Inside Look: Bento Developers Summit Demos Pt 1
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Max Duke (left) and Ira Rubenstein (Right) Welcome Stations

In this two-part series, Jeanine Schoessler, Support Programmer of Web Communications for MontanaPBS, and the SPI team, give you an insider's look at the projects presented during the demo portion of the Bento Developers Summit.

In a previous post, we reported out on the two-day hackathon style summit. The summit brought together some of the system’s best web developers, front-end designers, and digital leads to work alongside PBS Digital staff on station-proposed website tool builds.

There was so much amazing work completed over those two days that it's impossible to share it all at once. In this first post, you will read Jeanine's takeaways from the summit, view working prototypes, see what's next, and view the source code on the Open Bento GitHub for two of the five projects: automated science content experience and the attempt at Protack integration.

Automated Content Experiences: Science and PBS KIDS and PBS Parents Bentomatics 
Project lead by: Teresa Peltier, WSKG; Justine Moore,CET/ThinkTV; Stephen Hunter, PBS SoCaL

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             Stations Building Bentomatic Experiences

Project Wrap-Up: The Bentomatic Bonanza worked to create a (currently nonexistent) Bentomatic page that promotes Science content. The developed page features a custom slider (code developed by Pat Breen from VegasPBS) and an RSS parser (developed by Sarah Dudley from RMPBS) to create a self-automating webpage. Prior to being used by others, it will still need a bit more design refinement. The PBS KIDS and PBS Parents Bentomatic proved to be a larger item and will need to be worked on by the PBS Digital.

The other part of this build was a project pitched by Stephen Hunter. Essentially, he was looking for a better way to automatically feed program information onto a page in Bento. While it was tabled at the summit, it has since been integrated on the station's site by Stephen. A sample of that work can be viewed here:

Bentomatic Preview: 
Source Code: Program page snippet-

Editor's Note: The Bento team is looking at ways to improve the current RSS feed functionality to surface images easier. A product update will be sent once features begin rolling out. If you aren't set up to receive those updates, you can do that here.

Protrack Feed Parser (JSONP) Integration

Project lead by: Chris Emery, WTVI PBS Charlotte; Jeanine Schoessler, MontanaPBS; Sarah Dudley RMPBS 

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Teresa Peltier (WSKG) Making Wireframes

Project Wrap-Up: The Protrack teamed work on how best to implement feeds onto Bento pages, but the original goal of implementation of JSONP onto Bento turned into a larger discussion, and requirements gather on the actual use of Protrack data and how it integrates with the current TV Schedule API. The stations will continue to work with PBS Digital to define potential updates to the PBS system. This includes the Protrack-generated feed to supply data to the TV Schedules API (and what a well-formatted XML would entail). Additionally, a JSONP wrapper service could still prove beneficial for implementing feeds within Bento’s pages due to XSS errors. Another option that was discussed was to have Bento offer standardized templating tags that may include information including upcoming air date & show information. These would most likely be developed by the PBS programmers onsite with Bento users developing any necessary Javascript to best parse or format the information on the station side.

As you may have gleaned from just these first two projects, it's pretty staggering how much work the stations and PBS Digital staff were able to accomplish in two short days. If you are interested in these or any of the open source projects already or being built in Bento, please contact your SPI representative or view and join the Open Bento GitHub andforum for more information.


Coming soon to the SPI blog will be part two of 'Inside Look: Bento Developers Summit Demos'.

*This post was last updated 07/07/14 at 9:28AM EST

By: Jen Carter | PBS Digital  | Jeanine Schoessler | MontanaPBS