Breaking news…

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For two weeks I’ve been trying to figure-out how to add theĀ Iceland playlist Kristin created to my Spotify profile. Yesterday, Kristin explicitly shared it with me and that worked, phew. I was afraid we were going to have to cancel the whole project.

On more mundane fronts I’ve been working with Erin on the GIS and maps, with Kristin on Field Day, with Deeksha on the data model/data, with Tara on the NIR and tube turning rigs and Mothur, and with Nic on LiDAR, the UAS, and imagery. All of these are coming along well, we have lots to do but we are steadily moving along together. Go Team.

For Field Day Friday we made a simple lunch of pasta with pesto and then took a short walk around campus collecting data with Field Day/ambiance platform and the Yoctos. The streaming and sample data has been uploaded from the Nexus to Postgres, next week Craig is going to visualize it and start doing verification and validation on it. This is the first time we have had the luxury of working with an “independent lab” on this aspect, in the past developers did this (about as well as you would expect them to).

I setup IceBook (13″ MacBook Air) for Erin to install QGIS on. Slowly we will be migrating all of our software stack (database, analysis tools, visualization, time synchronization, etc) from hopper and other machines to IceBook. Just before we leave on the 22nd we’ll move our Git repository over and viola, we’ll have everything with us. We’ve done this twice before in Iceland and once in Nicaragua and it works really well, being self-contained helps a lot when Internet access is spotty.

Next week will probably look a lot like this past one. On Tuesday morning NIc, Erin and I are going to talk to Patrick about GIS and archeological surveying at Skalanes.

Gitlab restored!

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Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much work on the Field Day Android Application. In order for work to be done on that, Gitlab has to be working. Gitlab is where all of the repositories of our code live. And at the beginning of last week, Gitlab was broken.

Gitlab broke due to an accidental upgrade. It was upgraded on hopper from 7.14 -> 8.01 which is a massive upgrade. In versions > 8, there are 2 proxy servers — one the serves git requests (merge, commit, etc.) and one that does authentication. So, that broke Gitlab because there were additional configuration files to create and edit after that upgrade. So, I attempted to downgrade to the version we were using before (7.14) with yum. That was a bad idea. The downgrade with yum isn’t bulletproof and messed up some config files in the process.

Sigh, I upgraded back to 8.01 and tried to find the error. Apache, proxies, and web sockets. Gitlab uses proxies and web sockets, something that Apache (the web server running on hopper) isn’t particularly great at right now. Gitlab really wants to use another web server called Nginx (really, really wants to use Nginx). It even comes bundled with an Nginx install. I tried and failed many times to configure Apache to work with Gitlab and sockets and proxies, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t change the web server on hopper because there are other things relying on it.

I decided that Hopper is probably not the best place to put Gitlab. Alas, I moved it to Dali. Dali has a lot of space and is not running any web servers.Everything on the user side is the same, it just lives on a different machine now.

Fortunately, Gitlab comes packed with a way to create a backup of everything and restore from a backup. I created a backup of the current database, repositories, etc on hopper, installed Gitlab on Dali and restored from the backup I created. Poof. 8.01 is now running on Dali and can be accessible at I even went ahead and set up email notifications for push requests to repositories for the projects in field science and others that I’m working on.

Also, 8.01 is a whole lot better that 7.14 and much prettier!

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.35.30 PM

Gitlab, and archiving!

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FINALLY, we have a stable Git environment. On hopper ( I’ve set-up something called Gitlab. Gitlab is an open source git repo hosting environment. For those of you that are familiar with Github, Gitlab is like a self-hosted version of that. I chose Gitlab because it’s private (in Github, you have to pay for a premium membership to have private repositories) and it’s cleaner and has better access control than just doing it through a user’s directory on the machine.

You can see the Gitlab setup here – Earlham Gitlab. There’s a group called field-science where we are going to host all our code. I’ve already created projects for our Android work. The old android code is now in the archive-android project. This means that it is read-only! Yay! Starting fresh for Android $FIELDSCIENCE app. There’s a new project called FieldScience that we will use for the new app, which I’ve already created the shell for in Android Studio and pushed it to the Gitlab. Yay for cleaning and organization.

On Gitlab, we will store the visualization code, the database code, the arduino/sensor code. All the code! This makes it a lot easier when trying to find stuff later (our old Arduino code is all over the place).