Beta Testing

25 July, 2011 15:46 by Simon S

Just wanted to let the two of you that are following this blog that we've handed over the code for the open source code for the Field Guide to our beta tester. We are moving ever closer to the date that you can get your hands on the code.

Why are we beta testing? In getting the code ready to release, I've simplified the code in some areas but also added in a new setting or two. While I know you're a fan of Museum Victoria's particular shade of green, it's remotely possible that somebody with a less sophisticated palette may want to change the colour of the toolbars. A charming shade of mauve may be their choice, or perhaps honeysuckle, if they're up with this year's Pantone colour. The setting for this was buried in a class, but is now set in a configuration file.

Even if I hadnt tweaked the code, it's important to check that the whole thing isn't going to fall in a heap when you get the code and run it yourself.

At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs, after adding your own data to the code, you should put aside a block of time do some extensive testing of the app before releasing it to the public.

Before releasing our field guide, we checked the detail page of each animal, made sure the images were there, maps were appearing, that audio was working and there weren't any unexpected crashes (not that we had a list of expected crashes). I'm not going to lie to you, while the images and audio in the guide are beautiful, it can get a little tedious having to go through a couple of hundred in one sitting.

It's unlikely, but possible, that something in the data for one of your animals will interact strangely with the code. Better to find that out before you publish to the App Store.

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Comments (4)

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Gary Cobb 26 July, 2011 20:47
Great news guys! Can't wait to see the new code. You have put alot of "love" into this project. Cheers!
Ken McInnes 29 July, 2011 14:20
Will the code be available for developers to create for other platforms? Androids, etc.
Discovery Centre 30 July, 2011 11:59

Hi Ken,

The data is available on the web in the biodiversity snapshots field guide, which you should be able to access on your smartphone. We don't have any immediate plans to develop an native app for other platforms at the moment, but we are investigating a HTML 5 web app, but can't give any idea of a delivery schedule for that at the moment.

Neil Shelley 31 July, 2011 22:58
I currently have a HTML 5 web app for Australian Shorebirds ( and would love to use your source code to convert it to a full app. Looking forward to the release of your code.
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About this blog

We've released the source code for MV's Field Guide Project under a MIT style license. This blog will help you identify all the material you need to collect so that you can publish a field guide of your own.

MV's Open Sourced Code on Github

View all Museum Victoria's apps

Blog authors

Simon S is the programmer behind the field guide app.

Simon O is the designer behind the field guide app.