Pierluigi Marciano: state of Drupal 8 and Italian code sprint 2015 (January, 26th 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on Drupal 8 code sprint 2015)


Italian Drupal8 codesprint was hosted by Wellnet, a Drupal-oriented firm. A conversation with Pierluigi Marciano CEO of Wellnet and drupalist

Agatino Grillo: Hello Pierluigi. Can you introduce yourself and Wellnet?

Pierluigi Marciano: I am founder and managing director at Wellnet  an Italian ICT solutions provider established in 2005 and serving Milan and Rome area. I was born in Naples where I gained a BA in Economics with specialization in Management of service industries. I am passionate about web, open source, process optimization and innovative human resources management. In my free time I love travelling, cooking, old Vespas and jazz music.

Agatino Grillo: What about Wellnet?

Pierluigi Marciano: Wellnet is an ICT consulting company that since 2005 has been providing expertise to companies and institutions aimed at the development of web applications and digital strategy. We have been working with Drupal since 2006 and we use this platform as a Content Management Framework that help us to build customized features and layouts. We supply Drupal administration and development training to companies and institutions and we like to organize, participate and contribute to Open Source movement, research and events. We also have a J2EE development Department specialized in Business Intelligence and Process Engineering for the financial market. Wellnet is an Acquia partner and Google partner too.

Agatino Grillo: Why did you choose Drupal as your Content Management Framework?

Pierluigi Marciano: Drupal is the leading open source content management system for developing sophisticated, flexible and robust websites, social media networks and applications. Drupal is a mature and reliable product with a huge user base and is used by a lot of organizations like ONU, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Sony, MTV, Nike, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, FedEx, and thousands others. Drupal is designed for rapid deployment and enables you to work in a true “Web 2.0” style in which core features and functionality can be rapidly deployed to market. Last but not least Drupal is Open Source with a large community estimated in more than 1 million members and 32.000 developers over the world.


Agatino Grillo: On 17th January 2015 Wellnet hosted Italian Drupal code sprint. What is a code sprint?

Pierluigi Marciano: A code sprint is a meeting of Drupal developers and users to help get Drupal 8 released by patching code and resolve public issues on Drupal source. Sprint is also a key step in Drupal-community building by pairing both new and experienced contributors  together for mentorship. Although a sprint is not a learning-event however it is perfect for tackling programming issues and improve Drupal know-how: during the Sprint, people work together, have one-off discussions, break out into groups, comment on issues or IRC chats. Attending to sprint, Community can contribute to advance Drupal improvement by collaboration and contribution.


(click to enlarge)

Agatino Grillo: What is the state of Drupal?

Pierluigi Marciano: First of all Drupal in not just a Content Management System (CMS); it is a framework for web content management with an embedded development platform. So you can use Drupal no simply as a tool for creating web pages but also as a platform to support the digital strategy of your company or agency.

Agatino Grillo: In which sense?

Pierluigi Marciano: Using Drupal you can easy express your digital business by creating your web and mobile presence. You can focus on your business ideas and contents and leave to Drupal how to realize them in a rapid, at state-of-art and economic way. Drupl 8 new features have been realized to be enterprise-oriented: native web service support, much improved multilingual support, configuration management system, streamlined content editing, in-place editing, responsive design, HTML5 support, a built-in WYSIWYG editor and more … The list of improvements is long but above all the new Drupal version is going on a Symfony based architecture, the is the biggest new!


Agatino Grillo: When will Drupal 8 release?

Pierluigi Marciano: There is no Drupal 8 official release date yet. As you can see on official release cycle for Drupal8 page on October 1, 2014 first Drupal 8 beta was released. Today the current beta version is the fifth released on January 28, 2015.
The first Drupal 8 release candidate (RC) will be available when once the number of critical bugs and tasks will be reduced to zero. Maintainers will also evaluate the major bugs and tasks before creating the first release candidate.

Agatino Grillo: Last question. How is the community Drupal scene in Italy compared European or American ones?

Pierluigi Marciano: Italian Drupal community is still one step behind other countries. I feel this gap might come from the limited number of Italian Drupal certified-companies and the few number of Drupal events and meetups hosted in Italy but I hope Italian Drupal community will grow rapidly in the next months. We do our part organizing every year the DrupalDay.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Pierluigi

Pierluigi Marciano: Thanks to you


How to contact Pierluigi Marciano


How to contact WellNet



Rome GDGFest 2014: how replicate classic arcade “Space Invaders” in Unity3d, by Vincenzo Favara (12th January 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


(Claudio d’Angelis and Giovanni Laquidara)

Agatino Grillo: Hi Vincenzo. Can you introduce yourself?

Vincenzo Favara: Analyst developer, I’m a true computer geek with an open mind. I compose poems for my pleasure and that of my friends. I’m very talkative, always learning about new technologies and new ways of thinking. Member of Google Developers Group - Lazio/Abruzzo (GDG Lab).

Agatino Grillo: Motto?

Vincenzo Favara: “The impossible is the first step towards possible”

Agatino Grillo: You get a talk at Rome Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November 2014 in a code-lab dedicated to Unity3d. What about it?

Vincenzo Favara: Unity3d is a game development ecosystem: a powerful rendering engine fully integrated with a complete set of intuitive tools and rapid workflows to create interactive 3D and 2D content. It includes a rendering and physics engine, a scripting interface to program interactive content, a content exporter for many platforms (desktop, web, mobile) and a growing knowledge sharing community.


