Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects

Archive for the ‘Basie’ Category

Basie Status Update (March 30, 2010)

Posted by francoisfournier on 2010/03/30


  • François Fournier : Selenium tests for Mail application (reviewed by AlexLe). Selenium tests for Dashboard application (reviewed by ChrisV). Selenium tests for Admin Manage page. Next step is to continue working on Admin Database.
  • Guillaume Simard : Selenium tests for About application (Reviewed by Nikita). Reviewed AlexLe tests for Timezones. Started tests for tickets application. Next step will be to start documentation on “How to do Selenium Tests” and work on review to commit Selenium tests on reviewBoard.
  • Veronica Wong:  Reviewed documentation questionnaire. Worked on many aspects of the mockup. Continue her work with the mockup. Start reviewing Selenium Tests.
  • Chris Van : Worked on Trac2Basie tool to take in consideration Nikita comments. Review a lot of code (Selenium Dashboard tests, Selenium About page, Radom-Data tool…). Next step is to complete Trac2Basie tool.
  • AlexLe : Finished working on Timezones (developpement and tests). Reviewed Selenium mail tests. Next step is to commit timezone.
  • Nikita Pchelin: Reviewed Trac2Basie tool, developped ticket tagging. Try to figure out what is the problem on 2 functions on Selenium Dashboard tests. Commited random data tool. Next step is to start this ticket: multiple AJAX requests in milestones.
  • Chad Cogar: Worked on attachments. Now associables with tickets and wikipages. Next step is to complete attachments and start working on support for mails.

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Basie Status Update (March 23, 2010)

Posted by jhuynh64 on 2010/03/24

Road Blocks:

  • Alex – Looking for some feedback on timezone tests, mainly for source app. (R723)
    • Guillaumes will review them and provide feedback.
  • Chris – Awaiting review for Trac-2-Basie tool. (R718)
    • Nikita has been given the task as reviewer.
  • Chad – Need some redirection from Veronica in terms of design.
    • Veronica and Chad will have discussion.


  • Guillaumes continues with Selenium testing. Tests for the about page has been reviewed by Chris, now awaiting update. Up next for Selenium testing is the Tickets app.
  • Francois also working on Selenium testing. Tests for the Dashboard is under review by Chris. Additionally, tests for admin_database should be up in ReviewBoard really soon.
  • Nikita knocked off 2 tickets off his list (T305, T308), both committed. He’ll be posting a review request for Tagging by tomorrow. Additionally, he’ll be reviewing Chris’ Trac2basie tool.
  • Veronica continued producing great mockups, “Local Search” and “Global Header”. She had a meeting with Tania and discussed about the documentation.
  • Chris once again did quite a few reviews for everyone (R566, R657, R713, R715, R719). Also, Chris has filed several new tickets (T311, T312, T313).
  • Alex has submitted some tests for timezones, should be ready in the next couple of days.
  • Chad has been working hard on getting attachments up, just needs some GUI work. A review request for attachments is planned for next week.
  • Jackie has been working on error messages for milestones, it’s nearly ready for commit. Next would be error messages for tickets, which should be quick as it’s really similar to milestones.

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Why Test With Random Data?

Posted by Greg Wilson on 2010/03/18

Guillaume Simard and François Fournier are writing Selenium tests for Basie. Over on the Basie blog, they explain why they’re using random data in their tests, rather than testing against predefined fixtures. What is your group using? And why?

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Basie Status Reports

Posted by Nikita Pchelin on 2010/03/16

Here are status reports for this week (15th of March):

  • Veronica reviewed draft of the “Getting Started” document for the project and filed a ticket describing proper header behaviour (#116). She is planning to apply some of her magic to revamp ticket and global search UI design, and will start working on the UI/frontend style guide together with Chris.
  • Jackie worked on improving error message reporting in milestones and tickets apps. He has finished milestones and will continue working on tickets this week.
  • Chad published a walkthrough document containing instructions on setting up an XP machine for Basie development. These instructions will be soon merged into our documentation. He will be working on the email attachments feature and will have something on the reviewboard early next week.
  • Nikita closed several outstanding tickets. In addition, he was occupied researching how to better implement tagging. He will continue working on tagging this week, with a goal to produce a solution for ticket and milestone application by the next meeting.
  • Chris worked on trac2basie utility as well as reviewing lots of peer code on the review board. He will continue adding features to the trac2basie tool this week, and will have it ready for the first review early next week.
  • Francois and Guillaume spent most of their time  adding more Selenium tests to the project and will continue to do that this week. They might also be pairing up with Chad to help him out with coding up the email attachment feature.
  • Alex had lots of fun with timezones this week, commiting several pieces of code in regards to those issues. He started learning Selenium framework, which he will continue to do this week along with reviewing Francois’ and Guillaume’s test suits.

