The Road to Success in Google Summer of Code 2017

It’s the best time when GCI students can get the overview experience of GSoC and all the aspiring participant can get themselves into different projects of FOSSASIA.

I’m a Junior year undergraduate student pursuing B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Patna. This summer, I spent coding in Google Summer of Code with FOSSASIA organization. It feels great to be an open-source enthusiast, and Google as a sponsor make it as icing on the cake. People can learn new things here and meet new people.

I came to know about GSoC through my senior colleagues who got selected in GSoC in the year 2016. It was around September 2016 and I was in 2nd year of my college. At that time, last year, result of GSoC was declared.

What is GSoC?

Consider GSoC as a big bowl which has lots of small balls and those small balls are open-source organizations. Google basically acts as a sponsor for the open-source organizations. A timeline is proposed according to the applied organization and then student select their favorite organization and start to contribute to it. Believe me, it’s not only computer science branch specific, anyone can take part in it and there is no minimum CPI requirement. I consider myself to be one of the examples who have an electrical branch with not so good academic performance yet successfully being part of GSoC 2017.

How to select an organization?

This is the most important step and it takes time. I wandered around 100 organizations to find where my interest actually lies. But now, I’ll describe how to sort this and find your organization a little quicker. Take a pen and paper (kindly don’t use notepad of pc) and write down your field of interest in computer science. Number every point in decreasing order of your interest. Then for each respective field write down its basic pre-requisites. Visit GSoC website, go to organization tab and there is a slide for searching working field of the organization. Select only one organization, dig out its website, see the previous project and its application. If nothing fits you, repeat the same with another organization. And if that organization interests you, then look for a project of that organization. First of all, look at that application of the project, and give that application a try and must give a feedback to the organization. Then try to find that what languages, modules, etc that project used to work and how the project works. Don’t worry if nothing goes into your mind. Find out the developers mailing list, their chat channel, their code base area. And ask developers out there for help.

First Love It:

Open-Source, it’s a different world which exists on Earth. All organizations are open-source and all their codes are open and free to view. Find things that interests you the most and start to love the work. If you don’t understand a code, learn things by doing and asking. Most of the times we don’t get favorable responses, in such times we need to carry on and have patience for the best to happen.

My Favourite part:

GSoC has been my dream since the day I came to know about it. It’s only through this that one gets a chance to explore open-source softwares, and organizations get a chance to hire on board developers. This is the great initiative taken by Google which brings hope for the developers to increase the use of open-source. This is one of the ways through which one can look into the codes of the developers and help them out and even also get helped.

GSoC is the platform through which one can implement lots of new things, meet new people, develop new softwares and see the world around in a different way. That’s what happened with me, it’s just at the end of the first phase, my love towards open-source increased exponentially. Now I see every problem in my life as a way to solve it through the open-source. Rather it’s part of arranging an event or designing an invitation, I am encouraged to use open-source tools to help me out. It becomes very easy to distribute data and convey information through open-source, so the people can reach to you much easier.

You always see a thing according to your perspective and it’s always the best but the open-source gives it a view through the perspective of the world and gets the best from them through a compilation of all the sources. One can give ideas, their views, find something that other can’t even see and increase its karma through contribution. And all these things have been made possible through GOOGLE only. I became such that I can donate the rest of my life working for open-source. GSoC is responsible for including the open-source contribution in my daily life. It made me feel really bad if my Github profile page has 0 contributions at the end of the day. Open Source opens door to another world.

Challenging part:

To conclude, I would say that GSoC made me love the challenge. I became such that the things that come easily to me don’t taste good to me at all. Specifically, GSoC’s most challenging part is to get into it that is to get selected. I still can’t believe that I was selected. Now onwards it’s just fun and learning. Each and every day, I encountered several issues, bugs, etc but just before going to bed at night, there were things which collectively made me feel that whether the bug has been solved or not, but I was able to break the upper most covering of that conch shell. And such things increases the motivation and light up the enthusiasm to tackle the problem. Open-Source not only taught me to control different snapshots of software but also of time. I learn to manage different works of day efficiently and it includes the contribution in open-source as part of my daily life.

Advice to students:

The only problem new developers have is to get started. I’ll advise them to close their eyes and dive into it without thinking whether they would be able to complete this task or not. Believe me, you will gradually find that whether the task is completed or not but you are much above the condition than you were at the time of beginning the task.

Just learn by doing the things.

Make mistakes and enlist them as “things that will not work” so one may read it and avoid it.

