Git

Finally, we get to dive into some good stuff.  The Git assignment seemed pretty easy, but a lot of the commands were typos.  I guess that’s what you get for copy and pasting ;).  I thought it was going to take me quite a bit of time to learn the ins and outs of Git, but I picked it up pretty quick.  Trevor Hodde also pointed me in the direction of GitK, which is a GUI representation of Git.  It gives a visual representation of the last time you pulled from the Git repo.  I would strongly suggest GitK to anyone who is knew to Git.  My group seems to be having some difficulty grasping Git, as two of them have yet to complete the Git assignment, but I am holding out hope.

My group also didn’t follow the details of the assignment, the purpose was to invoke a conflict when multiple people edit the same file.  Instead, they created a new file – no conflicts were made.  I finished the assignment for completeness, but I hope they understand the purpose of Git and version control.  The assignment actually had you set the user.name to “Your Name” and then color.ui, which is legal.  You can have the name variable contain multiple things.  Then, when you when to change it using git config –global user.name ‘James Forkey’ it threw an error saying multiple instances of the variable existed.  The fix I found was to edit the .gitconfig file itself and make it so there was only one name variable with the appropriate context.

I don’t really have much Git experience prior to this, but I know how it works and it’s critical role in the real world.  I can’t wait to really utilize Git to its fullest potential.  I am interested to see if there will be one person committing, or if everyone will be committing, potentially overwriting working code with either broken code, or less efficient code.  I guess this is something we should discuss in the near future.  Dave and Mike have done a great job with the infrastructure portion.  We are almost ready to get our hands dirty.  Exciting!

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What project to work on?

Today was focused on what project to work on.  The potential candidates were VLC, Firefox, Eucalyptus, Irrlicht, and Libre Office.  I joked, we should play the 5-3-1 game.  The 5-3-1 game is where you have a set of 5 options, the first person (The professor in this case) eliminates two options, and the second person (the students in the case) eliminate two more, leaving you with the winner.  We played something similar.  Each student ranked the 5 from least to most favorite, and then we tallied it up.  Eucalyptus won!  This project seems like a really good fit, since we will be able to work with the lead developers and gets everyone’s hands wet in cloud computing.

I also have very little experience with Python, so it will be interesting to pick up a new language along the way.  There is an infrastructure portion that will let the students who are less program-driven and more network-driven a chance to contribute equally.   There are a handful of students who aren’t intrigued by writing code.  Hopefully they are willing to get some hands-on experience early on with the infrastructure.

There was a lot of hard feelings when we came to the conclusion to work on Eucalyptus.  It’s important that they realize that this is the class project, and are willing to contribute to the best of their ability.  It doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to another open source project, but they’ll just have to do it on their own free time.  I have finally installed X-chat on my home desktop, so I can idle the appropriate channels.  This will help me keep up-to-date on the project and assist me with any questions I have once the project gets off the ground floor… which is hopefully sooner rather than later…

IRC and Wikis

Week 2 was focused on learning IRC and Wikis. I have a lot of prior experience with IRC.  In the past, I used mIRC for windows, but since I have moved to using Linux as my main OS, it was a little different to get used too.  First, I had to research GUI IRC clients.  I first connected through the terminal, but the interface just isn’t clean enough for me.  I don’t want to have to type a command to see who is currently in the server.  I wanted something that I could see everything on one clean screen.  I finally stumbled on X-Chat.  This is very similar to mIRC for Windows.  It has all the information you need in a simple, easy-to-use, interface.

The Eucalyptus project sounds interesting, but I was also interested in another 3D graphics project too.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to work on both projects simultaneously.  The main developers have us working on the eutester portion of the project.  They said there is more documentation than actual code to write.  I wasn’t very thrilled with this idea, but I guess we will see how everything falls into place.

I wasn’t present for the class, and I never made the Wiki, but I have some experience in editing Wikis from a robotics class last semester.  I would really like to see this project get off the ground floor and some serious progress made, but my group hasn’t but the most cooperative at this point.  We’ll just have to wait and see how things develop over the next few weeks.