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Veronica’s Midterm Report

Posted by Veronica on 2010/03/02

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the term. Congratulations to all the progress you’ve made, everyone!

Initial expectations:

  • Apply what I’ve learned from courses and work. Check.
  • Explore techniques that I haven’t had the chance to practice at work. E.g. Personas, but that’s on the back-burner.
  • Collaborate closely with the developers. See below.

What’s going well:

  • I think the code sprint at the beginning of the term has been invaluable in terms of motivation. There’s the immediate reward of sitting together and hammering through a bunch of tickets, but there’s also a psychological byproduct of meeting everyone who you’re going to work with and won’t be seeing for the next few months. Being able to put a face to a name helps motivate me to push out a mockup because I know a person is waiting on me. There’s accountability, sort of like a hard deadline vs. soft deadline?
  • From a development standpoint, I don’t think I’ve learned anything new as of yet, but the experience is certainly reinforcing everything I’ve accumulated from PEY/school/freelancing:
    • Practices from work/school: wireframe/prototype, annotate, pass to developers, discuss–rinse and repeat.
    • Collaboration is difficult; especially when you’re not occupying the same space or time as your team.
    • Communication is difficult: mailing lists, IRCs, IMs… Everyone has their preferred method of communication which fits into their respective workflow, but it doesn’t always play nicely with others.

The challenges:

  • Having a 9-5 full-time job restricts the timeframe in which I can work on Basie. Weekly meetings are on Tuesday, and while everyone else is chipping away at the project throughout the week, I can only find the time to sit down and think things through on the weekends. I try to keep on top of questions on the mailing list during the week, but I’d love to be able to ride the same wave as everyone else.
  • At the beginning of the term, I had planned on blogging my progress. But between mocking up features and answering questions, writing about what I’m doing seems less important than actually doing it.
  • Collaboration with teammates is difficult, and the challenge is two folds:
    • With teammates in different parts of Canada, we can only communicate online, and that limits the means in which we can effectively work together. I can’t sketch, or make gestures, or talk and point–there’re tools that try to simulate the experience, but it’s cumbersome. It’s difficult enough to find time to meet with people in the same university, but factor in time-zones and physical distance, it just makes sense to work independently.
    • I’d love to be able to bounce ideas off another user experience designer who understands the context of the system. I’m falling back on experience, posing questions during meetings, and the occasional chats with Victoria (from MarkUs) and people at work, but sanity checks with someone who knows the project and who has that sort of thinking would be awesome.

Next steps

Overall, I think I’m still on track with the work even though I’ve been mostly reactive (to questions and tickets) as opposed to being ahead of the curve. What I’d like to accomplish before the end of the term:

  • Aside from addressing outstanding features (so that we don’t have half-finished items for the next batch of students), I’d like to finish a complete set of wireframes/mockup for the system even if they’re just broad strokes.
  • For the same reason that the ReviewBoard is important for keeping bad code out of the repository, I’d also love to do a style guide so that there’s a set of rules that developers can refer to to streamline the UI for inconsistencies.

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Basie Midterm Report

Posted by Greg Wilson on 2010/03/02

The Basie team has made considerable progress this term, both on the software, and in learning how to work together effectively. One member dropped out due to over-commitment, but most of the others pushed hard to get Version 0.6 out i time for me to take it to the Python Conference in Atlanta, where we got a lot of useful feedback. We’re on track to do another release (Version 0.7) at the end of term or shortly after.

Things that are going well:

  1. Most students have found the find-code-review-commit rhythm that’s the programming equivalent of a marathon runner’s stride. As you can see from our stats, several team members are posting a few small patches every week, and everyone else is involved in checking them and discussing them.
  2. Discussion: we have good attendance at the weekly online meetings, and there’s lots of back-and-forth in the mailing lists and IRC channel.
  3. Code quality: remains high, thanks primarily to code reviews. (We could use more unit tests, but two team members are now wrestling with Selenium to accomplish exactly that.)
  4. Self-awareness: putting my prof’s hat back on, this is the most important part of the course. I believe the students in the Basie team understand why to work this way, i.e., why they should create tickets for even the smallest tasks that they aren’t going to do immediately, why to review code before it’s committed, and so on.