GSoC Project link: https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/projects/#5560333780385792
Final Code Submission: https://gist.github.com/meets2tarun/270f151d539298831ce542be5f733c82

UI automated testing using Selenium in Badgeyay

With all the major functionalities packed into the badgeyay web application, it was time to add some automation testing to automate the review process in case of known errors and check if code contribution by contributors is not breaking anything. We decided to go with Selenium for our testing requirements.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a portable software-testing framework for web applications. Selenium provides a playback (formerly also recording) tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language. In other words, Selenium does browser automation:, Selenium tells a browser to click some element, populate and submit a form, navigate to a page and any other form of user interaction.

Selenium supports multiple languages including C#, Groovy, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and Scala. Here, we are going to use Python (and specifically python 2.7).

First things first:
To install these package run this code on the CLI:

pip install selenium==2.40
pip install nose

Don’t forget to add them in the requirements.txt file

Web Browser:
We also need to have Firefox installed on your machine.

Writing the Test
An automated test automates what you’d do via manual testing – but it is done by the computer. This frees up time and allows you to do other things, as well as repeat your testing. The test code is going to run a series of instructions to interact with a web browser – mimicking how an actual end user would interact with an application. The script is going to navigate the browser, click a button, enter some text input, click a radio button, select a drop down, drag and drop, etc. In short, the code tests the functionality of the web application.

A test for the web page title:

import unittest
from selenium import webdriver

class SampleTest(unittest.TestCase):

    @classmethod
    def setUpClass(cls):
        cls.driver = webdriver.Firefox()
        cls.driver.get('http://badgeyay-dev.herokuapp.com/')

    def test_title(self):
        self.assertEqual(self.driver.title, 'Badgeyay')

    @classmethod
    def tearDownClass(cls):
        cls.driver.quit()

 

Run the test using nose test.py

Clicking the element
For our next test, we click the menu button, and check if the menu becomes visible.

elem = self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".custom-menu-content")
self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".glyphicon-th").click()
self.assertTrue(elem.is_displayed())

 

Uploading a CSV file:
For our next test, we upload a CSV file and see if a success message pops up.

def test_upload(self):
        Imagepath = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(os.getcwd(), 'badges/badge_1.png'))
        CSVpath = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(os.getcwd(), 'sample/vip.png.csv'))
        self.driver.find_element_by_name("file").send_keys(CSVpath)
        self.driver.find_element_by_name("image").send_keys(Imagepath)
        self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector("form .btn-primary").click()
        time.sleep(3)
        success = self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".flash-success")
        self.assertIn(u'Your badges has been successfully generated!', success.text)

 

The entire code can be found on: https://github.com/fossasia/badgeyay/tree/development/app/tests

We can also use the Phantom.js package along with Selenium for UI testing purposes without opening a web browser. We use this for badgeyay to run the tests for every commit in Travis CI which cannot open a program window.

Resources

Implementing Pages API in Open Event Frontend

The pages endpoints are used to create static pages which such as about page or any other page that doesn’t need to be updated frequently and only a specific content is to be shown. This article will illustrate how the pages can be added or removed from the /admin/content/pages route using the pages API in Open Event Frontend. The primary end point of Open Event API with which we are concerned with for pages is

GET /v1/pages

First, we need to create a model for the pages, which will have the fields corresponding to the API, so we proceed with the ember CLI command:

ember g model page

Next, we need to define the model according to the requirements. The model needs to extend the base model class. The code for the page model looks like this:

import attr from 'ember-data/attr';
import ModelBase from 'open-event-frontend/models/base';

export default ModelBase.extend({
  name        : attr('string'),
  title       : attr('string'),
  url         : attr('string'),
  description : attr('string'),
  language    : attr('string'),
  index       : attr('number', { defaultValue: 0 }),
  place       : attr('string')
});

As the page will have name, title, url which will tell the URL of the page, the language, the description, index and the place of the page where it has to be which can be either a footer or an event.

The complete code for the model can be seen here.

Now, after creating a model, we need to make an API call to get and post the pages created. This can be done using the following:

return this.get('store').findAll('page');

The above line will check the store and find all the pages which have been cached in and if there is no record found then it will make an API call and cache the records in the store so that when called it can return it immediately.

Since in the case of pages we have multiple options like creating a new page, updating a new page, deleting an existing page etc. For creating and updating the page we have a form which has the fields required by the API to create the page.  The UI of the form looks like this.

