Grants:Project/Stephane/Kiwix/Midpoint

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proposal people timeline & progress finances midpoint report final report


Report accepted
This midpoint report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Stephane/Kiwix.
  • You may still review or add to the discussion about this report on its talk page.
  • You are welcome to email projectgrants(_AT_)wikimedia.org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.



Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the grantee's first 3 months.

Summary[edit]

In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.

We're halfway through and have laid out most of the groundwork for rebuilding Wikimed. This basically means that we've broken down the core components of Kiwix's code into separate blocks (Kiwix-lib, Kiwix-tools) that are easier to manipulate and adapt to the app(s). The one pending issue on the parsoid side has been solved by the Foundations team.

We've also made a strategic design decisions regarding the structure of the app: a central corpus of a few thousand articles capped at 500 Mb, and a series of extensions that people can download according to their needs (endocrinology, medication, etc.).

Methods and activities[edit]

Old, non-responsive layout.
Soon(ish).

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.

Admin
  • Kiwix is setup as an independent organisation - this was more complicated than expected;
  • We've recruited our contractors for most of the coding (except iOS development);


Midpoint outcomes[edit]

What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.

Tech
  • We have mobile layout!
  • Custom app creation service is almost ready;
  • Fulltext & multizim search are ready.
What we had planned Status
Setup and logistics Yes check.svg Done
Add search on zim file; Add multi-zim research Yes check.svg Done
Complete indexing, add OPDS and OpenSearch support Yellow check.svg Partly done
Merge/revamp zimpatch/zimdiff; create test bases; support fulltext search; add content seek for video streaming Yellow check.svg Partly done
Finish the one pass zim file generation, incl. adding metadata to zim Yellow check.svg Partly done
Industrialize the releasing process for zim and custom apps Yellow check.svg Partly done
Implement the last kiwix library improvement in the iOS app; X mark.svg Not done

Fun fact: it is rather difficult to find a medical illustration that either makes sense or will not gross people out.

Finances[edit]

Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.

Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.

Item Budgeted (CHF) Actuals (estimate; CHF)
Full time junior software developer (8 mo) 55,000 20,800
Hackathons 10,000 8,800
Project Management 20% 13,000 6,500
Total 78,000 36,100

We ran a hackathon in April that was unbudgeted for - it simply was easier for a few of our European volunteers to travel to Lyon than to Montreal / upstate New York. Though the deliverables were worth it, it will negatively impact our budget.

Learning[edit]

The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.

What are the challenges[edit]

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Very few of our items went according to plan or as scheduled. Amazingly enough, we're still on course;
  • Externalities that we cannot control (registration, paperwork, bug fixing) need to given extra time in the planning process;
  • Whenever a coder tells you "this is easy", add more time to your planning (about twice as much);
  • We did not plan / make room / budget for unexpected events (e.g. Lyon hackathon). This was a mistake.

What is working well[edit]

What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

It pays to be opportunistic and be ready to adapt plans as conditions change or things do not go as planned. We're flexible enough that we could make the choice to hire several small coding jobs (and a corresponding number of contractors) rather than dump all on the same person as initially thought. While harder to manage from an administrative point of view, it appears to be a great deal more efficient when it comes to delivery and sticking to (self-imposed) deadlines.

Patterns

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points. If you're considering applying for a 6-month renewal of this grant at the end of your project, please also mention this here.

  • Deploy mobile layout;
  • Start early tests for video rendering;
  • Deploy core Wikimed

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

For one thing this reporting format is easier than the FDC process ^^. Foundation staff is also extremely supportive and helpful. Thanks guys.