Agatino Grillo: Why a codelab about Unity3d in a Google Developer Group Fest?  Unity3d doesn’t belong to Google universe …

Vincenzo Favara: Google Developer Groups are a major initiative for Google but each GDG is an independent group so we can contaminate Big G technologies with other topics in our conferences. But of course you can using Unity3d to develop a game for Android. Unity3D has devoted more time to prepare and to develop apps on the Android platform.

Agatino Grillo: What topics did you talk about in your codelab?

Vincenzo Favara: The goal of my codelab was to teach how quickly implement a 2D game in Unit3d showing how replicate classic arcade “Space Invaders”, just a simple example for beginners. Slides are available here, code in GitHub.


Agatino Grillo: Advantages of using Unity3d in game development?

Vincenzo Favara: The main advantage is that Unity3d offers a rich, fully integrated development engine for the creation of interactive 2D and 3D content. The second point is that using Unity3d you can publish your game on several different platforms programming in Java Script, C # or Boo. Finally Unity3d has a large asset store where you can buy scripts, tools and textures to use in the game.

Agatino Grillo: Computer games are rapidly evolving in their sophistication and it is now possible use their potential to develop inexpensive, immersive and realistic media experiences. What is your opinion on this matter?

Vincenzo Favara: Video games are a primary component of digital interactive media industry and a form of digital art. I believe video games are an exciting opportunity and instrument to realize innovative experiences of immersive and interactive media. Recently Unity3d announced a full free integration for Oculus  a virtual reality platform. You can use Unity 4.6 and the Oculus integration package to deploy any sort of virtual reality content imaginable to the Oculus Rift, a VR head-mounted display.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Vincenzo

Vincenzo Favara: Thanks to you

How to contact Vincenzo Favara

Codelab: code and slides


Connected posts

The Dart side of web development: a conversation with Claudio d’Angelis and Giovanni Laquidara (11th January 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


(Claudio d’Angelis and Giovanni Laquidara)

Everything you always wanted to know about Dart but were afraid to ask

Agatino Grillo: Hi Claudio, hi Giovanni. Could you introduce yourselves?

Claudio d’Angelis: I am a web and software developer located in Fondi (near Rome), working in IT as a configuration manager and programmer, experienced in digitization and document management systems, UNIX administration, modern web development. When not working, I like to dedicate to Dart language, trying to contribute to its spread: I'm building an italian support community, writing articles and tutorials at Engeene.it, presenting episodes for the Google Developers Live program and speaking at conferences.

Giovanni Laquidara: I am a Software Engineer working in Air Traffic Control and Command & Control System development field. Active member in GDG-Rome and CodeInvaders Communities having fun developing Android and Web Application. Startupper in love with new and life changing technologies. Android and Dart and Go enthusiast.

Agatino Grillo: You were speakers at the Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November in Rome with a code-lab dedicated to web development using Dart language. What about it?

Claudio & Giovanni: In the code lab we developed, using Polymer-Dart, a showcase app of 700+ interesting monuments you can find in Rome! You can find the slide here on SlideShare or here in ppt and pdf format.


Agatino Grillo: What is Dart? Why another web programming language?

Claudio & Giovanni: Dart is an open-source Web programming language developed by Google designed to be easy to write development tools for, well-suited to modern app development, and capable of high-performance implementations. Dart is a class-based, single inheritance, object-oriented language with C-style syntax. It supports interfaces, abstract classes, reified generics, and optional typing. Most importantly, Dart compiles to JavaScript so that your Dart apps can run all over the web.

Agatino Grillo:  Does the Web really need another language?

Claudio & Giovanni: Dart is more than a language. The project is also building an Editor, core libraries, a static analyzer, and even a virtual machine. The Dart VM can run Dart code directly on the command line for server-side apps.  Nowadays web developers’ expectations require a platform familiar to programmers of different backgrounds, and that is structured to enable the larger, more complex apps that users are demanding. So Dart brings fresh ideas to web programming, and this innovation help push the web forward for app developers and users.

Agatino Grillo: Could you better explain Dart’s innovations?

Claudio & Giovanni: Google wants web apps to load quickly, run smoothly, and present engaging and fun experiences to users. At the same time Google wants developers of all backgrounds to be able to build great experiences for the browser.
Modern HTML5-compliant browsers offer a lot of new features in tablets and phones field also.
Despite these improvements in the web platform, the developer experience hasn’t improved as much as we’d like. It should be easier to build larger, more complex web apps. It’s taken far too long for productive tools to emerge, and they still don’t match the capabilities offered by other developer platforms. You shouldn’t have to be intimately familiar with web programming to start building great apps for the modern web.
So Dart improves developers activities in two main ways:

  1. better performance because it is a structured language designed for optimize coding and based on a new Virtual Machine enabling faster startup,
  2. better productivity because its support for libraries and packages helps you work with other developers and easily reuse code from other projects.

Agatino Grillo: What about the app developed in your code-lab?

Claudio & Giovanni: We realized a web app you can test live here  which exposes Rome’s monuments data come from the City of Rome’s OpenData hub: dati.comune.roma.it. Source code is available on Github . Slides here on SlideShare or here in ppt and pdf format.

Agatino Grillo: Your app uses Polymer-Dart too. What is Polymer?

Claudio & Giovanni: Polymer is a library for creating Web Components, which are a set of W3C standards and upcoming browser APIs for defining your own custom HTML elements. Polymer-Dart  is a Dart port of Polymer to build structured, encapsulated, client-side web apps with Dart and web components.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Claudio, thanks Giovanni.

