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

Implementing “Change Password” API in Open Event Frontend

In Open Event Frontend, users can change the password for their account in the ‘Settings’ section. Changing one’s password will require the previous password of the same account which ensures the security. To implement change in password API, we created a REST endpoint here since the password cannot be included in the user model and thereby exposed to the client.

There is also a check on the server side of the old password. Thus, if the old password entered matches the one on the server, the post is successful and the server saves the new password. We achieve this as follows:

We have a change password form located at ‘settings/change-password’, which contains three input fields for old password, new password and confirm new password.

On submitting the form, we pass the action from the component to the controller.

Components consist of two parts: a template written in Handlebars, and a source file written in JavaScript that defines the component’s behavior.

Controllers behave like a specialized type of Component that is rendered by the router when entering a Route.

We could have handled this action in component itself. But, Ember JS’ main principle is DDAU i.e data down actions up. That is the main reason why we handle the action in out controller.

submit() {
      this.onValid(() => {
      this.sendAction('changePassword', this.getProperties('passwordCurrent', 'passwordNew'));
      });
}

Thus, we handle the action in our controller as follows:

 changePassword(passwordData) {
      this.set('isLoading', true);
      let payload = {
        'data': {
          'old-password' : passwordData.passwordCurrent,
          'new-password' : passwordData.passwordNew
        }
      };
      this.get('loader')
        .post('/auth/change-password', payload)
        .then(() => {
          this.get('notify').success(this.l10n.t('Password updated successfully'));
        })
        .catch(error => {
          if (error.error) {
            this.get('notify').error(this.l10n.t(error.error));
          } else {
            this.get('notify').error(this.l10n.t('Unexpected error. Password did not change.'));
          }
        })
        .finally(() => {
          this.set('isLoading', false);
          this.setProperties({ 'passwordCurrent': '', 'passwordNew': '', 'passwordRepeat': '' });
        });
    }

Here, we are getting the old password and the new password passed from the form and making a POST to the endpoint:

v1/auth/change-password

If the old password check goes successful on the server side, the server returns a successful response:

{ 
 "email": "example@example.com",
 "id": "1",
 "name": "example",
 "password-changed": true
}

Thus, the user can change password in Open Event Frontend.
Resources: Docs on loader service in Ember JS

Showing “Get started” button in SUSI Viber bot

When we start a chat with SUSI.AI on Viber i.e. SUSI Viberbot, there should be an option on how to get started with the bot. The response to it are some options like “Visit repository”, “How to contribute” which direct the user to check how SUSI.AI bot is made and prompts him/her to contribute to it. Along with that an option of “start chatting” can be shown to add up some sample queries for the user to try.

To accomplish the task at hand, we will accomplish these sub tasks:

  1. To show the “Get started” button.
  2. To show the reply to “Get started” query.
  3. To respond to the queries, nested in the response of “Get started”

Showing “Get started”:

The Viber developers platform notifies us when a user starts a conversation with our bot. To be exact, a conversation_started event is sent to our webhook and can be handled accordingly. The Viberbot shows a welcome message to the user along with a Get started button to help him/her start.

To send just the welcome message:

if (req.body.event === 'conversation_started') {
       // Welcome Message
       var options = {
           method: 'POST',
           url: 'https://chatapi.viber.com/pa/send_message',
           headers: headerBody,
           body: {
               // some required body properties here
               text: 'Welcome to SUSI.AI!, ' + req.body.user.name + '.',
               // code for showing the get started button here.
        }
           json: true
       };
 
       request(options, function(error, res, body) {
           // handle error
       });
   }

The next step is to show the “Get started” button. To show that we use a keyboard tool, provided by Viber developers platform. So after the “text” key we have the “keyboard” key and a value for it:

keyboard: {
             "Type": "keyboard",
             "DefaultHeight": true,
             "Buttons": [{
                 "ActionType": "reply",
                 "ActionBody": "Get started",
             }]
         }

The action type as shown in the code, can be “reply” or “open-url”. The “reply” action type, triggers an automatic query sent back with “Get started” (i.e. the value of “ActionBody” key), when that button gets clicked.

Hence, this code helps us tackle our first sub task:

Reply to “Get started”:

We target to make each SUSI.AI bot generic. The SUSI FBbot and SUSI Tweetbot shows some options like “Visit repository”, “Start chatting” and “How to contribute?” for the “Get started” query. We render the same answer structure in Viberbot.

