Welcome to Goldenrod

Welcome to my new server! I’ve completed all app maintenance ahead of schedule, and for the most part it was a seamless transition. The sandbox and blog have been reset, old subdomains and email addresses that haven’t been used in ages have been purged, and overall the server just feels like it’s running better. You could say spring cleaning is going well!

As I like to do, I’ve named this server – and since DreamHost gave it a lovely boring name of PS some blob of numbers that I’ve already forgotten, I’ve given it a much better name: Goldenrod. I hope this new server will serve me well in the coming years as I learn new techniques and technologies, and continue to provide useful services for the Carleton community.

Expand the post for a list of the things I want to do in the next six months.

Migrate !Fantasy Fitness to Goldenrod

At the moment, !Fantasy Fitness lives on a server that I’ve nicknamed Gridley (because references). The site runs okay, but I would love to move it over to this server so it has its own dedicated resources available for when it’s needed.

Conveniently, !Fantasy Fitness is the most active when CBD is the least active: summer break. Having these two apps both live on Goldenrod means that the Goldenrod CPU and RAM can be used on the apps that need them the most.

Due to the !Fantasy Fitness competition season starting soon the migration won’t happen until September, but athletes should note that performance improvements are coming for 2017.

Rewrite CBD for better flexible hours and open data

CBD (the Carleton Building Dashboard) is due for a rewrite to version 3.0 with improvements to address issues users have brought to me. These include:

  • Building flexibility for variable hours. Some buildings listed on CBD have variable hours, or hours that change regularly or have complex rules. For instance, the CAMS Production Office has hours during first and sixth weeks that vary from the rest of term. I would like to rewrite CBD to better accommodate these facilities.
  • Automatic display of finals hours, where available. Some facilities have odd hours during finals – notably, the Libe has late closings of 3AM every night of finals week, and Late Night Breakfast is a thing at LDC. Buildings that don’t have special hours during reading days and finals will be assumed to have regular academic term hours unless they contact me.
  • Automatic display of break hours, again where available. Not all facilities display their break hours, but some do, and summer program students would benefit from these hours. Buildings that don’t have break hours will not display on the site during breaks.
  • Quiet hour and current class period displays. Especially useful during the first week of fall term (especially when the first three days of classes each have a different schedule), I plan to have CBD display what the current class period is and when it ends. Additionally, I plan to display whether or not quiet hours are in effect and in which buildings.
  • More open data and API documentation. The API endpoint is not great at explaining how to use it, so I hope to rewrite it in a way that’s easier to use.

Thank you to all of the Carleton students and visitors who use CBD! If you notice any odd hours, please do get in touch, as I can’t check every building’s hours constantly. If CBD says something is open and it isn’t, let me know and I can fix it!

Rewrite KRLX SAS

KRLX SAS (KRLX Show Application System) was written in JavaScript on the Meteor framework, and it worked tremendously well. However, I need to move it to the KRLX servers, which don’t support Meteor or MongoDB as nicely as they should, so I’ll be rewriting the system using either Ruby on Rails, or Laravel (a PHP framework).

Additional benefits of a rewrite will make it easier for board members to export data both to the main KRLX site, as well as downloading it to local computers for spreadsheet analysis. Plus, I’d like to start work on a scheduling system within KRLX SAS so that the scheduling process can be done online.

Integrate the KRLX Record Libe into the KRLX website

At the moment, the KRLX record library cataloging system is being set up using a package called OpenBiblio. It works great and gets the job done, but it has a few flaws, including the fact that it was last updated well over a year ago. I hope to make a public catalog for the record libe that is responsive and accessible, and ideally integrated into the main website.

The new KRLX website will also feature WordPress, so I might integrate the record libe catalog system straight into WordPress.


Other experiments

I’m sure I’ll come up with some new ideas over the next several months! The latest drafts and experiments will be hosted on the sandbox, and finished products will be announced here.

Posted by Tate Bosler