Friday, April 27, 2007

Minutes from meeting 1 with David, Hilmar, and Xianhua

Yesterday I had my first meeting with my mentor, David, and others from NESCent (Hilmar and Xianhua). See the "meeting1 agenda.txt" for agenda items.

We answered most of the (I) general IT support questions.
  • We'll be using some corner of EvoViz for documentation, ideas, pages, project plan, etc. David reassured me that he doesn't have ny particular format or structure in mind for the page.
  • I should set up the code repository through google.
  • The development/testing server will be hosted by NESCent
  • For now the project homepage can be the wiki. We can reevaluate later if there needs to be an 'official' page somewhere.
  • For mailing list help, wg-phyloinformatics sounds right.
A lot of the meeting centered on what language should I learn and be used for the application. Hilmar said, why not C++!?! David is partial to java because he wants to learn it. There was a lot of confusion about java and javascript on my part(which later Jack cleared up). Hilmar mentioned that javascript is difficult because there is no debugger. Xianhua mentioned that PHP is not object-oriented like C++. Their suggestions were for me to consider the following in my decision: what do I want to get out of this summer? better understanding of java? php? let that guide my decision. What libraries are available in each language that would be useful? I think Xianhua mentioned grass funtions or open source GIS functions in C, hmmm... Hilmar made it sound like they could make any of these languages work server side at NESCent.

We didn't discuss the project plan or overall timeline, or expectations too much. I told David multiple times that I am unable to devote full time to this project. I did mention keeping the project to something within 10-15hrs/week. He seemed ok with this. Hilmar said that we are evaluated based on our completion of milestones based on our project plan. I think that just means I need to make a realistic plan with the scope of 120-150 hours total for the project.

Things to do in the next two weeks:
Research languages.
Decide on a language.
Do phase 0.
Write up detailed (weekly) project plan.
Post things to the wiki.
Post things to NESCent's SoC wiki.