28 May

Weekly Update 103: Benefitting from outside help

This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.

Hello contributors,

I'd like to share a nice example of collaboration leading to a better experience for users. We have a handy Instant Answer for finding Rust cargo packages which we told the Rust community on Reddit about. They quickly gave us specific suggestions for improvement, Tom Bebbington and PJ Hampton got coding, and now we have an Instant Answer with better triggering and showing more package results - and happy Rust developers!

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21 May

Weekly Update 102: A Slack milestone

This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.

Hello contributors,

I'm delighted to say that this week we reached 1,000 Slack members! Fun fact: If we all stood on top of each other, we'd reach over five times higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

With more people joining, it's great to see not just more questions but also more answers and technical help. If you've been unsure about how to contribute, now is a good time to join us on Slack, say hi, and ask for help or suggestions, no matter what your level of experience is. You can get an invite instantly here: quackslack.herokuapp.com

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20 May

Getting to know the team

Working at DuckDuckGo is unusual. Firstly, there's the hiring process. Rather than focusing on resumes and interviews, it's based on results and team fit. Then there are the working hours and vacation — work and rest as much as you need to get your tasks done. Most peculiar, though, is that we're a remote team. The majority of our staff work from home or shared office spaces in countries all around the world but it's no substitute for laughing, debating, learning and relaxing in the same room. To solve that, we host an annual, week-long event at our company headquarters for staff to mingle face-to-face. This month was our 2016 meetup.

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14 May

Weekly Update 101: Getting community feedback

This week we were lucky enough to attend a Quack & Hack meetup in Los Angeles — many thanks to Jon Paul and Sasha for organizing it. There are five of us looking after the DuckDuckGo community and we were in Los Angeles as part of a week-long team meeting. During this and the Q&H meetup, we looked in detail at our current programming Instant Answer mission and whether we can make it easier for anyone to contribute. Turns out we can! This starts with us supporting individual contributors and helping you to "own the query space", i.e. making the most of your expertise in a particular topic or programming language.

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7 May

Weekly Update 100: Celebrating open source

As you may have seen, this week we had an article published on opensource.com that explains some of our experiences building up the DuckDuckHack community. It was 2012 when we first started receiving code contributions, and since then we've learned a lot about how to make contributing easier, and how to encourage more people to join in. We're still working on improvements and plans for the future, and of course welcome your comments and ideas.

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30 Apr

Weekly Update 99: Spreading the word

It was a busy time for us on reddit this week. With support from moderators, we started threads on various programming subreddits and had a fantastic response. The more feedback we get from experts on particular subjects, the more we can improve the quality of Instant Answers. So far we've seen not only several new issues and PRs created, but also discussions on wider topics such as !bangs and general DuckDuckGo features. We're trying to approach communities for each of the topics in our programming IA coverage table and you can see and join in with the Reddit discussions through this list of posts: reddit.com/search?q="help+improve+duckduckgo"

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23 Apr

Weekly Update 98: Learning more about the community

Thanks to those that answered our quick poll on Twitter. We were surprised to see that 50% of respondents are students. Consequently, it seems there are times in the year, like now, when things get very busy preparing for exams. If that's you then we wish you good luck! Perhaps there are even Instant Answer ideas which could help you prepare, whether it's for exams, filing taxes, or other seasonal tasks. If so, please share them in the #ia-ideas Slack channel.

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16 Apr

Weekly Update 97: Stay updated

We've made an important update to the DuckPAN server. Whether you use Codio or a local installation, please run duckpan upgrade to install the newest version of DuckPAN, v. 1001. There were some internal changes that have caused cheat sheets and Goodies with templates to not work properly in older versions of DuckPAN. Of course, feel free to message us if you run into any issues!

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2 Apr

Weekly Update 95: The focus on programmers continues

Hello contributors,

Thanks to your efforts, the gaps on our programming IA coverage table are reducing. We highlighted this initiative in this week's blog post, together with a description for new DuckDuckGo users of the kinds of programming Instant Answers that are available. The reaction has been good, showing that your code contributions are really appreciated.

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25 Mar

DuckDuckGo Friends Newsletter #68

This month, we're proud to have rolled out one of the most requested features of the year: Directions!
Now, you can get directions for location results on DuckDuckGo as well as select your favorite map provider for the task. Directions also work on mobile, jumping into whichever maps app you've selected, if installed on your device. Read more about the update or leave your feedback here: duck.co/blog/post/291/directions

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19 Mar

Weekly Update 93: Help us convert to full templates!

Hello contributors,

We need your help updating old, crusty, structured Goodies to much more flexible (and beautiful) templates! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to convert Instant Answers from our current to-do list by:

  1. Commenting here on which IAs you'll be working on.
  2. Using the docs + our help to convert your chosen IA.
  3. Celebrating additional contribution credit across the IAs you help fix up.

If you're looking for a different challenge this weekend, there are still plenty of programming queries which are not covered by an Instant Answer. Check out https://github.com/duckduckgo/duckduckgo/wiki/Programming-IA-Coverage and see what you can add!

Of course, you can always work on one of the issues or improvements noted below:

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15 Mar

Directions!

We’re proud to announce that we’ve just added one of the most-requested features to date: Directions!

Now, location results will not only give you the option for directions but allow you to choose from the most-requested map providers – Apple, Bing, Here, OpenStreetMap, and yes – even Google Maps!

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11 Mar

Weekly Update 92: Introducing Maintainers!

Hello everyone!

We’ve rolled out a change to DuckDuckHack that introduces, “maintainers” to our community. Now, every Instant Answer has an individual assigned as the Maintainer of that IA.

What’s a Maintainer?

A maintainer is the individual responsible for moderating Pull Requests and Issues with Instant Answers that they’re responsible for. Most basically, they oversee proposed and submitted changes to their Instant Answers to ensure the quality and reliability of an Instant Answer experience. They’re the first line of defense against things like bug reports, malicious code as well as improvements and updates!

What does this mean for me?

If you've created an Instant Answer, you should now be noted as the Maintainer on your IA page. When someone created an issue through your page, you will be notified via GitHub and should respond according to the Maintainer Guidelines: http://docs.duckduckhack.com/maintaining/guidelines.html We hope that having clear expectations for the long-term care of an Instant Answer will help foster a better sense of ownership and clarity for contributors. Over time, we hope that every Instant Answer has an attentive developer overseeing its changes and deeply caring about the answers and search queries they’re moderating.

Read more about the update here: https://duck.co/blog/post/289/maintainers-for-instant-answers

As usual, if you're looking to help out or jump into something this weekend, please check the issues below!

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