Reproducibility project: April 2024 report

Here is my report for April - @zoecooper will post hers separately.

This month was mostly more of the same for me. On the development side, I have been working on backporting more changes as planned. In terms of user-facing features:

In terms of refactoring, I have been working on the Maven modularization. I am taking this opportunity to improve over what I did initially when starting to work on the new architecture (4 years ago!), because the experience of working with this modularized structure gave me some insights about which separations feel useful and which ones not so much.
I am also reconsidering the way in which I exposed test utilities for the various modules and extensions (#6556).
Overall it's encouraging to see that this re-shuffling isn't just useful for the new architecture but also other needs we have identified (better isolate the dependencies that are part of the extension interface, provide reusable test utilities, and force us to do all sorts of clean-ups which make sense independently such as #6559 or #6557).

On the design side, I have worked with Zoe to try and get more concrete on how we want to represent sequences of operations to the user. The central hypothesis of this project is that by making OpenRefine better aware of the inter-dependencies between operations, we can make it easier to reuse those. But how exactly? By trying to come up with concrete use cases observed in the wild, I felt that there were two (at least!) broad categories of use cases which don't call for the same improvements.
I am excited to see where this discussion will be heading and which features we will prioritize.

As usual my time was also spread on other daily tasks, such as PR reviews, GSoC, preparing a grant application with the WBSG, the 3.8 release and other things like that.
In May I am taking a 10 day holiday (which actually started on Thursday already, but I've been waiting for Zoe's report to post this). I hope the timing isn't too bad: at least it should give some time for any interested reviewer to chime in on my PRs.


My apologies for the delayed update - I thought this posted earlier? Here’s a roundup of the month:

I worked on sketching, designing, and refining the UI for the pipeline view of the operation history. This included design how and where users may encounter the pipeline, how it complements the list view, and the interface itself.

I also redesigned a new set of operation logos/icons.

On the research side, I spoke to users (thanks for your time Nicolas & Thomas) and iterated on my interview questions for the next round of user interviews this coming month. I’ve also been in touch with a few people from the data journalism world (from Tactical Tech, Bloomberg, etc) to share their insights. Though the focus has been on experienced OpenRefine users, I’m hoping to expand the pool as well.

I’ve also been looking into macros as a possible design solution an storyboarding out user flows to show in interviews.