Claudio & Giovanni: Thanks to you

Codelab: code, demo and slides

How to contact Claudio d’Angelis

How to contact Giovanni Laquidara


Connected posts

Towards Web 3.0, an interview with Roberto Navigli and Daniele Vannella (9th January 2014)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


(Roberto Navigli and Daniele Vannella)

Agatino Grillo: Hi Roberto, hi Daniele. Could you introduce yourselves?

Roberto Navigli: I am a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Sapienza University of Rome. Since I was a child, I have always been very interested in the complexity of language and this is the reason why, as a computer science student, I was quickly fascinated by research in the field of Natural Language Processing and decided to start a Ph.D. on the topic of word sense disambiguation. In 2010 I was the first Italian winner of a prestigious ERC Starting Grant in Computer Science and Informatics (I was only 32 years old with an amazing 1.3 million-euro contract!). Now I manage a group of 10 Ph.D. students doing research in many areas of Natural Language Processing, including Word Sense Disambiguation, Knowledge Acquisition, Ontology Learning, Semantic Information Retrieval, the Semantic Web and its applications. You can find more information on me at http://wwwusers.di.uniroma1.it/~navigli

Daniele Vannella: I am a Ph.D. student at Department of Computer Science at “La Sapienza” University of Rome under the supervision of prof. Navigli. I have a B.Sc. degree and an MSc in Computer Science both from “La Sapienza”. My research interests are in the areas of Word Sense Induction and Lexical Substitution . My curriculum is available at

Agatino Grillo: You were a speakers at the Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November in Rome in a code-lab titled “Towards Web 3.0 with BabelNet e Babelfy”. What is the Web 3.0?

Roberto & Daniele: The Web 3.0 is sometimes used as a synonym for “Semantic Web” which, using the definition of Tim Berners-Lee, is a “common framework” to allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. More simply, we can say, using the Wikipedia’s definition that the Semantic Web aims at converting the current Web, dominated by unstructured and semi-structured documents, into a “web of data”, where data are interoperable and semantically connected.


(source: Wikipedia, click to enlarge)

Agatino Grillo: What is BabelNet?

Roberto & Daniele: A key recent development in the Semantic Web area is the Linguistic Linked Open Data cloud. However, this cloud does not contain many rich resources and, with the exception of DBpedia, it is mostly monolingual. To address this and many other issues in semantics, we have introduced BabelNet, a very large multilingual semantic network that was created by automatically integrating existing knowledge resources, including machine-readable dictionaries such as WordNet, OmegaWiki and Wiktionary, and encyclopedic knowledge from Wikipedia and Wikidata.

Agatino Grillo: Could you explain BabelNet in more detail?

Roberto & Daniele: BabelNet is a sort of multilingual encyclopedic dictionary which connects concepts and named entities in a very large network of semantic relations, made up of more than 13 million entries, called Babel synsets. Each Babel synset represents a given meaning and contains all the synonyms which express that meaning in a range of different languages.
BabelNet provides, for example, lexical knowledge about the concept apple as a fruit, with its part of speech, its definitions and its set of synonyms in multiple languages, as well as encyclopedic knowledge about, among other entities, the Apple Inc. company, along with definitions in multiple languages, connections to other concepts and entities, etc.
Thanks to the semantic relations it is furthermore possible to learn that apple is an edible fruit (or a fruit comestible, a frutta, an essbare Früchte) and that Apple Inc. is related to Mac and Mountain View California. While 6 languages were covered in version 1.0, BabelNet 3.0 makes giant strides in this respect and covers the amazing number of 271 languages!


Agatino Grillo: Why a “multilingual” approach?

Roberto & Daniele: The tremendous growth in the amount of multilingual text on the Web has significantly increased the need for multilingual resources in many research areas. Multilingual lexical knowledge is indispensable for implementing the next step towards the multilingual Semantic Web, i.e. a Web in which multilinguality is not a barrier, but an opportunity for sharing and spreading information across cultures and languages. As a result BabelNet provides a unified multilingual repository of knowledge for solving issues in many areas such as computer-assisted translation, localization, multilingual semantic processing of text, cross-lingual information retrieval, etc.

Agatino Grillo: And Babelfy?

Roberto: Having developed the largest multilingual knowledge repository, the first natural step was to use it to address the language ambiguity issue. With Andrea Moro, another Ph.D. student in my research group, we therefore conceived and developed Babelfy, a unified approach to word sense disambiguation and entity linking in arbitrary languages, with performance on both tasks on a par with, or surpassing, those of task-specific state-of-the-art supervised systems.

Agatino Grillo: Recently you announced BabelNet 3.0, covering 271 languages. What is new?

Roberto: BabelNet 3.0 is the result of the automatic integration of six different resources:

  • WordNet 3.0, a popular computational lexicon of English,
  • The Open Multilingual WordNet, a collection of wordnets available in different languages,
  • Wikipedia, the largest collaborative multilingual Web encyclopedia,
  • OmegaWiki, a large collaborative multilingual dictionary,
  • Wiktionary, a collaborative project to produce a free-content multilingual dictionary,
  • Wikidata, a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.

Additionally, it contains translations obtained from sense-annotated sentences. BabelNet is fully integrated with our Babelfy multilingual disambiguation and entity linking system as well as the Wikipedia Bitaxonomy, a state-of-the-art taxonomy of Wikipedia pages aligned to a taxonomy of Wikipedia categories. Don't forget to join our facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/babelnet/

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Roberto, thanks Daniele.

