Sunday, September 8, 2013

Twelfth week report - Unit testing and improvements

By the start of the last week most of the scheduled developments were over as planned initially. What I planned for the last week was adding new unit tests for the code written in the second half of GSoC. With the experience of writing unit tests from the first half adding new unit tests were not very hard and I submitted a pull request with new unit tests.

While adding a new table level tab for table specific privileges I realized a limitation in the was I implemented configurable menus. In the system table that stores the allowed menus I had a column for each menu to indicate whether that tab is allowed. However this resulted in the need to change table structure whenever a new tab is added to phpMyAdmin. Hence I went on to change the table structure and submitted a pull request for that too.

With the last weeks work my planned tasks for GSoC come to an end. I've asked my mentor whether there is anything else I need to do before the deadline and would attend to any work he might pointed out. All in all it has been a very good experience and I learned a lot.  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Eleventh week report - Navigation panel improvements and table specific privileges

First half of the eleventh week of GSoC was spent on followup work on the 'Navigation panel and current table' feature request. By the time I submitted the pull request for the above feature request another developer has implemented a feature that would open the corresponding database in the navigation panel when a database is selected. I previously had this implemented as a part of the pull request and I had to merge the two implementations. Further I was asked to port the merged changes to the QA4 branch so it would be released sooner than the other features.

With these changes
1. Database node is opened and highlighted when the user goes to a database. Database groups created based on the defined separator is handled.
2. Table/view is highlighted in the navigation when the user goes to a table/view. Table and view containers are handled. Table groups created base on the defined separator is also handled.

Second half of the week was spent on creating a privileges tab for table level. This feature is in lieu of 'reCAPTCHA support on login panel' feature which has already been implemented. Borrowing the idea form database level privilege tab, this tab displays all the granted privileges related the current table. While implementing I was able to reuse some of the code between database level and new table level privileges tabs.

During the next week I plan to add documentation and write unit tests for the features implemented in the second half of GSoC.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tenth week report - Navigation panel and current table

During the tenth week of coding I implemented the feature request '#1398 - Navigation panel and current table'. Even though I personally loved the navigation tree improvement it seems that people find it not so user friendly due to some of its shortcomings. One of them is that it does not indicate the current database or table/view when navigation was done without using it.

When implementing the feature request I used PMA_commonParams.get() function which makes the current database and table available for JavaScript level. With these variables the navigation decides where the user had navigated and open the database or table/view appropriately.

What this feature request does is,
1. When  the user is in the database level, current database is highlighted in the navigation panel. If the database is grouped under a database group the groups is opened to highlight the database.
2. When the user is in the table/view level, current table/view is highlighted in the navigation panel. Following situations are handled here.
    a. Tables/views could be directly under the database or inside 'Tables'/'Views' containers.
    b. Tables/views could be grouped based on their names.
    c. A combination of the above two.

The last two feature requests I planned to implement have already been implemented and I plan to write to the developers' mailing list to get approval for some feature requests I'm going to implement in place of them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ninth week report - 'Single Row Editor: Value column too small' & 'Change icon in the left pane to based on the link target'

During the ninth week of coding I went on to implement two feature requests, namely
1. Single Row Editor: Value column too small and
2. Change icon in the left pane to based on the link target

The first one requires that a text area is provided to edit binary values when the size of the value exceeds the size that can easily be edited with an input field. The seconds feature request was to change the icon shown before the table name be adjusted based on the target of the icon. By default clicking on the icon takes the user to table structure page and the icon should be the 'structure' icon to represent that. Similarly the icon needs to be changed to reflect the link target if it is configured to something else.

Implementation wise both these feature requests were much easier than I anticipated and I was left with extra time to work on something else. Hence I started working on 'Navigation panel and current table' which was originally planned for the next week and seems to take more time than I anticipated earlier. During the next week I will work on completing it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eighth week report - Unit testing ctd. and fractional seconds in time

During the eighth week of GSoC I continued to add unit tests for the new code written in the first half of the program. Specifically I added unit tests for navigation item hiding feature implemented quite closer to the mid term evaluation. Writing unit test cases was not as challenging as the previous week due to the experienced gain writing unit tests.

During the same week I implemented the feature request that requested phpMyAdmin extend its support for time, datetime and timestamp data types with fractional seconds. The major problem for implementation was jQuery timepicker not supporting micro seconds. I looked into this problem earlier and had submitted a solution to jQuery timepicker project which got integrated. So I updated the plugin to its latest stable version and went on to add fractional seconds for time data types.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Seventh week report - Unit testing and documentation

Undoubtedly this was the most challenging week of GSoC I've had so far. This was mainly due to unit testing and I added tests for the functionality implemented by me during the first half of GSoC. I already had some experiences in unit testing using PHPUnit. However this was the first time I used mocking. I was familiar with the concept and went through a couple of online resources to make myself familiar with mocking in PHPUnit. The best resource was the existing phpMyAdmin tests and it had quite a number of instances where resources such as database connection were mocked.

