Developer Challenge

The theme for this year’s developer challenge is digital preservation. The hashtag for the challenge is #rfringe13dev.


The Developer Challenge has been a part of previous Repository Fringe conferences as well as the Open Repositories Conference hosted by the University of Edinburgh in 2012, with developers presenting ideas and a hackathon taking part parallel to the other repository sessions during the event.  This year we have decided to try something new, though not a radical departure from previous years.  We will be opening up the challenge for those unable to attend the conference, who can share their development with the conference attendees through Twitter and YouTube.


Entry is simple! Just fill in this form or email the Repository Fringe email account ( with your entry before 1600 BST Thursday 1st August 2013, with the following information:

  • A title and description for your entry.
  • Name(s), email addresses of people entering and where they work.
  • A URL which points to your entry (or your idea), e.g. in github, a presentation or a working demo. Working code is preferable, though prototypes and ideas will be acceptable!
  • How you plan to present your entry (in person or via video)

You will be required to present your entry to an audience on Friday 2nd August between 11 and 12.30pm for a maximum of 5 minutes. This could be done via a YouTube video if you are not in Edinburgh or are unable to attend the afternoon session.  The prize winners will be asked to present before the closing keynote on Friday afternoon.

Please note that all video submissions must be submitted by 1600 BST Thursday 1st August 2013, so that content can be checked before public viewing. All entries for the challenge must be finalised and submitted by 1000 BST on Friday 2nd August 2013.

The Rules for the Challenge can be found here.

Prizes and Sponsors

Thanks to our generous Repository Fringe sponsors we have three excellent prizes for the very best hacks:

Image of the 2011 Repository Fringe

Developer Challenge participants (a long time before the deadline!) during the 2011 Repository Fringe.


We are delighted to announce our judges for the Developer Challenge:

  • Bea Alex, Research Fellow at the Institute of Language, Cognition and Computation and Project Manager, University of Edinburgh School of Informatics. Find out more about Bea and her research here.
  • Stuart Lewis, Deputy Director of Library & University Collections and Head of Research and Learning Services, University of Edinburgh. Find out more about Stuart and his work on his blog.
  • Padmini Ray Murray, Lecturer in Publishing Studies, University of Stirling and co-founder of Electric Bookshop. Find out more about Padmini’s research here and find out more about Electric Bookshop here.
  • Paul Walk, previously Director, Innovation Support Centre at UKOLN, now Head of Technology Strategy and Planning at EDINA. Find out more about Paul and his work here.
We think this is a formidable team of judges who will offer very useful feedback from their diverse areas of expertise. So get hacking and impressing!

Hacking Late Into The Night

This year we have lots of space in the Informatics buildings “Cafe” space on the ground floor – at the heart of the Fringe – throughout the day. However in the evening you will need to find your own space – we know that generally this has been how our participants have chosen to do their late night hacking anyway and with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe taking place Edinburgh is in truly 24 hour mode.

Our recommendations for great locations to work on your Developer Challenge entries overnight include:

  • Pleasance Dome (also known as Potterrow) – a quirky and newly refurbished space just near the Repository Fringe venue. It is part of the University of Edinburgh so should also afford access to the University wifi and Eduroam networks.
  • Assembly George Square (also known as George Square Gardens) – right next to our venue and perfect when the sun is out! Sit in the gardens, grab something from the bar, and enjoy the sounds of the fringe. All this whilst also affording access to the University wifi and Eduroam networks.
  • Laughing Horse @ The Pear Tree (also known as the Pear Tree Pub) – also right next to the venue, also great in the sunshine. A huge beer garden makes this a great space for mega hack teams or for discussion with lots of repository folk. Apparently it also affords access of the appropriate wifi networks.
  • Old College Quad, South Bridge – near the venue and good coffee (at nearby Brew Lab) this is another outdoors space with benchs, a beautiful green, and (again) access to the nearby wifi networks. A great quiet spot for developing your ideas.
  • Summerhall – the most hipster of all Festival Fringe venues Summerhall is an enormous former Vet school, now an arts venue right next to the Edinburgh Tech Cube. They have several good bars and a highly varied Fringe programme. The Dick Vet is their own wee pub with beer brewed on site, food is served, and we think wifi is available…
  • Bean Scene – the latest opening (10pm) year-round coffee shop near our venue that offers wifi and decent snacks. The wifi isn’t as fast as the University’s but if you need a nice coffee and a good place to sit at 9pm it’s comfy, handy and not too expensive.

There are loads of other pubs, cafes, and venues with free wifi, good food and drink and good places to think and chat across the city. Ask anyone on #rfringe13 or #rfringe13social for recommendations and we’re sure you’ll get some great ideas!


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