Roberto & Daniele: Thanks to you!


  • R. Navigli and S. Ponzetto. BabelNet: The Automatic Construction, Evaluation and Application of a Wide-Coverage Multilingual Semantic Network. Artificial Intelligence, 193, Elsevier, 2012, pp. 217-250. http://babelnet.org
  • A. Moro, A. Raganato, R. Navigli. Entity Linking meets Word Sense Disambiguation: a Unified Approach. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL), 2, pp. 231-244, 2014. http://babelfy.org


  • Daniele Vannella - Linguistic Computing Laboratory (LCL) @ Università la Sapienza di Roma, BabelNet 2.0: un dizionario enciclopedico multilingue in formato elettronico  (video, 30.9) 20th November 2013
  • Roberto Navigli (University of Rome): Babelfying the Multilingual Web. (video)  23rd June 2014


Roberto Navigli

Daniele Vannella

●    https://it-it.facebook.com/daniele.vannella
●    https://sites.google.com/a/di.uniroma1.it/danielevannella/
●    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/daniele-vannella/99/842/854

Connected posts

GDG Rome Devfest 2014 - An introduction to Go by Alessandro Mancini (8th January 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


(Alessandro Mancini)

Agatino Grillo: Hi Alessandro. Can you introduce yourself?

Alessandro Mancini: I am a software developer with several years of experience in military defense area, particularly focused in Human-Machine interface system, Real-Time radar system, Object Oriented application using C/C++ and Java.
I am an active member of Google Developers Group - Lazio/Abruzzo (GDG lab) since the summer of 2013.
I am a Go enthusiast and an Android developer and a speaker in several IT conferences.
Beside this geek/nerd things, my interests are music (I am a very expert and enthusiast of many genres of music and spend hours of my days listen good albums) and I try sometimes to snowboard.

Agatino Grillo: You get a talk at Rome Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November 2014 in a code-lab dedicated to Go language. What about it?

Alessandro Mancini: GDG DevFest’s codelabs are hands-on lab sessions to allow attendees to learn Google technologies by practical examples from experts sharing their knowledge and passion. Rome Devefest 2014  was hosted by Rome University TRE. The full agenda of Rome Devefest 2014 is available here. I was the speaker of GO codelab that was a sort of “introduction of Go language”: why adopt it, its advantages against other programming languages, etcetera. You can find the slides here  with the code examples I proposed.

Agatino Grillo: Okay let’s start from basics. What is Go? Why another web programming language?

Alessandro Mancini: Go language (better known as Go lang or just GO) was conceived in 2007 by Google to solve some of the problems born by the interconnection of modern software infrastructures: multicore processors, networked systems, massive computation clusters, and the continuous update of web programs. Go was designed and developed to improve productivity in this complex environment. Its better-known aspects are built-in concurrency and garbage collection but Go has other important features: a rigorous dependency management, adaptability of software architecture as systems grow, robustness across the boundaries between components.
The article "Go at Google"  discusses the background and motivation behind the design of the Go language, as well as providing more details.

Agatino Grillo: That means Go is the best choice only for construction of system software on multicore machines?

Alessandro Mancini: Absolutely no. Go is efficient, scalable, and productive in every architectures and some programmers find it fun to work in. The goals of the Go project were to eliminate the slowness and clumsiness of software development and thereby to make the process more productive and scalable. The language was designed by and for people who write and read and debug and maintain large software systems.

Agatino Grillo: What are the most important characteristics of Golang?

Alessandro Mancini: To summarize Golang is

  • lightweight, avoids unnecessary repetition
  • statically typed
  • object oriented, but not in the usual way
  • concurrent, in a way that keeps you sane
  • designed for working programmers
  • funny.

Agatino Grillo: What does it mean “Object Oriented, but not in the usual way”?

Alessandro Mancini: Golang requires a different way to think about Object Oriented Programming. Although Go has types and methods and allows an object-oriented style of programming, there is no type hierarchy. The concept of “interface” in Go provides a different approach that is more easy to use and in some ways more general. There are also ways to embed types in other types to provide something analogous - but not identical - to subclassing. Moreover, methods in Go are more general than in C++ or Java: they can be defined for any sort of data, even built-in types such as plain, “unboxed” integers. They are not restricted to structs (classes).
Go has types and values rather than classes and objects.
Go doesn’t fit the typical schema of other OOP language but it provides many of the same features, in a different way:

  • methods on any type we define, with no boxing or unboxing
  • automatic message delegation via embedding
  • polymorphism via interfaces
  • namespacing via exports.

There is no inheritance in Go and so you have to realize OO design in terms of composition.

Agatino Grillo: Your suggestions on getting started with Golang?

Alessandro Mancini: At Google I/O 2012 the Google Developers team launched the Google Developers Academy, a program that provides training materials on Google technologies. Go is one of those technologies. A good point to start is for example: “Getting Started with Go, App Engine and Google+ API”  an introduction to writing web applications in Go updated on September 2014. It demonstrates how to build and deploy App Engine applications and make calls to the Google+ API using the Google APIs Go Client. This is a great entry point for Go programmers to get started with Google’s developer ecosystem.
After going through basic materials the second step for acquiring knowledge in Go is to get started writing code solving actual problems. And of course joining Go community https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/golang-nuts . There are a lot of gophers eager to help you improve your skills.


