Final Report - Produce a not-a-service for trialling


This project involved investigating the software currently deployed at Cambridge, with a view to running our own instance.

Work done

The first act of the project involved contacting Cambridge, with a view to obtaining the source code. I was advised that there was only one developer left who knew about the project and that he was currently on secondment. The source code was freely downloadable, so I obtained a copy and started trying to get it working.

This proved quite difficult, the instructions at...

... referred to installing on "debian sarge", so it seemed sensible at this point to install a debian VM and follow the instructions in dependencies.txt using that. This wasn't straightforward, however, as there were various differences between the instructions and the (current) reality - dependencies unavailable, changed names, version confusion and so on. It seemed clear at this point that I needed a more complete Ruby/Rails understanding to be able to proceed, so I devoted a little time to learning more about this.

The initial reply I had received from Cambridge indicated that Bob Fisher had also contacted them previously, so I emailed him to find out what work (if any) he had undertaken with the source code. He replied indicating that he had a budget to employ a PGR part-time and had a job spec written up to advertise this (160 hours) which was just waiting for College approval to advertise. At this point we decided to draw a line under our own investigations.


My own personal feeling on is that it's unclear that it's in active development and also unclear how easily the code-base could be made to work on current systems. Any further undertaking on our part should be done with someone who has a reasonable experience of Ruby/Rails.

Time Spent

The project took a total of 13.25 hours (just under 2 days work)

-- TobyBlake - 03 Mar 2014

Topic revision: r1 - 03 Mar 2014 - 12:07:10 - TobyBlake
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