Development Logs[edit]

Community Bonding Period[edit]

  • Couldn't do much GSoC-oriented in this period owing to the clash of my end-semester exams with this period, still I tried to study those subjects with uttermost care whose concepts could be used in my GSoC project like Relational Database Management Systems, Web Technologies(including PHP, JavaScript, XML and so on), Software Engineering etc. during this period. I am sure I utilised this period doing so.

Development Period[edit]

Week 1[edit]

21st May(Wednesday)

Installed MediaWiki. Faced some problems doing that, encountered a few warnings, removed them.

Studied about MediaWiki extensions. Failed to make a simple extension due to some problem in the tutorial. Still studying about extension-making.

22nd May(Thursday)

Followed the extension-tutorial at for other sample extensions. Extension making process still in progress.

Installed a couple of extensions and tested them on my system like "Awesome" extension and "CategoryGallery" extension.

23rd May(Friday)

Being mainly a C/C++ developer, had to explore some concepts of PHP. So studied some PHP tutorials in detail.

Also studied/studying HTML forms in MediaWiki which are used in extension-making.

24th May(Saturday)

Writing my log just a couple of minutes past 12:00 AM. Apologies for not been able to write right in time.

Today I made a form which can take input from the user using the special page functionality.

Also studied the present database in detail and will ask about some queries on the IRC.

25th May(Sunday)

The form which I created yesterday, needed validations but I struggled to accomplish it. Hope I will get over it by tomorrow.

Studied about Data Entry and connecting/storing that data into the database.

Week 2[edit]

26th May(Monday)

Tried to apply validations but still not done with that.

Read previous logs and mails which I couldn't read due to my final exams.

27th May(Tuesday)

Browsed various Materials Database websites, observed how these stored data, in which format. Also observed various features like advanced search, import/export and sorting.

28th(Wednesday) and 29th May(Thursday)

Had issues with my health. :(

30 May(Friday)

Talked on #mediawiki IRC about the version of mediawiki to be used. Although had a fruitful discussion yet, got puzzled. So talked on #brlcad IRC and finally got the solution(maths22 would update the older version of BRL-CAD wiki).

Installed mediawiki 1.22.7 and started working on it.

31 May(Saturday) and 1st June(Sunday)

As per my milestone sign in/sign up process is also done as my extension will use the login-module of BRLCAD-wiki.

Making my previous extension work in latest version 1.22.7. Not working. :(

Studied BRL-CAD supports which formats for import/export.

Tested a model by applying material on it in BRL-CAD and trying to understand the STEP format.

2 June(Monday)

I have made a simple extension which will work in BRL-CAD 1.22.7. I will upload it on my college server tomorrow. I have some parts missing, I will complete it by tomorrow.

Followed some mediawiki tutorials which would help in database insertion through form. I will display this all tomorrow.

Week 3[edit]

3rd June(Tuesday)

I have submitted my first simple extension on the mailing list. I have understood the basic structure of mediawiki extension. I am just too close to end up making an extension which can take the data from the user and store in the database.

4th June(Wednesday)

Today I felt I needed a break from mediawiki stuff as my brain felt suffocated so I did a lot of analysis of various CAD softwares. Created various figures in BRL-CAD, FreeCAD, OpenSCAD and LibreCAD using difference, union and intersection functions.

Applied materials to BRL-CAD model. Learnt how to use various commands in like rt. Also had a glimpse of LUA script. And now I have resumed learning advanced object oriented PHP for mediawiki.

5th June(Thursday)

Made an HTML form which can take the inputs from the users. I am also almost done with the database connectivity work. In no time I will show the status on the mailing list.

Also went through the advanced concepts of object oriented PHP. Like how mediawiki works with classes and objects and arrays inside arrays inside arrays. I am having a bit of problem here but will overcome this soon.

6th June(Friday) and 7th June(Saturday)

Successfully made the extension which can store the materials and their properties in the database. Had some problems in displaying the data and implementing search feature. It will be done too.

Uploaded on the mailing list.

8th June(Sunday)

Today I went on exploring the structure and working of a bit sophisticated mediawiki extensions. Got some valuable responses/suggestions on my extension in the mailing list from my mentor.

Showed the data stored by making a mysql user and letting everyone view his stored data by logging in phpmyadmin using that user.

Did critical study of the current database for further improvements. IP address of the user who edited some data may be recorded.

9th June(Monday)

Implemented the feature with the help of which a user can see the properties that are stored.

Implemented the search feature(search material by name).

Pushed all my work to my github account.

