Webshell – Dataconnexions Contest Winner

The project undertaken by three students of EPITA won a competition, which recognizes the best reuse of public data services, on 29 May 2012.
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 Webshell, a new computer language project supported by Thibaud Arnault, Arnaud Richard, Tibor Vass, three students of the fifth year of Media and Information Technology specialization (MTI) of EPITA and Mehdi Medjaoui (INSA Lyon), eventually won the Dataconnexions contest, which ended on May 29.
The project also won second prize at Innovact Campus Awards and was selected to join the French Tech Tour, which allows its creators to go to Silicon Valley from June 2 to 8 and meet various Internet and ICT based companies.
Distinguished by the experts of the Open Data 
The Dataconnexions contest was the first of four planned for 2012 by Etalab, a mission under the authority of the Prime Minister in charge for opening up of public data, to reward the best applications and services that support the reuse of public data. The competing projects were submitted for evaluation to a jury of professionals and individuals qualified in open data ecosystems.
The contest winners had a presentation time dedicated to their projects, in front of the qualified community of Dataconnexions, and a time to articulate their needs to accelerate their development. The innovation actors, partners of Dataconnexions are committed to supporting the development of their projects according to needs.
Developing applications faster
The platform Webshell hosts the Webshell language allowing creation of Web and mobile applications that mix API (also called mash-up) faster. This language is inspired from JavaScript, the most widely used Web language, and from shell programming language – a command line language that is known to all developers. Moreover this language adapts and can mix with all existing languages; hence there is no entry barrier to learning it. It’s an investment. It has language support and developer tools such as:
• A development and debugging console, through which we can test the responses returned from scripts, with an inspector that allows developers to check the data returned by the application and therefore better manage its construction.
• A Storage space for virtual files to store and write scripts (programs running data). This file system can be synchronized with Dropbox and Github; plugins for Netbeans and Eclipse are under development.
• A theme and template production tool (graphs, web page architecture) that allows developers to structure the design of their application faster.
• An analysis tool which tracks API calls related to data / web services and thus control its implementation by managing the number of queries and analyzing trends and usage of its users / customers.
• A space for exchange and communication between developers and data and web services providers. It consists of a central forum with sub sections dedicated to themes or specific data providers, IRC channel (Internet Relay Chat) that allows real-time chat with the developer community and a Webshell Blog that relays the latest information on the API, data and OpenData.
Today, the API is still in private beta version but already has over 150 registered developers on the platform. The project managers want to improve the tools around this APIs to become the reference on APIs in France and worldwide.