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Sunday, August 16, 2009

GSoC 2009 sum-up

After I finished my previous post, I recalled a few moments when things didn't work the way I wanted (or didn't work at all). One thing led to another and I start thinking what were the main challenges I faced during this project. If I was to make such a list, it would be probably look like this:

  • missing documentation for the recording widgets:
    • for riffly, I had some help from their support team regarding their API and metadata services (thanks Steven) and some I had to find out by myself through try-and-error (and Firebug and Wireshark and XDegug and so on);
    • for nanogong, I had to go through their applet java code to find out how it works. Maybe I'm missing the big picture (since nanogong is only a piece of a larger project), but it seems to me that this code was unnecesary complicated in some places, and missing a lot in others (some said: "so what, it's code that works").
  • working on still in development code (both repository and Moodle 2.0):
    • there have been quite a few occasions in which I updated my CVS only to find out it contains broken code which was commited in by mistake;
    • the repository code is still going through some changes and the coding style felt in some parts a bit rough; this feeling was in part due to the particular tasks and contraints that I was facing with my plugins; however, the documentation pages and the existing plugins proved a valueable source of information in many case (thanks dongsheng).
    • less important, but still a tiny problem was that the repository code is missing comments in some places (especially in Javascript, filepicker and webservice code), has out of date comments in other places, and has in a few places comments like this:
      Don't modify this file unless you know how it works

Anyway, even with all these issues, finishing this project was never at risk, because Jerome was very helpfull and quick in response, providing me with usefull tips, coding help and great feedback, and occasionally collecting feedback and advices on my befalf from other Moodle developers. He's also very pacient and he gave me a lot of freedom to work on the project on my own pace.

Dongsheng (who designed and developed the repository API) was also very supportive, helping me when I got stuck with the repository API and quickly fixing repository bugs so that I can move on.

Last, but not least, Helen was very helpful with the administrative part, keeping me (and the others) informed and focused on my schedule, stepping in on a few occations to make sure I have a great (and complete) GSoC experience.

1 comment:

  1. Andrei, a big thank you for developing these audio and video recording repository plugins for Moodle :-)

    Your work is front page news on!