Moja global: FLINT agricultural soils module

Hi everyone,
My name is Sulay. As a GSoC’20 student, I will be working on a project “Develop a module for agricultural soils for FLINT” with @project-mojaglobal . I will like to thank @Guy and @RobboW74 , who guided me throughout the application process. I will be using this topic to post my weekly reports.

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Week 1 of Community Bonding Period

This week has been fantastic! My proposal for GSoC got accepted and I have just submitted the final report of my undergrad studies.

Firstly, @Guy organized a video conference with all the members of the moja global community. The purpose of this video call was to familiarize us with the structure of moja global and how and what does moja global do. He also gave us an agenda for what to do during the Community Bonding period.

Setting up the development environment, reviewing the moja global documention and code for better understanding of our projects and suggesting an improvement to the technical procedures are the main agendas for this Community Bonding period.

The 4 of us, @abhi211199, @abhineet97, @partharora1010 and I had a great discussion about which platform to use to post and track our work plans and evaluations.

Looking forward to working with @jleitch for the next week to prepare a work plan!

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This is the result of the stand-up for this week.

Last week was successful. The students decided where and how to post their work. We will post weekly blogs here and on a specially created repo on our GitHub. We will also use GitHub to post our work plan and progress for each item. We will have weekly deliverables (issues) that will be resolved.

This week, the focus will be on getting a work plan in place by the end of the week. This will require close communication between the student and the mentor. We are still figuring out how it will work precisely.

The challenge this week will clearly be to get the communication to work. There is some reluctance on the side of the students to get the attention of the mentors. They should be not hesitate to get attention for their queries. If necessary they can use other channels of communication or ask other mentors or admins to assist.

But overall we are off on a great start. Looking forward to the work plans!

Week 2 of Community Bonding Period

I started this week by setting up the development environment of FLINT. After setting up the base environment, I contacted my mentor about how to move forward and come up with deliverables and work plan for the coding period. They suggested running an example module in Visual Code.

I built and ran one example module and a RothC soil module in Visual Studio. RothC is a model for the turnover of organic carbon in non-waterlogged topsoils that allows for the effects of soil type, temperature, moisture content and plant cover on the turnover process. As it was my first time running a solution in Visual Code, there were some configuration problems which I solved with my mentors’ help.

Currently. I am reading the workflow of the RothC module and how it is implemented to use it as a reference for the module that I have to build. During the weekend, I hope to fully understand it and come up with the first draft of the work plan for the coding period.

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Sulay,
Good job last week setting up Visual Studio and studying RothC. Your challenge will probably be that you need to study both science and code before you can finalise your workplan. But there is time. So good luck this week. I am looking forward to your final workplan.

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Week 3 of Community Bonding Period

I started this week by preparing a first draft of the workplan of the coding period. I cleared some doubts regarding the schematics of the module with my mentors:

  • The module should run monthy (i.e give output on monthly time intervals).
  • We decided to use Excel sheets to store the emission factor tables. Later, it can be moved to a database.
  • The module should know which Tier model to use based on the configuration file. Our current focus is on Tier 1 model.

The lack of documentation of FLINT was posing as a problem to understand the different functions available for use. We had a discussion during our monthly team meeting about this and the mentors suggested to look at previous modules for reference and ask them for doubts whenever a problem occurs.

I hope to have a detailed workplan and proper understanding of all the functions of FLINT that I have to use by the start of the coding phase.

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Thank you for the great progress Sulay. I think that you have made a big leap forward. Understanding the science is an additional challenge when you are working on a project like moja global. You have to understand the fine detail of both science and code, for a project like yours. I love the way you are taking up all the knowledge and interacting with your mentors to frame ideas. Great to see these dynamics. Keep up this productive exchange. We are sorry that our documentation is not up to standards. We are working on it and please do not hesitate to suggest how and where we can improve. Top job this week.

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@sulay15399 as @Guy mentions, your feedback as a “new developer” will be extremely valuable to improve the project’s documentation. Unfortunately as many (most?) open source projects are done mostly by software developers, and often by volunteers or people without a lot of extra time, documentation is often under-developed. This is a reason why Google started the Season of Docs program, and why communities like Write The Docs etc. are becoming so popular. So keep up the good work – all of your insights will make moja global even better!

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