[ckan-dev] ckanext-inventory

Steven De Costa steven.decosta at linkdigital.com.au
Tue Feb 23 01:25:29 UTC 2016

Thanks for taking the time to share your story with CKAN Alex :)

Sounds like you've been busy!

*EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR*www.linkdigital.com.au

On 23 February 2016 at 07:38, Alex Palcuie <alex.palcuie at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> My name is Alex Palcuie and I have been maintaining the open data
> portal[0][1] from Romania since April last year. I like to share wth
> you an extension that I have been building in the last months and how
> developing on CKAN felt for me.
> One of the use cases that appeared after a law was adopted in my
> country was that every governmental institution has to publish its
> inventory of datasets. This means every organization (and we have over
> 8k) has to identify a list of its possible datasets and publish it on
> data.gov.ro.
> My background experience with Python has been doing backend work for a
> startup with Django for about 6 months, before moving to do frontend.
> I've also done some Rails work.
> An advice would be to make the default docs[2] page for CKAN to be the
> last production version (as it is on Django[3]) and not the latest
> branch. This I remember was a little confusing at first.
> The first task I wanted to do was to add a unique ID to each
> organization and make new users that are registering in CKAN, to put
> this unique ID and have them be confirmed in a panel by an admin.
> After they are confirmed, a reset password email has to be sent to the
> user and he will be automatically added to the organization[8].
> After I made a list of the best CKAN extensions[4], I found out that a
> pattern is to copy paste the original code and slightly modify it[5].
> It didn't feel good to me, and I realized afterward that hooks (or
> signals in Django's terms) for the user controller were missing. When
> I'll start refactoring that part, I'll commit upstream the
> modifications needed. The Javascript part of making the API request
> was well documented and it worked seamlessly.
> The next flow I implemented was that before users can add a new
> dataset, they must add an inventory entry for it and a recurring
> interval[9][10]. For example, an organization could have the inventory
> entry Budget with a recurring interval of 365 days. Now, their
> datasets will be Budget 2015, Budget 2016 and so on, and specifying
> that recurring interval means that we can monitor them to see if they
> have updated the dataset in the time they have assumed and ping them
> with automatic emails if they haven't.
> Fiddling with making a migration was a real pain, but the new
> IMigration[6] interface looks promising.
> One thing that I did not manage was to use the IGroupForm and
> IDatasetForm interfaces in one single extension. I had to make a
> hack[7] with 2 classes, because some methods, like `is_fallback`,
> overlapped and the plugin setup would now know which method to use.
> However, I think it's mostly my fault because I've developed the
> extension as a big monolith, without thinking too much on planning. My
> plan is after I release this into production this month, to split up
> the small features I can into smaller extensions, write tests for them
> and release them on PIP, with a follow-up email on this list.
> All in all, I had lots of fun developing this extension that I think
> will become useful for us. I want to thank you all for making CKAN a
> nice platform to work on and making a great community.
> Alex
> [0]: http://data.gov.ro
> [1]: https://github.com/govro
> [2]: http://docs.ckan.org
> [3]: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.9/
> [4]:
> https://github.com/govro/ckanext-inventory/blob/master/docs/best_extensions.md
> [5]:
> https://github.com/govro/ckanext-inventory/blob/master/ckanext/inventory/controllers/user.py
> [6]: https://github.com/ckan/ckan/search?q=table&type=Issues&utf8=✓
> [7]:
> https://github.com/govro/ckanext-inventory/blob/master/ckanext/inventory/plugin.py
> [8]: https://i.imgur.com/j2GKMbq.png
> [9]: https://i.imgur.com/sSce4Nm.png
> [10]: https://i.imgur.com/34NAd9B.png
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