Deadline Extension for the Android Developer Challenge

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Zach Hobbs

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Jan 28, 2008, 9:06:37 PM1/28/08
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FYI:
http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2008/01/deadline-extension-for-android.html


--

Zach Hobbs
HelloAndroid.com
Android OS news, tutorials, downloads

Cow Bay

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Jan 28, 2008, 9:56:30 PM1/28/08
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great! thnxs!!!!!!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Zach Hobbs" <ho...@helloandroid.com>
To: <android-...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 6:06 PM
Subject: [android-challenge] Deadline Extension for the Android Developer
Challenge


>
> FYI:
>
http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2008/01/deadline-extension-for-androi

xtrawurst

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Jan 28, 2008, 11:52:02 PM1/28/08
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Why? This is so ridoculous!
A punch in the face for everyone having something like time
management. I am REALLY disappointed. This challenge is becoming a
farce!
I can just speculate about the reasons behind this but I suppose that
they had nothing to do with the forum poll (which I thought was around
50:50), but rather with a sort of greedyness about having higher
application quantity.

I wonder what's the next thing they come up with...

On 29 Jan., 03:56, "Cow Bay" <nmlg...@gmail.com> wrote:
> great! thnxs!!!!!!
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Zach Hobbs" <ho...@helloandroid.com>
> To: <android-...@googlegroups.com>
> Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 6:06 PM
> Subject: [android-challenge] Deadline Extension for the Android Developer
>
> Challenge
>
> > FYI:
>
> http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2008/01/deadline-extension-for...

ajd

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Jan 29, 2008, 12:51:03 AM1/29/08
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I agree that it has nothing to do with the forum poll.
I feel (and this is my opinion) that the extension was already decided
beforehand and the forum poll was just to make it appear that they
have consulted the community before deciding.

Anyway, even though I strongly disagree with this extension, I tried
to look at the positive side:
1) Since I'm almost done, I can relax or stop my development efforts.
I have little chance of winning the contest anyway. The forum poll was
the test if I have a chance to win.
2) Instead, because I'm itching to use my own application in real
life, I'll start porting my application to another platform (most
probably windows mobile 6 since I am a c# programmer). If my
application turns out to be good, I'll release it commercially. Who
knows, my app may be earning while I wait for the challenge deadline
(which may be extended again) and the real phone to come out. Also
having the application tested in a live device is helpful even though
it is in in another platform.
3) Or use the time to start learning yahoo's new mobile framework, or
soon to be nokia's QT. Since these companies are obviously following
google's footsteps, they may also have their own challenge.
4) Or just simply relax... and wait for the final winners... if ever
they make the new deadline... if not just extend the deadline again...
but just relax... what can we do?

sep...@gmail.com

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Jan 29, 2008, 8:25:31 AM1/29/08
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dats a really gr8 news

On Jan 29, 7:06 am, Zach Hobbs <ho...@helloandroid.com> wrote:
> FYI:http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2008/01/deadline-extension-for...

Cow Bay

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Jan 29, 2008, 1:58:25 PM1/29/08
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calm down, man.

the extension brings more good's than bad's, doesn't it?

Dan U.

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Jan 29, 2008, 3:28:16 PM1/29/08
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I probably wasn't as "against" the extension as some of you guys, but
I did want the deadline to stay where it was because I'm getting quite
bored. Honestly, the amount of time given was a lot already. Maybe it
comes from my background at a high-pressure web app development
company, but the challenge just seems really slow.

Another thing I was thinking about in terms of fairness is for the
people who have already submitted. I was thinking if the judging is
already happening (I don't know if it has), then will the already
submitted applications still be fresh enough in the judges mind by the
end of this new deadline? Sure, they could resubmit later, but it
seems kinda dumb to do so if you haven't made any significant changes.

Dan U.

