Actual November Field Report

Since my field report was a massive tome detailing a single day's events that had absolutely nothing to do with what I've been working on for the last month, I figured I'd do a follow-up detailing my actual, you know, work.

Things continue to go well at the Community Software Lab. My work has been split primarily between setting up a new Xen Virtualization Server to host a Virtual Machine of a Linux Terminal Server to pave the way for all of our workstations to become thin-clients (man, that probably makes zero sense to anybody reading this), and refactoring some sloppy code to allow for integration between our two production code deployments, and Right now, the site is running an older but more feature-complete version of our backend software and it needs to be migrated from v2 to v3, but in order to do that some of the missing features in v3 of the code need to be ported over. The ultimate goal is to setup a maintainable, structured development cycle for the CSL's codebase and making it so both mvhub and northshoreport run off of the same codebase is the first step towards that effort.

It is looking that my primary focus for the next few months (and perhaps the defining contribution of my VISTA year) will be creating this code development cycle. I am enthusiastic about this work as it follows the VISTA motto of infrastructure building and will definitely leave a lasting impact on the CSL's operations for years to come. Right now, the MVHub software is developed in sort of a hodge-podge, let's-release-whenever-we-feel-like-it way. My plan is first to consolidate the various versions of the code that is deployed on the two production websites into one version, then package the software to be installable as a one simple Debian package (in contrast to the mess of CPAN modules and Debian packages it is now), and lastly construct a monthly release cycle for the debian package leveraging the bazaar-launchpad environment I previously setup. Seems like a lot of work when I type it all out, but I'm hoping to have this all done by the end of January. We'll see how it goes!