Mocking in PHPUnit allows setting expectations and these expectations can be set based on the method being invoked and the index of method invocation.
For ex:
I interpreted the above as setting expectation for the first invocation of 'fetchAssoc' and spend a good amount of time trying to figure out why my tests fail. After a bit of reading online I figured out that the index is not related to the method, but relates to the number of time 'any' method is invoked on the mocked object. There seemed to quite a lot of people who had interpreted it in that way; see this and this.

I did most of the documentation while implementing the features, such as documenting new configurations. So documentation wise what I did during this week was porting these updates from the code to the phpMyAdmin wiki.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sixth week report - Export view as it was a table

Sixth week of coding was spent mostly on two tasks. The first one was extending hiding tables in navigation panel to other top level items under a database and polishing up the implementation. There were couple of suggestions by my mentor as well as other phpMyAdmin team members about the wordings and tables names I corrected them in my subsequent commits. The second task for the week was implementing 'rfe #1321 - Export view as it was a table'.

Implementing the new feature I introduced a new checkbox at the export page for the users to specify whether views should be exported as they were tables. This is not checked by default, leading to exporting view definitions as earlier, not to surprise users who are used to the old behavior. Here is a screenshot of it.

To derive a suitable structure for the table I used the output from getColumns() method of DatabaseInterface and the data returned by the method were sufficient to identify the properties of each column of the view.

The feature works at 3 levels
1. Exporting a view using the export tab at table level
2. Exporting the results of a query on a view
3. Exporting rows of a view by selecting the with checkboxes that are displayed against each row.

As indicated in my schedule I plan to use this week to write test cases and documentation for the development carried out in the first iteration. I have updated most of the documentation alongside feature implementation. So documentation would mostly be on updating the wiki.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fifth week report - Hide/unhide tables in navigation tree

During the fifth week of coding I went on to implement 'Hide/unhide tables in navigation tree' feature. Although I originally planned to start working on it in the fourth week I was unable to do so due to some work carried forward from third week. However I was able to finish off the work and the feature is now ready to be merged after my mentor's inspection.

This feature requires an additional table to the phpMyAdmin database to make the hiding stored permanently. When this table is configured an icon is displayed in front of each table which allows the table to be hidden from the tree. Any database having hidden tables will also have an icon in front of it which allows unhiding hidden tables. Unhiding tables is facilitated in a dialog which is poped up upon clicking the above icon and it shows hidden tables and allow unhiding each of them. Below screenshots illustrates what is described above.

When implementing the feature I had in mind that this could be extended to other items in the navigation tree and designed the feature in such a way. Later I extended the feature to allow hiding/unhiding functions, procedures, events and views.

What I have planned for the sixth week is 'Exporting view as it was a table' feature. After the implementation a user exporting a view would have the choice of choosing between the definition of the view (current implementation) or the data of the view (proposed implementation). If the latter is chosen, the new implementation would derive a suitable table structure (CREATE TABLE statement) as well as insert queries.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fourth week report - Ajax dialog for editing a view

During the fourth week of coding my main focus was on implementing feature request 1373, which requested to use the same editor creating and altering views. Earlier the SQL editor was used for view altering which did not provide any guidance on the process. So I went on to use the same editor used for view creation for view altering. Further view create/alter editor lacked some features such as fields to define SQL Security and Definer parameters. I have now added these fields to the editor, so the user has the full capability to create/alter a view. Here is a screenshot of view altering editor.

Isaac and Marc had commented about the configurable menus feature I implemented last week. In their comments they had suggested some improvements and I spent the latter half of the week implementing them. Those improvements included a feature to view users of a particular user group, separating user and user group management to separate secondary level tabs. Here is a screenshot of the new look and feel of 'Users' page.

In my schedule I had planned to start working on 'Hide/unhide tables' feature. But this got delayed as I had to work on the configurable menus feature. However this should not be a problem as I have this whole week allocated to completed the feature.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Third week report - Configurable menus

'Configurable menus' feature which I attempted during the third week of GSoC was the biggest I've implemented so far. RFE 316 merely asked for a basic mode in addition to the Advance (what we had earlier) mode. However I decided to implement this in a more generic way where this feature would let the super users configure profiles and assign users to them. These profiles will have limited rights defined and the logged in users would only see specified menus.

Implementation of this feature request includes
1. An interface to add and edit a user group to specify the allowed menu tabs.

2. A user group table which shows user groups and menu tabs allowed for each of them grouped in to server, db and table levels. Each of the user groups had links to edit them and delete them.

