And they’re off, the OPF Spring Hackathon is underway

And they’re off, the OPF Spring Hackathon is underway

We’re now five days into the OPF Spring Hackathon, and what a week it’s been! There’s been a great response to our call for contributors – nearly fifty people have now registered, and the number is growing each day as it’s open for the duration of the hackathon. 

Our development stream kick-off call was held on Monday (for anyone who missed it, you can see the slides here). We created a milestone that lists some of the tasks available, with a set of issues that are suitable for beginners – these are labelled as ‘good-first-issue’. 

Getting the work assigned was quite a task at first and apologies to anyone who had to wait. We’ve now got sixteen issues assigned across the hackathon contributors, with three pull requests already awaiting review. One of these has been open for four years and has resisted a couple of previous attempts to close it!

One thing that’s become apparent is that some issues require a decision as to what’s the desired behaviour of software in a particular situation. Issue 363 is a good example. While the reported problem is a repeated error message, an initial investigation suggests that the issue count is correct. The issue now becomes, how should JHOVE handle and report an overwhelming number of validation failures. We’re looking at ways to hold some informal conversations with hackathon participants to provide us with a steer here, so watch this space.

The hackathon has brought together contributors from a range of backgrounds, including both newcomers and OPF hack veterans alike. The resultant variety in working style, approach, and level of commitment across our group has suited the variety of tasks that we have available. Some are involved with the time-consuming testing of legacy issues, others are undertaking more demanding development work, and a few participants are taking on the role of reviewer. That said, we are interested in hearing from experienced java developers who would like to review pull requests as they keep rolling in! 

We are excited to see what the remaining five weeks bring, with our documentation and research streams starting soon. Covering everything from module documentation updates and error message translations, to gap analyses and reviewing standards – there’s something for everyone, with plenty of tasks to go around! 

If you’re looking for a way to keep busy and feel connected to the digital preservation community, join us for the documentation kick-off call on Monday at 15:00 CEST.

In the meantime, please help us to spread the word by sharing the event page with any colleagues who may be interested! If we’ve already put you to work, don’t forget to share your progress and pictures on twitter – #OPFSpringHackathon! 

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