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Copyright 2014 Google Inc. All rights reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

    http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Sync protocol and data format

We introduced a major change in how conference data is synced from the server: instead of making calls to a specific backend, IOSched now simply loads data in JSON format from a URL specified in the configuration file.

The sync process starts by making an HTTP GET request to load the manifest file. The URL is configured in the MANIFEST_URL constant in Config.java.

For Google I/O, we used Google Cloud Storage as the hosting service to host these JSON files. However, if you are running your own event, you don't necessarily need to use Google Cloud Storage. Any reliable hosting service should work.

IOSched sends an If-Modified-Since HTTP header in the request for the manifest file, specifying the timestamp of the file as it was when it last loaded it. If the server replies with HTTP status code 304 (Not Modified), IOSched deems the sync to be complete without further action, since there was no change to the manifest. If the server replies with a 200 OK, then the manifest data is parsed. Here is an example of the manifest file body.

{
    "format": "iosched-json-v1",
    "data_files": [
        "past_io_videolibrary_v5.json",
        "experts_v11.json",
        "hashtags_v8.json",
        "blocks_v10.json",
        "map_v11.json",
        "keynote_v10.json",
        "session_data_v2.681.json"
    ]
}

Note that each of the entries in the data_files array is actually a pointer to another JSON file, which in turn contains information about each type of entity. There is nothing special about the names of the files. They can be any valid file name. We chose to use a versioning scheme (the _v<N>.json suffix) for organization purposes.

NOTE: these files are cached by name on the app. So if the app has already downloaded keynote_v10.json at some point in the past, it will not download it again. Therefore, if you are using IOSched for your own event, every time you modify a file in production, make sure to also change its name. For example, rename it to keynote_v11.json (and update your manifest). In other words, once published, each file should be seen as immutable.

So the general procedure to update one or more files in production is:

  1. download foo_v1.json, make your changes, upload foo_v2.json
  2. download bar_v7.json, make your changes, upload bar_v8.json
  3. download manifest.json, change it to point to foo_v2 and bar_v8, upload it.

Notice the order: you should always update the manifest file LAST, because when you update it, the files that it refers to should be available to clients.

The format of each JSON file is:

    {
       "<entity_collection>": [
           <entity>,
           <entity>,
           <entity>
       ],
       "<entity_collection>": [
           <entity>,
           <entity>,
           <entity>
       ]
    }

That is, each file consists of one or more collections of entities, organized by type. Example entity collections are: sessions, speakers, rooms, etc.

When you are writing these files, the exact layout of which collections go in which files is entirely up to you. For example, in our case we put the entities for sessions, speakers and rooms all together in session_data_vN.json, but we might as well have separated it into three separate JSON files.

Here is an example of a file with a room, a session and a speaker:

{
  "rooms": [
    {
        "id": "ROOM1",
        "name": "Room Alpha"
    }
  ],
  "sessions": [
    {
        "id": "SESSION1"
        "description": "A cool session about example data.",
        "title": "Example Data in Action",
        "url": "http://www.example.com",
        "tags": [
            "TYPE_SESSION",
            "TOPIC_ANDROID",
            "TOPIC_CHROME",
            "THEME_DEVELOP",
            "THEME_DESIGN"
        ]
        "startTimestamp": "2014-06-26T22:00:00Z",
        "endTimestamp": "2014-06-26T22:30:00Z",
        "youtubeUrl": "dQw4w9WgXcQ",
        "speakers": [
            "SPEAKER1"
        ],
        "room": "ROOM1",
        "isLivestream": true,
        "captionsUrl": "http://......"
    }
  ],
  "speakers": [
    {
        "id": "SPEAKER1",
        "name": "Example Smith",
        "bio": "Mr. Example Smith is a great speaker.",
        "plusoneUrl":  
            "https://plus.google.com/12345677890123456789012",
        "thumbnailUrl":
            "https://example.com/..."
    }
  ]
}

Notice that all three collections ("rooms", "speakers" and "sessions") are in a single file, but it be would equally valid to have them in different files.

IMPORTANT: if more than one file specifies the same entity collection, IOSched considers the UNION of all entities in those collections. This means that you can have multiple files that specify sessions, and all of them will be processed to form a single collection of sessions.

Bootstrap data

When the user runs the app for the first time, they expect to see data. However, if we relied only on the sync mechanism to bring data into the app, a first-time user would stare at a blank screen while waiting for a sync to happen, and this would be a bad user experience.

This is why IOSched ships with preloaded "bootstrap data", which is essentially a preloaded offline snapshot of the JSON data. This data is parsed by the app and saved to the database on first execution.

