OpenShift Developer Spotlight: Barun Saha - Archived

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OpenShift Developer Spotlight: Barun Saha

Learn more about The ONE Knowledge Base in our Application Gallery

What is your primary Development Language?

Python, Django

What inspired you to be a developer?

About 16 years ago at a very young age, my brother, Arun Saha,
introduced me to the world of computers when he showed me how to play a
game of billiards using a mouse. Thereafter, my fascination with those
intelligent machines continuously kept on growing. A few years later I had
a PC at home, and soon learned by myself how to create web pages and
animations. That was how I discovered my passion for developing things.
Fast forward several years, I have been the lead developer of the
Software Engineering and
the Advanced Network Technologies
Virtual Labs.

To state my philosophy, I believe in developing software to create a
difference and make life a better place to live.

What programming language did you learn first?

I had learned a bit of BASIC while at school. However, in the true sense of learning, C was my first. Thereafter, worked with many other languages
including Java, JavaScript and Python.

What tools do you use the most often for development? (Operating System, IDE, etc)

Life without Linux and the all-powerful terminal is unthinkable!

Geany and Gedit are my favorite editors for almost all purposes. However,
I use NetBeans and Eclipse while working with Java and Android SDK,
respectively. I also use Git for version control. For quick text analysis,
I rely on AWK although I switch to Python when the task becomes complex.
Firefox is my favorite web browser; I use Chrome and Opera mostly for
testing my web applications.

What is your favorite development stack? (OS/language/server/database)
  • Operating Systems: RedHat and Debian
  • Languages: Python, Java (sometimes)
  • Web Technologies: Django, JavaScript (jQuery and plugins), HTML, CSS
  • Databases: MySQL, SQLite
  • Server: Apache
Why did you choose OpenShift as your hosting platform?
  1. Supports Django framework based on Python
  2. From Red Hat — one of the most popular Linux distros
  3. Provides free hosting with full features
What advantages does OpenShift give you that other hosting platforms don’t?

In the age of *-as-a-Service, OpenShift — Red Hat’s PaaS — has been a
game changer. As a web (Django, to be specific) developer, I can
peacefully code without worrying much about the deployment. Following are
a few factors that places OpenShift higher above the others: 1) One-click platform
customization by adding/removing cartridges, 2) Git-based deployment and
full control of the environment via SSH, 3) Auto-scaling and default load
balancing. Of course, not to forget the brand Red Hat.

What are the best features of OpenShift that some people might not know about?
  • Freely host up to three apps
  • Supports Python-Django framework
  • Provides SSH access and complete control over the app & environment

What are one or two things you think are missing from OpenShift that would make it better?

  • A GUI-based deployment scheme
  • Still more exhaustive documentation at least for Django
Tell us more about your application currently hosted on openshift:
  • Name: The ONE Knowledge Base
  • What does it do? The ONE Knowledge Base is an online platform meant for searching the email archives of the ONE simulator’s mailing list. This will, therefore, enable the users of the ONE simulator to search using suitable keywords if their query has already been answered earlier.
    Similar to other search engines, the ONE KB presents a list of matching documents (emails in this context) based on the input keyword(s). A user can click on these individual items to view the corresponding email in detail.
    As of today, the archives from November 2007 to April 2014 have been indexed. A stripped down version of this application — django_mailman_search — is available in GitHub ( under the GPL v2 license.
    Note: The ONE KB is an individual effort to help the community. It does not bear any authorization by the Aalto University, the host of the mailing list.
  • What technologies were used to create your app? Django, SQLite, Bootstrap
  • What motivated you to create this application and what problems does it solve? The Opportunistic Network Environment (ONE) simulator has become largely popular and widely used in research on DTNs and Opportunistic Networks. Although there is an associated mailing list, there are two issues with that.
  • First, the archives of the community’s mailing list are not hosted publicly. This is unlike many other similar lists hosted using Mailman, which are public and, therefore, can be searched using Google. Hence, time and again people have asked the question — how to search the email archives?
  • The second issue is largely due to the first. Due to the lack of searching facility over the archives, often same question tend to be asked by the new users repeatedly. People here are patient enough to reply to them. But such necessity could be entirely discounted had there been a facility to search the archives. In particular, it would be useful to point to the users the specific emails matching one or more user provided search keyword(s).
    Therefore, to address these issues, the ONE Knowledge Base was created.
  • What new features do you have planned for this application and will they implement any new technologies within OpenShift? There are two features that I have in mind to incorporate into this application, the ONE Knowledge Base. First, I would like to extend the scope of the search to include the related documents available in the Web. Second, to let users rank the search results based on their query.
  • If your application is Open Source, how can others contribute or get involved? Django_mailman_search is a stripped down version of this application and available in GitHub under the GPL v2 license. Anyone willing to contribute to this project is welcome! You may drop me an email, or get involved via GitHub.

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