Weekly Update 109: Owning the query space
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We often recommend that developers try to "own" a query space. In other words, that they develop Instant Answers (IAs) for searches related to a particular topic they're interested in. You are all experts in something and so are better placed than we are to know things like:
- What content users are looking for
- What's missing from current Instant Answers
- What data sources are best
One good example of this is contributor Manraj Singh who has created most of our C++ cheat sheets. Each of them are for a specific C++ niche and form the long tail of searches that only human contributions can properly cover.
So, in your area of expertise, are there programming topics we're currently under-serving? If these are currently covered by cheat sheets, could you go one step further and make a command/function lookup IA? Or perhaps within a particular language there are sub-topics that could have their own specialized IA.
Hopefully, that provides some inspiration, but if you're looking for specific ideas for contributing here are some suggestions...
- MAC Address: Fix the broken update link
The link containing data to update the IA has broken, but we think we've found a replacement. All it needs is pasting into the code and testing.
- Yacht specs: Move "skip" words into the Perl code
If you just want to get started with a basic pull request, this is simply a case of moving text from one file to another.
- Forecast: Add % precipitation
Firstly we'd need to investigate whether the API provides this. If so, it should be added to the Instant Answer display.
- Unicode: Codepoints in v. 7.0 are not available
Looks like the maintainer could do with some help getting the IA to trigger on newer Unicode codepoints.
IAs for Adoption
The following Instant Answers are looking for a maintainer — someone to moderate suggested changes from the community as well as address any issues that pop up in the future. If you'd like to step forward, please create an issue on GitHub using the button at the bottom of each IA page.
As you probably know, we use Perl a lot to power DuckDuckGo and our Instant Answers. Personally, I'm still learning the unique features of Perl but there's one cool thing I'd like to share that I haven't seen in other languages.
Very often we need to makes lists of items, sometimes to quickly test a much larger list. In Perl this can be done without quotes and commas using the
qw function, for example:
my @list = qw(apple orange banana);
Perl will understand this as though you've written:
my @list = ("apple", "orange", "banana");
As you can see, it's just a small reduction in characters but not only does it save time, less typing also means less chance of bugs.
There are other similar functions such as
qx and just
q which also handle strings and quotes, so I'll let you investigate those for your homework :-)
And with that, we wish you all a nice weekend everyone!
- The DuckDuckGo Staff