Tonight was the second hackathon. Whereas last time most of the group was working on migrating pages from the old page to the new one, this one was focused more on the coding issues. I was part of the team working on creating the forms to be used to create new pages, which involved creation of the HTML to be put into the Drupal site to provide the form, a PHP page that processed the form data and both outputs the RDF and the Drupal page (if applicable), and some Javascript pages that go along with the HTML. Within our group, I was working on creating the form for adding the In The News instances for the Announcements.

After figuring out how to get onto the server, I grabbed all of the example files that Evan had made for the Presentations creation form and looked at those. I started out by writing the HTML, figuring that was the easiest place to start, since it was just some simple HTML editing by adding the fields needed, which I found out with a combination of exploring the existing RDF files on the server as well as examining the OWL schema file using Protege. After this, I worked on the PHP since I’d need that to test the new HTML, and because I didn’t have write access to the dev site yet to test it anyhow.

At first, it was just some simple editing of the processing to match with the form data in the HTML. I also removed the section of code that created the Drupal page since the announcements don’t have a page of their own. After tracking down and editing everything I thought was needed and getting write access, I managed to get the HTML into a Drupal page. I ran into several issues here because I had not noticed the Javascript files, which were essential for filling in the multiple selection menus (they pulled a listing of the necessary URIs to be placed into a certain element given the URI type, and enabled filling of the selection boxes and autocompletion capabilities on other fields). This turned out to be a pretty simple fix, just needing basic edits to a new javascript file, and the form became functional.

Most of the time was spent on the next part, which was to make sure that the PHP called by the form processed everything correctly. At first, it seemed to be working, since I would submit the form and get what looked like valid RDF out of it. However, there were many issues of some fields not being written to the RDF, which was due to me not remembering to edit the section grabbing all of the GET variables correctly. Throughout this, I continued to try testing this, but I was not able to get the RDF to successfully be displayed on the front page. Evan looked at it and confirmed that the RDF was finally complete (this was 3 hours into the hackathon already…), but ran into an odd problem which was preventing it from being displayed. He tested the RDF by trying to query the triple store for the site to find my RDF file, but although it returned fine when searching for tw:InTheNews, it would not return when searching for tw:Announcements, although InTheNews is a subset of that.

By the time I left, this problem was still unresolved, but at least the form seems to work in grabbing the input and generating the RDF, and we think the error lies somewhere in how the announcements are being generated.