Week 4[edit]

10th June(Tuesday)

Today I studied about how to embed the code of separate php app(basically database of previous years' work) into the extension that I have made. It is not possible directly so I was stuck.

I asked for the solution / guidance for this on #mediawiki IRC which is pending. Also I have asked a doubt about the database in the brlcad mailing list.

11th June(Wednesday)

Today I tried to embed the code of previous years' work into my extension. Well, I was unsuccessful in doing. I got some help on the #mediawiki but that was not specific. Got to learn many a new thing in the present database after critical study.

Installed a couple of more similar extensions to do reverse engineering and learn more.

12th June(Thursday)

Although I might have done quite with the extension and GUI part, the database still posed me some problems. Like I was stuck at what is the difference between materialID and table_materialID in table "traits". Also I feel there is not much normalization which lead me think again on the database design.

Studied various resources similar to Materials Database like, and so on. Got to know various features of the website and the how of categorization of materials.

Also exported file in JSON, CSV etc. formats from current database using phpmyadmin and used it in CAD softwares.

13th June(Friday)

I had a few problems with the current database so I eliminated those problems by making some enhancements in it. It was not connected using primary and foreign keys. Also I have created a few more tables which are needed.

Also I have classified the materials and their properties in the database itself.

Also made a note of a few more features like units converter etc. in the GUI.

14th June(Saturday)

Connected the database-tables with primary and foreign keys. But still encountering a problem. There are separate tables for each trait so JOIN has to be applied accross each table. So if we need to see 20 traits of a material, 20 JOINS. Trying to get over this problem.

Explored the deep use of SQL IN operator, JOINS, loop programming. Talked with Yaron on #mediawiki and got to learn how a query can be inserted in mediawiki.

16th June(Monday)

Tried to implement the MediaWiki extension as such with the current database but had some problems with some attributes. Proposed some modifications in the database which would help in better filtering and searching. Mockup of the database mailed to the mailing list with some modifications.

Week 5[edit]

17th June(Tuesday)

Had a very long and hard chat on #mediawiki IRC. They suggested to use SemanticMediaWiki for the data storage through forms.

Installed SemanticMediaWiki and Created a simple template for storing data.

18th June(Wednesday)

Made some templates and studied SMW(semantic mediawiki) stuff.

Studied database in MediaWiki. Had problems regarding applying JOINS across more than two tables and getting their value on the page. Resolved to some extent.

19th June(Thursday)

Resolved the problem of applying the JOINS in MediaWiki on tables and display the fetched data too in tabular form.

Created an extension to test the working, .

Committed all my pending work on github.

20th June(Friday)

Made the extension work with the enhanced database design. Had several problems in inserting the data into the database because of separate table for each trait but encountered them.

Added support to add new material and properties in new database.

Got some quick suggestions from #mediawiki IRC during hurdles like getting userID of currently logged in user.

21st June(Saturday)

Brought about a number of changes in the working of the extension. Removed check-boxes to select traits to maintain user-ease, used radio buttons, drop-down and required features of HTML.

Pushed my latest extension(with proper database) into my github account.

22nd June(Sunday)

Made certain enhancements like user cannot add a material again which is already there in the database, dropdown for Material Privacy set as public by default.

Accomplished the task of showing the values of all the traits for all materials by applying joins on multiple tables and using for loops. The code works fine in another extension right now.

Code updated and pushed to github.

23rd June(Monday)

Accomplished the task of showing material names and values of traits in the same extension. Added the feature such that no material can be added again and again in the database.

Added units' table in the database to make it easy for the user to enter the values of traits only in float rather than entering units alongwith.

Week 6[edit]

24th June(Tuesday)

Displayed all the required columns like material name, value and timestamp but felt stuck at one point. Made two separate extensions, one for adding material properties and other for viewing those properties. Tried to ask for the solution on IRC #mediawiki to merge these two extensions but still to get response after they asked for the my code.

25th June(Wednesday)

Got the solution to merge any number of extensions through URLs. Talked about this on MediaWiki mailing list. They suggested using Semantic MediaWiki. Explored the MediaWiki administration.

26th June(Thursday)

Finally found the way to load any number of classes into the .php file and also creating any number of special pages.

After a good discussion on #mediawiki IRC, got the equivalent of using hooks to create table in database.

Committed all my work to github and deployed the latest code on my college server too.

27th June(Friday)

User made eligible to add trait only after logging in.

Each time a user adds a new trait, a new table is created at the back-end for that trait.

The variable in for loop which showed all the properties of materials changed from static to dynamic.

Added hyperlinks to navigate from one page to another.

