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May 22, 2019

I have a deadline for the end of the month, so I'll quickly do the usual short list of project updates and whatnot.

First: DWCHelper

I have been putting a lot of work into this program and it's almost completed. I'm excited to move on to the next part of the URCA project after my Tanzania trip. Since the program's "About" section may eventually change, I'm reposting it here:

DWCHelper is one component of my 2019 Undergraduate Research and Creativity Award project, which is a collaborative effort with the Anthropology department at UNCG.

The eventual goal of the project is to provide a tool for researchers at different sites in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania to easily share, compare, and combine datasets and create useful, publishable data visualizations.

In June of 2019, I will be traveling to Tanzania to excavate and analyze animal bones, and I hope to gain a broader understanding of the context surrounding these 1.4 to 2 million-year-old specimens. My objective is to understand what types of questions researchers may need answered in their quest to understand this period of human evolution.

One challenge will be making the user prompts helpful for researchers who may be unfamiliar with command-line interfaces. For the URCA project itself, I have a feeling that this won't matter; we will probably "set up" the program once for each of the several Olduvai Gorge databases. Subsequent changes to the original data will automatically be integrated.

I've been starting to learn unit testing for the project, which apparently won't be taught in my degree. I also did a short course on web development (as much as I hate the modern web, HTML5, JS, and CSS knowledge will come in handy when I build the data vis part of the URCA project).


I forked the Python program I mentioned in the previous entry and "cannibalized" it; I haven't implemented any of my planned features but a classmate on Github has been working at it. I may just see if she wants to take ownership over the project since I'll be in Africa without internet for a month!

I've had to put plr and betterssg on the back-burner while I work on DWCHelper, but I'd like to finish them both up soon. Perhaps it's good to have a few side-projects open, though.


I haven't really read anything good on the web, but I am getting into Legacy, by Greg Bear.

I also read several chapters of Code Complete 2, as recommended on the Coding Horror blog (the part I read seemed much less useful than I expected, but I might go digging around in later chapters another time)