Here at Top Quark, we’ve been busy implementing The Conference App for a variety of events. We’ve also been helping customers implement their instances, complete with their own customizations.
This page is a repository of samples of what The Conference App can do. If you’ve created a mobile app for your event using The Conference App and would like to showcase your work here, please contact us and we’ll put it here.
Please note, these demos work only in Webkit browsers, such as the default browsers on iPhones, iPads, Androids and (newer) Blackberrys. They do not work in Firefox or Internet Explorer.
On to the demos.
Event Camp Twin Cities
One of the presumed benefactors of The Conference App are event planners who can use it as a very cost-effective mobile app solution for their clients. Because The Conference App also works in WordPress multisite, event organizers have the opportunity to setup and brand the app on their own websites and then sell it as a service to their clients. TopQuark.com is itself a multisite implementation of WordPress.
View The 2011 Event Camp Twin Cities app at http://topquark.com/eventcamp/app/2011-ectc.
West Port Book Festival
I’m particularly proud of this one. It all started with a tweet from Andrew Neil saying that he’d completed his yearly task of entering the data for this fourth annual book festival in Edinburgh. I got to know Drew and his delightful brogue as the narrator of a series of how-to videos on Sencha Touch. His tutorials helped me up the steep Sencha Touch learning curve. I responded to his tweet offering to build him an app using The Conference App – gratis. He took me up on the offer and I’m glad he did because it became a very satisfying collaboration.
Drew already had all of the festival information in his own content management system. So, instead of migrating all of that data to The Conference Plugin, he set up an API that fed the data directly from his site and I setup The Conference App to pull in his data via JSONP calls. It actually was a very simple customization. The app already pulls in data via JSONP; all I had to do was change the proxy.
The other interesting thing about this festival is that instead of promoting “Speakers”, they promote “Venues”. No problem. This implementation of the App simply has a “Venues” tab instead of a “Speakers” tab. The icing on the cake was that Drew fed the latitude & longitude of each venue and I made it so that each venue’s page has a button to a Google map, giving the location. Very cool!
View The 2011 West Port Book Festival app at http://topquark.com/wpbookfest/app/2011.
- Pulls in data via an external site. Proof of concept that The Conference App can work with data from other content management systems
- Beautiful graphics and styling via CSS
- Speakers tab replaced by Venues. Each venue comes with its own Google map, giving the location
- The Google Map on the About panel is generated dynamically based on data in the Venues store
- Custom Sencha templates to display the venue address & postal code
- Preface page on the About panel
Mariposa Folk Festival
This is where is all started. The Mariposa Folk Festival is a long time Top Quark client and this year we wanted to extend on the festival management system we created for them by building a mobile app. That work became version 1.0 of The Conference App.
View The 2011 Mariposa Folk Festival app at http://www.mariposafolk.com/app/2011.
- Custom splash screen & icon
- Custom styling done with CSS
- Custom Sencha templates
- Overview page added to the About panel
As far as I know, The Conference App is the first mashup of WordPress and Sencha Touch to be released. These are two very strong open source pieces of software that accomplish different things. WordPress is (more than just a blog) an extremely powerful content management system and is the platform on which The Conference Plugin and The Conference App are build. Sencha Touch is an extremely powerful HTML5 framework for building mobile apps.
I built The Conference App as a WordPress plugin that renders a Sencha Touch mobile app. It’s built to use WordPress’ great hooking mechanisms to allow add-on plugins to customize the app. So, who better to tell about it than WordPress developers. WordCamps are intense gatherings of WordPress enthusiasts, including core and expert developers. In the days leading up to WordCamp Chicago, I scraped the data off of their website and built the app for them. I got some great appreciative response from the organizers. Around the same time, I met (virtually) Keith Johnston of Planner Wire. Keith is a well-respected figure within the event planner’s industry and, as it turns out, he also happened to be speaking at WordCamp Chicago. He saw the value in The Conference App and has since written a blush-worthy review of the Top Quark conference plugins.
This app is the app that gets built after completing The Conference Plugin + App Demo.
View The 2011 WordCamp Chicago app at http://topquark.com/wordcamp/app/2011-chicago.
Shelter Valley Folk Festival
This is a lovely community festival that happens every Labour Day weekend about an hour east of Toronto. I am very good pals with the founding Artistic Director, Aengus Finnan and sat briefly on their Board. This festival holds a dear place in my heart. This year, I traded an app for tickets for myself, my wife and our two-under-two kids. That camping weekend is a whole other story, but we’re here talking about apps.
This implementation of the app has some standard things, like customized graphics and splash screen. It also showcases a feature of The Conference Plugin that allows Speakers to have many Speakers. This makes sense in the context of a music festival where a band may have band members who get programmed by themselves within the festival. Load this app and take a look at the Performer page for Corin Raymond & The Sundowners to see this in action.
View The 2011 Shelter Valley Folk Festival app at http://topquark.com/svff/app/2011.
I’m not able to publish this one yet because the data is still being finalized. However, I wanted to mention it briefly here because this implementation is actually bilingual (english & french). Using an add-on customization plugin, I added a Settings tab to the app on which is a language switcher. Without having to return to the server, the app instantly and seamlessly switches between languages.
In order to pull off both languages, I made use of a simple trick I’ve used on other bilingual apps. Basically, I render everything out as
<span class="en">Sample English Text</span><span class="fr">Le text en français</span> and then either hide or show the appropriate CSS selector based on what language the user wants to see. To implement this strategy, I had to customize just about every Sencha template and title. No problem. I was even able to make it such that the times showed up as 1:00pm in English and 13h00 in French.
Once the app goes live, I’ll post a link here.
Update: this app is now live at apps.capacoa.ca/app/2011