OH Project Management App – Going Forward

We are happy that Open Humans will have four Outreachy interns this summer. Our interns are working on their own Open Humans related projects and will regularly blog about their internship experience. Read Rosy’s post about creating an app to manage your Open Humans project:

Open Humans Project Management Web app allows Open Humans project admins to view and work with their members and data. Since the last time I wrote, plenty of work has been done to make the app more useful:
  1.  Members can be filtered based on multiple parameters.
  2. Custom groups can be formed and members can be conveniently added/removed to/from those groups.
  3. Project Admin can keep notes about specific project members and can also edit/delete these notes.
  4. Every member usually shares some data with the project which earlier had to be accessed by downloading individual files. A single click download for all files of a project is now possible in the form of a zip file. The files can be selectively downloaded together for specific project members by downloading the files for a particular custom-group.
While developing these features, it has been an absolutely fulfilling experience to be able to refine the work as Dana Lewis did some testing as an end-user and provided some great feedback 🙂
So far, some of the highlights of my work are:
  • The dashboard shows a lot of information and allows a variety of actions – this made it crucial to design the application focusing on the user experience.  I worked with various aspects of a front-end framework (Bootstrap here) and came across the ease of basic styling of HTML elements such as forms, tables, buttons, icons, etc. and the most useful – Bootstrap modal. Bootstrap provided with a consistent theme for the dashboard with good documentation. It now keeps the scope to leverage the grid system to allow development of a mobile-first application.
  • Running codebase in different environments is always a great learning. Working with the file-download feature I learned that a given request on the web worker may only last 30 seconds on Heroku (our production environment) and will be killed after that period. Since creating a zip file can easily take longer, we did some brainstorming and decided to keep the network calls out of the request-response cycle by creating a celery worker task to do the downloading job. Working with celery worker tasks and Redis broker was a new and enriching experience for me.
  • To allow OH-run version and allow developers to run a version themselves as well, we weighed in two options to store the downloaded files – AWS S3 and transfer.sh wherein we settled on the first option given the 10GB limit on the latter.
  • Since the downloading of files happened as a background job, the user could be notified of the completion of file download either through a dashboard notification or via an email. We decided to go ahead by emailing the user (easy peasy) by setting up a configurable SMTP server in Django.

The work done so far has been rewarding in terms of experience with Django, Bootstrap and various other modules. More development calls for more feedback and hence, more iterations. Therefore, I’ll be working on making some modifications to the UI and features incorporating the feedback.

More Tango with Django ahead 😀 Cheers!

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