PoliTree: Development Timeline

If you do not know what the PoliTree is, I’d recommend reading both the project introduction and the glossary (work-in-progress).

This is a journal giving an insight into the progress I’ve made since I’ve started. Hopefully it gives you a better idea of how something like this comes about, and the level of effort I’ve put into making this project. Each section header links to the full details of each update, in case you want to see more specifics about the development process. A short summary of each update is provided on this page, but visit each link to find out more.

May 2018 through November 2019

This period marks the initial conception stages of the model, as the concept runs through various incarnations. It also shows the beginning of the website’s development, as I begin to experiment with layout/style, before setting on a brown design that would serve as the site’s foundation until the 2023 redesign.

February 2020

This update has me fleshing out the branch concept, figuring out how to divide up leaves into branches, and what distinctions could be used to funnel a test-taker from a leaf into a branch.

April 2020

This update has me designing the filter questions, coming up with a specific way to take the distinctions developed in February 2020 and develop them into actual questions.

June 2020

This update was minor, the work done was mostly just writing up the various branch pages and filter questions.

August 2020

In this update, I design and implement a “metadata” system, which gives a brief collection of information on the various reading references the test will recommend you on the results’ pages. These serve to make diving into the literature easier and aid your decision in what to read first.

November 2020

Not much happens here, but I do begin considering an overhaul to the filter questions design since I was running into serious snags with designing questions that were elegant/relevant.

March 2021

This update mostly centered around implementing the overhaul of the entire filter question system, replacing the old literal questions with a system where two paragraphs (representing each view in the aforementioned distinction) are presented and one is asked what they agree with more. I also begin brainstorming ideas on how to approach the canopy questions (the initial questions which would filter you down to a leaf).

May 2021

This update doesn’t have much in the way of test design, as documentation/hosting was the bigger focus for the month. It mostly centers around the relocating of the site from a GitHub page over to a proper VPS, and the establishment of a proper wiki and documentation on Mkdocs.

July 2021

I finally come up with an approach on how to tackle the canopy questions and implement it, making use of a dropdown system where both your selection of questions (a large pool with limited slots) and selection of answers intersect to provide the necessary intersection of Approach and Focus to yield a leaf result.

October 2021

This update involves me actually implementing the canopy questions, and tackling some logistical issues pertaining to how they’d be assessed.

May 2022

This update mostly centered around progressing on the canopy questions and considering the problem of how to handle mixed-category leaves with the dropdown approach I’m using for the canopy questions.

August 2023

After an incredibly long hiatus (mostly due to college taking my focus), I return, ready to begin the long-awaited site overhaul. In the time between updates, I completed the bulk of questions and results, and studied up more on web development in preparation for the rewrite. My priority this month was overhauling my software development practices, as my previous way of doing things was very ad-hoc and tended to make headaches for me down the line. The codebase was ported to Codeberg, a second contributor was brought on, documentation was made a priority, tasks broken down into clearly-defined short-term goals, and a routine for issue tracking developed.

The previous hardcoded way of putting in branch/leaf/book information needed to be done away with, so I developed a JSON-based system by which information can be dynamically loaded in from modules.

November 2023

The time I spent over the last months overhauling my workflow very quickly bore fruit, as I found myself rapidly drilling through the early stages of web development I previously struggled with. November likely marks the most significant milestone this project’s development has seen in years. The site’s foundation was created, the codebase structured, the plan laid out, and modularization implemented.

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