You can find this file in res/raw/bootstrap.json. It is simply a text file with a combined snapshot of the JSON files on the server.

Data format

Below is the documentation about the format of each type of entity supported by IOSched.

Rooms

Rooms are places where sessions can happen.

{
  "rooms": [
    <room>,
    <room>,
    <room>,
    ...
  ]
}

Where each <room> has this format:

{
    "id": "ROOM1",
    "name": "Room Alpha"
}

Blocks

Blocks are intervals of time in which sessions or other activities of interest can happen. Blocks are used EXCLUSIVELY in the My Schedule screen to show the user what are the major time blocks of the event. For example, breakfast and lunch are blocks.

{
  "blocks": [
    <block>,
    <block>,
    <block>,
    ...
  ]
}

Example <block> that represents a break/meal:

{
    "title": "Lunch",
    "subtitle": "Cafe, Level 1", 
    "type": "break", 
    "start": "2014-06-25T18:30:00.000Z",
    "end": "2014-06-25T20:00:00.000Z"
}

Example <block> that represents a free block:

{
    "title": "",
    "type": "free",
    "subtitle": "",
    "start": "2014-06-25T18:00:00.000Z",
    "end": "2014-06-25T19:00:00.000Z"
}

This type of block is of type free because it shows as a free block in the app's screen My Schedule, and allows the user to click on it and view sessions that starts on the block's interval. Every session start time should lie in an interval where there is at least one free block, otherwise the user won't be able to add them to their schedule from the My Schedule screen. Overlapping free blocks are properly handled in the Android app.

Sessions

{
  "sessions": [
    <session>,
    <session>,
    <session>,
    ...
  ]
}

Where each <session> has this format:

{
   "id": "SESSION123"
   "url": "https://...."
   "title": "Web Components in Action",
   "description": "Web components are cool.",
   "tags": [
       "TYPE_SESSION",
       "TOPIC_ANDROID",
       "TOPIC_CHROME",
       "THEME_DEVELOP",
       "THEME_DESIGN"
   ]
   "mainTag": "TOPIC_ANDROID",
   "startTimestamp": "2014-06-25T22:10:00Z",
   "endTimestamp": "2014-06-25T22:55:00Z"
   "photoUrl": "https://...../photo.jpg",
   "youtubeUrl": "https://youtu.be/YCUZ01yFtsM",
   "speakers": [
       "SPEAKER123",
       "SPEAKER456"
   ],
   "room": "ROOM123",
   "isLivestream": true,
   "captionsUrl": "http://......",
   "color": "#607d8b",
   "hashtag": "webcomponents"
}

The session URL is the URL of the session on the web. This is also used as the +1 URL when the user +1's the session. The session tags are not arbitrary, they have to be defined in the "tags" collection. The start end end timestamps are always given in this format, in the UTC timezone. The photo URL is the URL of the photo that illustrates the session. The captions URL is the URL of a page to show the livestream captions for this session. Set to "" if captions are not available. Color is branding color that shows in the session details screen, and the hashtag is the Google+ hashtag that gets automatically added when the user clicks the "Social" button on the session details screen.

If isLivestream is set to true, this session is livestreamed, and the youtubeUrl indicates the Youtube livestream URL to view it. If the session is not livestreamed, then youtubeUrl indicates the URL of the video recording of the session, if one is available.

Speakers

A speaker is a presenter of a session. Each session can have zero or more presenters. Sessions with at least one presenter are more fun.

{
  "speakers": [
    <speaker>,
    <speaker>,
    <speaker>,
    ...
  ]
}

Example of speaker:

{
    "id": "SPEAKER123",
    "name": "Reto Meier",
    "bio": "Reto is the lead of the Scalable Developer Advocacy team",
    "company": "Google",
    "thumbnailUrl": "http://..../reto.jpg",
    "plusoneUrl": "https://plus.google.com/+RetoMeier"
}

Tags

Tags are what you expect tags to be. They help classify sessions. In IOSched, a session is tagged by TOPIC, THEME and TYPE. Examples of TOPIC tags: "Android", "Chrome", etc. Examples of THEME tags: "Design", "Develop", "Distribute". And some examples of TYPE tags are: "Session", "Codelab", "Office hours", etc. The "tags" entity in the data specifies all the possible tags and the categories they belong to.

{
  "tags": [
    <tag>,
    <tag>,
    <tag>,
    ...
  ]
}

Example of tag representing the "Android" topic:

{
    "category": "TOPIC",
    "tag": "TOPIC_ANDROID",
    "name": "Android",
    "abstract": "",
    "order_in_category": 1,
    "color": "#558b2f"
}

Notice that we indicate that this tag belongs to the "TOPIC" category, which is to say this tag represents the topic of a session.

