Weekly Progress Report #2

It’s still early on Sunday and I’ll keep working on things as the day progresses, but there’s already been some good progress, so I’m writing this up now in order to get back to work.

Fixed

More of the same. Some small changes to correct typos, and still looking for corrupted audio that needs to be replaced.

In Progress

Mobile app development

This is the biggest thing that’s been getting attention this week. I’ve spent some considerable time working on the Android app. Right now we’ve got a working app that lets you see what’s new, browse stories on the site and listen to audio. It’s still pretty basic but we’re making progress. Since I only have weekends to work on this, I’m planning to work this out in stages, releasing progressively more complex versions of the app as the weeks go on. The rough plan is to release a basic app that lets you keep up with the site, but involves less interaction, not worrying about transcribing at this point, and honestly, who’s going to want to do that on their phones anyway? Then a few weeks later put out an update that offers better functionality.

The end goal is of course to be able to upload new stories directly from your phone. There are a couple technological roadblocks though, since we want to make the Android and iOS versions as close to identical as possible.

There’s also the question of if we care about transcribing on the phone. I’m pretty sure we don’t. So few people fully transcribe their stories anyway, so it’s probably reasonable to assume they’d prefer a proper keyboard and bigger screen. But I could be wrong. We’ll have to see.

Today the primary goal is this. First, to finish getting all the “pages” laid out and working in the app on the phone. Then getting all of these views correctly populated from the API. Then related to these two, making sure all the navigation is in place.

There won’t be time to get all the mapping stuff done today, but that’s fine because it’s too soon for that anyway.

Still, it’s close to being ready for that, so probably next week that can be in.

Site & Database maintenance

I’ve been doing a little bit of cleanup with this. There are a few things I’d like to get organised better in the database which I’m still deciding how I want it to be in the end. As an example, in some cases the speakers sex is written “male” and in some cases it’s “男” and that really needs to be unified since not all the recordings are Chinese. As a short-term fix, the API we’ve set up for mobile automatically cleans these things up, but that’s not the right way to solve it long term. Same issue needs to be fixed for some of the metadata being in simplified characters (簡體字) and some in traditional (繁體字). That needs to be made consistent.

To do

Expanding the available languages

In the past few months we’ve gathered a number of recordings in Tibetoburman varieties that we think people would be interested in hearing. We need to make some small changes to the site to accommodate that, but nothing major. Just a matter of making time to do it. It’s lower priority right now than the mobile app or the database cleanup, so it might have to wait til next week.