Weekly Update 134: Happy New Year!
This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.
I hope you had a great start to the new year. 2016 was a year full of activity and achievements for DuckDuckHack so I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the highlights of the past 12 months.
- We started the year with a global Quack & Hack event, bringing together contributors from around the world both online and offline, and with new explanatory videos. Read the post-event report here.
- We started a contributor list for easier community management and to enable people to have the DuckDuckGo badge on their GitHub profile. You can request an invite here.
- The DuckDuckHack website got a nice refresh including a consolidated list of open issues as well as individual contributor profile pages such as this one.
- For the first time we focused on a single topic — a Programming Mission — to channel the efforts of the whole community to improve searches for developers. This has resulted in an increase in quality of code contributions, a lot of great feedback from users and we now have over 300 programming Instant Answers.
- To support the Programming Mission there's now a DuckDuckHack forum for discussing Instant Answer (IA) ideas and improvements, as well as automated data on IA usage.
- And to finish off with a couple more statistics, we finished the year with over 2,100 members in our Slack team (you can join here) and we passed 10,000 followers of the DuckDuckHack Twitter account.
But the thing that brings the biggest smile to my face is seeing the community thrive with enthusiastic new contributors, dedicated long-time contributors, helpful community leaders, and proactive language leaders. Thanks to your hard work we have a community that is friendly, creative and passionate about open source and privacy. Both individually and as a team, it's a pleasure to chat, plan and code with you and I look forward to what 2017 brings. Thank you all!
As usual, let's continue with a look at a few of the Instant Answer issues we're looking for help with...
- Java: Create new iText 7 Community Instant Answer
This would look up information from the docs for iText, a PDF library for Java.
- Java: Create new Apache JMeter Instant Answer
This would show extracts from the docs for JMeter testing software.
- Apple Docs macOS: List all topic titles and language features to help measure coverage
Such a list can be used for both unit tests and to broaden triggering for the IA.
- Can I Use: Add other aliases for CSS filters
For example, it currently triggers on "can i use css filters" but not "can i use css filter".
Here's a quick command line tip from developer Remy Sharp taken from his new book, Working the Command Line. It involves something called a pling dollar which is simply
!$ and represents the last command line argument you entered. This could be useful when you're executing multiple related commands, but it's best explained with an example.
Let's say you're converting a video file into a new format, e.g. with
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 output.webm
The final argument in this case is the name of the output file, so if you wanted to copy that file into a directory named "backup", you could use
!$ instead of having to re-type the filename:
cp !$ backup
Not only does this save a bit of time, it also reduces the chance of typing errors — a double win!
That's all for now — have a wonderful 2017 everyone!
- The DuckDuckGo Staff