The “rich_media” type helps us send buttons in our reply message. As we ought to use three buttons in our message, the button rows are three in the body object:

if(message === "Get started"){
                   var options = {
                       method: 'POST',
                       url: 'https://chatapi.viber.com/pa/send_message',
                       headers: headerBody,
                       body: {
                           // some body object properties here
                           type: 'rich_media',
                           rich_media: {
                               Type: "rich_media",
                               ButtonsGroupColumns: 6,
                               ButtonsGroupRows: 3,
                               BgColor: "#FFFFFF",
                               Buttons: buttons
                           }
                       },
                       json: true
                   };
 
                   request(options, function(error, res, body) {
                       if (error) throw new Error(error);
                       console.log(body);
                   });

As said before, 2 type of Action types are available – “open-url” and “reply”. “Visit repository” button has an “open-url” action type and “How to contribute?” or “start chatting” has a “reply” action type.

Example of “Visit repository” button:

var buttons = [{
                Columns: 6,
                Rows: 1,
                Text: "Visit repository",
                "ActionType": "open-url",
                "ActionBody": "https://www.github.com/fossasia/susi_server",
                // some text styling properties here
             }];

To respond to the “reply” action type queries:

When the “reply” action type button gets clicked, it triggers an automatic query sent back to the bot with the value same as that of the “ActionBody” key. So we just need to apply a check if the message string recieved is “Start chatting” or “How to contribute?”

For the response to “Start chatting”, we plan to show sample queries for the user to try. This can be shown by using buttons with the action type as “reply”.

Code snippet to show a button with the text as “What is FOSSASIA?”:

var buttons = [{
                        Columns: 6,
                        Rows: 1,
                        Text: "What is FOSSASIA? ",
                        "ActionType": "reply",
                        "ActionBody": "What is FOSSASIA?",
                        // text styling here
                    }];

For the response to “How to contribute”, we show some messages to help the user contribute to SUSI.AI. These messages also just need buttons with it, to be able to apply the necessary action.

We respond with 2 messages to the user, both the messages have a button.

For example, a button to visit the SUSI.AI Gitter channel:

var buttons = [{
                    Columns: 6,
                    Rows: 1,
                       Text: "<font color=#323232><b>Chat on Gitter</b></font>",
                      ActionType: "open-url",
                      ActionBody: "https://www.gitter.im/fossasia/susi_server",
                      // text styling here
            }];

This way we have successfully added the “Get started” option to our Viberbot and handled all the subsequent steps.

Resources:

  1. Viber video managing chat extensions by Ingrid Lunden from Tech crunch.
  2. Develop a chat bot with node js by Slobodan Stojanović from smashing magazine.

Open Event API Server: Implementing FAQ Types

In the Open Event Server, there was a long standing request of the users to enable the event organisers to create a FAQ section.

The API of the FAQ section was implemented subsequently. The FAQ API allowed the user to specify the following request schema

{
 "data": {
   "type": "faq",
   "relationships": {
     "event": {
       "data": {
         "type": "event",
         "id": "1"
       }
     }
   },
   "attributes": {
     "question": "Sample Question",
     "answer": "Sample Answer"
   }
 }
}

 

But, what if the user wanted to group certain questions under a specific category. There was no solution in the FAQ API for that. So a new API, FAQ-Types was created.

Why make a separate API for it?

Another question that arose while designing the FAQ-Types API was whether it was necessary to add a separate API for it or not. Consider that a type attribute was simply added to the FAQ API itself. It would mean the client would have to specify the type of the FAQ record every time a new record is being created for the same. This would mean trusting that the user will always enter the same spelling for questions falling under the same type. The user cannot be trusted on this front. Thus the separate API made sure that the types remain controlled and multiple entries for the same type are not there.

Helps in handling large number of records:

Another concern was what if there were a large number of FAQ records under the same FAQ-Type. Entering the type for each of those questions would be cumbersome for the user. The FAQ-Type would also overcome this problem

Following is the request schema for the FAQ-Types API

{
 "data": {
   "attributes": {
     "name": "abc"
   },
   "type": "faq-type",
   "relationships": {
     "event": {
       "data": {
         "id": "1",
         "type": "event"
       }
     }
   }
 }
}

 

Additionally:

  • FAQ to FAQ-type is a many to one relation.
  • A single FAQ can only belong to one Type
  • The FAQ-type relationship will be optional, if the user wants different sections, he/she can add it ,if not, it’s the user’s choice.