Fig. 1: The user interface of the form used to create the page.

Fig. 2: The user interface of the form used to update and delete the already existing page

The code for the above form can be seen here.

Now, if we click the items which are present in the sidebar on the left, it enables us to edit and update the page by displaying the information stored in the form and then the details be later updated on the server by clicking the Update button. If we want to delete the form we can do so using the delete button which first shows a pop up to confirm whether we actually want to delete it or not. The code for displaying the delete confirmation pop up looks like this.

<button class="ui red button" 
{{action (confirm (t 'Are you sure you would like to delete this page?') (action 'deletePage' data))}}>
{{t 'Delete'}}</button>

 

The code to delete the page looks like this

deletePage(data) {
    if (!this.get('isCreate')) {
      data.destroyRecord();
      this.set('isFormOpen', false);
    }
  }

In the above piece of code, we’re checking whether the form is in create mode or update mode and if it’s in create mode then we can destroy the record and then close the form.

The UI for the pop up looks like this.

Fig.3: The user interface for delete confirmation pop up

The code for the entire process of page creation to deletion can be checked here

To conclude, this is how we efficiently do the process of page creation, updating and deletion using the Open-Event-Orga pages API  ensuring that there is no unnecessary API call to fetch the data and no code duplication.

Resources:

Adding Number of Sessions Label in Open Event Android App

The Open Event Android project has a fragment for showing tracks of the event. The Tracks Fragment shows the list of all the Tracks with title and TextDrawable. But currently it is not showing how many sessions particular track has. Adding TextView with rounded corner and colored background showing number of sessions for track gives great UI. In this post I explain how to add TextView with rounded corner and how to use Plurals in Android.

1. Create Drawable for background

Firstly create track_rounded_corner.xml Shape Drawable which will be used as a background of the TextView. The <shape> element must be the root element of Shape drawable. The android:shape attribute defines the type of the shape. It can be rectangle, ring, oval, line. In our case we will use rectangle.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:shape="rectangle">

    <corners android:radius="360dp" />

    <padding
        android:bottom="2dp"
        android:left="8dp"
        android:right="8dp"
        android:top="2dp" />
</shape>

 

Here the <corners> element creates rounded corners for the shape with the specified value of radius attribute. This tag is only applied when the shape is a rectangle. The <padding> element adds padding to the containing view. You can modify the value of the padding as per your need. You can feel shape with appropriate color using <solid> as we are setting color dynamically we will not set color here.

2. Add TextView and set Drawable

Now add TextView in the track list item which will contain number of sessions text. Set  track_rounded_corner.xml drawable we created before as background of this TextView using background attribute.

<TextView
        android:id="@+id/no_of_sessions"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:background="@drawable/track_rounded_corner"
        android:textColor="@color/white"
        android:textSize="@dimen/text_size_small"/>

 

Set color and text size according to your need. Here don’t add padding in the TextView because we have already added padding in the Drawable. Adding padding in the TextView will override the value specified in the drawable.

3.  Create TextView object in ViewHolder

Now create TextView object noOfSessions and bind it with R.id.no_of_sessions using ButterKnife.bind() method.

public class TrackViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
    ...

    @BindView(R.id.no_of_sessions)
    TextView noOfSessions;

    private Track track;

    public TrackViewHolder(View itemView, Context context) {
        super(itemView);
        ButterKnife.bind(this, itemView);

    public void bindTrack(Track track) {
        this.track = track;
        ...
    }   
}

 

Here TrackViewHolder is a RecycleriewHolder for the TracksListAdapter. The bindTrack() method of this view holder is used to bind Track with ViewHolder.

4.  Add Quantity Strings (Plurals) for Sessions

Now we want to set the value of TextView. Here if the number of sessions of the track is zero or more than one then we need to set text  “0 sessions” or “2 sessions”. If the track has only one session than we need to set text “1 session” to make text meaningful. In android we have Quantity Strings which can be used to make this task easy.

<resources>
    <!--Quantity Strings(Plurals) for sessions-->
    <plurals name="sessions">
        <item quantity="zero">No sessions</item>
        <item quantity="one">1 session</item>
        <item quantity="other">%d sessions</item>
    </plurals>
</resources>

 

Using this plurals resource we can get appropriate string for specified quantity like “zero”, “one” and  “other” will return “No sessions”, “1 session”, and “2 sessions”. accordingly. 2 can be any value other than 0 and 1.

