Planning the software engineering tools for OpenMinTeD
I’m Angus, and I lead the “Platform Integration, Testing and Deployment” workpackage for OpneMinTeD – or WP7 as it is affectionately known in Project-Speak. Our task in WP7 is to take the services that have been designed and created in OpenMinTeD, and to deliver these as a whole, so that they can be deployed as a running system. But what tools are needed for this?
We are responsible for all of the software engineering tools needed to make this happen – planning of releases, software repositories, monitoring of software availability, version control, configuring. And we mustn’t forget the very important task of testing.
Experienced text mining infrastructure builders
The work will be done by seven OpenMinTeD partners, Between us, we have many years of experience in building and using text mining infrastructures, and of software engineering. The work is lead by the University of Sheffield GATE team, with Agro Know leading the software testing tasks. The other partners include Athena Research Centre, University of Manchester, Technische Universität Darmstadt, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. The Greek Research and Technology Network are also part of the workpackage, to advise on how the platform we build can be deployed on the compute infrastructure for which they are responsible.
Prepared to change
At this stage of the project, it is difficult to see what will be needed in software engineering terms. The project is still discussing what is needed from an end-user and text mining expert point of view, and we have not yet started building any software. So it might seem a little premature to be thinking about how we might store, configure and release that as-yet unknown software. There are, however, three things we can be sure of. First, we might find that our needs change, and so we need to be flexible, and prepared to change and adapt any decision we make now. Second, we are open – we want good visibility for our software, and easy access to our source code, while we are developing it. For this reason, we will be hosting our project on GitHub. Third, we know that we will need tools for taking the code we write and building the running software, tools for testing, and for reporting and tracking bugs and issues (some of this will be done with GitHub).
Over the next few weeks, we will be setting up some of these tools in preparation for the work of the project. In future blogs, we will introduce you to each of these tools, and suggest how you can make the most of them when you come to use OpenMinTeD.
Dr. Angus Roberts is a Senior Research Fellow in The University of Sheffield’s Natural Language Processing group, Department of Computer Science. He leads the OpenMinTeD Platform Integration workpackage. You can contact him by email.