Related links

Implementing Permissions for Orders API in Open Event API Server

Open Event API Server Orders API is one of the core APIs. The permissions in Orders API are robust and secure enough to ensure no leak on payment and ticketing.The permission manager provides the permissions framework to implement the permissions and proper access controls based on the dev handbook.

The following table is the permissions in the developer handbook.

 

List View Create Update Delete
Superadmin/admin
Event organizer [1] [1] [1] [1][2] [1][3]
Registered user [4]
Everyone else
  1. Only self-owned events
  2. Can only change order status
  3. A refund will also be initiated if paid ticket
  4. Only if order placed by self

Super Admins and admins are allowed to create any order with any amount but any coupon they apply is not consumed on creating order. They can update almost every field of the order and can provide any custom status to the order. Permissions are applied with the help of Permission Manager which takes care the authorization roles. For example, if a permission is set based on admin access then it is automatically set for super admin as well i.e., to the people with higher rank.

Self-owned events

This allows the event admins, Organizer and Co-Organizer to manage the orders of the event they own. This allows then to view all orders and create orders with or without discount coupon with any custom price and update status of orders. Event admins can provide specific status while others cannot

if not has_access('is_coorganizer', event_id=data['event']):
   data['status'] = 'pending'

And Listing requires Co-Organizer access

elif not has_access('is_coorganizer', event_id=kwargs['event_id']):
   raise ForbiddenException({'source': ''}, "Co-Organizer Access Required")

Can only change order status

The organizer cannot change the order fields except the status of the order. Only Server Admin and Super Admins are allowed to update any field of the order.

if not has_access('is_admin'):
   for element in data:
       if element != 'status':
           setattr(data, element, getattr(order, element))

And Delete access is prohibited to event admins thus only Server admins can delete orders by providing a cancelling note which will be provided to the Attendee/Buyer.

def before_delete_object(self, order, view_kwargs):
   if not has_access('is_coorganizer', event_id=order.event.id):
       raise ForbiddenException({'source': ''}, 'Access Forbidden')

Registered User

A registered user can create order with basic details like the attendees’ records and payment method with fields like country and city. They are not allowed to provide any custom status to the order they are creating. All orders will be set by default to “pending”

Also, they are not allowed to update any field in their order. Any status update will be done internally thus maintaining the security of Order System. Although they are allowed to view their place orders. This is done by comparing their logged in user id with the user id of the purchaser.

if not has_access('is_coorganizer_or_user_itself', event_id=order.event_id, user_id=order.user_id):
   return ForbiddenException({'source': ''}, 'Access Forbidden')

Event Admins

The event admins have one more restriction, as an event admin, you cannot provide discount coupon and even if you do it will be ignored.

# Apply discount only if the user is not event admin
if data.get('discount') and not has_access('is_coorganizer', event_id=data['event']):

Also an event admin any amount you will provide on creating order will be final and there will be no further calculation of the amount will take place

if not has_access('is_coorganizer', event_id=data['event']):
   TicketingManager.calculate_update_amount(order)

Creating Attendees Records

Before sending a request to Orders API it is required to create to attendees mapped to some ticket and for this registered users are allowed to create the attendees without adding a relationship of the order. The mapping with the order is done internally by Orders API and its helpers.

Resources

  1. Dev Handbook – Niranjan R
    The Open Event Developer Handbook
  2. Flask-REST-JSONAPI Docs
    Permissions and Data layer | Flask-REST-JSONAPI
  3. A guide to use permission manager in API Server
    http://blog.fossasia.org/a-guide-to-use-permission-manager-in-open-event-api-server/

 

Generating Ticket PDFs in Open Event API Server

In the ordering system of Open Event API Server, there is a requirement to send email notifications to the attendees. These attendees receive the URL of the pdf of the generated ticket. On creating the order, first the pdfs are generated and stored in the preferred storage location and then these are sent to the users through the email.

Generating PDF is a simple process, using xhtml2pdf we can generate PDFs from the html. The generated pdf is then passed to storage helpers to store it in the desired location and pdf-url is updated in the attendees record.

