Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 2: Working on Project Design

A second week has gone by and I am happy to say that I am now better acquainted with the Melange code-base. During the week, I managed to create a clone of the source and have now deployed to my very own GAE instance :).

Update on my bug-fixing progress:
I managed to submit my very first patch for issue 890. I also started looking into issue 884, but as it requires some re-design of existing templates, discussion is ongoing as to how this issue can be resolved.

Update on my Project:
As my project is to appear as a new module in the soc.modules section, I am tentatively naming it as social.

I have started on the design work for the ‘Tabbed User Pages’ which is one of the two main features I have proposed.

Data Models:
I have come up with additional data models to contain information on users which will be displayed on their user pages. The proposed additional models are as follows. These are not finalized as discussion is still ongoing as to the inclusion and exclusion of some of them.

The model will serve as the master model which will contain all the attributes of the user model which will appear on the user profile page. The details of education and past and current GHoP/GSoC projects can have multiple values for a given user and hence are extracted out to separate data models by themselves.

Thus far, I have envisioned the User Pages to have a tabbed view with three tabs, the ‘Profile’, ‘Project’ and ‘My Stuff’ tabs. The ‘Profile’ and ‘Project’ tabs are self-explanatory, the ‘My Stuff’ tab will be used for users to show their personal blog feeds using the RSS widget for now. Should more widgets be developed (i.e. Twitter widget J), they can be added in this tab.

Users will be able to edit the data in their user pages using a single form to edit the data shown in all the tabs, using the 'Edit User Page' link. This link will only be visible if the user is viewing their own user page.

Here is a simple use-case diagram to elaborate on the workflow.

Since the user_page feature serves more or less the same purpose for all the different user roles in Melange, a single view will be created.

Since the user pages will be tabbed, the entire page will not reload when users switch between tabs. With the help of JavaScript, this can be achieved with a single template with different html div and id tags defining the data to be displayed in different tabs :).
A different template with the html form will be created for the 'Edit User Page' function which will be used to update the data model.

To handle the edit/update of the user data a logic is created which will be used to update the data model.

In the coming week:

  • Check for updates on resolving Issue 884
  • Finalize the Design for Feature 1 & Feature 2: Maps + Calendars
  • Finalize Project Timeline and list code deliverables for mid-term as well as weekly deliverables
  • Decide on the specific APIs and libraries to be used for the project.

Friday, May 14, 2010

GSoC 2010 Melange Testing Project: Week 1 - learning the code base

It has been a very exciting week. In this week, I made a clone for the testing project, deployed Melange to my GAE instance, got the posting right for melange-dev blog, created a wiki page for the project, signed a Contributor License Agreement (CLA), submitted tax forms, got an ACM account (the courtesy of Google), had the first conference meeting with other developers of Melange, helped some Melange users to solve their log-in problems, and had meetings with my mentor (Sverre). What a week!

My main job in this week, however, was to learn the code base of Melange since my project is to add tests to the code base. In order to help me better understand the code base, I decided to visualize the organization of the code base and the relaionship of modules/classes. Felix' diagrams are very interesting. However, they are only for Melange data models whereas views and logic are more relavant for my project. So, I used a tree tool to generate the module organization of Melange (click the picture below to view the searchable full HTML file)

and module organization of Melange tests (click the picture below to view the searchable full HTML file)

and used pylint.pyreverse to generate the package diagram of Melange (click the picture below to view the searchable full PDF file)

and the class diagram of Melange (click the picture below to view the searchable full PDF file)

These diagrams have helped me a lot to learn the code base. Hope they are also helpful to others who want to learn the code base.

During my meeting with Sverre, he suggested me to start with the testing of the modules which are the most important and used most, e.g. soc.logic.models.base and soc.views.models.base. Therefore, my next week's plan is to start coding, specifically add more test cases to the existing tests of these modules, e.g. and

Following is a brief introduction to the testing project:
This project is to add unit test suites/cases for the logic and views of the existing modules. These test suites/cases will enable developers to refactor the existing code at any time while at the same time to ensure that they still work correctly by passing all the tests (i.e. regression testing). This project will also serve as a basis for the Melange team to switch the development methodology to test driven development.

Leo (Chong Liu)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

GSoC 2010 Data Seeder - Project start off

I'm posting this to let you all know how my first week with the Melange community has been.

Bonding with the community has gone very smoothly, the community is very close together and I love the idea of having weekly conference calls. Sounds like a really fun summer ahead of me and I hope everybody will enjoy it.

The first thing I needed to do for my project was to really understand the data model behind Melange. Since there are quite a few entities involved and keeping in mind that models might perhaps change somewhere in the future, I thought the best way to accomplish this is to build an automated tool that draws diagrams from only the source code. There are two kinds of diagrams I wanted to have: inheritance diagram, showing how classes derive from each other and an entity relationship diagram, showing the relations between entities.

The code that I have produced is inspired from an open source project that does mostly the same thing for Django models. It is part of django-command-extensions.

I hope I can integrate my script with the Melange code base pretty soon, so that anyone can generate graphs from their own copy if anything has changed in the data model.

Here are my results so far:


Inheritance, separated by module

Entity relationship

Entity relationship, with attributes

Entity relationship, separated by module

Some conclusions:
Boy, are there a lot of relations out there!

Personally, I didn't expect to see that many relations between the models. This is definitely going to influence the way I'll design things around, especially the web interface, in order to make it as easy as possible to configure relations in the seeded data.

That's about it for this week, I'll now start actually doing those design documents! :)

sttwister (Felix Kerekes)