Requirements

This document describes the software, services, and expertise that will be needed for the implementation of the Open SDG platform.

Software

All the software described here is open source and free to use.

Jekyll

The platform is powered mostly by Jekyll. In fact, this repository is a Jekyll theme. By compiling the platform to a static website, Jekyll allows for the easiest possible deployment.

Git

Maintenance and development of the platform requires the use of Git. Most maintenance tasks can be performed without using command-line Git (thanks to Github.com and Prose.io - see below) but for development, Git will be an important tool.

Python

Most implementations of the platform will not require alterations to any of the Python scripts involved in the "build process," but developers should be aware that additional build-time manipulations of data/metadata may require some knowledge of Python. Any extra validation may also require Python code.

Services

All the services described here can be used without paying fees.

Github.com

Github.com provides 3 key functions:

  1. Git repository: As a Git "remote," Github.com will be the central location for all maintenance and development, both for the platform and its content, data, and metadata.
  2. Platform hosting: Through the free "Github Pages" offering, Github.com will provide free hosting of the platform.
  3. Automation: Through the free "Github Actions" offering, Github.com also provides automation services. This allows the platform to be automatically "built" in response to simple workflows. The key ones are:

    • When code is pushed to the "develop" Git branch, build and deploy to staging.
    • When code is pushed to the "master" Git branch, build and deploy to production.
    • When a Github pull request is created, run tests against the new code.

    Although these docs will focus on Github Actions, other automation services like CircleCI and TravisCI are equivalent. Or for a more do-it-yourself approach: open-source Jenkins.

Prose.io

Prose.io provides a data management interface, which allows non-technical data providers to update data and metadata, using only their web browser.

Expertise

The notes below apply to developers tasked with implementing this platform, adding/changing functionality, and/or updating the look-and-feel.

Git

For development, basic familiarity with Git (command-line) will be important.

Jekyll

Since the platform is a Jekyll site, familiarity with the configuration and structure of the Jekyll framework will be important. Additionally, as with any Jekyll site, some familiarity with the Liquid template language is necessary.

Web

Since this is a web platform, customisation of markup, style, and behavior will require familiarity with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Developers should be aware that the platform uses the Bootstrap library.

Additionally — although most implementations will not require alterations to advanced functionality like filtering, charts, and maps — developers should be aware of the Javascript libraries used:

Continuous integration

Some experience with continuous integration (CI) — such as with integrating Github sites with GitHub Actions, TravisCI, or CircleCI — will be helpful. Developers will NOT need to implement this integration from scratch, but any customisation of the automation workflows will require some basic familiarity with open-source CI practices.