The last 6 months I have been working on a fantastic project – helping the researchers at University College London build a framework to make data capture and relationship modeling easier in the field of ontology research.

The project (Onto-Spread-Ed) is a front end for a number of tables which are related to one another. The idea is to make it easier for researchers to input data (by automating some repetitive actions) and making the visualisation of relationships within the data more accessible. We are not done yet, the best is still to come.

Highlights from my work so far include:

  • Learning the ins and outs of the fabulous “Tabulator” javascript library, and extending it to meet the needs at hand.
  • Using the GraphViz web assembly project to show relationships in the data on the html canvas.
  • Generating 3 way diffs of tables with daff and presenting conflicts in a user-friendly way to help resolve merge conflicts.
  • Creating a backup and restore system for tables so that important work is not lost.
  • Learning a new (to me) framework – Python and Flask on the back end, JavaScript, Jinja templating, JQuery and Bootstrap on the front-end.
  • Using the natural language processing library “Spacy” to highlight text in scientific articles (in a separate but related project, Onto-Text-Tag)

During the 6 months I have learned to love working in VSCode, and gained a lot of experience in collaborating on GitHub. It’s a lot different to my other main coding work – as a solo Android developer and embedded systems hobbyist – but the logic of programming remains the same.

In the future I plan to expand my knowledge of front-end development by learning something like React, but for now I have already begun work on some side projects (under construction) using Flask/JS- getting to grips with what it takes to deploy a responsive web app.