#rdc2009 Hacker Wednesdays – Coding The Elements

The Rural Design Collective will be demonstrating their hard work this summer at our annual RDC Launch Party, plus we will be publishing public domain books for kids! The above book was designed by Anand Chitipothu, lead architect of infogami and Friend of the RDC.

Hello! Busy times at the RDC. Our Launch Party deadline is swiftly approaching, so we are working to have the best demo possible for the event. It will take place over Labor Day Weekend, September 4-7, and will coincide with an art show at Point B Studio entitled “Find Way.” This art show is the first in a three-part series, “Art in the Information Age”, and will feature artists who have elevated information visualization to an art form in their chosen medium. It is an exciting series that will build over the course of the next year, so please add us to your bookmarks!

In the Lab, we are coding a few new bits and pieces of the user interface. We decided to eliminate the top navigation bar on the collection navigation to get more content on the screen (and we will most likely eliminate it entirely so it feels more like a Sugar application). This led to the clever solution of making a touchpad widget for the icons that Levi has been working so diligently on. This builds on the constructs and motifs already established in the Sugar environment (pulldown menus, intuitive icons, icon docks), while introducing new possibilities. We think it works! There is a bit of a challenge to ensure it is not obscured by the icon dock frame that is native to Sugar, but we have taken that into account and are designing accordingly.

Scotty and Steven will use this as a template to programmatically generate the pages for the collection that will be distributed on the sticks. There are still a few details to hash out before we get to that point, but when Levi and I get there, Scotty and Steven will be ready to take it the rest of the way (Teamwork!). For our demo next week, we will most likely go with a simple HTML list just to illustrate our concept.

As I mentioned before, we plan to extend our work into October, bearing in mind that each of us has other work to do and the changing of the seasons brings on a new tempo. We are all pretty detail-oriented (and plus we just like working together), so we agree that there is more work to do before we are ready for production. This has been an amazing mentoring season, and we have grown and gained knowledge from each other by having this opportunity to create beautiful and meaningful things.

We officially declare the 2009 Rural Design Collective Summer Mentoring Season a resounding success! w00t!

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