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Jan 29, 2008, 3:33:31 PM1/29/08
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Also, it seems to me on average that the more active members in the
community were against this extension, whereas a bunch of people that
I've never seen before wanted the extension. I personally would have
put more weight in what the active members said. Not to say that some
of the people who rarely post anything won't submit the most wonderful
apps, but I'd expect most of the "regulars" here to post good
submissions.

mickrobk

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Jan 29, 2008, 4:35:25 PM1/29/08
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I don't think they posted that topic to find out what the community
thought, but rather had already made the decision to extend, and
honestly expected that most people would be in favor of an extension.
I think they found themselves in a tight spot when responses were more
mixed/negative. They didn't even post a link to the extension
announcement here, (unlike when the terms and conditions were posted,
this is definitely more relevant to the competition that that) no
"thanks for the responses, and we able to move the deadline back" I
think the lack of this makes it especially clear that they were not
responding to our feedback. I would have been way happier with them if
they had at least responded honestly to the discussion with the
reasons they went for extending the deadline.

Of course, it could have easily started as a way to help the
community, but the pitch in favor of an extension snowballed to much
at the higher levels, taking away the decision from the people that
started it at Google, who might have been looking for what the
community wanted. If i had to bet on what happened, it'd be this.

I can't say I'm surprised, I think they did the same thing with the
various gadget competitions, I just thought the developers for their
OS might be more important. Who thinks it'll be extended again?
Rob

ajd

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Jan 29, 2008, 5:11:25 PM1/29/08
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>
> Of course, it could have easily started as a way to help the
> community, but the pitch in favor of an extension snowballed to much
> at the higher levels, taking away the decision from the people that
> started it at Google, who might have been looking for what the
> community wanted. If i had to bet on what happened, it'd be this.
>

I'll bet on what happened as this: There were lobbying that happened
in the background by some big time players who would not probably make
the original deadline. They are so afraid to be embarrassed by losing
to the small players.
I agree to what Peli has said in another forum. The SDK is now in a
better shape than when the contest started, thanks to the early
starters, the insignificant group to Google, who struggled to to where
the SDK is right now. Sad to say, the late starters and the commercial
groups will harvest on what has been planted.

Fern

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Jan 29, 2008, 6:09:01 PM1/29/08
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Though I'm a bit disappointed in the way this whole extension thing
has been handled and resolved. The pushing back of the deadline for
the benefit of commerical/big time players doesn't seem logical to me.
If they're already properly funded, they're more concerned about
winning the market and not about winning a small 25k from google and,
at most, 300k all together. And if they have enough sway to make
google push back the deadline, why wouldn't google just fund them out
right instead of making them go through the competition (especially
since it would mean that it's already been predetermined that this or
that company would/should win).

I suspect that there are other reasons for the push back. It could be
that the new sdk has new "must have" features, the hardware isn't
ready for prime time (I would hope they would provide hardware to the
50 winners for testing), the number of submissions to date have been
fewer than expected (making the higher ups nervous), the lack of sun
spot activity in this new solar cycle has surprised them ;), blah blah
blah. In the end it's all pure speculation until we get any "official"
feedback; so no point in wasting energy on it. Venting yes, energy
no :)

For me, I still think that this competition is still mainly for us
"small time" developers/companies/teams (only in pocket but not in
heart). So I hope for those of you who are discouraged that you guys
will still push to make the best apps you can given the new deadline.

Now if they push the deadline a second time around without any proper
reason, then that would be a different story.

Good luck!!

Now back to lurking.

Dan U.

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Jan 29, 2008, 6:25:21 PM1/29/08
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I'd also would like to see a response from one of the Google guys on
this. If it was only an issue of them thinking there wouldn't be
enough submissions, I think those of us who haven't submitted yet
could chime in so they could get a count.

ajd

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Jan 29, 2008, 6:44:17 PM1/29/08
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On Jan 29, 4:09 pm, Fern <ferdinand.tong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Though I'm a bit disappointed in the way this whole extension thing
> has been handled and resolved. The pushing back of the deadline for
> the benefit of commerical/big time players doesn't seem logical to me.
> If they're already properly funded, they're more concerned about
> winning the market and not about winning a small 25k from google and,
> at most, 300k all together.

