A playground for the exploration of software technologies.

This was a smart contract and DApp (decentralized application) deployed to the Nebulas blockchain. The smart contract was written in JavaScript specifically to be executed by the Nebulas VM (virtual machine) in their blockchain. The DApp is a straight HTML and JavaScript web page with no active server backend (except for file server).

In real estate and other domains, an agreement is a meeting of minds, where a buyer agrees to purchase property from a seller by committing a deposit. In many jurisdictions, a trusted common organization such as a real estate brokerage or law office holds the deposit "in trust" for the buyer, until the parties either fulfill the agreement, or mutually release each other from it.

When a common organization is lacking or untrusted to hold deposits, a blockchain can fill this role. Unlike in the traditional real estate transaction where only the buyer submits a deposit, we believe the seller should also submit a deposit, to ensure both parties have collateral in the agreement. You visit the DApp here: re:Trust DApp

During the weekend of April 20-22, John and his teammate, Valerie Pringle (@val_pringle), participated in the inaugural Block Hack Toronto blockchain hackathon, held at York University's Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. They called themselves the "Late Blockers". A special thanks to Valerie's partner, William, for creating the WeBorrow graphics.

The submission, WeBorrow, was centred around the idea of borrowing and lending of things using Ehtereum as the underlying blockchain to handle the transaction flow between lenders and borrowers. A smart contract was written in Solidity, with a simple DApp demonstrating the triggering of lending and borrowing transactions. The DApp manifested as a couple of simple Microsoft MVC pages and Javascript for interacting with the smart contract through the Ethereum web3js interface.

The hackathon provided good insights into blockchain technology and developing smart contracts and decentralized applications. It was also a good opportunity to connect and interact with blockchain influencers and practitioners in Toronto.

Here is the demonstration and code for WeBorrow (requires the Google Chrome browser and the MetaMask extension): Demo

This is an App developed using Microsoft's Xamarin and .Net frameworks, using the MVVM pattern, with screens developed in XAML and the view models and code behind written in c#. It was built with Visual Studio for Mac Community Edition. Just Write! empowers writers to focus on the writing and keep track of all their writing projects in one place.

John created this app because he felt the JustRead! app needed a matching app. The techniques used in creating JustWrite! further advanced John's knowledge of Xamarin and app development.

Ideas and inspiration come to mind in snippets at a time. Whether you are working on that novel, writing that blog, keep that journal, or just capturing ideas, use this app to collect all your projects in one place. The simple interface empowers you to focus on your thoughts, so that you can Just Write!

The app is available on Android and iOS. You can get it on Google Play or download on the App Store.

Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store

This is an App developed using Microsoft's Xamarin and .Net frameworks, entirely in c# code. It was built with Visual Studio for Mac Community Edition. Just Read! presents a sprinkling of reading articles from a wide range of sources, from news outlets to blogs to magazines. The underlying feeds are in the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) format. The sources can be fine-tuned with a weight or be muted altogether. The idea is for the reader to not have to think too much about categorizations and customizations beyond setting the weights for the reading sources - they should just focus on reading the articles.

This app was John's first exploration of mobile app development, something he had always wanted to check out. The app is simple and usable with no many fancy features.

The app is available on Android and iOS. You can get it on Google Play or download on the App Store.

Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store

OmniVisuals allows real estate professionals to create property tours for their real estate listings. It was developed using Microsoft's .Net and MVC frameworks in Visual Studio, and leveraging the open source eCommerce platform called nopCommerce for managing products (tours), orders and payments. The system is composed of two websites - the administration site (omnivisuals.com) and the site for viewing the tours (view.omnivisuals.com).

This solution is an upgraded version of EasyVirtuals that allows tours created to be better managed, with more flexible and better features for creating tours.

OmniVisuals makes it easy for real estate professionals to upload photos of their property listing and showcase the property using one or more pages, including a gallery, a slideshow, a map, an embedded video, panorma scenes, floor plans and other documents, nearby schools and amenities, a mortgage analysis tool and a contact form. It also includes a tool for generating feature sheets in PDF format, and much more.

EasyVirtuals allows real estate professionals to create property tours for their real estate listings. It was developed as a classic Microsoft ASP.NET web forms application in Visual Studio.

This solution started as something John created to showcase his brokerage's own lisitngs but later made into a separate site that real estate professionals from other companies can use. The nominal cost for each tour allows the site to be maintained and kept in service.

EasyVirtuals makes it easy for real estate professionals to upload photos of their property listing and showcase the property using one or more pages, including a gallery, a slideshow, a map, an embedded video, panorma scenes, floor plans and other documents, nearby schools and amenities, a mortgage analysis tool and a contact form. Realtors can order a basic or advance tour, or get a free trial from easyvirtuals.com. Tours are standalone in the sense that Realtors don't need to register for an account - they simply purchase a tour, upload photos, configure and they're set. That also means tours are harder to keep track of. That's one reason omnivisuals.com was created (see above).