It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Accordion City Geeks Gather at DemoCamp 2.0

(This article was also posted to Tucows Developer.)

Last night, the second Toronto

DemoCamp — a monthly series of meetings of

developers where they show the projects they’re working on — was held

at the offices of Radiant

Core in the “Liberty Village” area of town (the same

neighbourhood as Tucows). Judging by the crowd, which was around 60

people at its peak by my count, I would have to call the event an



a video [5MB QuickTime] that I shot. I’m panning from one end

of the room to the other to show you just how crowded it


Last night’s demonstrations


  • Radiant Core

    Foundation: A very user-friendly web content

    management system developed by Radiant Core, a web design and

    development shop run by my friend Jay Goldman. Radiant Core developed

    Foundation so that they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel for every

    new client. It boasts and easy-to-use interface that minimizes the need

    for clients to run to them for help and also exposes an API for clients

    with development teams who want to do some serious


  • 2ndSite Online Invoicing: Another

    user-friendly web tool for business: this time, it’s a web invoicing,

    timesheet and support ticketing application. It’s a good example of the

    type of business application that can be moved from the shrink-wrapped

    pay-once desktop app model to the subscription-based web app one. They

    also brought up some a very important point about pricing schemes that

    they learned through experience: simpler is


  • Kweschun: Chris Nolan’s social

    software project that harnesses “the collective wisdom of the net to

    predict the future”. It allows you to pose questions and suggested

    answers, track the responses and search for questions by


  • WaveDNA: The only desktop

    application of the evening, WaveDNA is a “music reverse engineering

    tool” whose purpose is to analyse music for patterns. It breaks down

    music into fundamental units of pitch, duration and “feel” and perfoms

    analysis on those elements and their arrangement. The potential uses

    for this application are vast and interesting, ranging from analysing

    what makes a good commercial jingle (by analysing the most-remembered

    ones and seeing what their common qualities are) to a Ph.D. thesis

    project in which a researcher is trying to determine what makes a song

    a lullaby. The University of Toronto and a local music recording

    studio, MetalWorks, are involved in this


  • Favorville: Another social software

    application: this one’s a “bulletin board” where people who need

    favours — perhaps they need work done, or advice — can post those

    needs and people who can help can see them. It’s an excellent blending

    of social software technologies and local community


  • Canada’s SR&ED

    tax rebate program was explained by Wayne

    Bradley from Development Associates. This tax rebate program gives

    money to Canadian companies to encourage them to work on R&D.

    You don’t have to provide a business plan or promise profitability —

    in this case, the criterion for qualification is that you’re breaking

    new ground or advancing the field. You can make up to 66% of your

    salary investments if you qualify.

As with the

first DemoCamp, which was held in December, it was a good opportunity

to meet with other developers in town and see what they were working

on. Even better was the palpable feeling of inspiration that came from

being in a gathering of people who want to write cool and useful

software. I expect great things from DemoCamp in the months to come. My

heartiest congratulations to David

Crow for making it a success!

The next

DemoCamp, which will be held in February, is already being planned.

I’ve offered Tucows as the location — watch this space for more


More DemoCamp Reading

David Crow: DemoCamp 2.0 Rocks the


Here’s a flickr photoset

of TorCamp photos.

The BarCamp

wiki. Here’s the wiki’s DemoCamp


An explanation of what BarCamp



Foo Camp — short for Friends Of O’Reilly Camp — which led

to the creation of


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