Agatino Grillo: Alessandro you’re a member of the Google Developer Group Rome. What’s the tech scene in Rome? What about Golang spread in Italy?

Alessandro Mancini: The tech scene in Rome is growing up thanks to developer groups like GDG Roma and GolangIt http://www.meetup.com/golangit/ which have a key role in bringing innovation and tech knowledge into the programmers communities. In Italy in the last years there has been a relevant growth of tech events as well as tech communities.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Alessandro

Alessandro Mancini: Thank you

How to contact Alessandro Mancini



Connected posts

Rome Dev Fest 2014: Android TV & Chromecast, a conversation with Matteo Bonifazi and Alessandro Martellucci (2nd January 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)

(Alessandro Martellucci e Matteo Bonifazi)

Agatino Grillo: Hi Matteo, hi Alessandro. Could you introduce yourselves in a few sentences?

Matteo Bonifazi: Mobile Software Engineer, I work as Android developer at Open Reply. Member of Google Developer Group Lazio-Abruzzo (GDG L-ab) . Author of the book  “Sviluppare applicazioni per Android in 7 giorni” (“Create Android apps in seven days”). Living in Rome IT, computer addicted, traveller tireless, boxer by chance.

Alessandro Martellucci: I am Computer Scientist and I work at Open Reply as Senior Android developer and specialist in mobile development sector. What I’d like is tempt to make sure everything would be innovative everyday. I’ve experience in mobile-side and server-side development, domain modelling, analysis requirements but always careful of world changes.

Agatino Grillo: Matteo, what are GDGs?

Matteo Bonifazi: Google Developer Groups (GDGs) are communities of people interested in Google’s developer technologies and solutions. GDGs are not just programmers’ groups: we want to foster a community for developers, designer, computer science students and teachers, startuppers who build on Google’s platforms.

Agatino Grillo: Both of you work at Open Reply. What about it?

Alessandro & Matteo: Founded in 1996 Reply Group is made up of a network of highly specialised companies which operates in Italy, Germany, UK, Benelux, USA and Brasil. Open Reply is the company of Reply Group focused on open source software, multichannel web solutions and mobile applications. Based in Rome and Milan, OpenReply is a team of about 30 engineers, specialized in Android, iOS and Windows Phone development and our skills are pretty focused on broadcasting, banking and Android OS customisation.


Agatino Grillo: At Rome Google DevFest on 8th November 2014 you gave a presentation titled “Video Streaming: from the native Android player to unconventional devices” (here the slides in pptx and pdf format in Italian, here a similar one in English presented at Droidcon London some days before). Could you summarize it?

Alessandro & Matteo: In this talk we gave an overview about the streaming in Android. Starting from video streaming on mobile devices, we explored the evolution of the development through Chromecast up to Android TV illustrating with our experiences developing mobile television applications for the main Italian broadcaster providers.

Agatino Grillo: What is the Google proposition in this field?

Alessandro & Matteo: Getting a streaming video in your Android smartphone or tablet is no longer enough.In the latest period, Google shows how to push this concept forward to new appliances. Chromecast and Android TV are two of the most promising gadgets for upsetting the way users enjoy video streaming.

Agatino Grillo: In which sense?

Alessandro & Matteo:Nowadays the evolution of video streaming is towards mobility experience. Chromecast and Android TV represent an additional mode of use of the video itself because final users can benefit from new forms of interaction and new kinds of information.
In our presentation  we analized the Android multimedia framework also which permits to play several media types from media file stored inside the application (raw resources, standalone files) or for OTT streaming. However documentation of the media framework is enough just for simple test case and MediaPlayer Framework documentation is kind of nightmare (lot of events and error are not documented at all).
Finally, we concluded with examples on video streaming using Android TV and Chromecast.


Agatino Grillo: What is Android TV?

Alessandro & Matteo: Android TV is a smart TV platform developed by Google announced at Google I/O 2014 as a successor to Google's earlier attempt at smart TV, Google TV. Android TV has inside the same Android multimedia framework of normal devices. Android TV can be built into both TVs and standalone set-top boxes. Users will have access to the Google Play Store to download Android apps, including media streaming services as well as games.

Agatino Grillo: Chromecast at a glance?

Alessandro & Matteo: Chromecast is a digital media player developed by Google. It is a HDMI dongle playing audio/video content on a high-definition display by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or a local network.


Agatino Grillo: Matteo you recently published “Sviluppare applicazioni per Android in 7 giorni” (“Create Android apps in seven days”). Could you summarize it contents?

Matteo Bonifazi: “Sviluppare applicazioni per Android in 7 giorni” provides a comprehensive and state-of-art guide of the various steps involved with the development of Android apps. It follows the “seven days” schema to assure a practical approach and better motivate the readers. The last chapter gave a brief introduction to Android Wear, a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Alessandro, thanks Matteo


  • Matteo Bonifazi & Alessandro Martellucci, “Video Streaming: from the native Android player to uncoventional devices”, Rome Google DevFest, 8th November 2014  (pptx and pdf, in Italian)


How to contact Alessandro

How to contact Matteo

Connected posts

“Let’s expose Rome” with a Cloud Cult Platform: a conversation with Camelia Boban and Simone Pulcini about semantic web (15th December 2014)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


Agatino Grillo: Hi Camelia, hi Simone. Could you introduce yourselves?