Updated the blogpost in the BRL-CAD mailing list:

28th June(Saturday)

I was out on pilgrimage to Golden Temple . I will compensate all my work by working on Sunday.

29th June(Sunday) and 30th June(Monday)

Did some progress in advanced search of material by name.

Tried to link the whole database using foreign key references but there exists some problem in the innoDB database style.

Explored the libraries used for import/export.

Wrote a few lines of code for adding new material type etc. by making new classes in the main file.

Week 7[edit]

1st July(Tuesday)

Applied validations in the forms wherever necessary.

Combated with the problem of applying foreign keys using innoDB storage engine.

2nd July(Wednesday)

Studied the formatting of wiki page at user level including how to make hyperlinks and headings, bold etc.

Studied/studying this handbook of MediaWiki Administrators Handbook.

3rd July(Thursday)

Added constraints for all the trait-tables using foreign keys.

Stuck at the problem of making this process automated like when a user adds a new trait i.e. new table, it should automatically get linked using foreign keys.

4th July(Friday)

Struggled a lot to add foreign key constraint in dynamically created tables in extension in an automated way. Talking on the #mysql IRC I got this ANSWER "forget about adding those automatically." They seriously questioned the credibility of database design. Totally refreshed all my concepts with respect to real world projects, requirements and performance. (Need to head towards a wayout soon)

Learnt to add menus through MediaWiki:Sidebar and also went through the various namespaces in MediaWiki.

5th July(Saturday)

Finally added foreign key constraints in dynamically created tables despite the words of #mediawiki developers, "forget about adding those automatically.". They might have said this in some other sense but finally I got what I needed. :-)

Resolved the problem of data inconsistency occurring due to miss-matching ids of values across all tables.

6th July(Sunday)

Added search facility such that user can search material and its properties by name.

7th July(Monday)

Installed and learnt how to use the extension AdminLinks.

Traversed the whole code for following the coding standards.

Week 8[edit]

8th July(Tuesday)

Added foreign key constraints to all the tables that were pending.

Added one more table `trait_units` to specify the units of each trait.

Adding this extra table kind of disturbed the work flow because now a new trait cannot be added without its units. For this I have to now add a separate text field/dropdown which will ask for the units of the trait and also change the INSERT and SELECT queries at the backend but doing this, encountered a few problems.

9th July(Wednesday)

Finally resolved all the errors that occurred due to the addition of new table `trait_units`.

Added dropdown for Units when adding a new trait. Amended all the queries in the backend for proper insertion of data.

Updated _SERVER variable wherever it was necessary.

10th July(Thursday)

Added ON CASCADE DELETE. Whenever any value is deleted from master table, correspponding values in foreign keyed tables are also deleted.

Added userID to trait_table too, so that it can be tracked who added that particular trait.

11th July(Friday)

Added a new Special page in the extension wherefrom a user can delete a trait. Only the traits added by a particular user can be deleted by him/her.

12th July(Saturday)

Added a new Special Page in the extension wherefrom a user can delete a material from his added list of materials.

Added another Special page which has links to all the call to action buttons like add material, delete trait etc.

14th July(Monday)

Added Special Page for view all materials.

Tried to implement search by trait, almost done.

Tested the extension by installing on various other systems locally and remotely.

Week 9[edit]

15th July(Tuesday)

Studied about the import/export libraries to be used for the extension.

Search by trait implemented. Now a user can either search for values of traits either by material name or by trait name.

16th July(Wednesday)

Explored MediaWiki Editing rules, editing conventions, and formatting. Were very extensive topics, took more time than expected.

Tried to manipulate MediaWiki as a normal user rather than an administrator with the help of the following and many more links: .

Also studied how to format lists, images, tables etc. on wiki pages.

17th July(Thursday)

Made a separate Special Pages for search TRAIT by name and search MATERIAL by name.

Used functions like ucwords(), header() and str_ireplace() to make improvements like automating Initials of words in capital letters, page refreshing, replacing '_' in names with space for displaying(like boiling_point).

Stuck at passing an array of table-names in MW-Joins query in place of a single table name to do selective search.

18th July(Friday)

Added menu bars on the top to navigate through the extension. Replaced old ugly links' Special Page with the new menu bar.

Added almost all the units of main traits(30 at present, will be more) in the drop-down menu to prevent users from inputting wrong values of traits.

19th July(Saturday)

Whole day struggled with user rights management in MW. There was a good user-manual to explain how permissions can be given to various groups but it did not have anything to say about reverse i.e. having to give permissions to multiple groups for accessing a single Special Page.

Asked on IRC about the solution they suggested two ways either to create a new right which can be granted to multiple groups or give the right as a second argument while calling the parent constructor in Special Page class.

