A new session of the OPW (Opportunity Program for Women) internship has begun, and even though I’m no longer an intern, I’m continuing my work on what was my internship project this Spring, Planeteria.org.  The website has lots more work to be done, and I feel like there were many things that I wanted to fix during my internship but didn’t get around to.  In fact, in many ways it feels like much of what I accomplished during my internship period was just wrapping my head around what could be improved about the site, how to prioritize those tasks, and doing a lot of housekeeping that would enable me and other contributors to move forward.

This includes updating the README file to be clear and accurate; conducting a user survey to determine what the pain points are for users (thankfully there really aren’t many) and what new features might be useful to people; creating a project Road Map to inform potential contributors about the direction of the project and what the next steps are.  I also got a start on a redesign of the site, which will make it more mobile-friendly, update the code to use contemporary jQuery libraries, and add a few new features to the site.  The most exciting feature to me is the ability to tag each blog feed within a planet with themes, organizational affiliations, technologies, and other categories that site visitors can then use to narrow down the feed to blogs most relevant to their interests.  The redesign has been put on the back burner, however, while we focus on addressing more immediate functionality issues, which I’ll discuss more below.

I personally have a lot more to learn, so working on Planeteria continues to be an opportunity for me to build my skills while making improvements to the site.

I’ve also enjoyed following the new OPW interns’ blogs on the Women in Free Software planet, which I manage/curate on planeteria.org.  Along with the 50 new interns, there are many former OPW interns on the planet as well as several Google Summer of Code participants.  The OPW logo appears next to entries of current OPW interns, and the Google Summer of Code logo appears next to current GSOC students.  (There are a few who are participating in both; I’m not sure which image to add to those blog feeds. This will no longer be an issue when the tagging feature is implemented and we’ll no longer use images to designate affiliation with OPW/GSOC.)

However for those who are keeping track, there are still a few folks in the current OPW program missing from the feed.  My apologies to those who are still waiting to be added!  Unfortunately I ran into a bug that prevents me from adding new blogs to the planet before I had added all of the new OPW interns.  The source of this bug is the admin.py file that governs the behavior of the Admin page; which was written back when AJAX was still a new concept that people were just starting to implement.  The javascript is pretty antiquated and has been the source of more than one bug.  I had already been planning on rewriting it soon, and I’m now torn between the desire to work on a quick band-aid fix for the several planet admins who cannot add more feeds until the immediate issue is fixed (including myself), versus focusing my time instead on the re-write of the code so that it uses modern jQuery libraries to be more efficient and (hopefully) less buggy, or at least easier to debug in the future.  The plan is to work on a short-term fix and then dive into rewriting it, before I run into yet another bug that stems from the admin.py code.