Now let’s set background color and test for the text view.

int trackColor = Color.parseColor(track.getColor());
int sessions = track.getSessions().size();

noOfSessions.getBackground().setColorFilter(trackColor, PorterDuff.Mode.SRC_ATOP);
noOfSessions.setText(context.getResources().getQuantityString(R.plurals.sessions,
                sessions, sessions));

 

Here we are setting background color of textview using getbackground().setColorFilter() method. To set appropriate text we are using getQuantityString() method which takes plural resource and quantity(in our case no of sessions) as parameters.

Now we are all set. Run the app it will look like this.

Conclusion

Adding TextView with rounded corner and colored background in the App gives great UI and UX. To know more about Rounded corner TextView and Quantity Strings follow the links given below.

Using ThreeTenABP for Time Zone Handling in Open Event Android

The Open Event Android project helps event organizers to organize the event and generate Apps (apk format) for their events/conferences by providing API endpoint or zip generated using Open Event server. For any Event App it is very important that it handles time zone properly. In Open Event Android App there is an option to change time zone setting. The user can view date and time of the event and sessions in Event Timezone and Local time zone in the App. ThreeTenABP provides a backport of the Java SE 8 date-time classes to Java SE 6 and 7. In this blog post I explain how to use ThreeTenABP for time zone handling in Android.

Add dependency

To use ThreeTenABP in your application you have to add the dependency in your app module’s build.gradle file.

dependencies {
      compile    'com.jakewharton.threetenabp:threetenabp:1.0.5'
      testCompile   'org.threeten:threetenbp:1.3.6'
}

Initialize ThreeTenABP

Now in the onCreate() method of the Application class initialize ThreeTenABP.

AndroidThreeTen.init(this);

Create getZoneId() method

Firstly create getZoneId() method which will return ZoneId according to user preference. This method will be used for formatting and parsing dates Here showLocal is user preference. If showLocal is true then this function will return Default local ZoneId otherwise ZoneId of the Event.

private static ZoneId geZoneId() {
        if (showLocal || Utils.isEmpty(getEventTimeZone()))
            return ZoneId.systemDefault();
        else
            return ZoneId.of(getEventTimeZone());
}

Here  getEventTimeZone() method returns time zone string of the Event.

ThreeTenABP has mainly two classes representing date and time both.

  • ZonedDateTime : ‘2011-12-03T10:15:30+01:00[Europe/Paris]’
  • LocalDateTime : ‘2011-12-03T10:15:30’

ZonedDateTime contains timezone information at the end. LocalDateTime doesn’t contain timezone.

Create method for parsing and formating

Now create getDate() method which will take isoDateString and will return ZonedDateTime object.

public static ZonedDateTime getDate(@NonNull String isoDateString) {
        return ZonedDateTime.parse(isoDateString).withZoneSameInstant(getZoneId());;
}

 

Create formatDate() method which takes two arguments first is format string and second is isoDateString. This method will return a formatted string.

public static String formatDate(@NonNull String format, @NonNull String isoDateString) {
        return DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern(format).format(getDate(isoDateString));
}

Use methods

Now we are ready to format and parse isoDateString. Let’s take an example. Let “2017-11-09T23:08:56+08:00” is isoDateString. We can parse this isoDateString using getDate() method which will return ZonedDateTime object.

Parsing:

String isoDateString = "2017-11-09T23:08:56+08:00";

DateConverter.setEventTimeZone("Asia/Singapore");
DateConverter.setShowLocalTime(false);
ZonedDateTime dateInEventTimeZone = DateConverter.getDate(isoDateString);

dateInEventTimeZone.toString();  //2017-11-09T23:08:56+08:00[Asia/Singapore]


TimeZone.setDefault(TimeZone.getDefault());
DateConverter.setShowLocalTime(true);
ZonedDateTime dateInLocalTimeZone = DateConverter.getDate(dateInLocalTimeZone);

dateInLocalTimeZone.toString();  //2017-11-09T20:38:56+05:30[Asia/Kolkata]

 

Formatting:

String date = "2017-03-17T14:00:00+08:00";
String formattedString = formatDate("dd MM YYYY hh:mm:ss a", date));

formattedString // "17 03 2017 02:00:00 PM"

Conclusion

As you can see, ThreeTenABP makes Time Zone handling so easy. It has also support for default formatters and methods. To learn more about ThreeTenABP follow the links given below.

