Public Lab Research note

Web Working Group Update 23: August 2018

by warren | August 30, 2018 19:23 30 Aug 19:23 | #17028 | #17028

Hello, all! The past few months has been dominated by our twin Summer of Code (SoC) programs and the 11 fellows working with us in these programs. A vast amount of work was completed, at times outstripping staff ability to keep up with the changes! 😝

(above, a screenshot from a visualization of our community's work, via

Overall, several major projects which had previously seemed out of reach are now either complete or nearing completion (i.e. in final testing).

Community growth

Although less staff time was spent onboarding newcomers, SoC participants spent significant time onboarding newcomers, demonstrating great leadership and spreading out this task among more people. We now have 218 contributors on our core project plots2, up from 194 last quarter, or a 12% increase.

Summer of Code programs

Rails Girls Summer of Code (#rgsoc) will continue through the end of September and has seen excellent and deep work on our API, now pivoting to a long desired overhaul of our search systems. Google Summer of Code (#gsoc) wrapped up in mid-August with a 100% success rate, proving that a 9-project summer is feasible when students are well prepared to provide mutual support and take leadership roles in the community. 🎉 😄


In the last quarter we made substantial progress with performance monitoring, standardization, and security updates, as part of our ongoing and very positive working relationship with our systems administrator, Sebastian Silva (@icarito).

Projects completed or almost complete

As of this summer, we have now completed or are actively working to address 5 of the 7 most important projects as prioritized by staff at the mid-summer staff retreat. Among others, here is a list of highlights of completed work this quarter:

You can find links to read more about some of these in the last WWG report, or in the GSoC wrap-up post I put up last week.

Upcoming projects

  • Overhaul search systems by @milaaraujo and @stefannibrasil (as part of their API project in #rgsoc)
  • Major user interface (UI) design work on /welcome, /events, /methods, /people, /tags, /questions, /profile, /dashboard, and other pages as part of our UI overhaul series
  • Data upload/graphing/analysis: csv, processing tools & kits integration (this was delayed due to major Summer of Code project work, but we're interested to pick it back up now that the dust is settling!)
  • Project management features: completable tasks, checklists, break-me-up systems (seeing slow but steady progress)

Long-term priorities in planning stage

Thanks to everyone who's helped make this a great few months for Public Lab software!


Thanks for the amazing opportunity!! 😃 🎉

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