24 Dec

Weekly Update 133: Your code reaches more people

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

Hello contributors,

This week I noticed that DuckDuckGo Instant Answers, as created by you, are now being incorporated in AntLang, a "programming language made for scientific computing". The project uses the DuckDuckGo API to be able to pull in data programmatically — a great way to take advantage of the Apache open source license that Instant Answers on GitHub are published under.

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17 Dec

Weekly Update 132: Look how far we've come!

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Hello contributors,

Now that we've been working for a while on the Programming Mission with many, many great contributions, it's a good time to look at what that means for end users. At a high level, some of the improvements are:

  • Many more Instant Answers, both informative and interactive
  • Improved and broader triggering
  • Better layout and display, including template tweaks and syntax highlighting
  • Bug fixes and data corrections
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10 Dec

Weekly Update 131: New IA format prototypes

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Hello contributors,

As you may have seen, this week we proposed a couple of prototypes for an improvement to documentation Instant Answers. Using Ruby for the test, we're trying out new formats that can show methods and classes both as individual items and also as lists. With breadcrumb links as well, this should enable developers to easily navigate through summaries and examples, with the option to click through to external documentation.

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26 Nov

Weekly Update 129: Are you on our contributor list?

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

Hello contributors,

While some of you celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm going to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your contributions, suggestions, bug reports, and general friendliness, making DuckDuckHack not just the place where where Instant Answers are born, but a happy community of developers helping to support privacy on the web.

It's difficult to say exactly how many contributors we have but one way we keep track is by having a Contributors team on GitHub. This is an opt-in list which any past, present or future DuckDuckHack contributor can join.

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19 Nov

Weekly Update 128: Documentation refresh

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

Hello contributors,

Following on from the announcement of our first combined list of issues last week, we've been trying to make things easier when you decide to pick up a task and get coding. In particular, that means improvements to DuckDuckHack documentation both in small edits and corrections, as well as new information such as this article explaining How to review a pull request. Several parts have been rewritten so if you haven't checked out the docs recently, now's a good time to take a look.

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12 Nov

Weekly Update 127: New task list, new IAs

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Hello contributors,

Recently we've been making more tweaks behind the scenes to make contribution to DuckDuckHack simpler. One of these is a new consolidated list of available tasks. I'm really excited about this because it's the first time we've had a place that combines open issues from all the Instant Answer GitHub repositories. It also includes notes about task difficulty and what language skills are required. This means it's easier than ever for anyone to find a task that suits their experience and ability.

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29 Oct

Weekly Update 125: JavaScript Revisited

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Hello contributors,

We examined JavaScript progress a couple of months ago but there's so much happening at the moment, let's take another look. The work is now being led by community member Bruno (bfmags), who's guided a number of new Instant Answer (IA) releases, including:

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22 Oct

Weekly Update 124: Keeping tabs on HTML

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Hello contributors,

This week let's take a look at the foundation of the billions of web pages out there — HTML. As part of our Programming Mission, the HTML activity is being led by Akansh.

The coverage for HTML (number of HTML-related searches that display an Instant Answer) is already around 27%, thanks mostly to a Fathead Instant Answer (IA) that shows snippets explaining HTML elements. Even so, there's a project open for this IA to be improved further — feel free to dive in and lend a hand!

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15 Oct

Weekly Update 123: How Java is moving forward

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Hello contributors,

After announcing new languages for the Programming Mission last week, let's take a closer look at them, starting with Java which is being led by marti1125.

Currently around 8% of Java-related searches show an Instant Answer so there's a good opportunity for improvement. This is already underway and is following the Programming Mission process.

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8 Oct

Weekly Update 122: More languages, more opportunities

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Hello contributors,

Thank you for the great response to our request for Language Leaders last week. We're pleased to welcome the following DuckDuckHack language leaders!

Thanks to their help and enthusiasm, we've expanded the programming mission to the following languages: C, C#, C++, CSS, Haskell, HTML, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby, Scala, Swift.

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30 Sep

Weekly Update 121: Better results for more languages

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

Hello contributors,

Let's start off with a great tweet, recognising all the hard work that's been put into the programming mission:

Tweet: How have I been missing out on @duckduckgo ?? It is a great search engine for programmers!

We've been getting more and more encouraging messages like this recently — thank you contributors! You can see for yourself how coverage is improving (that's the percentage of search queries that show an Instant Answer), and what Instant Answers are now available for each language in the Overview post on the forum.

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24 Sep

Weekly Update 120: Programming Mission Improvements

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

Hello contributors,

I'd like to tell you about a few changes to the DuckDuckHack forum recently which make it easier both to monitor progress and to discover ways you can contribute.

Firstly, we've organized all programming Instant Answers into the following categories:

  • Reference: Documentation for the language and major frameworks, libraries
  • Libraries: Finding libraries and plugins
  • Help: Tutorials and cheat sheets
  • Tools: Useful (and fun!) interactive tools like a color picker, JS minifier, JSON validator
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16 Sep

Weekly Update 119: The Status of Swift

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Hello contributors,

We have one more language from our programming mission to get an update for, and it's Swift (including other Apple developer-related searches).

The main sources of data for new Instant Answers so far have been the helpful SwiftDoc.org and Apple's official developer reference. They enable IAs that should greatly help Apple developers.

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10 Sep

Weekly Update 118: Up close with Python

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Hello contributors,

We're continuing our weekly look into the progress of the programming mission and it's the turn of Python, the only language that let's you fly!

Since the start of the mission, Instant Answer coverage for Python-related queries has increased from 35% to 46%. A lot of this is due to improvements with Python docs, but progress has also been made for Django and with tutorial snippets.

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3 Sep

Weekly Update 117: Progress with Perl

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

Hello contributors,

After CSS and JavaScript, it's time to look at Perl this week, the language that powers most of DuckDuckGo.

Since we embarked on the programming mission, Instant Answer coverage using PerlDoc has increased dramatically and MetaCPAN is showing more results, having been upgraded to the v1 API. This means that overall Perl coverage has more than doubled from around 20% to almost 45%!

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27 Aug

Weekly Update 116: Focus on JavaScript

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

Hello contributors,

After concentrating on CSS last week, let's look at another common web language this week — JavaScript.

Similar to other langauges we're focusing on (CSS, Perl, Python, Swift), we initially looked at how many JavaScript-related queries are covered by Instant Answers. At the start of our programming mission it was around 32% but thanks to some cool contributions, it's now over half at 53%! This includes the following new or updated Instant Answers:

Screenshot of the JavaScript minifier

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