Adding Sticky Headers for Grouping Sponsors List in Open Event Android App

The Open Event Android project has a fragment for showing sponsors of the event. Each Sponsor model has a name, url, type and level. The SponsorsFragment shows list according to type and level. Each sponsor list item has sponsor type TextView. There can be more than one sponsors with the same type. So instead of showing type in the Sponsor item we can add Sticky header showing type at the top which will group the sponsors with the same type and also gives the great UI. In this post I explain how to add the Sticky headers in the RecyclerView using StickyHeadersRecyclerView library.

1. Add dependency

In order to use Sticky Headers in your app add following dependencies in your app module’s build.gradle file.

dependencies {
	compile 'com.timehop.stickyheadersrecyclerview:library:0.4.3'
}

2. Create layout for header

Create recycler_view_header.xml file for the header. It will contain LinearLayout and simple TextView which will show Sponsor type.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:orientation="vertical">

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/recyclerview_view_header"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:padding="@dimen/padding_medium" />

</LinearLayout>

Here you can modify layout according to your need.

3.  Implement StickyRecyclerHeadersAdapter

Now implement StickyRecyclerHeadersAdapter in the List Adapter. Override getHeaderId(), onCreateHeaderViewHolder(), onBindHeaderViewHolder
() methods of the StickyRecyclerHeadersAdapter.

public class SponsorsListAdapter extends BaseRVAdapter<Sponsor, SponsorViewHolder> implements StickyRecyclerHeadersAdapter {
    ...

    @Override
    public long getHeaderId(int position) {...}

    @Override
    public RecyclerView.ViewHolder onCreateHeaderViewHolder(ViewGroup parent) {...}

    @Override
    public void onBindHeaderViewHolder(RecyclerView.ViewHolder holder, int position) {...}
}

 

The getHeaderId() method is used to give an id to the header. It is the main part of the implementation here all the sponsors with the same type should return the same id. In our case we are returning sponsor level because all the sponsor types have corresponding levels.

String level = getItem(position).getLevel();
return Long.valueOf(level);

 

The onCreateHeaderViewHolder() returns Recycler ViewHolder for the header. Here we will use in the inflate() method of  LayoutInflater to get View object of recycler_view_header.xml file. Then return new RecyclerView.ViewHolder object using View object.

View view = LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext())
                .inflate(R.layout.recycler_view_header, parent, false);
return new RecyclerView.ViewHolder(view) {};

 

The onBindHeaderViewHolder() binds the sponsor to HeaderViewHolder. In this method we sets the sponsor type string to the TextView we have created in the recycler_view_header.xml file.

TextView textView = (TextView) holder.itemView.findViewById(R.id.recyclerview_view_header);
textView.setGravity(Gravity.CENTER_HORIZONTAL);

String sponsorType = getItem(position).getType();
if (!Utils.isEmpty(sponsorType))  
   textView.setText(sponsorType.toUpperCase());

Here you can also modify TextView according to your need. We are centering text using setGravity() method.

4.  Setup RecyclerView

Now create RecyclerView and set adapter using setAdapter() method. Also as we want the linear list of sponsors so set the LinearLayoutManager using setLayoutManager() method.

SponsorsListAdapter sponsorsListAdapter = new SponsorsListAdapter(getContext(), sponsors);
sponsorsRecyclerView.setAdapter(sponsorsListAdapter);
sponsorsRecyclerView.setLayoutManager(new LinearLayoutManager(getActivity()));

 

Create StickyRecyclerHeadersDecoration object and add it in the RecyclerView using addItemDecoration() method.

final StickyRecyclerHeadersDecoration headersDecoration = new StickyRecyclerHeadersDecoration(sponsorsListAdapter);

sponsorsRecyclerView.addItemDecoration(headersDecoration);
sponsorsListAdapter.registerAdapterDataObserver(new RecyclerView.AdapterDataObserver(){
    @Override
    public void onChanged {
            headersDecoration.invalidateHeaders();
    }
});

Now add AdapterDataObserver using registerAdapterDataObserver() method. The onChanged() method in this observer is called whenever dataset changes. So in this method invalidate headers using invalidateHeaders() method of HeaderDecoration.

Now we are all set. Run the app it will look like this.

Conclusion

Sticky headers in the App gives great UI and UX. You can also add a click listener to the headers. To know more about Sticky Headers follow the links given below.

