Sam and I took part in Mozilla’s World Series of Hack held on 7/22/11 7.30pm to 7/23/11 7.30am. The rules of this contest were slightly different from previous hackathons I’ve attended: contestants were allowed to start work on their projects as early as 7/15. They would then have 12 hours to work on it during the event and then they must demo at 8.00am.
Sam and I had an idea that we started working on sometime around 7/19, but on the day of the competition we decided to completely change our idea and build something in the 12 hour period.
We wanted to implement a turntable.fm clone in 12 hours. Our concept revolved around a social music experience, where peers (users) connected to hubs (channels) and within a hub they could play music that would be heard by all peers connected to that hub. Each hub would have a ‘now-playing’ queue and songs added by peers would get added to this queue. Everyone present in the hub could also chat with other users present in the hub.
We implemented our idea using node.js, making heavy use of the awesome NowJS library for communication between the server and the clients. All audio playback was handled using html5.
NowJS is a wonderful library, and it was no suprise that a LOT of teams at the event took full advantage of it’s capabilities. The guys from NowJS were also at the event and were super helpful.
Overall, the event was a great experience, and I learnt a lot in 12 hours. Kudos to Mozilla and the engineers from all the other companies who helped make WSOH kickass.