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Open Source Success Story

 
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As some of you know, I do ballroom dancing. I compete with the MIT Ballroom Dance Team. We run one of the largest open ballroom competitions in the country every spring. These competitions are logistically challenging, often taking a team of 15 people to plan, and requiring 70 some people to execute.
One of the more mundane tasks is registration. Traditionally people fill out a form with their personal info, and then list the events in which they want to compete. We also need to keep track of who has paid (most teams pay in one lump check, but sometimes people are elft out).
Being MIT geeks, we decided to automate the process. The original version (written in Perl) was created by David Leung and called OpenImpetus (named after a dance move). It allowed people to register online.
We decide we could do more. Eric Nielsen then created Comp-in-a-box with the goal of completely automating eveything in the competition except for the judging. Right now the main piece, SlidingDoors (written in PHP) is used for online registration. It can be used to regsiter people, and print a program. I've been working on TimeSteps (in Java) which is the scheduler program. Other plans include tracking people across competitions (there's a point system in which you accrue points by winning events), a scrutineering program (how people are scored), and a master controller, which will help the MC do real time tracking of the comp (e.g. are we running 20 minutes behind schedule).
This is all open source.
More and more competitions are using it, and Eric often hosts the event for them (you can see how it works here). Recently, a major dance studio chain expressed interest in using it for their events. They are offering to pay him money to speed up development of certain features which are useful to them. I think open source is great, but I am especially happy to see it help provide income to someone who has donated so much time to the project.
--Mark
 
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That's .
I guess it doesn't have to be for Strictly Ballroom competitions
Other competitive events could use the application.
Distributed online events too ,perhaps...
regards
[ December 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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