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Excerpt: The redevelopment of metalcon is going on and so far I have been very concerned about performance and webscale. Due to the progress of Martin on his bachlor thesis we did a code review of the code to calculate Generalized Language Models with Kneser Ney Smoothing. Even though his code is a standalone (but very performance sensitive) software I realized that for a Web application writing maintainable code seems to be as important as thinking about scalability. Scaling vs performance I am a performance guy. I love algorithms and data structures. When I was 16 years old I already programmed a software…

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Excerpt: This article on open and free platforms to host your MOOC belongs to the entire series: comparison of places to host your MOOC. As already mentioned there are only a few platforms which really belong to the category of open educational resources. The term is described in the Wikipedia article: Open educational resources as follows: Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible, usually openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes. Although some people consider the use of an open format to be an essential characteristic of OER, this is not a universally…

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René Pickhardt on July 24th, 2013

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Excerpt: As many of you know and voted (thanks for that) Steffen and I tried to get a MOOC fellowship in order to create a web science MOOC. Even though our application was not successful we decided that online teaching in the MOOC format is suitable for the web science lecture. With the structure from our application and the teaching last term we have some basic structure for the content the students should learn. Now we start to create the material but the question is what platform to use and where to host a MOOC? I was actually planning to write…

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René Pickhardt on July 17th, 2013

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Excerpt: Me wearing my stolen neo4j shirt which I took back from the thief Being at FOSDEM 20013 Peter from Neo4j asked my if I would like to get a neo4j shirt send to my home adress. We have to keep in mind that i just moved back to Koblenz from China. I did not only move to Koblenz but I moved to Koblenz Lützel. I knew from my collegues that this part of Koblenz is supposed to be like the Harlem of NYC. But I found a really nice flat where I leave together with 3 other…

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René Pickhardt on July 17th, 2013

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Excerpt: For the last 5 years I have been running metalcon an online social network for metal fans and metal bands. As written recently I have the the chance to rewrite the entire platform with a team of 6 programmers. This time we want to do it the correct why. Instead of Thinking of features right away we are now thinking about the various stake holders for whom we are creating metalcon. Of course being a fan of metal music I know pretty well what requirements a social network for metal music should fulfill to add value for me. Running such…

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René Pickhardt on June 25th, 2013

I was visiting FOSDEM 2013 with Heinrich Hartmann and talking about related-work.net the video of this talk is finally online and of course I would like to share this with the community: The slides can be found here.

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Excerpt: Finally we have all the basics that are needed for building an Autocomplete service and now comes the juicy part. From now on we are looking at how to make it fast and robust. In the current approach we open a new Data base connection for every HTTP request. This needs quite some time to lock the data base (at least when using neo4j in the embedded mode) and then also to run the query without having any opportunities to use the caching strategy of the data base. In this tutorial I will introduce you to the concept of a…

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Excerpt: In this screencast of my series I explain at a very basic level how to integrate a data base to pull data for autocomplete queries. Since we have been working with neo4j at this time I used a neo4j data base. It will be only in the next two parts of this series where I introduce an efficient way of handling the data base (using the context listener of the web server) and building fast indices. So in this lesson the resulting auto complete service will be really slow and impractical to use but I am sure for didactic reasons…

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Excerpt: Finally metalcon.de the social networking site which Jonas, Jens and me created in 2008 gets a redesign. Thanks to the great opportunities at the Institute for Web Science and Technologies here in Koblenz (why don’t you apply for a PhD position with us?) I will have the chance to code up the new version of metalcon. Kicking off on July 15th I will lead a team of 5 programmers for the duration of 4 months. Not only will the development be open source but during this time I will constantly (hopefully on a daily basis) write in this blog about…

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Excerpt: In this screencast of my series on building an autocomplete service you will learn how to implement a Server servlet in GWT such that autocomplete queries receive a response. In this video the response will always be static and very naive. It will be up to the fourth part of this series which will follow already this week to make the server to something meaningful with the query. This part is rather created to see how the server is supposed to be invoked and what kind of tools and classes are needed. So see this as a preparation for the…

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