Public Lab Research note

GSoC 2021 experience with Public Lab

by waridrox | August 28, 2021 16:47 28 Aug 16:47 | #27630 | #27630

Some context about the project
Public Lab has a renowned web app called spectral workbench that is responsible for capturing, analysing and saving the data to an open sourced database of spectrums.

My project revolved around creating a new capture interface utilising the spectral workbench.js NPM library -

The idea was to use this library in the rails app so that there is less maintenance overhead required.

My original proposal -

GSoC final report -

Project accomplishments

Ironically, even though I'd made the proposal for the work that I'll be doing for the summer, there was still some confusion regarding the project 😅 which was then cleared by my mentors.

Once that was sorted, I was good to go...

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  • Soon after, during setting up the project locally, I realised that the dependencies were outdated, and were in dire need of an upgrade. So I updated all the dependencies but the CI tests failed since the dependency bump proved to be too major for the app and could not build properly.

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  • Later I realised the benefits of yarn over npm especially if the dependencies are being installed from the frozen lock file 😅. After that I tried to update the dependencies one at a time until I was able to pass all the tests 🚀 -

Then came the time for integrating the js library to the new capture interface.

This is when the project ran into a major blocker since the live capture graph was stopping on safari browsers. Since we were aiming for cross browser compatibility, this was crucial. Later upon further investigation, it was discovered that the flot graph was stopping after a certain height on the webpage -__

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Final Result

At the end, the project proved to be a success and is now live at 🎉

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Here's the preview -

What's left

The faking of the user media was not able to work on system tests - After this, we can have even more comprehensive tests.

Experience with PL

All in all it was really a charming experience to learn and grow with Public Lab especially through the weekly calls with mentors on discussion of the ongoing progress of the projects which always started with an icebreaker question to liven up the mood .

I hope the users will use the new interface thereby providing feedback so that further enhancements can be made accordingly.

I would like to thank all my mentors ❤️ especially @warren for providing guidance and support whenever I required. Looking forward to continue contributing to Public Lab 🎈💯


Thank you for your work. Just did a quick look. Very nice!

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