Monday, June 18, 2007

Meeting with David -- design doc changes

Met with David this week to go over my design document. Generally the comments were good, and we mostly talked about adding some features and how to pass data from page to page. Here are some notes and thoughts from the meeting:

Features to add:
  • I should add a feature on the 'manage data' page to group haplotypes together.
  • On the preview page there should be an expand option to make the preview map pane larger.
  • Instead of having a special .pgv format for my application, can we fit everything within a .kml that our viewer can read as well?
Passing data:
  • The next big design decision is how to pass the data from page to page. We have several options:
  • All through form variables?
  • By using a database server?
  • By writing and accessing our own output files?
  • What kind of data structure should be used to hold the data?
We also talked about what languages to implement all this in. I had been planning on using php for all the server talking stuff and javascript for within the webpage stuff, but David made the point that using two languages is probably totally unnecessary, can javascript be enough? I think that sounds great to just learn one. The only problem I see is that it may be difficult (or impossible) to do server interactive stuff using javascript. I'll have to investigate this more.

From this meeting, it became clear what my next step should be: to build a skeleton application. The goals are to
  1. be able to display pies on a map
  2. to link (and be able to pass data) from the input page to the display page.
David also encouraged me to use the programming resources at NESCent (namely Xianhua), so maybe next week after I've gotten my feet wet with javascript, we can meet up with Xianhua and ask some more detailed implementation questions.

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