I may be too far off the mark but this contest is not all about
winning the money (although you failed to mention the second round
which has substantial amount with it). Imagine how much publicity, and
with that the big jumpstart for their product, the winning entries
will have.

> And if they have enough sway to make
> google push back the deadline, why wouldn't google just fund them out
> right instead of making them go through the competition (especially
> since it would mean that it's already been predetermined that this or
> that company would/should win).

That's where lies the point you missed. Even if there are pre-
determined winners, Google still needs a significant developer
community. They do not want just a bunch of partners. Hence, this
contest. They are shooting two birds with one stone. Fund their
favorite players, and at the same time hope to build a siginificant
developers community.


Fern

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Jan 29, 2008, 11:54:36 PM1/29/08
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> I may be too far off the mark but this contest is not all about
> winning the money (although you failed to mention the second round
> which has substantial amount with it). Imagine how much publicity, and
> with that the big jumpstart for their product, the winning entries
> will have.

"The pushing back of the deadline for the benefit of commerical/big
time players doesn't seem logical to me."
I guess it depends on how we're both defining commerical/big time
players and that's probably why we're kind of not on the same page.
For me a big time player should be looking to make in excess of a few
100 million dollars (or dreaming at least in doing so and that's a
small dream) and should have enough funding to give it a legitimate
shot. So even if they won both stages of round 1 and both stages of
round 2, it wouldn't amount to much comparitvely speaking. To be
dependent on googles competition time-frame would not be a very good
business decision on their part.

For the publicity, I guess it depends on what kind of app is being
built and who the target market is such that winning this competition
is important for a commercial (big time) player.But I'm suspecting
that a large majority of the public aren't and won't be aware of this
competition. Winning the competition will be more for finding VCs and
possibly business partners such that we of the unconnected and under-
funded can start even thinking about publicity.

I could be completely wrong on this but given the format of this
competition I don't think google is going to do a marketing blitz
after the end of Round 1, more like start a buzz for the winners but
it'll be up to the winners to keep up the buzz after that. A
commercial company should have money set aside for them to generate
their own buzz and publicity, especially a company that would have
enough push to make google change the deadline of this competion.
Going at a different angle, look at google and facebook that didn't go
the publicity route and still became very successful. Requesting a
favor from google to push back the deadline for the first stage of the
first round, IMHO, would be a waste of a favor.


> That's where lies the point you missed. Even if there are pre-
> determined winners, Google still needs a significant developer
> community. They do not want just a bunch of partners. Hence, this
> contest. They are shooting two birds with one stone. Fund their
> favorite players, and at the same time hope to build a siginificant
> developers community.

For this case I guess it depends on how we're both defining google and
that's what's leading us to different conclusions. For me I believe
(and as you implied) that google sees the importance of creating a
significant developer community. Poisoning the community to appease a
favorite player (or even 10) wouldn't be a move google would make (for
how I view and define google). It's a high risk low reward move. Sure
they could profile a favorite player as a winner in Round 1 Stage 1 of
this competition but google could profile/back them at anytime whereas
they only have one shot in creating a significant developer community
(especially with the iPhone SDK coming out soon). Right now their
risking over $4 billion to make sure that the wireless spectrum in the
US are open to all devices. That makes me believe that google has
enough stones to throw that they wouldn't need to resort to such
tactics.

This of course doesn't mean that google didn't mess up with how they
handled this extension or the whys of what they did was wrong or
right. I only commented because if people really started to believe
that google was playing favorites it would only demoralize the
community. Since I didn't think that was the case I added my two cents
on why not. You could, of course, be completely right on in your
assessment but in the end we won't really know for sure until they
explain it to us. Until I see enough evidence that they are starting
to behave like the next "Microsoft" is when I start questioning their
decisions with ill intent but for now I still believe in their "do no
evil" policy so will give them the benefit of the doubt.

ian

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Jan 30, 2008, 12:40:04 AM1/30/08
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Is the extension a decision made officially by Google/OHA? Is the
anouncement at the Blog trustworthy? I am taking this seriously and do
not want to miss the deadline and I HOPE Google will not cancel the
challenge in the end.

