General Update

So, turns out that whole compilation/posting of our completed ticket wasn’t as ‘complete’ as we’d thought. That is to say, rather than compile everything and post it to GitHub, we ended up trying to compile all our individual code first….repeatedly. It took a bit of playing around with, but we figured out that it could all be compiled and pushed up through the GitHub GUI. For whatever reason, whenever we tried it on the Bash, it just wouldn’t work properly.

After finally getting it sent up, we still hadn’t heard back from the admins about whether we’d properly fulfilled the requirements, so we’re not sure where to go with all of this. As a group, we pretty much decided to focus on the book reports that would be due soon, and just wait for confirmation. As I’ve still not heard from Dhimitris (who originally claimed the ticket), all I’ve been doing is reading more from my book.

Frankly, I was right. Reading glorified textbooks isn’t that fun. I prefer sci-fi/fantasy to non-fiction 😛

Taking Care of Backlog…

So, apparently, I’m really bad at keeping these sorts of things regular. So, let’s start off with two weeks ago, shall we?

Two weeks ago, we did a sort-of lab in class, one that involved downloading various applications and such before it could really get going; well, it involved all that for me, seeing as I was using vastly outdated software/programs. In order to get things working, I had to download the latest version of Eclipse available (Helios, I believe?), as well as a better version of Java in order to properly run everything. I tried to do this all in class, but for whatever reason my internet connection in the classroom seems especially bad. It was at the point that the estemated completion time was several hours, at the lowest. I think the highest I saw was about 10 hours.

Either way, after I got home, everything seemed to work out well enough. The downloads finished rather quickly, and I soon was running the proper software. Unfortunately, everything wasn’t perfect at this point, and thus I had to play around with the Eclipse settings for a bit. Now, while I really should have been typing this up as I did it, so I could remember everything I did, I was an idiot, and failed to do so. So, let’s see how much I can remember, and how much I can re-work through…

It still wasn’t letting me run files as JUnit Tests, so I had to go into the settings and preferences and such to find out why this thing still wasn’t working. Come to find, in spite of downloading the latest of Java and Eclipse, it was still trying to use an old system library, 1.6 I believe it was. I had to go in, forcibly re-direct which Build Path it was using, then I had to force it to run as JUnit Test (unfortunately, I can’t quite remember what I ended up having to do to get that to work properly, but it still didn’t want to run it).

After that fiasco was over and done with, our group finished up our ticket and got ready to compile it all together and send it. I’m not sure if we decided on a new ticket or anything, yet, but I suppose I’ll find out later today in class. In the meantime, I’ve been taking a look at that book I’m apparantly supposed to give a report on. Not gonna lie, I’m not looking foreward to reading what looks to amount to a specialized textbook. I generally shunt those off to be used as references, at best. And even then, the Internet’s generally faster for me. Well, here’s hoping this doesn’t turn out as painful as it’s starting to sound.

How Much Are We Responsible For..?

So, found more info on the project. Dhimitris found most of the sections where we need to add the comments, so that should work well. On the other hand, from what we can see, the last person to work on this project also went about building actual test classes for the project, so we’re not entirely sure whether or not to do the same.

There’s also some question about which sections still need to get done. Taking a look through the project, we found a few cases mentioning the need for ‘tests’, but didn’t specifically mention JUnit tests, so there’s some question of whether or not those were just lazy typo’s, or if they’re separate things we are not responsible for.

Most likely, we’ll first focus on the TODO requests in, and to add the @should comments. It seems that they have some Plug-in available that uses such comments to generate test classes, so the comments are first priority. Maybe afterwards, we might be making those test classes themselves, after asking the ticket publisher.

More Readings…

Well, finally got the files and such accessible from my own computer in eclipse, which was more of a hassle than I really expected, I found I had to read up more on JUnits and how they work. Took a bit of time looking through various online sources, so now I feel like I can really get into this.

Hopefully, at least. Jury might still be out on that one. Learned a few new things, at least.

GitHub Activities

Well….This is kind of annoying. I hate that feeling that I’m not even sure what the heck I’m doing. GitHub doesn’t seem to like cooperation with me. I think I’ve gotten it downloaded properly, but I seem to have trouble finding things to edit and such.

I have been able to edit a few things on the School/Class Wiki, though. Managed to update my own page to include some of the information from the recent ‘assignment’ from class (blog link, OpenMRS ID, GitHub Username), and added a function to collapse all that information from the Issue Tracker activity. I find it a lot easier to work with that, seeing as if I’m not sure what I need to do, I can find another page with the formatting I’m looking for, then copy/experiment. Might look into doing some things for our project from there. Already started making the page, at least (though, it was mostly copy/paste from the original CS 401 page).

