Weekly Update 112: Scratching your own itch
This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.
We sometimes get messages from people wanting to contribute to DuckDuckHack but not sure what to do. One of the best ways is to "scratch your own itch" and I'd like to share a couple of recent examples of contributors doing just that.
Lauren lives in DuckDuckGo's hometown, Philadelphia, and noticed the local bike sharing Instant Answer was not appearing when she expected it to. She filed an issue for it (great!) and also offered to fix it (even better!), with some technical support. She'd clearly thought about how to tackle the issue and with a bit of community cooperation I'm sure it won't be long before it's working as expected.
Meanwhile David in Scotland noticed helpful Instant Answers for PHP and Apache searches, but nothing similar when looking up Ruby methods. He decided to do something about it and after checking out the documentation and similar work with Python, he built a new Ruby Fathead that provides exactly the answers he wanted.
So whatever you're level of expertise, confidence, or time available, if you notice that an Instant Answer doesn't appear when it should (or vice versa), that's a great opportunity to help fill the gap. Whether it's raising an issue, suggesting a fix, or providing the whole solution, it all makes a difference to helping fellow users and supporting the DuckDuckGo mission.
And now for some more specific ways in which you can contribute...
- GoWatchIt: Improve triggering accuracy
If "show" is in the query, we should check the show result for relevancy and use it if applicable.
- Time: Shouldn't trigger for "month"
This IA is over-triggering. Come to think of it, it shouldn't trigger for "year" either.
- JQuery Fathead: Rewrite it from scratch
This has the potential to fill lots of gaps in jQuery searches, and Maria can provide good support if necessary.
- Improve the new SwiftDocs Instant Answer
Jag has built the foundation and is now looking for help adding things like automated categories.
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.
There may be times when you leave feedback on somebody's pull request but they're too busy to implement it, or perhaps you think it's just faster to do it yourself. Sending a pull request to that person's fork could help in such situations, and here's how to do it.
First, make a copy of their branch locally:
git remote add [temp-name] https://github.com/[their-username]/[repository-name]
git fetch [temp-name]
git checkout [temp-name]/master (or whatever branch they're using)
git checkout -b [my-branch]
Then make your changes, and commit and push as normal:
git commit -am "[your message]"
git push origin [my-branch]
Now go to the user's forked repo on GitHub to send this branch as a pull request to their branch (note that it may not be
master) — all they have to do is click the merge button and that's it! Big thanks to GuiltyDolphin for teaching me how to do this magic (ʘ‿ʘ)
That's all for now — have a fun weekend.
- The DuckDuckGo Staff