Sample PDF

PDF Template

The templates are written in HTML which is then converted using the module xhtml2pdf.
To store the templates a new directory was created at  app/templates where all HTML files are stored. Now, The template directory needs to be updated at flask initializing app so that template engine can pick the templates from there. So in app/__init__.py we updated flask initialization with

template_dir = os.path.dirname(__file__) + "/templates"

app = Flask(__name__, static_folder=static_dir, template_folder=template_dir)

This allows the template engine to pick the templates files from this template directory.

Generating PDFs

Generating PDF is done by rendering the html template first. This html content is then parsed into the pdf

file = open(dest, "wb")

pisa.CreatePDF(cStringIO.StringIO(pdf_data.encode('utf-8')), file)

file.close()

The generated pdf is stored in the temporary location and then passed to storage helper to upload it.

uploaded_file = UploadedFile(dest, filename)

upload_path = UPLOAD_PATHS['pdf']['ticket_attendee'].format(identifier=get_file_name())

new_file = upload(uploaded_file, upload_path)

This generated pdf path is returned here

Rendering HTML and storing PDF

for holder in order.ticket_holders:

  if holder.id != current_user.id:

      pdf = create_save_pdf(render_template('/pdf/ticket_attendee.html', order=order, holder=holder))

  else:

      pdf = create_save_pdf(render_template('/pdf/ticket_purchaser.html', order=order))

  holder.pdf_url = pdf

  save_to_db(holder)

The html is rendered using flask template engine and passed to create_save_pdf and link is updated on the attendee record.

Sending PDF on email

These pdfs are sent as a link to the email after creating the order. Thus a ticket is sent to each attendee and a summarized order details with attendees to the purchased.

send_email(

  to=holder.email,

  action=TICKET_PURCHASED_ATTENDEE,

  subject=MAILS[TICKET_PURCHASED_ATTENDEE]['subject'].format(

      event_name=order.event.name,

      invoice_id=order.invoice_number

  ),

  html= MAILS[TICKET_PURCHASED_ATTENDEE]['message'].format(

      pdf_url=holder.pdf_url,

      event_name=order.event.name

  )

)

References

  1. Readme – xhtml2pdf
    https://github.com/xhtml2pdf/xhtml2pdf/blob/master/README.rst
  2. Using xhtml2pdf and create pdfs
    https://micropyramid.com/blog/generating-pdf-files-in-python-using-xhtml2pdf/

 

Open Event Server: Getting The Identity From The Expired JWT Token In Flask-JWT

The Open Event Server uses JWT based authentication, where JWT stands for JSON Web Token. JSON Web Tokens are an open industry standard RFC 7519 method for representing claims securely between two parties. [source: https://jwt.io/]

Flask-JWT is being used for the JWT-based authentication in the project. Flask-JWT makes it easy to use JWT based authentication in flask, while on its core it still used PyJWT.

To get the identity when a JWT token is present in the request’s Authentication header , the current_identity proxy of Flask-JWT can be used as follows:

@app.route('/example')
@jwt_required()
def example():
   return '%s' % current_identity

 

Note that it will only be set in the context of function decorated by jwt_required(). The problem with the current_identity proxy when using jwt_required is that the token has to be active, the identity of an expired token cannot be fetched by this function.

So why not write a function on our own to do the same. A JWT token is divided into three segments. JSON Web Tokens consist of three parts separated by dots (.), which are:

  • Header
  • Payload
  • Signature

The first step would be to get the payload, that can be done as follows:

token_second_segment = _default_request_handler().split('.')[1]

 

The payload obtained above would still be in form of JSON, it can be converted into a dict as follows:

payload = json.loads(token_second_segment.decode('base64'))

 

The identity can now be found in the payload as payload[‘identity’]. We can get the actual user from the paylaod as follows:

def jwt_identity(payload):
   """
   Jwt helper function
   :param payload:
   :return:
   """
   return User.query.get(payload['identity'])

 

Our final function will now be something like:

def get_identity():
   """
   To be used only if identity for expired tokens is required, otherwise use current_identity from flask_jwt
   :return:
   """
   token_second_segment = _default_request_handler().split('.')[1]
   missing_padding = len(token_second_segment) % 4
   payload = json.loads(token_second_segment.decode('base64'))
   user = jwt_identity(payload)
   return user

 