Example of tag representing the "Develop" theme:

{
    "category": "THEME",
    "tag": "THEME_DEVELOP",
    "name": "Distribute",
    "abstract": "",
    "order_in_category": 2
}

And finally, here is an example of the tag that represents the "Office Hours" session type:

{
    "category": "TYPE",
    "tag": "TYPE_OFFICEHOURS",
    "name": "Office Hours",
    "abstract": "",
    "order_in_category": 6
}

The order_in_category parameter is used when showing lists of tags, and it indicates the relative ordering of tags in the same category. So when we are showing a list of session types, "Office Hours" will appear after any tag with order_in_category lower than 6, and before any other tag with order_in_category bigger than 6.

Experts

Experts are the Google Developer Experts that appear in the "Experts" screen of the app.

{
  "experts": [
    <expert>,
    <expert>,
    <expert>,
    ...
  ]
}

Example of expert:

{
    "id": "EXPERT123",
    "name": "Bruno Oliveira", 
    "attending": true, 
    "bio": "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet", 
    "city": "Sao Paulo, SP", 
    "country": "Brazil", 
    "imageUrl": "https://....../photo.jpg",
    "plusId": "+BrunoOliveira",
    "url": "https://plus.google.com/+BrunoOliveira"
} 

Hashtags

Hashtags are the hashtags that appear in the "Social" screen.

{
  "hashtags": [
    <hashtag>,
    <hashtag>,
    <hashtag>,
    ....
  ]
}

Example hashtag:

{
    "color": "#ff8a65",
    "description": "Experience the magic of I/O remotely",
    "name": "#io14extended",
    "order": 11
}

Videos

Videos are links to Youtube content that appear in the Video Library screen.

{
  "video_library": [
    <video>,
    <video>,
    <video>,
    ...
  ]
}

Example video:

{
    "year": "2013",
    "title": "What's New in Android Developer Tools",
    "desc": "A summary of new features for Android developers",
    "vid": "lmv1dTnhLH4",
    "id": "lmv1dTnhLH4",
    "thumbnailUrl": "http://img.youtube.com/vi/lmv1dTnhLH4/hqdefault.jpg",
    "topic": "Android",
    "speakers": "Xavier Ducrohet, Tor Norbye"
}

vid is the Youtube video ID of this video.

NOTE: due to a bug in the Android app, "id" must always be set to the same as "vid".

Map

The map data is different from the others because it's not a collection of entities. Rather, it is a single JSON object formatted as follows:

{
  "map": [
  {
     "config": {
         "enableMyLocation": "false"
     }, 
     "markers": {
         "0": [
             {
                  "id": "ROOM8", 
                  "lat": 37.78280631538293, 
                  "lng": -122.40401487797499, 
                  "title": "Room 8", 
                  "type": "SESSION"
             }, 
             ....
         ],
         "1": [
             //...more markers...
         ],
         "2": [
             //...more markers...
         ],
     },
     "tiles": {
         "0": {
             "filename": "floor2-2015-v1.svg",
             "url": ""
         }, 
         "1": {
             "filename": "floor1-2015-v1.svg",
             "url": ""
         }, 
         "2": {
             "filename": "floor0-2015-v1.svg",
             "url": ""
         }
     }
  }
  ]
}

enableMyLocation indicates whether indoor location should be enabled in the indoor map. Each marker in the markers array represents one of the markers on the map, with ID, latitute, longitude, title and type. Markers are organized per floor (hence the "0", "1" and "2" keys).

To indicate the location of a room, use this marker format:

{
     "id": "ROOM8", 
     "lat": 37.78280631538293, 
     "lng": -122.40401487797499, 
     "title": "Room 8", 
     "type": "SESSION"
}

To put a label on the map without making it a marker, simply set the "type" to "LABEL":

{
    "id": "gearpickup", 
    "lat": 37.78331825838168, 
    "lng": -122.40340635180475, 
    "title": "Gear Pickup", 
    "type": "label"
}

Other supported types are "PLAIN" and "MISC", which differ by a special icon in its info display (but do not display a list of scheduled sessions). "SESSION" rooms include a list of its scheduled sessions (without their icons). "SANDBOX" rooms include a list of its scheduled sessions (including their icons).

The "tiles" dictionary indicate what SVG file to use as the map overlay for each floor. The optional "url" parameter indicates a location where to download the file from, in case the file is not pre-loaded on the app (as is the case in the example).

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