Things we need to improve:

  1. Some students are still struggling with the lack of hard deadlines in this course. Since their other assignments all have due dates, it’s easy to push work on Basie aside (“It’s not due tomorrow” == “I should be doing something else”). There’s not much time left for these students to catch up with their peers…
  2. I need to do a better job of prioritization. On the one hand, I want students to work on fun stuff; on the other, someone has to deal with the mundane bug fixing, simplify the installation, etc., and I don’t always make it clear which is more important (because I haven’t thought it through carefully enough myself).

Overall I’m very pleased: the difference between January 4 and today is remarkable.

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Chris Van – Midway Update

Posted by Chris on 2010/03/01

Working on Basie has been a blast! And the team, they’re really a first-class bunch. Well, to quote Greg, Basie has seen a “flurry of activity” in the recent weeks as we prepared to debut Basie 0.6. We have all done tremendous work fixing many outstanding bugs, discovering new issues and solutions, refactoring a bunch of code, and redesigning the interface.

These past few months I’ve worked mostly on fixing old issues and redesigning the Dashboard. Now that we’ve pushed Basie 0.6 out the door, I’ve begun working on a migration tool to import data from Trac. And I’d say I am very much on track. 🙂

I’m glad I discovered how amazingly useful a tool like ReviewBoard can be. And status reports and weekly IRC meetings have certainly been helpful to see where we all stand, where our priorities should be, etc.

Though we’re only halfway through the term, I’m excited to see all the new additions come together soon for our 0.7 release.

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Jackie Huynh – Midterm Update

Posted by jhuynh64 on 2010/02/28

Wow, it’s already half way through the term. Working with Greg and the Basie team has been a great experience. I am glad that I chose Basie as the project to work with, as I got to learn Django and Python. I feel that I’m working at a pretty good pace with Basie, but sometimes I feel that I’m not doing enough when compared to the more experienced members on the team. In the next half of the term, I will try and set better goals for myself, and strive to achieve them.

Additionally, during the next half of the term, I would like to learn more on web development in general, and JQuery. This is my first time working with JQuery (and Django) and I’m surprised how well JQuery works. It was pretty simple to pick up JQuery, but I feel that there is still a lot to learn. Also, I feel that my team has some very experienced members and that I could really benefit from working with them.

During the first half of the term, we’ve been bashing away at bugs and getting Basie 0.6 released. This coming half, I’m really looking forward to improving Basie by adding new features. Now that I’ve gone over most of the learning curve of Django, Python, and JQuery, I hope I can achieve more than before.

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So, we still have some time to come up with something working, right?

Posted by Nikita Pchelin on 2010/02/24

We are half-way through the term and I am enjoying working on Basie a lot. I think in our team we didn’t have much time to play around and get used to the project because 0.6 was planned soon. This gave a very energetic push in the beginning of the year, and 0.7 is something that pushes me to try my best and do work in time now, when 0.6 is out. It’s very convenient when you know your tasks and your due dates :]

I spent most of my time before 0.6 fixing lots and lots of issues we had with Basie to make it stable before the release. That helped me to learn the internals of the project faster while also doing useful work. I wrote and iterated over the first several revisions of the tool for Basie that will help to populate a fresh install with random data for demo and testing purposes. My current work includes tackling some core features of Basie.

I feel very much on track personally, mostly by looking at my past experiences with project courses and the general dynamics of my team: everyone is still (midterm time!) very much pokable by email, status reports list real (as oppose to fictitious) items, and reviews on the review board happen regularly 🙂

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Basie 0.6 is out!

Posted by Nikita Pchelin on 2010/02/16

You put your left leg in
Your left leg out
In, out, in, out,
you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

If you are wondering why Basie team is very cheerful right now, it’s because we are happy to announce that 0.6 has been released today, very much in time for PyCon. Everyone did her and his share to put this release out of the door and once we take a little break to catch up on our lives and other courses, we’ll be back working hard to make 0.7 happen in April.

Also, here are status reports from this week:

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