Last week, our victim for the 60 second interview was Phil Leggetter from Kwwika (pronounced “Quicker”). Phil was an ex-Londoner but is now living the the beautiful seaside of Broughty Ferry by Dundee. I caught up with Phil to find out more in-depth what Kwwika is and what problem it helps to solve.
Kwwika is a cloud-based service which provides an infrastructure to allow anybody to add real-time push data and functionality to their website, web application, Rich Internet Application (RIA), deskop application or service application. It also allows anybody to easily distribute their data in real-time to thousands of others.
Data in real time? Isn’t all data available in real time you might ask?
Phil explains, web content is published instantaneously (which is the
traditional bit). However, the real-time web changed things by making that web content instantly discoverable. This was pioneered by Twitter, and Google soon followed suit by speeding up their crawl rate. Phil agrees with the current belief that the next step in the evolution of the web is that users should now make a single request for information (a subscription) and be instantly pushed any new content as soon as it’s available without the need for the user to ask for an update. This paradigm should work whether you are making your subscription from a web server or a web client.
For instance, in search.twitter.com, every so often, the page updates to tell you there are new tweets for that search but doesn’t actually show you the new search results. Traditionally, this is done using a polling mechanism, where your computer constantly asks the server whether new tweets are available. Under Kwwika, the service will deliver the new data to your computer every time it becomes available. It does this by maintaining a constant connection with the Kwwika service after the first time the user connects. Phil has recorded a video that demonstrates this:
This model benefits both the user and the service provider. One, as
the user, you don’t have to constantly refresh the web page to get the most up-to-date data (e.g. the current football score). On the other side, as a data publisher or website owner, the Kwwika service acts as a hub to help take the load off your server by removing the need for those resource draining page refresh requests, and allowing you to publish your data update just once into the Kwwika service which then instantly distributes that data to all clients viewing your website or application. An example of this might be where Kwwika could replace the existing mechanism is the live scores/commentary that you can get from the BBC Sports website, which presently uses a polling mechanism, where each poll-request uses valuable BBC server resources.
In addition, you can have all the data that you want in one place; meaning that you can develop neat mashups real-time push easily.
Phil explains that he’s collected lots of Opta Stats data from the world cup, and is hoping to make that available so that you can replay all the matches from Quarter Finals onwards. You can view a few applications using this real-time World Cup data now here:
Over the coming months Phil is planning to get a user dashboard section of the Kwwika site up and running, plus opening up the registration, which is currently in beta. He’s also looking for more beta user application developers who want to build demos or applications on top of the system and is willing to share/open-source some existing application code that they have.