Monday, September 30, 2013

KOSeek

is a new mobile information system for Android for students of the Czech Technical University. This is also an invitation for an official introduction of KOSeek along with Samsung watch presentation. What a coincidence: check on your watch what is going on at your university.

Thanks to CTU support students of the CTU Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Faculty of Information Technology developed a simple mobile application for Android. It allows searching students and employees allowing direct call or email. Students can access the courses information, business hours in the student’s office, get in touch with dean's office. The application also shows the recent RSS feeds for CTU, FEE and FIT. Once you get hungry check the menu at the cafeterias.

The KOSeek beta version was launched one week ago and the Google Play Market already shows 100+ downloads. We have not advertised the application properly yet, and we know we have more downloads. The rating is approaching 4. We also have some crashes but we work on debugging them. We are also happy to report there is already a discussion and many students are sending us comments and suggestion. Unfortunately, as far as I know, no faculties comments. Wait, my boss had commented!

The whole app was developed thanks to CTU. It is based on a long time project at FIT developing KOS API, which was essential for the KOSeek. This API is allowing to access the basic databases in the main information system called KOS. By the way KOS in Czech == blackbird and KOSeek == little blackbird! The FIT students are working with the Computer Information Center of CTU and it is definitely not a smooth ride, but it is hard to beat a person who never gives up. We keep the fingers crossed to get more out of KOS API and enable further functionality. Thanks guys!

The fronted, the Android application was developed at FEE. Three students, MSc, BSc, and a freshman, Adam, Dusan and Tomas joined together to design a great UI. Along the lines they have put together a reasonable development environment using standard tools, git, Android Developers Studio, Play Market. We have now a reasonably organized development and product threads in git, build system with Unit Tests and other tools. This is allowing newcomers to join effectively and get fast productive. I am sure there will be many other students joining. Are you interested, let me know. The build includes also an automatic User Database generation, which is part of the download allowing for KOSeek incremental search support. We use the Android build-in SQLite db.

KOSeek is still in its beta version, there is still lot of work required to make it perfect. We are receiving many suggestions for improvements from users as well as from developers. We have created a wishlist and we try to prioritize based on demand. It will be a hard task to keep the number of features at a reasonable, most useful level. Yes, most of the users are people of technical background, they will handle it, but anyway simpler is better!

Currently, the team is busy debugging, adding the most requested feature and some more goodies. We would like to introduce this features during the official KOSeek kickoff in the eClub meeting on Tuesday Oct. 8th at 5:00 pm in ERA Svet. Come and join us, you will also have a chance to see the latest Samsung watch and Note 3. Samsung representatives will bring the gear with them to let you enjoy a sneak preview. We also be very happy to answer questions and we are expecting further questions and suggestions. In the mean time enjoy KOSeek.

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