Code4Lib Day 3: Morning Notes

Hands off! Best Practices and Top Ten Lists for Code Handoffs

  • Naomi Dushay, Stanford University Library

Code handoffs are never smooth. Ever.

Ratio of time spend reading vs. writing code, 10:1.

The Truck Test

  • what if you were run over a truck and someone else had to take over?
  • need to code so a stranger can read it and understand it

The Boy Scout Rule

  • “Leave the code cleaner than you found it”
  • need to maintain your code
  • otherwise you’re part of the problem

It’s More Than Code

  • naming should make sense: servers, scripts, everything
  • config files should not point to boxes
  • tools chosen can be the problem
  • should you be rolling this on your own?
  • probably something been done before
  • some think if you write code really well, then you don’t need to comment. Not true.
  • Documentation and comments are there to inform, explain, clarify, warn, need maintenance
  • readme’s should make sense
  • tests are code, should also think about readability of these
  • failures should be addressed ASAP
  • KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
  • DRY – don’t repeat yourself

Readable Code

  • follow conventions
  • meaningful names: variable, method, class, file
  • small, single purpose methods

Cleverness that reduces readability isn’t clever.

Sources

  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert Martin
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Folwer et al.

The Care and Feeding of a Crowd

  • Shawn Averkamp, University of Iowa
  • Matthew Butler, University of Iowa

Presentation Slides

DIY History

  • transcribe items in collection
  • omeka + scripto + mediawiki
  • still in development: want to add social media aspects/integration
  • err sorry, brain temporarily sort of died. See slides and I’ll go get a cookie to recharge

How to be an effective evangelist for your open source project Creating a Commons

  • Bess Sadler, Stanford University Library

Full Write Up by Bess herself

Lost a member of our community this year: Aaron Swartz

  • helped to define Creative Commons licenses
  • 3 versions: machine, human, and lawyer readable
  • code4lib should do the same principle
  • shared engineering practices are becoming more and more important
  • investment that’s worth it
  • please get code contributors to sign a contributor license agreement
  • can determine whether contract allows participation
  • don’t want to lose informal sharing, but law cases have happened and we need to protect ourselves

Building Code

  • what are we building?
  • we are building a culture, a commons
  • Fedora4lib – came early and rented a house together
  • Hydra = a community
  • cultivate a place where we can
  • teaching at Ruby on Rails workshops – too big a job to leave to a small group of people

Hacker Epistemology

  • how is knowledge acquired?
  • how do we decide what’s true?
  • collaboration with disregard of conventional mental thinking

Building the Community

  • need to expand and include everyone who wants to join
  • more steps in building a more inclusive community
  • adopted a code of conduct, because it was a good idea and making an explicit statement
  • need to let other people to know that we’re trying
  • “We are all imposters.” – just acknowledge it, we all feel that way, but bolster ourselves
  • allow ourselves to be seen even when there’s no guarantee of success
  • we can support each other
  • cannot be accomplished alone
  • want to craft a process for submitting issues

Thank you, code4lib!

The End

And that’s it! Until 2014.

nuzzling red pandas
Feel the Love. Happy Valentine’s Day

Published by

Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

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