I do not think I'll put much more time than I have planned. I
personally think the true reason behind is that there have been very
few submissions. (but it does not mean there won't when the deadline
is near). I was planing to submit in this week or next but now I'll
take a deep breath and just think about the lessons I am learning:
time management and risk management.
> > developers community.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Dan U.

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Jan 30, 2008, 12:45:32 AM1/30/08
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I'm fairly certain the blog is trustworthy.

ravdog

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Jan 30, 2008, 11:07:37 AM1/30/08
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Excellent! This gives me a realistic chance to compete.
Message has been deleted

SungSuh Park

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Jan 31, 2008, 7:12:05 AM1/31/08
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I think it's not just for a developers in competition, it's but also
for a android SDK.
We will test android SDK 1 more month.

I don't know how much It changed to enhance our applications.
Is this extension good or not??

I can talk it after check a new SDK.

Anil

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Feb 1, 2008, 1:11:10 PM2/1/08
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Wonderful news! not everyone has the luxury of working on it full
time.
I was about to resign my job to work on this :) now I don't need to.

Ulzii

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Feb 3, 2008, 2:23:21 AM2/3/08
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I was ready my Android challenge project to turn to my plan B.

Because, is there anyone who got yes/no message from iGoogle
venture( $5000.00)?

Here is a link of the iGoogle venture which is almost like the android
challenge.

http://www.google.com/gadgetventures/

My plan B is just to focus my spring semester classes.


Ulzii

Dan Morrill

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Feb 4, 2008, 7:36:32 PM2/4/08
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On Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 3:09 PM, Fern <ferdinan...@gmail.com> wrote:
For me, I still think that this competition is still mainly for us
"small time" developers/companies/teams (only in pocket but not in
heart).

I love the way you phrased that! :)  You are exactly right.


At the Code Day events we did last week, I explained the reasoning behind the name "Challenge".  It's not a "Competition", nor a "Contest", nor even a "Venture".  We chose the name in reference to "rising to the challenge".  The goal of the Challenge is not to buy a bunch of shiny applications for Android, but rather to give developers a chance to help us prove that this idea of an open cell phone is as promising as we think it is.

Developers with a great idea and a prototype face a dilemma:  should they go to the effort and expense to commercialize their application, despite the risk?  The goal of the Challenge is to reward promising developers with a prize that's big enough to make a difference in that situation.  The goal is not to set up a cut-throat battle between developers fighting for a reward.

The impending release of a new SDK was indeed a big factor in the deadline extension.  Even though we say it's optional, there are going to be a lot of developers who will feel like they have to upgrade their applications to the new SDK.  Only giving them two weeks to do so would not be right.

We recognize that some developers are dedicated and can commit a lot of time.  However, not all developers can.  The deadline extension is intended to help that second group build the best apps they possibly can, particularly in the face of a new SDK.

- Dan

Dan U.

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Feb 4, 2008, 7:45:15 PM2/4/08
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Dan,

Thank you very much for replying to this. It's nice to know someone at
Google is listening.

I'm still not quite sure I understand what you are saying about the
goal of the challenge though. It sounds like the intention is to get
some new companies started from the winners of the challenge and do it
without those people having to take out loans, etc. Or am I way off
base here?

On Feb 4, 4:36 pm, "Dan Morrill" <morri...@google.com> wrote:

Dan Morrill

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Feb 4, 2008, 8:10:39 PM2/4/08
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That's the basic idea, Dan.  I didn't say that in as many words, because whether someone actually bothers to fill out the paperwork to create a legal company is secondary.

The main goal is to help developers get over the "last 20%" hump to turn their prototype into a production application.  Whether they do that as a formal company per se is up to them.  For instance, someone might be awarded a prize and use it to take a sabbatical from her day job for a month to dedicate herself to her app full-time, without necessarily forming a company.

