My Name is Madhur Jain. I am a Computer Science undergradute from the Indian Institute of Technology Bhilai.
About the Project :
PWA : Progressive Web APP
PWAs are great solutions to applications that want great capabilities like platform specific apps and wide reach like web apps , as it provides best of both worlds . They are built and enhanced with modern APIs to deliver enhanced capabilities, reliability, and installability while reaching anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single codebase.
Aim of the Project
The main aim of the Project was to develop a installlable PWA for the Submitty application that could be installed on any platform and offer all the functionalities (even more) that a web app has to offer. Additionally milestones included adding the support for push notifications , offline cache]ing and betterment of frontend user experience for the various platforms.
Major Work on the installation of PWA :
Pull requests related to work done on UserInterface/User Experience enhancements and fixing up Bugs :
- [Feature:TAGrading] Fixed Columns for easy grading)
- [Bugfix:InstructorUI] Fixed Hard Coded colors
- [Bugfix:InstructorUI] Dark mode rubric table background
- [Bugfix:InstructorUI] Fixed Textbox not displaying
- [Bugfix:InstructorUI] Fixed PDF Annotation Toolbar
- [Bugfix:InstructorUI] Fixed Edit Gradeables page
- [Bugfix:Forum] Forum Title now Display Current Thread
- [Bugfix:Forum] Fixed Settings layout in New thread
- [Bugfix:CourseMaterials] Overlapping Buttons in UI
Work on additional features of PWA:
This work is a good reference to the implementation of the mentioned features and was aimed at developing a prototype of what path could be followed for the best integration for these features.
Work on Push Notifications :
- Branch : pushnoti
What it does currently:
User is provided with an button to enable push notifications for the application, which upon clicking asks the user permissions for push notifications. If user allows it , a push subscription is generated (if not generated already) using a secure public key and this subscription is routed to the port 3000 at which the backend node server is listening to requests , the backend server receives the push subscription and saves it in the main submitty database. This node server is continuously running and it fetches the notifications that are to be send form the database , these notifications are then sent to push subciptions for the users stored in the database earlier using the web-push library. On the frontend, these notifications are received by the user’s active service worker and upon listening to the push event it formats the information received into user readable push notifications and sends to the browser to display to the user.
Work on Offline caching using Workbox:
- Branch : example_wb
What has been done:
This was a basic example for how offline cache could be implemented using workbox , the following branch contains initialization and setting of the workbox:
Future Scope :
Decide and implement the caching strategies for various pages depending upon how often they get updated , the information on those pages etc.
Overall Experience and Learnings :
My GSoC journey at Submitty was one of the best experiences that I had as a developer and as a learner. Working on a project that is used daily by a huge number of Students and Teachers for the management of courses in college education is truly incredible. Being a college student myself I was able to resonate thoroughly with the application and that made my work and experience so lively and relatable. On the technological front, I was able to explore and dive into a lot of awesome codes and concepts. The amount of exposure and learning throughout the development process provided me with deep insights regarding several good coding practices and methods. The best thing I gained was learning about how to plan and lay the foundation for the features you want to achieve as a developer and even more what is the best path forward with all the options and tech stacks available. The Submitty developers’ team has been awesome, they created a great environment for productive discussions and resolutions of doubts and queries. Daily meetings over Webex, suggestions, comments and discussions over Slack and Github helped a lot to improve and bring the best version of code. I love the vision behind Opensource and being able to contribute to one such project had a great impact on me that will further motivate me to explore and contribute more to Opensource.
I am highly grateful to the whole Submitty Team for their constant support and help. I would like to thank Barbara Cutler for her crucial guidance throughout the project. I can’t thank Shail Patel enough, for all the 1v1 guidance, help, encouragement and learnings he provided. Our discussions and interactions provided me with deep insights that go beyond the dimensions of the project. Constant help from Chris and William helped me move forward with my project. I am also grateful to the RPI students and fellow GSoC contributors who worked on Submitty during the summers and helped in reviewing and discussing my contributions. Lastly, I would like to thank Google for organising the Google Summer of Code program that helps foster the culture of Opensource within the developers.