3. Ability to assign users to user groups when creating users.

 4. Edit user group assignments.

For the next week I have planned to implement 'Ajax dialog for editing a view' feature requested in RFE 1373. Currently editing a view is facilitated inside the SQL editor page while creation of a view is with a nice dialog. I will change the editing procedure to use the same dialog for editing. This would allow changing of options related to the view easily.

I also plan to start some work on feature 'Hide/unhide tables' (RFE 1385) as I feel it would take more than a week.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Second week report - find and replace by column

What I had planned for the second week of coding was the feature named 'Find and replace by column' requested in feature requests #487 and #1405. Reading through the feature requests it is evident that this feature was a quite needed one.

I approached this one by planning the user interface for the feature. I chose 'table search' tab to be the most suited one to include the UI for the new feature. 'Table search' tab already had a second level of tabs for 'ordinary table search' and 'zoom search'. So I added another secondary level tab for the new 'find and replace' feature. The new UI looks like the image below.

The initial UI facilitates entering a phrase to look for and a phrase to replace the original one. The column drop down facilitate choosing the column in which this operation is to be performed. Only the columns which has a text type is listed in the drop down as this operation in not valid for others.

When the user submits the form, having entered the above parameters, a case sensitive search is performed and a preview of replacement to be done is shown. Achieving a case sensitive search was problematic as some collations are case insensitive. However I overcame this hurdle by converting the collation to a case sensitive one in the same character set. Here is a screenshot of the preview.

Upon confirmation the matched string are replaced with the given string.

For the next week I have planned to implement 'Configurable menus' feature requested in #316. What is requested in the RFE is a basic mode with limited features exposed to the user. However, I would like to implement this in a more generic way where this feature would let the admin configure profiles and assign users to them. These profiles will have limited access defined and the logged in users would only see menus related to these features.

Monday, June 24, 2013

First week report - Relation Interface Improvements

I worked on 'Relation Interface Improvements' feature during the first week of GSoC and was able to successfully implement it. Now the cumbersome task of setting relational constraints has been made somewhat easy and is less error-prone. 
With the changes the long dropdown to select foreign column has been split to two dropdowns, one to select the foreign table and the other to select the foreign column. I also extended this to support cross database relations with an additional dropdown to select the foreign database for both internal and InnoDB types. Here is what the relation view interface looks like now.
So, when the user selects the database, the entries in the table dropdown are filtered only to show tables in that database and column dropdown is filtered in a similar manner when a table is selected. Own database is selected by default as it's more common to setup relations inside the same database.
Checking relational integrity feature was already supporting cross database relations. I added table name to the displayed text to make it clearer. I also updated a couple of FAQs in the documentation related to these features. 
For the next I have planned to implement 'Find and replace by column' feature which is quite long due. I have some preliminary work on it, and plan to finish implementing it during this week.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Coding begins

According to GSOC 2013 timeline, the coding period begins tomorrow. It's quite exiting as we get to do some hands on coding. I have pretty much completed reading documentation and getting myself familiarize with the code. Meanwhile I pulled merge requests for a couple of bugs and those fixes were incorporated to the code.

I am going to implement 'Improve relational view interface' feature during the first week. This is based on feature requests RFE #1283, RFE #1233 and RFE#175 from the feature request tracker. I've done some investigations related to these features during the last week.

With the implementation choosing the foreign column would be made a two step process. First the user chooses the foreign table from the table drop down which would filter the column in the columns drop down accordingly. Hence choosing the correct column would be much easier. Finally, the relational system would be enhanced to support cross database relations. Relational view interface would facilitate adding/editing these relations with an additional drop down to chose the database.

I will use 'relView' branch of my repository to implement this feature. However it is still empty, I will make a commit when the new code is stable.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

phpMyAdmin Interface Improvements

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here. I will use this blog to communicate the progress of my GSoC 2013 project  and hopefully even afterwards to write about some technical stuff.

First of all here are some details about the project. My project is titles "phpMyAdmin Interface Improvements" and as the name suggests I plan to implement an array of small to medium scale features during this summer. My mentor for this project is Isaac Bennetch and I look forward to cooperate with him in order to implement the feature requests with high usability.

More details about my project can be found here. Here is an extraction from my proposal to give you a high level overview of the project.

"phpMyAdmin is quite a matured project with more than 14 years of history behind it. It possesses almost all the major features required for a database administrative tool and there is very little that can be added in this front. However there is always room for small and medium scale new features. This is evident from the huge backlog of feature requests requested in the project’s feature request tracker. In this proposal, I propose a number of small to medium scale improvements chosen from the feature request tracker, majority of them selected by the developers of the project themselves and listed in the GSoC 2013 project ideas list."