Software and research: the Institute's Blog

PaperStream: a software that collects data from multiple-answer questions documents

Latest version published on 2 August, 2018.

By Julio Vega, University of Manchester. As part of my PhD where we are researching if we can use smartphone data to monitor the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, we found out that we had to go “Back to Analogue” as a paper diary was the best tool for patients to self-report their symptoms.

Software Deposit and Preservation Workshop

Latest version published on 24 July, 2018.

By Mike Jackson, Software Architect. On the 11th July, the Software Sustainability Institute and Jisc ran a Software Deposit and Preservation Workshop at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. This workshop brought together 12 research data managers, digital repository vendors, publishers, policymakers and researchers.

TICTeC 2018 – An Introduction to the World of Civic Technologies

Latest version published on 24 July, 2018.

By Reka Solymosi, University of Manchester. In April 2018, I was given the opportunity to explore the world of Civic Tech, through participating in TICTec2018, a conference for practitioners, commentators, academics, and funders of civic technologies.

JavaCard: The execution environment you didn’t know you were using

Latest version published on 13 July, 2018.

By Vasilios Mavroudis and Petr Svenda. This is the story of the most popular execution environment, its shortcomings, and how open source and hacking saved the day.According to recent revelations, the MINIX operating system is embedded in the Management Engine of all Intel CPUs released after 2015. A side-effect of this is that MINIX became known as the most widespread operating system in the world almost overnight. However, in the last decade another tiny OS has silently pushed itself into even more devices around the world while remaining unknown to most: JavaCard.

Workshop Report: Software Reproducibility – How to put it into practice?

Latest version published on 12 July, 2018.

On 24 May 2018, Maria Cruz, Shalini Kurapati, and Yasemin Türkyilmaz-van der Velden led a workshop titled “Software Reproducibility: How to put it into practice?”, as part of the event Towards cultural change in data management – data stewardship in practice held at TU Delft, the Netherlands. There were 17 workshop participants, including researchers, data stewards, and research software engineers. Here we describe the rationale of the workshop, what happened on the day, key discussions and insights, and suggested next steps.

Cloud-first: Serverless alerts for trending repositories

Latest version published on 11 July, 2018.

By Mark Woodbridge, Research Software Engineering Team Lead at Imperial College. In our previous two posts we described two ways of deploying web applications to Azure: firstly using a Virtual Machine in place of an on-premise server, and then using the App Service to run a Docker container. The former provides a means of provisioning an arbitrary machine much more rapidly that would traditionally be possible, and the latter gives us a seamless route from development to production – greatly reducing the burden of long-term maintenance and monitoring.

Cloud-first: Rapid webapp deployment using containers

Latest version published on 28 June, 2018.

By Mark Woodbridge, Research Software Engineer group lead at Imperial College London.

This is the second in a series of posts describing activities funded by our RSE Cloud Computing Award. We are exploring the use of selected Microsoft Azure services to accelerate the delivery of RSE projects via a cloud-first approach.

CarpentryCon 2018

Latest version published on 11 July, 2018.

By Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute, Aleksandra Nenadic, Software Sustainability Institute, Mario Antonioletti, Software Sustainability Institute. After six years of working and communicating with The Carpentries’ staff and community via email and various video conferencing tools at all sorts of early or late hours, we finally met them face-to-face for the very first time at CarpentryCon 2018. It was all very exciting!

Measuring Behaviour 2018

Latest version published on 11 July, 2018.

By Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute. We know that seven out of ten UK researchers reported that their work would be impossible without software, but, sometimes when attending domain specific conferences, we still get surprised at the importance of software in research. On June 2018, I attended Measuring Behavior 2018 by invitation of our fellow Robyn Grant.

Brexit Data Challenge part 2: presentation at GISRUK

Latest version published on 11 July, 2018.

By Reka Solymosi, University of Manchester. After our Brexit Data Challenge Hackathon our paper got shortlisted to be presented at the 2018 GISRUK conference. While I was unable to attend, two members of the hackathon team, Heather Robinson and Sam Langton went to represent our group. This is a guest blog of sorts by them on their experience on presenting our paper and the event in general.