Camelia Boban: My name is Camelia. I come from Romania where I graduated in Economics from Craiova University. I have been living in Italy since 1992. I am a freelance software developer, member of Google Developer Group L-Ab Lazio Abruzzo, contributor of Wikipedia, the collaborative and online free encyclopedia, affiliate with Wikimedia, the movement behind Wikipedia and promoter of “Wiki Loves Monuments” the international photo contest, organised by Wikipedia.

Simone Pulcini: Hi! My name is Simone. I’m engaged in software development for more than a decade. I specialized myself in enterprise architectures and modelling. I covered several business tasks for private firms as well as for public administration. I’m a certified UML developer (OCUP) and I'm obtaining the Java Enterprise Architect (OCMJEA 6) certification. I’m the Google Developers Group Rome chapter co-organizer together with Antonella Blasetti. I have a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from “La Sapienza” Rome University.


Agatino Grillo: You were speakers to the Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November in Rome in the code-lab dedicated to semantic web using Google technologies. What about it?

Camelia & Simone: The code-lab was titled «Roma non è mai stata così “Esposta”»: the title is a pun, a joke, that you can translate in English like “Let’s expose Rome” in the sense of permitting to explore Rome’s monuments and to run a risk. You can find the slides here http://www.slideshare.net/cameliaboban/cloud-cult-platform-roma-non-mai-stata-cos-esposta or here in pdf format or pptx format

Agatino Grillo: Why a code lab about semantic web?

Camelia & Simone: Nowadays there are a lot of semantic data available in the Web. Their potential is enormous but often it is very difficult to explore them. Using semantic Web technologies help users to easily explore large amounts of data and interact with them.


Agatino Grillo: Could you explain in a nutshell what is “semantic web”?

Camelia & Simone: Using Wikipedia’s definition, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web, dominated by unstructured and semi-structured documents into a “web of data”.
Semantic Web technology lets you push the web from a web of documents to a web of data using open and free “Linked Data” technologies like RFD, SPARQL, DBPedia which permit to access to information without creating a lot of custom code. In our codelab we also use Google’s solutions like “Google Cloud Endpoint” and “Google App Engine” to realize our application.

Agatino Grillo: What did you propose in your lab?

Camelia & Simone: We used data produced by DBpedia, a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and to make the information available on the web by exposing it with RDF a public standard for “linked data”.

Agatino Grillo: And what about Google Cloud Endpoints?

Camelia & Simone: Google Cloud Endpoints”  consists of tools, libraries and capabilities that allow easier to create a web backend for web clients and mobile clients such as Android or Apple’s iOS. For backend we use “App Engine app” to be freed from system admin work, load balancing, scaling, and server maintenance.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Camelia, thanks Simone.

Camelia & Simone: Thanks to you



Project’s code (codelab)


Requirements for codelab: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ys7HpA_9vKT5fBGtQ1rj0Y2DdURaVXcbodQU...

How to contact Camelia

How to contact Simone

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Il lavoro al tempo del web - Intervista a Massimo Chiriatti (24 novembre 2014)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)

Agatino Grillo: Ciao Massimo. Vuoi presentarti?

Massimo Chiriatti: Ciao a tutti. Sono un tecnologo, studioso dell’economa digitale e blogger de Il Sole 24 Ore. Ho una laurea in Scienze Politiche e ho conseguito un Master in Governo dei Sistemi Informativi. Mi occupo in particolare delle aree di intersezione tra la tecnologia e l’economia digitale con particolare attenzione alle possibili conseguenze a livello sociale ed occupazionale.
Potete contattarmi via email, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin


Agatino Grillo: Cosa ci facevi alla Google DevFest di Roma dello scorso 8 novembre 2014?

Massimo Chiriatti: Gli amici di Google Developer mi hanno invitato a partecipare come speaker alla conferenza iniziale nella quale diversi relatori hanno portato la loro testimonianza sui cambiamenti che le nuove tecnologie stanno portando nei rispettivi campi di competenza.

Agatino Grillo: Hai intitolato il tuo intervento (qui in pdf, 14 slide, 790 K), dedicato al mondo del lavoro, “Work games”; un omaggio al film “War Games”  e contemporaneamente una chiara indicazione che sempre più anche nel lavoro c’è una forte competizione tra uomini e macchine?


Agatino Grillo: Nel mio intervento sono partito dalla semplice constatazione che sempre più le macchine e i software evoluti permettono di sostituire attività lavorative precedentemente gestibili solo da esseri umani. Si è cominciato con l’automazione dei lavori a forte manualità e ripetibilità (agricoltura e catene di montaggio nell’impresa manifatturiera) per passare all’informatizzazione di lavori a forte contenuto informativo (vendita biglietti e check-in, negozi anche fisici virtualizzati e automatizzati, banche e assicurazioni che offrono sempre più servizi solo online) fino alla situazione odierna in cui la nuova frontiera è quella delle macchine dotate di capacità previsionali sulla base dei dati accumulati (logica abduttiva cioè software capaci di fare diagnosi a partire dai sintomi). Le mie conclusioni, un po’ provocatorie, sono che non conviene lavorare contro le macchine, piuttosto dobbiamo lavorare con loro per moltiplicare insieme l’output e quindi il benessere (da dividere più equamente).

Agatino Grillo: Cosa significa?

Massimo Chiriatti: Dato che le tecnologie sono sempre più sofisticate e meno costose le imprese ovviamente cercano di sostituire il lavoro umano dovunque sia possibile con il lavoro delle macchine; ad oggi le aree in cui ciò non è ancora possibile riguardano i lavori creativi e i lavori dove l’empatia con gli altri esseri umani gioca ancora un ruolo fondamentale. Così diventa fondamentale essere innovativi, saper comunicare, saper lavorare in team. Detto in altre parole: la classe lavoratrice “media” scompare perché siamo in un sistema che va verso attività particolari, che cambiano in fretta e non richiede persone “tuttofare” ma talenti specializzati. La Rete ci offre però la possibilità di “metterci in vista” ed essere individuati dalle aziende alla ricerca delle nostre capacità. Attenzione però: il web permette a tutti di mettersi in mostra e pertanto esaspera la competizione.

Agatino Grillo: Dunque?

Massimo Chiriatti: Prima chi cercava lavora passava in rassegna gli annunci, ora è un algoritmo che cerca la parola chiave. E non è la stessa cosa. È una conseguenza logica di anni passati ad inserire i nostri CV nei database online, così che adesso siamo all’interno di una matrice di dati. Quando ci sarà l’incrocio di domanda e offerta, un match, sarà il lavoro a cercarci, e si paleserà con una notifica sullo smartphone.

Agatino Grillo: Non c’è il rischio di un individualismo professionale troppo spinto? E l’Italia è pronta a queste sfide o rischiamo di trovarci sempre più alla periferia dell’impero delle grandi corporation?

Massimo Chiriatti: Deve essere chiaro che il mondo cambia nonostante i nostri timori. I fatti sono questi: le grandi imprese aumentano di numero, decentralizzano e hanno vita più breve. Dal 1988 al 2007 sono raddoppiate, siamo passati da 25 a 50 milioni di imprese nel mondo, anche questi sono i benefici della globalizzazione, spesso trascurati, perché non si creano nel nostro territorio. I fattori chiave di tale dinamica sono il calo dei costi sia del trasporto dei beni e delle informazioni, sia dell’elaborazione e della memorizzazione. Detto in altri termini: i capitali si sono sempre mossi verso la più alta remunerazione e oggi vanno dove ci sono le intelligenze migliori, non dove il lavoro costa meno o in un territorio delimitato. Siamo erroneamente rimasti ancorati all’idea che le imprese abbiamo vite secolari ma non è più così: le più grandi imprese sono quelle nate circa dieci anni fa; di questo passo immaginiamo cosa – e soprattutto chi- farà nascere le imprese nel prossimo decennio. Adesso i capitali - e le tecnologie - vanno incontro anche a una singola impresa, fatta anche da una sola persona molto talentuosa.

Agatino Grillo: Grazie Massimo e buon lavoro

Massimo Chiriatti: Grazie a tutti

Le slide della presentazione di Massimo al Google DevFest 2014 di Roma

  • Massimo Chiriatti, “Work Games”, Google DevFest 2014, Roma , 8 novembre 2014 (pdf, 14 slide, 790 K)


Per contattare Massimo

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Storia: progettare esperienze multimediali immersive - intervista a Darius Arya, archeologo multi-piattaforma (18 novembre 2014)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


Agatino Grillo: Ciao Darius, puoi presentarti in poche parole?

Darius Arya: Ciao a tutti. Sono un archeologo classico. Ho studiato negli Stati Uniti, dove ho conseguito il dottorato all’Università di Austin in Texas, e in Italia e risiedo a Roma da oltre 15 anni il luogo migliore per “vivere” quotidianamente la mia passione: la storia! Sono CEO e co-fondatore dell’American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) una organizzazione no-profit statunitense che realizza programmi di studio “full immersion” di cultura italiana moderna e classica oltre a percorsi formativi accreditati a livello universitario e a campagne di scavo. Abbiamo programmi di collaborazione con il comune di Roma e con il ministero dei Beni Culturali italiano grazie alle nostre innovative modalità di “comunicazione visuale” in materia di divulgazione e protezione del patrimonio artistico.

Agatino Grillo: Sei stato relatore alla Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest dell’8 novembre a Roma. Che ci faceva un archeologo nel regno dei nerd?

Darius Arya: Le feste GDG sono grandi eventi informali organizzati dalle comunità dei programmatori Google e incentrate su sessioni e presentazioni che affrontano aree diverse e correlate tra loro. È stato molto emozionante per me parlare a questo pubblico assai diverso dagli ambienti accademici a cui di solito si rivolgono gli archeologi nei loro interventi in particolar modo perché ero molto curioso di ascoltare le nuove idee e soluzioni proposte dagli innovatori presenti in una conferenza come quella di Google. Il mio intervento ha riguardato le modalità di “narrare” la storia di Roma utilizzando i nuovi social media digitali come YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook eccetera. Ho anche presentato un paio di video: il primo tratto dal nostro nuovo progetto “Ancient Rome Live” e il secondo “Save Rome: Preserving the Eternal City in the 21st Century” sui come difendere il patrimonio culturale. Con questi supporti multimediali ho cercato di spiegare meglio la mia idea che possiamo preservare meglio la nostra storia e i nostri beni culturali attraverso l’uso accorto dei nuovi media. Da questo punto di vista YouTube offre grandi opportunità specie se i video sono combinati ed arricchiti con strumenti offerti da altre piattaforme e applicazioni.

Agatino Grillo: Dunque sei una sorta di archeologo multi-piattaforma?

