Introduction, working on Biostars codebase this summer for GSoC

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Paolo Coffetti

May 5, 2014, 6:04:00 AM5/5/14

I am Paolo, a software engineer attending Google Summer of Code 2014.

GSoC is a program promoted by Google in which organizations and students work together on free and open-source coding projects for 3 months. I was selected by INCF and I'll be working on NeuroStars in the period May 19 - August 18. My mentors are Roman and Satrajit.

NeuroStars is a question and answer website born from the need to discuss and share knowledge about neuroscience and neuroinformatics. It originates from BioStars.

This is the original proposal I submitted to GSoC for NeuroStars. It is not exactly the plan of the activities that we will be doing, but only a rough idea of what we could do. A more detailed plan will be made in the coming months together with my mentors Roman and Satrajit and checked with Istvan. We will also ask this group for feedback.

The coding period has not started yet, but so far we have a bunch of points in our minds:
1. Deployment: improve the deployment strategy.
2. Usability: improve the usability of the website. We should define the exact features we would like to introduce and we will be asking this group for feedback. Multi tag filtering could be a good example.
3. Semantic backend: create a semantic backend such as data like questions, answers, comments, profile, etc. could be exchanged with other websites.

Note: we will work on a fork of the Biostars codebase, but our priority is to maintain a complete compatibility between NeuroStars and Biostars such as our work could benefit both the neuroinformatics and the bioinformatics communities.

My blog about the GSoC experience:


Istvan Albert

May 5, 2014, 9:11:00 AM5/5/14
Hi Paolo,

May I suggest you to create a post on Biostar (Forum type)and paste this above there.  The google group is a very low traffic forum that sees very little use (exists for historical reasons mainly)  the vast majority of people that care about Biostar read only the main site.

The feature that is probably of great interest is improving search. To allow people to open results in tabs, here are some ideas:

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Istvan Albert
Associate Professor, Bioinformatics
Pennsylvania State University
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