the following:

  • functionality – the links must work and must have been created automatically as part of the repository system
  • usefulness – the usefulness of the links to an end-user of the developed interface must be demonstrated
  • number of links – the number and variety of links will be considered
  • audience reaction – favourable and unfavourable reactions for the audience will be taken into account
  • previous interest in the prototype before and during the conference

For more information about the challenge, including how to enter for it, please choose one of the links at the bottom of the right hand column, under ‘Further Links’.

Good luck!

Contact for the Challenge

Project Manager: Mahendra Mahey

Enter the Challenge

If you are entering for the challenge, please announce this on the OR10 Crowdvine Discussion site, under the ‘Developer Challenge’ discussion.

You may also like to use the tag for the challenge which is:


Please feel free to use the Crowdvine site to discuss and share ideas and even find potential team members for the challenge.

Previous Challenges

The Developer Challenge at Open Repositories 2010 builds on the success of the previous two software developer competitions that have been held at Open Repositories:

Background to the Challenge

Each year a significant proportion of the delegates at Open Repositories are software developers who work on repository software or related services.

For the last two years they have been invited to participate and submit entries to a ‘challenge’. A space in the conference has been set-aside at the start, ‘The Developer Lounge’, a flexible space where developers can work on their entries but also attend specific parts of the conference. A deadline has been set where they submit their entries. These are then short-listed by pre-determined criteria and some entries are awarded special recognition.

For this year’s challenge, it has been decided to invite the repository community to be involved in helping set up the challenge for developers to tackle.

About a month ago, interested parties were invited to respond to a blog posting about the challenge.

After receiving several responses, and after some discussion, a draft challenge was created and people were invited to comment.

Now that we have received some comments, we have now decided to issue the challenge so that people may start to work on it well before the conference starts.

Developer Lounge

If entrants are attending Open Repositories 2010, and intending to enter for the “Developer Challenge’, they can pick up their “Developer Lounge Pass’ at the registration desk.

The “Developer Lounge” is in the Palacio de Congresos, Room Goya on the first floor, just follow the ‘Developer Lounge Footsteps’. This is available for teams to finish off / develop their prototypes and practice their pitches during the conference from:

Tuesday 6th of July 0930 to Wednesday 7th of July 1700

Entrants are able to attend other parts of the conference at this time if they so wish.

This room will have flip charts, projector, caffeine, snacks, wireless, lots of power sockets, a pitching area, video cameras, etc.

There will also be some informal talks in this room to help teams that are preparing their entries for the challenge.

Awarding of Prizes

  1. The winner and runner-up will be announced on Wednesday night 7th July at the conference awards’ dinner (starting at 2100 GMT+1) and share a prize of 2000 Euros.
  2. The prize will be divided equally between each member of the team listed.
  3. The prize must be spent on the travel, board and expenses of attending a conference related to developer activity, e.g. JISC’s Dev8D, O’Reilly Tools of Change, ApacheCon, OR11, etc.
  4. Payment will be made by cheque.
  5. The winner(s) must be willing to have their name and picture published by the JISC funded DevCSI project.
  6. The winner(s) must be willing to participate in a post meeting phone interview about the submisson and future ideas for development.
  7. The winner(s) must be willing to write brief documentation about the submission to aid others in building on the work. The documentation will be publicised by the JISC funded DevCSI Project.

1 Comment

  1. Marcela

    I think bringing users and deolvepers together is an excellent idea. I also like Andy’s suggestion of focusing on external links from repositories to the open web. This is something that the OER Programme is certainly very interested in. At the end of the programme there will be #ukoer materials, quite intentionally, scattered across the web, and we’re very interested in looking at ways to aggregate and use them. I’ll talk to Phil about this and see if we can come up with more concrete ideas.

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