Lifehacking add-ons and a better web for KGP: Highlights from Demo Day #3

Continuing with the biweekly demo days, we conducted our 3rd Demo Day on Thursday 15th February, 2018. This time around we had 3 demos, a welcome increment from the previous events!

Siddharth Kannan kicked off with Cutouts while Nishant Nikhil demonstrated how PlayNext can help us out with managing YouTube’s suggested video playlists. Naresh joined in with an impromptu presentation of the redesigned MyKGP Dashboard.

Vivek Aithal and Sreejith joined us along with Vikrant Varma on the Hangouts to moderate the session and share their feedback on the projects.

Demos

  • Cutouts by Siddharth

The first demo of the day was by Siddharth who demonstrated Cutouts, a web application for storing the articles that you have read and want to remember. Similar to any bookmarking service, this application allows you to track posts for future references. However, it’s standout feature is that you can specify paragraphs and lines (thus the name — Cutouts) as opposed to saving the entire content. Think of the Highlights feature on Medium but on every website in the world!

Landing page of “Cutouts”

After logging in to your account, adding new cutouts from an article is as simple as filling in the details about the article such as its URL, name of the author(s), a title for the cutout and the desired paragraph/lines itself. As expected, tags help you label the cutouts for grouping and navigation. The application allows each user to chose among 3 options for each cutout’s visibility.

  • Public lets anyone see the post i.e the post is added to your public feed.
  • Unlisted allows only the people with the link to the cutout to view it.
  • Private restricts articles to personal view only (NSFW).

The Cutouts Firefox extension can further reduce the activation barrier to use the application in your daily life.

A Public User Feed

Cutouts is actively developed and built in the spirit of Open Source Software as it promises to be free forever. You can read more about the project here.

  • PlayNext by Nishant

PlayNext chrome extension was the next to be presented. Nishant developed PlayNext as an act of rebellion against the mighty Youtube recommendation service (or at least, that’s how grandiose I think it is!). Using the extension, you can regain the control of managing the order of the songs you want to be played on YouTube. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

5 min demo of PlayNext

After installing the extension, you can observe a “Play Next” button under all the YouTube videos. Creating a new queue of videos is as simple as clicking the buttons in the sequence you want the videos to be played. Moreover, you can rearrange the videos using the “Play Next” and “Delete” buttons in the extension window as well. You can even add videos from a different tab!

PlayNext in action

With the discussion about adding a “Next Button” (or a key binding) and a future release on the Chrome Store, the extension would only get more appealing to use. Do try it out!

Getting the hang of it, yet? It’s super rad!
  • EmailFill by Nishant

This was the first of the two impromptu demos. Nishant presented EmailFill, another Chrome Extension which can help you with creating emails filled with some predefined, repetitive text. The motivation was to ease the pain points of mass mailing others about a particular topic, like about a FT for research *wink wink*.

  • MyKGP Dashboard by Naresh

The original Metakgp Dashboard was developed during Inter IIT Tech 2017. But due to the very nature of the event, the code was all written in a frenzy and ended up being spaghetti code and was a mess with lots of hacks so as to deliver a Minimum Viable Product (but hey, it got Bronze, so can’t complain!)

However, Naresh rewrote the basic features of the dashboard in React overnight and redesigned the platform so as to facilitate future development. Amongst many things, it currently displays notices from internal KGP noticeboards.

New dashboard homepage

Currently, the only implemented feature viz. the noticeboard fetches notices from http://noticeboard.iitkgp.ernet.in/ and puts it all in one place. The backend was build with support for API level pagination and much a cleaner UI. (You can now also add events to your Google calendar!) Check out the redesigned dashboard here.

Noticeboard

If you’re interested in contributing, you may check out the project here.

Bonus: Twitter’s Happening Now by Vikrant

Twitter’s Happening Now by Vikrant

Our Learnings:

  1. Setup a broadcasting computer: We certainly botched the live-stream this time around. But we are learning to figure this out in the upcoming days by keeping a check on the live stream feed for synchronization between the broadcast and hangout.
  2. Discuss about being more welcoming to newcomers and removing the blockers to their participation from our end.

For more details about Demo Days, have a look at our announcement post.

If you have a project you’d like to demo, you can sign up here for our next Demo Day on 14th of March, 2018. The next Demo Day is special because it will follow soon after our first Hack Day of the year! Subscribe to our Facebook page or join our mailing list for more updates.

Sign up link: https://goo.gl/forms/7UbbOSHakmYXwnFs1

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/metakgp/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/metakgp.official
Mailing list: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/metakgp-announce

Demo days will also be streamed live on your YouTube Channel. Subscribe to the channel for updates.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUgekHbc-ntGOh4AwzOPoNQ

Still curious?

Come hang out with us on Slack (https://slack-invite.metakgp.org/) or our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/metakgp.official/) and let us know what you think.

See you at the next demo!