Group Project – #12

This blog is for Thursday/Friday(until 12:30) of ITW.

I spent Thursday (still awake from Wednesday), continuing working on getting the functionality of the Application working. I messed with the GPS more and got it to start tracking continuously as the user went about their walk. I integrated the camera and displaying thumbnails to the user and worked on the ‘End of the walk’ activity.

Earlier in the day I tried to work on campus but once again encountered errors on importing on my laptop and the uni computers didn’t support some of what I needed to continue working on the APP (The uni computers do not allow you to update Android Studio, gradle or the Android SDK!).

A lot of the day was a blurr..

For Friday (after finally getting -some- sleep). I continued finishing up the app, working on the server upload and trying to clean up the code.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t totally finished, and so our uploading to the server of both data and files is not quite there or compatible with the website, although close enough to be able to do it with some more time.

I did do a large portion of JavaDoc, however, due to the time constraints, the version that got uploaded for submission and review was one with a lack of commenting. I feel disappointed that we couldn’t get the cleaned up and commented version of the application in, and know that we have lost marks for maintaining the product there.
I keep wondering if there is a way to change this, but I know it’s too late now. Likewise for errors in the application that I wish to change, such as returning the user back to the start screen on the upload of an app, stopping the user from adding Walks/Walklocations without data in some sections, etc :/ Nothing can be done now though sadly.

Hours for Thursday: 14 (ish.. could be more)
Hours for Friday: 4

Reflections on ITW:

I feel I did the most I could with the time provided.
Without staying up for more than the approximately 40 hours I did do and ploughing on with work whenever and wherever I could, there was not much else I could do.
My development was severely impacted at the start of the week by errors in GitHub’s own application, Eclipse and Android Studio. Either R errors caused by XML files that had no issues, the JVM being corrupted, gradle going crazy or by GitHub’s application wanting to wipe our entire repo before uploading (later fixed by changing working directories each time it wanted to do this). This set me back a lot.

I was slightly disappointed by the progress we had (or hadn’t) made before the week began. With respect and apologies to Jack, I must say that I feel I would have been better placed to be ‘lead programmer’ and to have worked on it more in my own time, such as over Xmas. I do blame myself for this too. By having him as lead, I put faith that it would be under control and didn’t do more when there were signs of issues.
I think I did that partially because I didn’t want to come off as a jerk and tell someone that I might be better than them, especially when said person has claimed to have previous experience working with Android. The result was that I was apathetic until the start of this week when I saw the state of the application (which has since been modified to the point of being completely different).

The actual Android programming wasn’t too tough. The Model side of the application is no different than how I’m used to, and in order to do everything else there are a number of well-documented and helpful websites online to learn from. This was especially true when it came down to the GPS tracking and server uploads.
Before this week, I couldn’t say I knew how to program in Android. While I’m still not that much better, I’ve now worked with it enough to be comfortable writing more apps in it in the future, which I suppose is the purpose of this really. To learn something new.

While I won’t be volunteering myself for more 40 hour no-sleep coding runs, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two:

  • I can do some Android
  • I can work under pressure
  • When something needs doing, I get it done
  • I’m now more comfortable with version control
  • Don’t put too much faith in others- Raise issues and take control, even if you want to believe things will pull through
  • How to write interesting git commit messages
  • Functioning as a team (or dis-functioning, sometimes!) to get a work load done for a project time.

I’m sure I’ll be writing all of this again and more when it comes to my final report!
For now, I’m off to rest a little. I think tonight with be an early night. =)


Group Project – #11

So.. Tonight has been a long night/morning.

I support working in groups, and in teams. I really do. However, when a team doesn’t function well. When you put your faith in others to get things done. When those things don’t happen. It’s time to take control.

Result: An Android application that actually looks like the requirements spec (And pretty to boot!). It’s still got a long way to go. Testing, designing, linking a couple more bits, validating user input, server uploads and some messing with the camera!

However, by actually doing the work and not having faith in others, things got done. (I should note. When I say having faith in others.. I mean that the application has been in ‘prototype’ mode for a long time. Where the code was hardly ever shown, and when it was, it wasn’t correct to the requirements spec. Now we have such limited time left, not much progress has been made on it elsewhere, so.. I took it as my own and raised it up from the ground to be a shining bastion of hope for a higher grade for this rather important module.

Lesson learned: Don’t trust anybody. Get proof or do it yourself! 😀 (I kid, in some ways).

Hours (for Wednesday): 19

Group Project – #10

Getting more work done on the Android application. I finished up the core of the Model design and started linking it in with the Viewer side done by Jack (who was here all day!). So far so good.
A little bit of a set back when errors appeared with ‘R’. Currently working on a fix for it in order to continue tying everything together.. Hopefully it works!

Assuming I fix it tonight (laptop), or just do everything on my desktop from home, I’ll be continuing with the integration of the two sides until we’re working on the same project and can hopefully have a working product by tomorrow. Doesn’t seem a need to re-write from scratch thankfully!

Will update more later tonight as I get more done.

Group Project – #9

Integration and Testing Week!

Started today by getting GitHub sorted. It took some time and had a few issues (tl;dr – It wanted to delete the whole repo and then reupload all files in order to sync with my local repo – ARGH!).
It’s all synced up and working perfectly now anyway.

Since then I’ve been working on the HTTP POST Request to send all data from the Android app to the MySQL server, and made a start on cleaning up the code provided. By this I mean, I’m kind of starting from scratch. The feature creep, errors and lack of source control in the current build have lead it to be easier to rebuild. One of the core programmers went AWOL earlier in the day.
I anticipated that something like this may occur and so have been prepared to re-write the majority of the code. Working hard through this week (and on some School Spider work in-between), I should manage to get a fully working product by Wednesday.. !! Is the hope.

We shall soon see… !

Not All Doom & Gloom

Making a change from the ‘Group Project’ blogs and just making a quick update.

Exams! The ‘doom & gloom’ previously mentioned. 2/4 done so far and I’m feeling okay about them. These past few weeks have been pretty challenging. I’ve had urgent work requests from my web development work, revision for all exams, and I have an upcoming interview on Tuesday where I’ll have to give a short presentation too!

The presentation is a SWOT analysis of the company’s website, both stand-alone and in regards to their mobile app. Since I’ve been pushed for time, I’ve been getting assistance from more experienced users of the app (fashionable friends!). Their feedback and input on the user interface and my own from a technical stand point will be invaluable for me when it comes to making the presentation. I’m looking forward to it!

My web development work is going well still. Once I’ve gotten through my exams, I’ll be back on the case and taking on more work. I’ve been making some more school sites as per request, and have an on-going project with the Vittoria Pani Foundation. It’s spreading awareness of pancreatic cancer, and hoping to get more research into curing it. Please do consider helping them out.

Still thinking of ideas for my Raspberry Pi. I did start thinking of ‘relay’ points (think of Nintendo’s ‘Street Pass’ and the relay points in stores to deliver useful information, although that would probably take more than one, and need a purpose!). The Pi overall is just for fun research for me. Whether I use it for mining Doge Coin, wearable computing or just making a mini arcade thing, I’ve been having fun with it and will keep you updated.

Wish me luck for Tuesday (interview), Wednesday (C/Unix exam) and Thursday (AI exam)!