Darius Arya: Mi piace definirmi un “archeologo, presentatore di documentari, esperto e influencer di social media”. Ciascuno di questi ambiti si interseca e alimenta gli altri. Il punto di partenza della mia attività è il mio percorso universitario dal quale sono partito per lanciare, insieme con i colleghi di AIRC e i nostri partner, il progetto di condividere le informazioni culturali in modo più accessibili e moderno. Così ho cominciato con il trasformare i contenuti dell’archeologia in format televisivi grazie ai documentari e successivamente ho tentato di creare esperienze multimediali “immersive” usando le nuove reti sociali.


Agatino Grillo: Tutto ciò suona molto “Google compliant”. Che reazioni hai avuto al tuo intervento da parte dei programmatori Google?

Darius Arya: Tutti gli speakers della conferenza Google hanno presentato progetti innovativi relativi a esperienze multimediali “immersive”: Serena Zonca ha illustrato il tema del “virtual storytelling”, Sergio Paolini ha parlato dell’uso della nuove tecnologie in sala operatoria, Antonella Blasetti ha illustrato la “Google Night Walk” un tour immersivo di Marsiglia realizzato grazie alle foto di “Street View” e ad audio guide. Tutte le presentazioni erano finalizzate ad immaginare come creare nuove esperienze di “immersive media” grazie a elementi interattivi e ricchi dal punto di vista multimediale che permettano alle persone di essere coinvolte in nuove esperienze sensoriali e contemporaneamente fornire nuovi contenuti di conoscenza. Mi piacerebbe realizzare qualcosa di simile al “Marseille Street View project” per la città di Roma; lo scorso anno abbiamo discusso a lungo con Google su quale fosse il modo migliore per realizzare altri siti in modalità “Google Street View” e la mia idea è sempre stata che occorresse integrare elementi “arricchiti” per una utenza mobile: immagini significative, testo, video! Proprio quello che Google ha fatto con Marsiglia e che spero riusciremo a replicare per Roma.

Agatino Grillo: Prossimi passi?

Darius Arya: Come detto lanceremo nel 2015 il nostro nuovo progetto “Ancient Rome Live” sul quale spero si costituisca una vera comunità formata da  programmatori informatici, studenti ed esperti provenienti da varie discipline classiche come storia e archeologia, tecniche di comunicazioni di massa, giornalismo, arte e design capaci, tutti insieme, di inventare nuovi strumenti e linguaggi che sappiano ricreare vere esperienze immersive in differenti campi professionali.

Agatino Grillo: Grazie Darius.

Darius Arya: Grazie a voi

Come contattare Darius

Articoli collegati

Let’s develop immersive multimedia experiences about history - Interview with Darius Arya “multi-platform” archaeologist (18th November 2014)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)


Agatino Grillo: Hi Darius, can you tell us a few words about yourself?

Darius Arya: I am an American classical archaeologist. I studied in Italy and the USA (Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin) and have been residing in Rome for over 15 years.  I’m living history every day, and I love it! I am the CEO and co-founder of the American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) a US non-profit organization that provides students with a full immersion into modern Italian culture while learning about the past in university accredited programs and excavations.  Our collaborations with the city and Ministry of Culture have set us apart, as have our visual communications efforts to promote and preserve Italian heritage.

Agatino Grillo: You were a speaker to the Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November in Rome. Why a classical archaeologist in the environment of computer nerds?

Darius Arya: GDG DevFests are large, community-run events that can offer speaker sessions across multiple product areas. I am thrilled to talk with this kind of audience, far removed from the standard archaeology circles, because I’m excited about what these innovators can create. My talk focused on Rome’s history through social and digital media like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so on.  I presented a couple of videos, our new “Ancient Rome Live” project and conservation effort, “Save Rome: Preserving the Eternal City in the 21st Century”, to explain the idea that we can we can better preserve our common history and heritage through new media outlets.  YouTube offers a great venue combined with other learning platforms and applications.

Agatino Grillo: So you are a sort of multi-platform archaeologist?

Darius Arya: I like to define myself as an “archaeologist, TV documentarian, and social media influencer”. Each activity feeds the other. The core is my academic background in close collaboration with my AIRC colleagues and our partnerships, together with our online project of sharing information in a more accessible, and engaging, way.  In recent years we have been working to translate my TV archaeological experiences into an original, and more “immersive” media experience with new social networks and our videos produced on site.


Agatino Grillo: This sounds very Google compliant. What were the reactions from Google developers to your speech?

Darius Arya: All the speakers of Google conference exhibit innovative projects about these related  immersive experiences: Serenza Zonca illustrated the theme of virtual storytelling, Sergio Paolini spoke about new technologies in operating room, Antonella Blasetti demonstrated the “Google Night Walk” an immersive tour of Marseille with Street View photos and an audio guide. All presentations aimed to imagine how create new experiences of immersive media with rich interactive elements keeping people engaged in new media and at the same time offering more knowledge. I would be very keen to develop something similar to the Marseille Street View project in Rome; we’ve already been discussing with Google this past year to put some other lesser known sites on Google Street View - I’ve always advocated that more content is necessary to engage an active, mobile audience: with relevant images, text, video! And Google is doing it now with Marseille - so yes, we’d love to get involved!

Agatino Grillo: Next steps?

Darius Arya: I hope that after we launch in 2015 we will be able to scale up “Ancient Rome Live” through a community of engaged programmers, students, experts from many disciplines, including history, the classics, mass communications, journalism, and art and design capable to invent new tools to reproduce immersive experiences in different professional fields.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Darius

Darius Arya: Thank you very much!

How to contact Darius

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