Basie Dashboard – Go!

June 4, 2009

So this week I’ve started working on the Basie Dashboard. I’m picking up where Heather left off essentially. Although I don’t know much about the flot library or java scripting, so manipulating the graphs is going to be tough. I have added a recent events table and a list of quick links for users. I think these are very important especially to get a quick overview of the most recent things that has happened on the project. 

Here are some things that i think could make the graphs useful to users:

  • hide/show ability -> this way users can choose which graphs they want to see. I think that having the overall graph visible at all times is useful. This we can toggle the more detailed graph, which is the one that takes up the most space. 
  • I want to have some way of changing the graph styles to be either lines or bars for each user. I know people like to see the totals as breakdowns of individual users in different colours (personally I like line graphs). I’m just not sure how managable that is especially if the project has a lot of developers on it.

As far as the ‘quick links’ go, I added it to the dashboard, because if this is going to be the screen that users see once they sign in, then it is important to be able to navigate away from there. That being said, we still don’t have an easy navigational system for other parts of Basie. At the moment, users have to click ‘back’ or on the breadcrumbs we added to the top of the pages. I think adding a ‘quick links’ widget to each page would be best. 

So far the dashboard is also project specific and not user specific. In the future I would like to have the dashboard user specific, which will display data and news relevant to that user across all the projects they’re in. This may be a v3.0 feature.

Basie Dashboard

May 27, 2009

Some questions about the dashboard for anyone who wants to discuss it. When Greg first hired me for the month, he said that I’d be working on the dashboard for basie. Now that the first couple of weeks are over, I can safely say that I know my way around the application code structure and have been looking into the dashboard code (just learning what I can about it). I know this wasn’t on the list of 7 things that Greg wanted to have done for v0.2, but I think it’d be fun to work on.I would like to work on it during some spare time over the rest of my summer before I leave and possibly while I’m in Japan after I get settled in.

1. What is the dashboard supposed to be? From my understanding, a dashboard should be what the user sees when then they first log into a project or their account.

2. What content should be displayed? I think for now it will be sufficient to have it project based to keep things simple, but I think it’s important to also have a dashboard that spans several projects. Right now, it is just a series of pretty graphs, which is nice, but I think that encorporating recent events would also be userful and then have navigation to the mail or wiki apps.

3. Does anyone object to me working on this? Since I will likely be working from home and completely during my free time so progress may be slow, does anyone feel uncomfortable with that idea?

Well that is all for now. I just wanted to post this and I’ll wait until Greg returns to Toronto to ask him about it I suppose.

Exactly 1 month from today…

May 27, 2009

… I leave for Japan. I’m sorry if people are getting annoyed with all of my updates about that. Mostly on Facebook and Twitter. However, I’m more excited than ever! Knowing the date that I’m leaving has totally amped me up to go. It helps that it was like dirt cheap for my plane ticket too and the company is going to reimburse me for it. Awesome! I should be receiving my certificate of eligibility from the Japan early next week so that I can finally go to the Japanese consulate in Toronto and apply for my VISA.

Things that still need to get done before I leave:

  • Deal with me cell phone: It seems that nobody wants my phone for a year, so now I have to decide whether I want to pay the $500 to cancel my plan and lose my number OR reduce my plan to something like $40 a month and just keep paying it and keep my number in the end. How irritating.
  • Get VISA.
  • Go shopping for business clothes.
  • Prepare for going away parties with family and friends.

It doesn’t seem like too much to do and I have tons of time to get it all done. 3 weeks is more than enough free time for me I think. It might actually be a vacation for once! Outrageous. I think it will be the first time since the start of first year where I actually had time off from school and work. Of course I can see myself popping in on Basie from time to time. I also want to take Basie with me to Japan to work on during spare time there (like the dashboard). I’ll also likely pop in on my replacement at PMH to see how he’s coming along. But I’m definitely going to try and take it easy and relax for once.

That’s really exciting! Can’t wait!

2 Quick Little Thoughts

May 26, 2009

1. How does SVN handle renaming/moving of files? For instance, if I have files a.txt, b.txt in one revision and then rename both to c.txt and d.txt respectively. What happens if I want to look at a previous revision of c.txt? Does SVN know to get a.txt or does it just think there was no previous revision?

2. Ticketing in Basie: I remember Greg saying something about how each ticket should have a wiki page attached to it for finer details and to allow users to edit the tickets. However, should each ticket have a wiki page that will also show up in the wiki list? or should they only be accessible from the ticket list? I think it makes more sense to only access ticket-wikis from the ticket list.

Week 2 on Basie

May 22, 2009

Shortened week this week and what did we accomplish? Lots!

  • I did my first screencast EVER. That was fun, but you can hear people talking in the background. It’s posted up on the Basie Blog
  • Have a better understanding of the code structure and can make small modifications to test things on my own without bothering the guys too much.
  • Read code reviews just so I can get a feeling of what’s expected and what’s considered good/bad code.
  • Closed pretty much all the mail tickets in the Basie Summer project. Yay! Actually, the last thing was waiting on some code from Florian. He finished that so I started looking at it and basing the mail hiding system on that. Turns out there’s a bug in it and also Eran started on the mail app anyways. That was a little disappointing. But I’m looking at the Wiki app to try and fix that bug for now. Yay! Otherwise, the Wiki is done. Yay!
  • Met with OLM team about the source browser. That was lots of fun to design the code structure and see what they need compared to what we need now and in the future. Very interesting ideas thrown out there.
  • Did some usability testing for OLM team. I got to play around on their test system. Found a few bugs, gave them some suggestions to make it more usable. All-in-all lots of fun and they seemed to really appreciate it, which was nice. My comments are on their site Wiki page.

Time for weekend of…not sure what i’m doing. Hopefully something interesting OR some relaxation. Either or is fine by me.

Back to work on Basie

May 8, 2009

So I’m starting on Basie on Monday. Yay! I think it’s a little scary because I’ll be coding again. I haven’t done any coding outside of C/C++ in over a year, so there’s a lot of learning to be done. I’m sure I can manage something, but it’s still scary. The last time I did python was over a year ago. I’ll definitely have to relearn python. Shouldn’t be too bad. I think I just have pre-coding jitters. hehehe.