Adding TextDrawable as a PlaceHolder in Open Event Android App

The Open Event Android project has a fragment for showing speakers of the event. Each Speaker model has image-url which is used to fetch the image from server and load in the ImageView. In some cases it is possible that image-url is null or client is not able to fetch the image from the server because of the network problem. So in these cases showing Drawable which contains First letters of the first name and the last name along with a color background gives great UI and UX. In this post I explain how to add TextDrawable as a placeholder in the ImageView using TextDrawable library.

1. Add dependency

In order to use TextDrawable in your app add following dependencies in your app module’s build.gradle file.

dependencies {
	compile 'com.amulyakhare:com.amulyakhare.textdrawable:1.0.1'
}

2. Create static TextDrawable builder

Create static method in the Application class which returns the builder object for creating TextDrawables. We are creating static method so that the method can be used all over the App.

private static TextDrawable.IShapeBuilder textDrawableBuilder;

public static TextDrawable.IShapeBuilder getTextDrawableBuilder()
 {
        if (textDrawableBuilder == null) {
            textDrawableBuilder = TextDrawable.builder();
        }
        return textDrawableBuilder;
}

This method first checks if the builder object is null or not and then initialize it if null. Then it returns the builder object.

3.  Create and initialize TextDrawable object

Now create a TextDrawable object and initialize it using the builder object. The Builder has methods like buildRound(), buildRect() and buildRoundRect() for making drawable round, rectangle and rectangle with rounded corner respectively. Here we are using buildRect() to make the drawable rectangle.

TextDrawable drawable = OpenEventApp.getTextDrawableBuilder()
                    .buildRect(Utils.getNameLetters(name), ColorGenerator.MATERIAL.getColor(name));

The buildRect() method takes two arguments one is String text which will be used as a text in the drawable and second is int color which will be used as a background color of the drawable. Here ColorGenerator.MATERIAL returns material color for given string.

4.  Create getNameLetters()  method

The getNameLetters(String name) method should return the first letters of the first name and last name as String.

Example, if the name is “Shailesh Baldaniya” then it will return “SB”.

public static String getNameLetters(String name) {
        if (isEmpty(name))
            return "#";

        String[] strings = name.split(" ");
        StringBuilder nameLetters = new StringBuilder();
        for (String s : strings) {
            if (nameLetters.length() >= 2)
                return nameLetters.toString().toUpperCase();
            if (!isEmpty(s)) {
                nameLetters.append(s.trim().charAt(0));
            }
        }
        return nameLetters.toString().toUpperCase();
}

Here we are using split method to get the first name and last name from the name. The charAt(0) gives the first character of the string. If the name string is null then it will return “#”.   

5.  Use Drawable

Now after creating the TextDrawable object we need to load it as a placeholder in the ImageView for this we are using Picasso library.

Picasso.with(context)
        .load(image-url)
        .placeholder(drawable)
        .error(drawable)
        .into(speakerImage);

Here the placeholder() method displays drawable while the image is being loaded. The error() method displays drawable when the requested image could not be loaded when the device is offline. SpeakerImage is an ImageView in which we want to load the image.

Conclusion

TextDrawable is a great library for generating Drawable with text. It has also support for animations, font and shapes. To know more about TextDrawable follow the links given below.

Implementing Speakers Call API in Open Event Frontend

This article will illustrate how to display the speakers call details on the call for speakers page in the Open Event Frontend project using the Open Event Orga API. The API endpoints which will be mainly focussing on for fetching the speaker call details are:

GET /v1/speakers-calls/{speakers_call_id}

In the case of Open Event, the speakers are asked to submit their proposal beforehand if they are interested in giving some talk. For the same purpose, we have a section on the event’s website called as Call for Speakers on the event’s public page where the details about the speakers call are present along with the button Submit Proposal which redirects to the link where they can upload the proposal if the speakers call is open. Since the speakers call page is present on the event’s public page so the route which will be concerned with will be public/index route and its subroute public/index/cfs in the application. As the call for speakers details are nested within the events model so we need to first fetch the event and then from there we need to fetch the speaker-calls detail from the model.

The code to fetch the event model looks like this:

model(params) {
return this.store.findRecord('event', params.event_id, { include: 'social-links' });
}

The above model takes care of fetching all the data related to the event but, we can see that speakers call is not included as the parameter. The main reason behind this is the fact that the speakers is not required on each of the public route, rather it is required only for the subroute public/index/cfs route. Let’s see how the code for the speaker-call modal work to fetch the speaker calls detail from the above event model.  

model() {
    const eventDetails = this.modelFor('public');
    return RSVP.hash({
      event        : eventDetails,
      speakersCall : eventDetails.get('speakersCall')
    });
}

In the above code, we made the use of this.modelFor(‘public’) to make the use of the event data fetched in the model of the public route, eliminating the separate API call for the getting the event details in the speaker call route. Next, using the ember’s get method we are fetching the speakers call data from the eventDetails and placing it inside the speakersCall JSON object for using it lately to display speakers call details in public/index subroute.