I managed to get linked to the project ticket for our group, though that was mostly them adding me, than anything else, and I think I’ve copied the files from the original to my machine, but I’m still looking for a way to edit….

Well, now I think I’m getting somewhere updating eclipse. Had to go in and update what I currently had on my computer, and then install Maven, though there were a few errors popping up. If I avoid the optional things, maybe…

Well, it seems to be working. Maybe. Fingers crossed…

Ok….. most of these downloads are going over 100%…… Hope nothing’s broken… Please? Well, restarting eclipse again…

HA! Finally got everything working (so far as I can tell). Hopefully this will let me keep working.

Jan 27 Class Work and Reading

Well, the classwork from last time was certainly more than the usual busy-work that most first-classes tend to be. Granted, given how rarely this class is planned to meet, such a thing is pretty much understandable. All in all, it’s a shame that we couldn’t finish everything during the class time, as I’m still not completely sure how the Git and IRC things are going to work. I’m pretty sure I either missed something or got lost in the Git activity, as while I could make it work on the online (GUI?) interface, I never got it downloaded to the program on my laptop. Was planning on going through everything again on my own time, to find what I missed, but I never saw the activity document posted… The fact we never got to the IRC part didn’t help my understanding of that, either.

The readings were interesting, if almost predictable, in content. I myself am fully aware that I can tend to overlook things, and it’s a great help to have more people pointing out problems and solutions to you (Cathedral and Bazaar). Heck, even outside of programming, this is a proven concept. I can’t count the number of times the attendant in charge of the shift before mine at my part-time job could not for the life of them find what was making their drawer off, only to have myself (or the next person coming in after me, should I get the first shift) take a look and point out something either misread/misused, or even unaccounted entirely. It was certainly nice to see how such things began evolving and was taken to the extreme with some computer programming. It’s long been known that, where the Internet is concerned, there is little to no privacy and information gets hacked all the time, but to see it used to create such a large project, then turn around and say ‘hey, rather than going to look for information to rip out and use, why don’t we all just open it up and work on it together?’, and turn things around to the point that innovation happens so quickly and so often….. It really is a whole new age that this sort of idea has brought about.

On the second reading, on Free vs Open……. Well, to be honest, it’s really not the type of argument that I generally get in to. From my own understanding, the main difference between the two terms stems from a difference in understanding the intended meanings of the terms. There have been numerous times in my life where I, personally, have had instances where I say or possibly do something and have my meaning be misunderstood. To me, misunderstandings are something that happens pretty much all the time, and are the reason why things should be taken with a ‘grain of salt’, as it were. From my own understanding of the reading, the biggest differences between the two terms are the ‘ideas’ and ‘philosophies’ behind them. Sure, there are some issues about ‘open software’ being restricting in the sense that ‘you can’t freely modify, use, and redistribute it’, but that seems to be a more minor justification to the argument that was presented. The real ‘argument’ is about the ‘freedom’ aspect of both, where people say that ‘open’ software isn’t truly ‘free’ software; and maybe in some cases, they’re actually right, but from what I understood of what I read, they’re also complaining about ‘free’ software that is labeled as ‘open’ and claiming it shouldn’t be called as such, even though the software in question still falls under the qualifications of ‘open’ software. I’m the type who cares more of the results rather than the ‘spirit’, as it were, so the whole thing starts coming off as pointless squabbling when there are other, better things to be doing with one’s time and energy.

As for our final reading work, the OpenMRS Developers Guide, well, it kinda reads like a brochure, but it’s nice to know just what we’re going to be working on. Having some background and information on just what you are helping to accomplish can be a rather great motivator. Now let’s see if we can’t start making differences in the world at large while getting some real life, practical experience in there as well.

What I’m Expecting..?

Well, this is probably shaping up to be the first computer science class the most involved with things to do outside the classroom. Never really had a blog or anything else to that nature before starting this class, so that’s probably going to cause me some headaches.

What am I expecting out of the course itself..? Well, I generally try to go into things with an open outlook, so I can’t really say I’m “expecting” anything. We’ll just have to see how things go. There seems to be a good amount of expected reading to start with, at least.

What I expect to take away from the course..? Probably something along the lines of ‘a better understanding of the greater world of computer science and how programmers and developers get in touch and interact with one another in an open environment’. Well, something like that. I never claim to be the best at putting thoughts into words.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be an interesting experience, all things concerned. Let’s see what we can learn…

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