(At least, we hope that's what the recipients will do.  The prizes are awarded with no strings attached, so they can do whatever they like -- including nothing at all.)

- Dan

Dan U.

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Feb 4, 2008, 8:22:47 PM2/4/08
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Very good. Thanks for the clarification.

My belief is if I'm lucky enough to win anything (doubtful), I'll be
looking to do something like starting a business to develop/market my
software. If that fails, I'm still going to use this as an opportunity
to showcase my skills to prospective employers. I guess that means for
me, there's more to it than just the prize money.

On Feb 4, 5:10 pm, "Dan Morrill" <morri...@google.com> wrote:
> That's the basic idea, Dan. I didn't say that in as many words, because
> whether someone actually bothers to fill out the paperwork to create a legal
> company is secondary.
>
> The main goal is to help developers get over the "last 20%" hump to turn
> their prototype into a production application. Whether they do that as a
> formal company per se is up to them. For instance, someone might be awarded
> a prize and use it to take a sabbatical from her day job for a month to
> dedicate herself to her app full-time, without necessarily forming a
> company.
>
> (At least, we hope that's what the recipients will do. The prizes are
> awarded with no strings attached, so they can do whatever they like --
> including nothing at all.)
>
> - Dan
>

Fern

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Feb 5, 2008, 5:09:25 PM2/5/08
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Thanks for clearing the extension thing up Dan.

On another note (though I know I might be asking for a lot), would it
be possible to set up advisors for people who submit apps for this
Challenge?

Their function would be (at best or at worst depending on experience)
similar to college advisors:

Ideally, they would provide us feedback on our app, what we're doing
wrong (GUI or UserExperience-wise), what we can improve, what we need
to explain in more detail (since these apps won't really be live and
ready for prime time), etc. [I don't really think this is viable,
especially if there are a large number of submissions, but I can
always hope.....]

Or, at a minimum, a person who will let us know if our app works on
the system that will be used for judging. If it works, we could
receive an email telling us that it's good to go and if not, maybe an
email with a log file so that we can try to fix it before the deadline
(though rules need to be created so that the Advisor doesn't suddenly
become a Black box/White box tester). Also that person can be a point
of contact for us within Google in case we need to resend something
last minute or after the deadline due to file corruption or a lost
file (giving us peace of mind that we're sending it to a person and
not an email queue).

Assuming that there are around 700 submissions, a low app failure rate
and that the advisors only need to load the app onto the system and
kick it off. An advisor group of 7 to 10 people could probably handle
the work load without requiring too much time (if the apps are
dispersed from now until the deadline and they don't come in all at
once of course).

Some of the benefits for Google would be:
1) Give people an incentive to submit early instead of waiting until
the very last minute to submit. With more early submissions, it
provides Google with an early warning tsunami system (whether the
tsunami is going to be 10 inches or 100 feet) and more submissions can
be pre-grouped making the evaluation run smoother when it begins.
2) Reduce/eliminate the number of non-functioning apps put up for
evaluation and increase the number of submissions that might have
otherwise been eliminated due to developers error.
3) Create better rapport with the Android developer community :)

Right now, once an app is submitted, evaulated and then passed over.
There really is no way for us (developers) to know whether it was
passed over based on merit or based on developers error (a simple
example would be to forget to change from localhost). Also, if you
were to take 100 developers you have the potential of finding 100
different development systems. It's highly likely that most app will
work across the board but........

Thanks for your time,
Fern

On Feb 4, 7:36 pm, "Dan Morrill" <morri...@google.com> wrote:

what?!!

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Feb 5, 2008, 6:59:03 PM2/5/08
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Me second Fern's note.

Most apps submitted are developed with blood and sweat.

It would be cruel to *browse* them for only few minutes and throw them over
the shoulders without giving a little bit of details about how good/bad it
is judged.

Providing advisors is good to enlarge/solidate Android Developer Community
after this great Challenge.

Thank you.

