Mass GTUG Chrome Hackathon

Yesterday was the first Massachusetts Google Technology User Group (Mass GTUG) hackathon I've participated in, their Chrome Hackathon. It was a great experience with a pair of talks in the morning; one on building chrome apps (given by @jankleinert) and the other on hacking Chromium OS. The main even was the afternoon (from 1-5pm) devoted to developing interesting apps and extensions for Chrome. There were a total of 10 demos from the afternoon's work ranging from a Chrome extension for managing a todo.txt task list to a tool for collaboratively editing LaTeX documents.

My project for the afternoon was a social wallboard. I had it in enough shape to do a short presentation by 5pm, but I didn't manage to get all the features that I wanted in (4hrs really isn't very long.) I have a good start however and intend to keep working on the project. Hopefully I'll have something usable in a few weeks after I've had a chance to solidify the OAuth authentication flow with the social services; I implemented the base code for Remember the Milk and Flickr during the Hackathon but I plan on adding a fair number of additional services over time (Twitter, Google Calendar, Delicious, etc...)

My primary takeaways from the day of hacking are that if you want to have a good demonstration after one afternoon you really have to cut back on the scope of your project (i.e. don't involve too many third party services; especially ones with OAuth) and it would have really helped to have a team of people to distribute the load across and brainstorm with. Overall though, it was totally worth it and I'm looking forward to the next chance I have to participate in a Hackathon.