What are Ponzu and Kamishibai?

The name of this blog “Ponzu and Kamishibai” are the names of the software components that drive our conference system.

“Ponzu” is the whole system. For the MBSJ2012, Ponzu covered the online program for PCs, iPads, smartphones and feature phones. Ponzu has many features that have never been seen in a conference system including but not limited to SNS-like features and poster-hall maps. In the future, we plan to extend the role of Ponzu to play a more integrated role in data management. Ponzu uses the Ruby-on-Rails framework. Ponzu was born on April, 2012 in time to demo the “like” function in front of the first MBSJ2012 IT-plan meeting at Kyoto.

We use the name “Ponzu” because it is a Japanese soy-sauce, vinegar and citrus combination that enhances the flavor of meat, cutting down on it’s oiliness and making it light and easy to consume. We consider the presentations and discussions to be the meat of conferences and our conference system to be simply a nice and vitally important flavoring.

“Kamishibai” is a Javascript framework that was designed specifically to enable us to target multiple platforms with a single codebase and to also enable offline viewing. It contains many novel concepts and unique features. Kamishibai was born on August of 2012 and was initially called paperStack.

“Kamishibai” is a form of story telling that is very popular with Japanese children and my kids even produce some of their own (WikipediaExamples). The serious and fully absorbed stares that I received when I read Kamishibai to kids at our kindergarden are something that I will never forget … the magic of presentation.

I will be talking a lot about the concepts and implementations behind both Ponzu and Kamishibai, including how they will evolve as we put further development into them.

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