--Kyara


----- Original Message -----
From: "Fern" <ferdinan...@gmail.com>
To: "Android Challenge" <android-...@googlegroups.com>

Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:09 PM
Subject: [android-challenge] Re: Deadline Extension for the Android
Developer Challenge

Dan U.

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Feb 5, 2008, 9:54:00 PM2/5/08
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As neat of an idea as this is (and I'd love to see it happen), I'm not
sure Google would be able to justify the added expense of having these
advisors.

xtrawurst

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Feb 6, 2008, 12:32:32 AM2/6/08
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At this moment I don't see any advantage to send a challenge entry
some time before the deadline ends. I foretell that google may have to
deal with a flood of entries in the last few days before the deadline.

Some advisors, or at least some form of pre-deadline "prejudging", or
someone that looks at your app and tells you if it runs or not, would
definetly sweeten an early submission.
Since there are still lots of open questions about app requirements
for the challenge (and I abandoned hope that they will ever get
answered in this forum) this could help a lot in clearing things up.

I also assume that there will be many entries (esp. those with a
server-side) which cannot show their potential because of small
configuration errors in the code (like the above-mentioned "localhost
poblem") and it would certainly be a shame to "drop" these apps and/or
judge them as "not runnable".

The judgement period is very short (just 3 weeks). I am not google or
some OHA member and I don't know how they organize things but I could
imagine that this period might be too short if applications come with
cumbersome configuration-problems.

As always, any official feedback is HIGHLY appreciated.

Fern

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Feb 6, 2008, 12:35:21 AM2/6/08
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I agree. It's very unlikely, given the timing and all that, for this
to happen but might as well ask :)

Another option for them would be to ask for volunteers. Kind of like a
"sponsorship" program. With the number of employees they have, finding
a 100 or so volunteers might not be that difficult.

I don't know if it's just me but I'd like to be able to know whether
my app works on their system or not. I'm pretty anal with my code so
I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem but since I'm pretty anal......

Anyway, good luck with your app!!
> > > - Dan- Hide quoted text -

Dan U.

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Feb 6, 2008, 1:26:17 AM2/6/08
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Perhaps Google would allow video or screenshots of the application in
action in the developers environment as a backup in case the
application has problems like configuration errors. The only problem I
see is that it could be easy to fake a really great idea with
screenshots.

And yeah, 3 weeks seems very short unless they have an army of
testers.

Dan U.

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Feb 6, 2008, 1:30:56 AM2/6/08
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I think having Google employees volunteer might be possible, but
realize that those people probably have normal jobs they have to
attend to. The only way I see it working is if there are Google
employees that either have little/nothing to do or that have no
project for the personal project time Google gives them.

I'm confident my submissions will work with the exception of some odd
issues with the sdk/emulator and the possibility of my server having
downtime (server is not under my control).

Peli

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Feb 6, 2008, 2:56:36 AM2/6/08
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I posted a suggestion to the other thread that may go in the same
direction: (
http://groups.google.com/group/android-challenge/browse_frm/thread/d52a5f17d3a71136/0d67eba7cc0122e8#0d67eba7cc0122e8
)

Google is probably not able to give detailed feedback to every entry,
but if it is true that there will be an MIT class set up who has
access to real devices for testing, then it is also likely that the
judges have access to real devices during judging rather than testing
on the emulator.

My suggestion was to ask those with real devices (the mentioned MIT
class) to try out our applications on real devices and provide
feedback (how things work, what could be improved, ...).

This would be beneficlal for us, as we do not have access to real
devices to test location based applications, XMPP based applications,
or accelerometer based applications, and could really lead to useful
insights.

It would also be beneficial for the MIT class students, as they get to
try out different applications, get to assess what is good design and
what is bad design, and will be a good exercise in how to formulate
useful feedback on software design.

These reports could be done anonymously and form part of the students'
mark of the class, so that students have an advantage of taking the
time to formulate a good report. The professor should assign the
applications to students who are not working on a similar application
so that the danger of "stealing ideas" is minimized. (e.g. if students
work on an MP3 application, they should evaluate a chat
application...)

Let me know what you think about this idea.

Peli
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