Until now, we have fetched event details and speakers call details in speakers call subroute but we need to display this on the index page of the sub route. So we will pass the model from file cfs.hbs to call-for-speakers.hbs the code for which looks like this:

{{public/call-for-speakers speakersCall=model.speakersCall}}  

The trickiest part in implementing the speakers call is to check whether the speakers call is open or closed. The code which checks whether the call for speaker has to be open or closed is:

isOpen: computed('startsAt', 'endsAt', function() {
     return moment().isAfter(this.get('startsAt')) && moment().isBefore(this.get('endsAt'));
})

In the above-computed property isOpen of speakers-call model, we are passing the starting time and the ending time of the speakers call. We are then comparing if the starting time is after the current time and the current time is before the ending time than if both conditions satisfy to be true then the speakers call is open else it will be closed.  

Now, we need a template file where we will define how the user interface for call-for-speakers based on the above property, isOpen. The code for displaying UI based on its open or closed status is

  {{#if speakersCall.isOpen}}
    <a class="ui basic green label">{{t 'Open'}} </a>
    <div class="sub header">
      {{t 'Call for Speakers Open until'}} {{moment-format speakersCall.endsAt 'ddd, MMM DD HH:mm A'}}
    </div>
  {{else}}
    <a class="ui basic red label">{{t 'Closed'}}</a>
  {{/if}}

In the above code, we are checking is the speakersCall is open then we show a label open and display the date until which speakers call is opened using the moment helper in the format “ddd, MMM DD HH:mm A” else we show a label closed. The UI for the above code looks like this.

Fig. 1: The heading of speakers call page when the call for speakers is open

The complete UI of the page looks like this.

Fig. 2: The user interface for the speakers call page

The entire code for implementing the speakers call API can be seen here.

To conclude, this is how we efficiently fetched the speakers call details using the Open-Event-Orga speakers call API, ensuring that there is no unnecessary API call to fetch the data.  

Resources:

Email and Password Validation in Open Event Android

The Open Event API Server exposes a well documented JSONAPI compliant REST API that can be used in The Open Even Android and Frontend. The Open Event API Server enables the Android and web clients to add the user authentication (sign up/login) in the project. In the process of signing up or logging in user it is needed to validate email and password entered by the user and show the error to give better user experience. In this post I explain how to validate email and password entered by the user using TextInputLayout.

1. Add TextInputLayout

TextInputLayout wraps an EditText (or descendant) to show a floating label when the hint is hidden due to the user inputting text. Add TextInputLayout for email field in the layout as given below.

<android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout
            android:id="@+id/text_input_layout_email"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content">

            <android.support.v7.widget.AppCompatEditText
                android:layout_width="match_parent"
                android:layout_height="wrap_content"
                android:hint="@string/email"
                android:inputType="textEmailAddress" />
</android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout>

Here the hint attribute is used to display hint in the floating label. Specify the input type so the system displays the appropriate soft input method (such as an on-screen keyboard) for the field. For email EditText we are using textEmailAddress input type. Similarly add TextInputLayout for the password field. The input type for the password is textPassword.

2.  Create and initialize object

Now in the activity create and initialize TextInputLayout and EditText objects for email and password.

@BindView(R.id.text_input_layout_email)
TextInputLayout mTextInputLayoutEmail;
@BindView(R.id.text_input_layout_password)
TextInputLayout mTextInputLayoutPassword;

@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    ButterKnife.bind(this);

    private AppCompatEditText mEditTextEmail = (AppCompatEditText) mTextInputLayoutEmail.getEditText();
    private AppCompatEditText mEditTextPassword = (AppCompatEditText) mTextInputLayoutPassword.getEditText();
}

Here we are using ButterKnife for binding views with fields. The getEditText() method returns the EditText view used for text input inside the TextInputLayout.

