Tuesday, March 4, 2008

the Web, and its desire to be useful

It turns out that this semester is a busy one, leaving me with no time to persue game development (thus far). In the meantime, I might as well document some of my web development.
Currently, I am working at the Center for eResearch here at Mizzou. I am basically an intern hired to develop a video sharing web application for the University that will soon go beta. So far, I've written Ruby scripts making use of ffmpeg to automate encoding of submitted videos into FLV, MPEG, MP3 and iPod compatable MP4 formats, and a fully functional web application to facilitate sharing. Here is a quick rundown of the requirements for this application:


Students and Faculty are allowed access and can be granted administration to channels for upload of videos. Channels are delegated to schools, departments, student groups, major events, among other things. Only through owning or being a contributor to a channel can you upload video. Anyone can register an account to subscribe to channels. A subscription lets you keep up to date with a channel so you know when new videos are uploaded, new events are scheduled and the like.



As far as technical details, I will briefly discuss those here. This project is a Ruby on Rails project, effectively this means that it is a rapid development, rapid prototyping, web 2.0 eager application. The one problem with the use of "rapid" here is that this is my first Rails project, so it has taken me six months to build it up this far. Albeit, I could not have done so much in PHP given my student work schedule (10 hrs/week). Aside from Rails, we are using MySQL and of course the Prototype and Script.aculou.us Javascript libraries as these are included in Rails.

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