But after using this function for sometime, you will notice that for certain tokens, the system will raise an error saying that the JWT token is missing padding. The JWT payload is base64 encoded, and it requires the payload string to be a multiple of four. If the string is not a multiple of four, the remaining spaces can pe padded with extra =(equal to) signs. And since Python 2.7’s .decode doesn’t do that by default, we can accomplish that as follows:

missing_padding = len(token_second_segment) % 4

# ensures the string is correctly padded to be a multiple of 4
if missing_padding != 0:
   token_second_segment += b'=' * (4 - missing_padding)

 

Related links:

Showing location response in SUSI.AI bots

SUSI.AI has a capability to tell the basic information about a location, it is asked for. Along with the basic information about that place, it shows a map (i.e. open street map) pointing to that location. The task at hand is to inculcate this “location” feature to the SUSI.AI messenger bots. The SUSI Tweetbot and SUSI Fbbot are used as examples in this blog.

Let’s first check on what response do we get, when a person asks a query like “where is london” to the SUSI API. Along with the basic information about that location, the result as shown below has the type of reply (i.e. map), latitude, longitude and a link to the open street map.

"actions": [
      {
        "type": "answer",
        "language": "en",
        "expression": "Ludhiana is a city and a municipal corporation in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab, and is the largest city north of Delhi."
      },
      {
        "type": "anchor",
        "link": "https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/30.912040570244187/75.85379021980509",
        "text": "Here is a map",
        "language": "en"
      },
      {
        "type": "map",
        "latitude": "30.912040570244187",
        "longitude": "75.85379021980509",
        "zoom": "13",
        "language": "en"
      }
    ]

The response for a location type query has these 3 main parts:

  1. Clickable static map image.
  2. A basic information of the place asked about.
  3. The link i.e. when the static map image is clicked it should redirect to the corresponding map location.

Let’s try to make up with the 1st part of the response i.e. Static map image.

The map quest API is used to result in a static map image of the location. We need an API key to access the map quest API, which can be requested from their developer site.

Along with that we need the latitude and longitude of the location at hand.

The SUSI API’s response helps us to get the latitude value:

// if body represents the response object 
var lat = body.answers[0].actions[2].latitude;

And the longitude value:

var lon = body.answers[0].actions[2].longitude;

Using the three values that are API key, latitude and longitude, the static image is rendered by this link:

var static_image_url = "https://open.mapquestapi.com/staticmap/v4/getmap?key=API_KEY&size=600,400&zoom=13&center="+lat+","+lon;

The second part is, basic information about the place asked, can be fetched from:

// if body is the JSON response object from SUSI API
var mapMessage = body.answers[0].actions[0].expression;

The link to the map location can be easily fetched from the SUSI API’s response:

var link = body.answers[0].actions[1].link;

As all the three parts are ready, let’s look on how to render them on the SUSI.AI bot’s screen.

Facebook:

Sending a generic template message object:

message = {
        "type":"template",
        "payload":{
                    "template_type":"generic",
                    "elements":[{
                        "title": mapMessage,
                       "image_url": static_image_url,
                       "Item_url": link
                    }]
        }
};

sendTextMessage(sender, message, 1);

Twitter:

The Twitter API does not need a static image of the map to be rendered. It does that work for us. We just need to send an event to the Twitter API with the message data object constituting of the map message, the latitude and longitude values:

"message_data": {
            "text": mapMessage,
            "attachment": {
                "type": "location",
                "location": {
                    "type": "shared_coordinate",
                    "shared_coordinate": {
                        "coordinates": {
                            "type": "Point",
                            "coordinates": [lon, lat]
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
}

Resources:

  1. Speed up customer service with quick replies and welcome messages by Ian Cairns from Twitter blog.
  2. Drive discovery of bots and other customer experiences in direct messages by By Travis Lull from Twitter blog.
  3. By Seth Rosenberg from Facebook developers blogLink Ads to Messenger, Enhanced Mobile Websites, Payments and More.

Marker Click Management in Android Google Map API Version 2

We could display a marker on Google map to point to a particular location. Although it is a simple task sometimes we need to customise it a bit more. Recently I customised marker displayed in Connfa app displaying the location of the sessions on the map loaded from Open Event format. In this blog manipulation related to map marker is explored.

Markers indicate single locations on the map. You can customize your markers by changing the default colour, or replace the marker icon with a custom image. Info windows can provide additional context to a marker. You can place a marker on the map by using following code.

MarkerOptions marker = new MarkerOptions().position(new LatLng(latitude, longitude)).title("Dalton Hall");
googleMap.addMarker(marker);

But as you can see this may not be enough, we need to do operations on clicking the marker too, so we define them in the Marker Click Listener. We declare marker null initially so we check if the marker colour is changed previously or not.

private Marker previousMarker = null;

We check if the marker is initialized to change its colour again to initial colour, we can do other related manipulation like changing the map title here,

Note: the first thing that happens when a marker is clicked or tapped is that any currently showing info window is closed, and the GoogleMap.OnInfoWindowCloseListener is triggered. Then the OnMarkerClickListener is triggered. Therefore, calling isInfoWindowShown() on any marker from the OnMarkerClickListener will return false.

mGoogleMap.setOnMarkerClickListener(new GoogleMap.OnMarkerClickListener() {
   @Override
   public boolean onMarkerClick(Marker marker) {
       String locAddress = marker.getTitle();
       fillTextViews(locAddress);
       if (previousMarker != null) {
           previousMarker.setIcon(BitmapDescriptorFactory.defaultMarker(BitmapDescriptorFactory.HUE_RED));
       }
       marker.setIcon(BitmapDescriptorFactory.defaultMarker(BitmapDescriptorFactory.HUE_BLUE));
       previousMarker = marker;

       return true;
   }
});

It’s possible to customize the colour of the default marker image by passing a BitmapDescriptor object to the icon() method. You can use a set of predefined colours in the BitmapDescriptorFactory object, or set a custom marker colour with the BitmapDescriptorFactory.defaultMarker(float hue) method. The hue is a value between 0 and 360, representing points on a colour wheel. We use red colour when the marker is not clicked and blue when it is clicked so a user knows which one is clicked.

To conclude you can use an OnMarkerClickListener to listen for click events on the marker. To set this listener on the map, call GoogleMap.setOnMarkerClickListener(OnMarkerClickListener). When a user clicks on a marker, onMarkerClick(Marker) will be called and the marker will be passed through as an argument. This method returns a boolean that indicates whether you have consumed the event (i.e., you want to suppress the default behaviour). If it returns false, then the default behaviour will occur in addition to your custom behaviour. The default behaviour for a marker click event is to show its info window (if available) and move the camera such that the marker is centered on the map.

The final result looks like this, so you the user can see which marker is clicked as its colour is changed,

   

 

References:

  • Google Map APIs Documentation – https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/android-api/marker

Implementing Event Copy API in Open Event Frontend

In Open Event Frontend, we give the organizer a facility to create a copy of the event by copying it and making the modifications he wants to a particular event. Thus, it is easy for the organizer to create multiple events with same sponsors, sessions, etc. For this, we implemented the event copy API in frontend.
We achieved the copy of events as follows:
Since the event copy API is application/json type, we used the simple GET and POST requests to copy the event rather than using the ember data. For this, we use the loader service which is injected throughout the app. To copy the event we have given a “Copy” button which looks as follows:

 <button class="ui button {{if isCopying 'loading'}}" {{action 'copyEvent'}} disabled={{isCopying}}>
    <i class="copy icon"></i>
        {{t 'Copy'}}
 </button>

Thus, we trigger an action ‘copyEvent’ on clicking the Copy button. The action is defined in controller as follows:

 copyEvent() {
      this.set('isCopying', true);
      this.get('loader')
        .post(`events/${this.get('model.id')}/copy`, {})
        .then(copiedEvent => {
          this.transitionToRoute('events.view.edit', copiedEvent.identifier);
          this.get('notify').success(this.l10n.t('Event copied successfully'));
        })
        .catch(() => {
          this.get('notify').error(this.l10n.t('Copying of event failed'));
        })
        .finally(() => {
          this.set('isCopying', false);
        });
    }

The endpoint to copy the event as defined in our API is:

POST : /v1/events/{identifier}/copy
Content-Type: application/vnd.api+json
Authorization: JWT <Auth Key>
Request body: {}

Thus, we make a post request to the given URL by passing the event id of the event to be copied and the request body to be an empty object. Thus, on successful response from the server, we get the new event id for which the event info is same. We then redirect the user to the edit details route where he can change the info he wants.
Thus, we copy the event in Open Event Frontend.

Resources: Docs on loader service in Ember JS