Refactoring the Features Table and Beginning GitLab Feature Testing

I started last week by meeting with Dr. Wurst (my project advisor) to go over what I had done up until that point and to figure out what I should be doing going forward with my research. We mainly discussed the new proposed candidate workflow that was created during the LibreFoodPantry (LFP) Retreat after I had left. Most of that discussion was about the two main roles in the diagram, the trustees and the shop managers. It was decided that the trustees would be the people who maintain the LibreFoodPantry project and that the shop managers would be instructors who are teaching a course and developing for the project for a semester. The shop managers would fork a copy of the repository they are working on into their own “shop” for their class where it would be worked on by student shop developers (another user role). Finally there is a client / user role that has basic access to the LFP group. We also discussed the GitLab permissions for each of these roles, which is different depending on which GitLab group we are looking at as there is different permissions for the same role in the LFP group and the shop group. We decided that I should be building this workflow out in all 3 platforms (GitHub Free, GitLab Free, and GitLab Gold) and document the process and any issues. We anticipated issues trying to implement this in GitHub as it doesn’t have the same permission levels as GitLab which is what the workflow was created with. I also needed to update the features table as we previously discussed the previous week so that all the features in the same row are related across platforms and that they use the specific naming that the platforms use. Finally, I was to try and create a simple GitLab repository and implement GitLab’s CI in a simple Java Gradle project to see how this worked. We also decided that we would have regular meetings every week on Tuesday for the rest of the summer.

On Wednesday I created a new table using Google Sheets as I found that the rows align much better in a spreadsheet than a Google Docs table. I copied and pasted all of the bullet points from the 3 platforms from the old table into the new one. I then rearranged them in color order. I finally went through each one and started renaming the features to be more consistent with how its respective website names it in its support or documentation pages.

Thursday I finished up with the table and it was nearly done except for a few little questions for Dr. Wurst in our next meeting. I also created a digital version of the proposed candidate workflow diagram using Draw.io as I wanted a cleaner looking version instead of the whiteboard picture from Google Drive. I emailed Dr. Wurst the diagram to check if I created it correctly and had a little question about why one of the branch symbols was located in the diagram. I finished Thursday by creating a GitLab Gold repository and made a GitLab CI configuration file. I cloned it to my desktop and converted it to a Gradle project the way we did this spring in CS348 using some documentation from the course’s Blackboard page. I ran into a problem that others in my class had previously with Gradle not working correctly on Windows.

Friday I fixed the Gradle not working issue using a page from stackoverflow. I then got GitLab CI to work on this project, as it was previously failing due to a fix I implemented to try and get Gradle to work. I found that GitLab’s website provides great documentation to show exactly where the failure occurs in a CI pipeline. On Friday I also received an email from Dr. Wurst that forwarded a document from another professor who had a student that also researched GitHub vs. GitLab. I looked at the document and it compared what they thought were the most important features, some of which I hadn’t seen yet so I looked at them on GitHub and GitLab’s websites and added them into my features table. I did find this document to be helpful as it contained new information I hadn’t come across yet. I decided that the table was done and moved on to testing the candidate workflow. I started this by creating 4 Google Accounts, 1 for the shop developer, 2 for the student developers (so I can have two student local repositories to push and pull from) and 1 client / guest account. I documented the usernames and passwords in a Google Sheet so that others in the LFP group can use them. I then created GitLab accounts for these test accounts and added them to the testing group we created in GitLab Gold (I used my account to add them to the LFP test group and the shop manager to add to the class shop group to simulate how it would actually be done with the trustee and shop manager roles). I am using the test group we created in GitLab Gold as the LFP group and I made a sub-group in this that acts as the shop group. One problem I noticed with this is that if we are going to create sub-groups for the shop classes within the LFP group on GitLab, there would be permissions issues with trustees having access to the shop which would be a course taught at another institution. I used my GitLab account for the role of trustee since I was an owner in the testing group. I then created a test repository in the test LFP group under my account and forked it into the shop with the shop manager account. At this point I stopped for the week as I was unsure of how to proceed with testing the workflow since it involves multiple shop developers cloning, pushing, and pulling to their local computers. This would mean I need multiple local GitLab repositories with different user accounts and I wanted to ask Dr. Wurst the best way to do this, I thought that creating a VM for each account would be the best way of doing this.