3.  Create validate() method

Create validate() method which takes two arguments. The first is email and the second password. It will return true if the email and password are valid else false.

private boolean validate(String email, String password) {

        // Reset errors.
        mTextInputLayoutEmail.setError(null);
        mTextInputLayoutPassword.setError(null);

        if (Utils.isEmpty(email)) {
            mTextInputLayoutEmail.setError("Email is required");
            return false;
        } else if (!Utils.isEmailValid(email)) {
            mTextInputLayoutEmail.setError("Enter a valid email");
            return false;
        }

        if (Utils.isEmpty(password)) {
            mTextInputLayoutPassword.setError("Password is required");
            return false;
        } else if (!Utils.isPasswordValid(password)) {
            mTextInputLayoutPassword.setError("Password must contain at least 6 characters");
            return false;
        }

        return true;
}

Here it first resets the error for the TextInputLayout by setting it to null. Then it checks email string if it is empty then it will show “Email is required” error using setError() method.

4.  Create isEmailValid() and isPasswordValid() method

Now create isEmailValid() and isPasswordvalid() method which is used by validate() method. The isEmailValid() method should take email string as an argument and return boolean indicating whether the email is valid or not. The isEmailValid() method uses Pattern and Matcher class to determine if the pattern of input is email or not. The isPasswordValid() method should take password string as an argument and return true if the password is satisfying minimum condition. Here in our case length of the password should be minimum 6.

public static boolean isEmailValid(String email){
        Pattern pattern = Patterns.EMAIL_ADDRESS;
        Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(email);
        return matcher.matches();
}

//Check password with minimum requirement here(it should be minimum 6 characters)
public static boolean isPasswordValid(String password){
        return password.length() >= 6;
}

5.  Use validate() method

Now we are ready to use validate() method when signing up or logging in the user. The getText() method of EditText will return text input.

String email = mEditTextEmail.getText().toString();
String password = mEditTextPassword.getText().toString();

if (validate(email, password)) {
    //Sign up or login User
}

Conclusion

Using TextInputLayout with floating hint label and error handling gives awesome UI and UX.

Using Lombok to Reduce Boilerplate Code in Open Event Android App

The Open Even App Android project contains data/model classes like Event, Track, Session, Speaker etc which are used to fetch data from the server and store data in the database. Each model contains private fields, getters, setters and toString() method which are used to change data of the object, access data of the object, logging and debugging. Adding all these methods manually makes the code boilerplate.

In this blog post I explain how to use Lombok to reduce boilerplate code in the model class.

Add dependency

To set up Lombok for your application you have to add the dependency in your app module’s build.gradle file.

dependencies {
	provided   "org.projectlombok:lombok:1.16.18"
}

Install Lombok plugin

In addition to setting up your gradle project correctly, you need to add the Lombok IntelliJ plugin to add Lombok support to Android Studio

  1. Go to File > Settings > Plugins
  2. Click on Browse repositories
  3. Search for Lombok Plugin
  4. Click on Install plugin
  5. Restart Android Studio

Write model class

Lombok has annotations to generate Getters, Setters, Constructors, toString(), Equal() and hashCode() methods.

@Getter,  @Setter, @ToString, @EqualsAndHashCode

@Data is a shortcut annotation that bundles the features of @Getter, @Setter, @ToString and @EqualsAndHashCode

Here I am only defining track model because of its simplicity and less complexity.

@Data
public class Track {

    private int id;
    private String name;
    private String description;
    private String color;
    private String fontColor;
    private RealmList<Session> sessions;
}

Create and use object

After defining models you can create an instance of the object and you will notice that you can access all the getters and setters.

Track track = new Track();
track.setName("Android");

String name = track.getName(); // here value of name will be "Android" 

You can also specify which fields to include and exclude in the toString(), equals() and hashCode() methods using @ToString, @EqualsAndHashCode annotation.

@ToString(of={"id", "name"})

@ToString(exclude="color")

@EqualsAndHashCode(of={"id", "name"})

@EqualsAndHashCode(exclude={"color", "fontColor"})

Constructors

Lombok has three methods to generator constructors

  • @NoArgsConstructor: It generates constructor with no parameters
  • @RequiredArgsConstructor: It generates a constructor with 1 parameter for each field that requires special handling.
  • @AllArgsConstructor: It generates a constructor with 1 parameter for each field in your class.

Conclusion

As you can see, Lombok uses succinct annotations to generate methods such as getters, setters, and constructors. It can easily help you get rid of hundreds of lines of boilerplate code. Lombok also allows you to make your code more expressive, concise and can help you avoid some bugs. To learn more about Lombok project follow the links given below.