Book Hackday and using Node with Redis

I’ve bumped into Marcus Povey in a few places but the last time was at the Oxford Geek Night. He kindly pointed me in the direction of Paul Squires of Perini when he heard that I wanted to organise a text hacking day. Paul is one of the people behind Book Hackday this coming Saturday which is now backed up with the BookHackers site. So no need to organise much more than brain, interest, be at the Free Word centre for 10am (it lasts until 8om)

I’ve just spent the evening using Node.js and Redis, making a change from usually using Redis with PHP or occasional Python. I’ve been using the latter for logging work and messaging but have been intrigued by the idea of having a system constantly pushing out annotations if added to a document between distributed editors. The idea is that these would all be saved and pushed out to users of a particular document and stored in Redis.

Node strikes me as a good way of creating an efficient back-end system in polling Redis (or perhaps using Redis’s Pub/Sub architecture to achieve a similar end). I would need to look at whether the Publish command would save the data though.

From this evening’s hack, I’ve got the polling from the server working and need to separate out the pushing into the store from the polling to retrieve all notes/comments/et al. I suppose the next thing after that is to pop in an html page or template for a front end.

I’ll do some more tomorrow but I’m making headway with Node which is cool as I’ve been trying to find something meatier to do with it before introducing it into work, even as a development project.

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