Improved the menu bar on the top of each Special Page. Thinking to add images/icons in sometime after achieving all the basic functionality.

21st July(Monday)

Applied validations across all the text-fields mainly of traits, like only decimal/integer values can be added for traits like boiling point etc.

Cleaned the code edited a few things like repositioning the forms at proper place in the code to make it more readable.

Week 10[edit]

22nd July(Tuesday)

Data updations done. Values of traits can be updated by specifying the trait name, material name and its value.

Set the order of traits(alphabetically) in which they are displayed on add material page.

Added a new field status in all the tables for specifying whether or not a particular value is approved by the admin or not.

23rd July(Wednesday)

Made a few changes in the database data types to retain the precision of values.

24th July(Thursday)

Searching improved further by adding dropdown for search both material and trait lest a user commits mistake in spellings while searching.

Encountered some problem in implementing the status flag to be administered by the admin.

25th July(Friday)

Worked on export feature, almost done. Used json_encode() to export the data by storing it in an array. Now working on passing multiple attributes in multidimensional array.

Status flag still in pipeline.

26th July(Saturday)

Could not do much GSoC oriented today, as I was engaged in attending inevitable seminars in my college related to other technologies.

28th July(Monday)

Progress: Been able to write the data from the backend(tables) in .json file. I passed an array to json_encode(), whose result I wrote in a file. The contents written in the file are absolutely what they should be.

Problem: When I try to prompt the user to download the same file, some futile/useless data seems to get appended at the end of the file.

Did some manipulations with the LocalSettings.php like changing the logo, skin, enabling the image uploads and so on.

Week 11[edit]

29th July(Tuesday)

For exporting the data in json, found and implemented another solution to store the material names and the values of different traits in two separate arrays.

Used array_combine() to make an associative array of material name and value as key : value pair.

30th July(Wednesday)

Made json export work but there are some glitches like the file in which the json material is written is perfect but the exported file from web interface contains some needless data appended at the end.

31th July(Thursday)

Removed the problem of futile data getting appended in .json file.

Added a new file which has the code to export the data in JSON format.

Added option to select any trait which is to be exported by storing it in variables.

1st August(Friday)

Status flag nearly accomplished which was in pipeline. Updations that can be only done by Sysop and bureaucrat are just left.

Status visible in view all materials page.

Export(call to action button) added in the menu bar.

Search bar hidden from the main login page where is wasn't required.

2nd August(Saturday)

Couldn't work today because of engagements like depositing college fees and shifting to new hostel. Also there was power supply's problem so I could not keep my laptop charged.

4th August(Monday)

Learned how to embed JavaScript in MediaWiki. Used in the navigation bar on the top of each page.

Week 12[edit]

5th August(Tuesday)

Status now visible in Search by Trait and Search by Material too. All the approved material properties are denoted by "1" and the pending by "0". The privilege(for bureaucrat and sysop) to approve still pending.

6th August(Wednesday)

Facing a bit of challenge to set the privilege for approval. Because unlike Wiki pages, Special pages cannot be edited.

7th August(Thursday)

Done with the approval part. Now the values can be approved from the Special Page itself.

8th August(Friday) and 9th August(Saturday)

Visited a funeral ceremony.

Couldn't work, I also had to visit my doctor regarding respiratory problem.

11th August(Monday)

Made the navigation bar more interactive using javascript. Also renamed a few variable for better readability.

Week 13[edit]

12th August(Tuesday)

Found a minor glitch in export. The indices of the two arrays don't match and making the json more readable by replacing the "value" attribute with trait name.

13th August(Wednesday)

Perfectly done with the json export now grappling with CSV format.

14th August(Thursday)

Export in CSV done, using PHP header function and array manipulation.

Status which was approved by the admin is now visible on the front-end too.

15th August(Friday)

Exporting data in XML format now possible. Now grappling with data import.

16th August(Saturday)

Added update , import call to action buttons.

Done with import of data in JSON.

17th August(Sunday)

Set the permissions such that only sysop and bureaucrat can delete materials and traits.

18th August(Monday)

As today is the last day of GSoC, I have given my level best to add everything possible to the code before final evaluation.

I have added support for importing the data by selecting the trait name which earlier was static.

I have updated the update page which now allows to update all the values of a particular material in one go, which wasn't possible earlier.

I have also added the facility to the user to add only selective traits at a time in case he does not know all the values at present.

Apart from normal users, a separate call to action button is added for admins to delete materials and traits and approve the values added by users.

And finally removed the unnecessary data exported from XML like mat_id, timestamp etc.