A Floss Weekly Podcasts Navigator

Floss Weekly is a show offered by the TWIT Network. Every week a guest is invited to talk about an open source project in which he/she is involved. The show has already covered some well-known open source projects and had some high-profile guests.

I have recently developed a Web application around Floss Weekly. This application is called Floss Weekly Navigator. The initial goal was to allow people discover new open source projects and learn about projects they might be interested in. Some other features have been added as time went by and others are still in the pipe. Below is an overview of the current main features of the Floss Weekly Navigator.

Recent Shows

This is the home page of the site. The application crawls TWIT site once a week to collect data about that week's podcast. Some attributes of the podcast such as the title, the project description, the hosts, the guests are then extracted and saved in a database. Also, a thumbnail of the latest show is extracted from the video file itself.

Floss Weekly Navigator visitors can then view the most recent podcasts without navigating away from the current page. This allows people to get a sense of what the recent shows are about in a convenient way.

Browsing Podcasts By Project Category

Most Floss Weekly podcasts deal with an open source project. A set of project categories has been defined and shows are assigned to the category of the project they cover. This classification process is done manually for now and a show belongs to at most one category. This process will be automated in the future and shows will be assigned to one or more categories based on some keywords occuring in the show's title and description.

Browsing Podcasts By Host

It is possible to watch or listen to podcasts that have been hosted by a given person. Many times, hosts tend to present projects that belong to some specific categories. For instance, Multimedia projects tend to be hosted by Aaron Newcomb, while BSD projects tend to be hosted by Randi Harper.

Searching For Projects

A search feature is provided. The advantage of using this feature instead of using the search on TWIT, is that only Floss podcasts will appear in the search results here. Also, a search autocomplete has been implemented. The search is based on project names and descriptions. On the other hand, the autocomplete is only based on project names.

Project Category Statistics

A pie chart depicts the all-time distribution of projects by category. A Varia category contains projects that do not obviously belong to a more precise category. For instance, talking about Floss Weekly itself or about one of the hosts...

An interactive stacked boxes chart depicts the distribution of projects by category and by year. Toggling the visibility of a box is done by clicking on the category's name at the bottom of the chart.

Hosting Statistics

A bar chart illustrates the ratio of Floss podcasts that have been hosted by every person who ever contributed to the show.

An interactive stacked boxes chart depicts the distribution of shows by host and by year. To get the stats of a single host over the years, one just needs to enable the box associated to the said-host and only this box.

Finally, these statistics are updated once a week as new podcasts come in.

Thoughts: