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6th report of the term: Sprinting as a developer

This week was busy, and after working this week on the upcoming due assignments throughout the week I later moved some Trello tasks that were brought up in our meeting earlier this week. The upcoming assignment such as the update design document needed some additions, and the Trello tasks changes helped correct our priorities as some tasks were moved from blocked to todo or product backlog. I also found from our group discussions that for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) styling the best for our project may be Sassy cascading style sheets (SCSS) and tailwind! I also took a look at the CSS file provided by ATF so that we may adapt it to our new theme. This will help me with the new sprint we started this week as I work as a developer role, to fill in some of the lack of style, and so our theme is finally good looking. Moving into next week I will need to complete the header, some CSS styling, and move on to work on the product pages. For the header specifically we need the search function, and some much needed styling. The individual product page implementation is also a big task that may be handled this week. The list page status needs to also be checked on for this week, after those previous items. Next we will definitely need to create dynamic style size, and any cart pages. To move forward with the tasks at a good pace it may be valuable to use the time now to make basic pages, where the page design, and styling is worked on later. Pages such as the cart pages will have us working with new types of objects that may influence our design later as we discuss the design later. For the most part the implementation should be smooth, with nice weather, and with incremental progress.

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Sprinting as product owner

This week was a busy one as our team worked on creating the alpha prototype, and updated the design document for our ATF project. This was a lot to do and luckily the due date was extended to Wednesday just in the afternoon today the day they were due. This will be helpful for our team since at least one member is without power, and overall it will allow us to piece more things together for the final result. As the product owner for this I thought it may be good if I focused on designs by creating few of them so that we may get them approved for the design, and then code development. This may help the developers with progressing with the code since they can create the new sections once the designs are fully approved. These designs may additionally be helpful for the second task will be an update for the design document, and we will be using the previous document and building on it. The extension additionally will help give time for any additional changes to those new designs. Moving forward for the alpha code task we will need to submit video screencasting it while highlighting our changes. We in the coming weeks will also be building on our css code to get the styles of our design looking good. We are also looking for adaptive design features for our containers as we are finishing some base code for the pages. These next weeks our team will also be looking for all opportunities to make use of liquids features such as with sections or tags. The cart development is something that we will also be working on in the near future, with objects such as the order object that will need to be used appropriately for best coding practices.

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4th Log of the term: Sprints

From the previous meeting we have made progress on the API question, there was a response from the Shopify team pointing to their documentation, and I took some time to read on it for the answer. It was very informative, and after reading I responded from what I read about for how may implement the api in the future. The documentation discussed the OAuth API usage, so I went to read more on that, and after some additional research on what API access would be provided with OAuth it seemed like the answer for what we need. For my question on what type of API access will we need to pull product information from other store to display on our site it seems we need to use OAuth with a public application for Shopify. This is what I concluded we would need to move forward with presenting products from an individuals store to be viewed on our store, we can still work with our secondary option for listing products from another store, and we for now will leave this feature to later to deal with by replacing it with a link to their Shopify website.

This week we all swapped roles again and for this spring up until the code alpha presentation I will be the product owner. Being the product owner I am tasked with tasks such as consider the product from the owners perspective. Specifically this week I am tasked with creating a design for the product page with the lucid charts service for our liquid theme. This will be the layout for the theme template, and will be implemented next. One thing to consider is that we have section files now for sections such as the header and footer. When a section is placed, the contents of the section file are placed there, and we should use those sections appropriately for the product page to be efficient.

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First Code Review

This week we have a code review where we have to review what we created for this previous sprint. This previous sprint as scrum master I was tasked with creating the header for the website for both designs being created this week. For this I just built the one that I thought that had the most complexities, for the other version some changes are needed and it may be made with some removals.

For the header this week I reviewed the standard layout of the Shopify “theme.liquid” file (1). This file is the main file that contains most of the theme’s sections starting with the header section that I want to change for this week. For the first header design the plan is to have from left to right to have an ATF logo, name of the farm, farm address, map (2), and navigation bar (3). To do this I need to convert the photo we have to a “.svg” type file that creates a more efficient image with vectors (4). Next I created a “style.css” sheet to be preloaded in the header for the design of the header. This style css file is where the positions and colors for theme’s header are set. This worked at one point, and then somewhere down the line stopped working, and I may address this in our next meeting since I am confident another team member may have some helpful insight.

Next I created a “header.liquid” section file for the header content (5). Looking forward, I would like to connect this header section file with the content variable for the header section, and that is because I have yet to integrate that content variable. This “header.liquid” file is made in conjunction with the “theme.liquid” and in placed in the header with the “{% section ‘header’ %}” section command referencing the class tag. This header is going to carry many settings for across all pages, this is done to organized, and for reducing repetitive code. This new directory for the theme, called sections will allow us to access global objects, with special liquid tags. This header section liquid file may also be created for a section such as the footer.

Last of all, I worked with themekit briefly on my system, by connecting the API, and changing settings to be able to create new themes from my command line.

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Week 2

This previous week transitioned well to this week as we improved on our task management for upcoming development. Notably we added some changes to our tasks for improving the readability of our tasks, and added time estimations for our tasks. This week I was also tasked with asking the Shopify help forums about using the API, so far there has yet to be a response, and the technical questions sections seemed to have mostly answers to liquid theme type questions. To get some responses I could ask the question in a different way in a different section.

Additionally, this week our group swapped roles for the group sprint, the previous week I was a developer, and this week I swapped from developer to scrum master. Since there are only three roles and four of us will each get to be a developer twice in a full rotation, I expect I may be the product owner next, and regardless I appreciate the facilitation created from the roles so far. Therefore I expect to be the product owner and developer roles within the next two swaps for the sprints. This sprint as the scrum master I have been focused on our tasks, by making sure they are in order, and ready to go for our team moving forward. Now that we have approved our designs for this week we are now working on two different types of the main page to be decided on when completed. Since this is an important sprint for implementation I will make sure to provide support to the developers where needed, and hopefully everything goes well.

Other tasks such as the other pages of the theme have been put on a much lower priority, since the design for our first page is the most important, and this is because it will carry through the sites theme to the other pages dispute their unique differences.  

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Term 2: Starting with a sprint!

This week we worked as a group towards getting started with developing with our sprint. Our group met once this previous weekend, and twice this week with the most previous meeting being our stand up meeting which helped prepare for our next meeting this Monday. Our stand up meeting allowed us to quickly go over what he needed to for this week for the sprint. The first stand up meeting went well in my perspective, and I am starting to see how these stand up meetings will help our team moving forward. So far our main hold up and focus point is the design. We agreed that that it should be discussed and the first designs should approved by the team for the implementation to go smooth. This will be helpful as it will be efficient to deal with allow ample time to discuss specific design considerations before the first version is created. Being a developer for this sprint I was also tasked with getting familiar with the surrounding technology such as git for version management, css, and liquid formatting moving forwards. Github will be the git service we will use for working together on the theme version. For the webpage theme designs we are collaborating and sharing documents from lucid chars free website service for prototyping. This type of graphical prototyping system has been great to work with as we are able to mimic the colors for the upcoming design from the previous design sets, giving us a realistic view on what we will be constructing soon. Additionally the first pages we will be building are a few of the highest priority pages to build in the theme design, and after that the subsequent pages currently in the back log will be able to be designed from the work, at that time, previously done on the first completed pages.

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Week 9: Protype

This week we focused on our technology approach and the coding aspects of the project. We started with the theme and the API where other teammates focused this week on the theme, and I was tasked with focusing on the API code. To start I joined a Shopify developer slack group, to ask, and find if they have discussed API implementation much for some help. Nothing returned to be extremely helpful for the type of help I was looking to find for the API implementation. 

This week’s focus on code works well in addition with the document we are preparing for prototyping our project. This resulted in a good start for the technology prototype for the numbers, and parts of the system we decided to prototype. For the report we will need to create a document, and video to demonstrate the prototype. For this we decided to work together on the All The Farms Shopify store theme for this report. This will directly require a number of Liquid files to work within the Shopify system. To work on this project as a team we have decided to use GitHub for our code sharing and version control. Modules needed for this initial prototype would be the home page or product listing modules of the liquid set of files. The complete set is needed for it to be approved by Shopify however we have decided to segment our focus on the most key segments first. For this complete set of files there are templates provided by Shopify, approved by Shopify, and others available to learn from. Fortunately Shopify has provided some good documentation for those looking to learn how advanced theme development techniques. Next week we will further work with the theme files and create the desired features within the liquid template.

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Week 8: Design review

This week we met at the start of the week, discussed our tasks, and what we will each focus on this week. This week I was tasked with communicating with whomever to resolve research details regarding the Shopify API usage. This week on our schedule also marks the ending phase of our research as we move further into the coding phase, which started a few weeks back in our plan. Additionally this week we started using our Trello board with color coding for types of tasks such as coding.

Additionally this week we had to respond to another group’s project design document, and other students had to respond to ours. The group we responded to had a related topic, focused on Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, and a mobile application for wines. Overall I agreed with their design plans for their mobile application structure, to use Flutter and Dart. I also asked if they would be interested in using firebase to make the connection between the mobile app and Hyperledger’s blockchain services.

In response the other group of students responded to our project design with many good questions. Some of their comments were responses to our previous comments, which made for a nice continued conversation, and for added insight. One new idea came in a comment that stood out to me, discussed the idea of having bidding on the site for food products. Other comments focused on the UI design aspects. From them I understood that it is important to consider the individual’s experience, for it to be simple, and for the platform to have customizability through the options.

Moving forward with the research I found from this week we will need to start building the code to accept the API key from the user so that he can present their products on Shopify. There are some examples that go into the process, explaining that the user must accept the access on their Shopify store end, and then we should have access to the product feed.

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Week 7

This week we mainly focused on the design of the project this week. Additionally this week I was tasked with finding code details specifically on linking from Shopify to ATF with the farmers products. This week we also took the time to review a document from a team working on a blockchain project for tracking wine batches. From what I understand about wine and blockchain it seems like a good overall idea, especially for rare wine, and enthusiasts. For the design details I took time this week to look in to Shopify question boards, manual, and other documentation for finding what we may need to achieve the linking task. Unfortunately from what I have found this week we will need to create our own linking for this type of product list, under the farmers profile on the ATF site, or either have the farmer embed their products with Shopify’s help. This is because the access provided by Shopify focuses on the individual consumer, since it is their produce data, and that for the most part remains the data provided for an individual, such as a farmer. This week we also worked on our design, we were each asked to ask questions to expand on what we had previously wrote, and I decided to focus on the parts of the project that concerns code, such as with theme restrictions. This lead me to think about the design over all, such as what types of colors will be selected. It was also very interesting to read the design of the other group. I remember reading about their project, and I am excited to see what the final product will be. Their design document gave me insights to such things as the types of software systems that they would be using for parts such as the blockchain part, and it helped me conceptualize what we still need for our project.

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Week 6: Design Time!

This week went well as it started with our morning meeting where we discussed the scope of our project from what we gathered last week. Each member presented their findings, sometimes screen sharing for better understanding, and this was used for discussion topics such as the project’s theme design. I returned what I gathered from my previously designated API type topic for listing products on the All The Farms website. Overall the information affirmed that what we had in mind was mostly achievable, and this week we have focused more on how that might be done in code. Specifically I focused on the API code and how we may integrate our code with the All The Farms website looking at things such as Shopify developer documentation on what we agreed would be a possible implementation. I did find this code which could be used to create a product list on our hosted site below the farmer’s profile page. The previous week we corresponded with the technical lead on it and agreed that there may be a route that is similar to what I found linked in the Shopify developer documents as an embed product container, with a few customization options for the farmer on the Shopify end. This can just serve as the groundwork for how we may work with Shopify and their API as there may be a more efficient solution that the way I was describing, such as where the farmer would have to embed that code themselves on the All The Farms website. This way I have been able to describe is one way that I imagine All The Farms would be able to present a product of a farmer on their All The Farms profile page with a buy button, and option such as for a description. The access to all of the API data may just be limited, or there may be more that I have yet to uncover which may help open up our options for making the most value for our farmers.