These are my meeting notes for the first BUGS EBoard meeting of the Spring semester.
Since I couldn’t attend the meeting, this is the best I could do
This section serves both as an update to the current status of YACS, as well as a briefing for ShiXuan (Shelly) and Brian, our new Director and Vice Director of Outreach. If you’d like to skip to the new information, it’s in the new information section.
Yet Another Course Schedule (YACS) is an open source course scheduler, and is currently the de facto course schedule for students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). It’s currently hosted by the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS) and led by Ada Young, who is currently working on integrating NYU course information into the YACS infrastructure, so that NYU students will have a genuine graphical interface to schedule their courses.
Bradley and I organized a small group of NYU students to build an “adapter”, which is the term used to describe an HTTP endpoint that responds to YACS HTTP requests with course information. Our team first built a Python script to collect information from Gallatin’s public API (which may or may not be outdated). Then, we began work on a scraper to collect course information from NYU’s Class Search. Work slowed as the semester progressed, and eventually came to a grinding halt by early November, as students began to fall behind with learning the necessary Python syntax and networking protocols to meaningfully contribute or even understand the existing codebase.
Around this time, Bradley was contacted by a student at WSN about the project. The interview led to some minor publicity about BUGS and YACS, but more importantly it got the attention of people at the registrar. As a result, Bradley and I met with the NYU administrators responsible for maintaining NYU Albert, and discussed the viability of YACS being integrated into NYU. For more information on the result of the meeting, see our post in the Eboard Slack; the gist is that Our jobs probably got way easier. Hopefully this means that by Fall 2019, we’ll have a system ready to help NYU students schedule their courses.
Firstly, the YACS workflow has moved to MatterMost; the NYU students that originally showed interest in working on YACS are still in the Slack, and so we can’t just ignore it, but we should migrate our own workflow to their MatterMost to make it easier to collaborate.
Additionally, this past week Ada and I developed, and nearly completed, the class search adapter. Thus, the work that NYU students can contribute to the project is the following:
I don’t really know what we’re trying to accomplish with the website, so I’ve been trying to stay away from redesigning anything. That is, are we trying to…
Right now I’m working on refactoring the existing code to follow the idioms of Bootstrap webpages, i.e. the grid system and custom classes. But in the near future the question of what to work on will be highly dependent on what our eventual goal for the website is. Right now there are a few problem areas:
The order that we address these problems should depend on what we want the website to do, and so I’d like to figure that out before we start brainstorming redesigns. Also, once we have an idea of the general purpose of the site, if anyone has any ideas on any of the following, I’d be happy to open an issue and start working on integrating them: