IRIS Report March 2022

Over the lockdown, the IRIS team has felt increasingly disconnected from the rest of the world – with communication largely limited to email, announcements and social media. In a bid to promote transparency of what IRIS has been working on and communication with the stakeholders, we will be publishing monthly reports – highlighting the work done by different teams over the previous month as well as providing a look into some of the other exciting work that’s in the pipeline. This also gives us an opportunity to recognize the hard work done by our members and give them an individual voice.

Highlights

Web, App, Product and Media Team recruitments
The recruitments for the web development, app development and product teams of IRIS took place recently. A total of 14 students have been recruited from a set of highly competitive applicants. Congratulations to all the new members of the IRIS family – Surya Kaushik, Krishna Prasad, Ashish Bharath, Ananya Chavali, Danish Juneja, Abdullah Rafi, Muthukumar, Keerthi Bhushan, Vedant Tarale, Arif Kalluru, Vinit Puranik, Shashank SM, Anirudh Gubbi and Mohd Dilshad.

Timetable Module Public Release
The timetable module provides students with suitable features to ease through the process of tracking one’s exams, projects, seminars, assignment deadlines and dynamic lecture schedules in an offline learning scenario. The class/course representatives can add, modify and schedule different course activities for the students enrolled in a particular course. The users shall receive timely updates through web notifications support.
Note: The students are requested to contact their faculty advisors (name visible under the Course Representatives tab of the module) for assigning CRs for their enrolled courses if no CR has already been assigned on the IRIS timetable module.

Projects Portal Public Release
The Projects Portal is a medium through which NITK faculty can float projects for the students of NITK. It enables students to discover, explore, track and apply to real world projects with great ease. The users shall receive timely updates through web notifications support.

Web

Hostel:

  • Generation of room allotment receipt in the absence of hostel fee structure (as is the case with offline payments currently) or if the hostel fee has been paid
  • Updated the room numbers for the new PG hostel block
  • Corrected the room number from “80” to “90” for the third and fourth blocks

CEMS:

  • Temporarily added location as a text field, bypassing the infrastructure module.
  • Display group-only events to group members

Forms:

  • Display children fields of a conditional parent field on page load
  • Added scrollbar to “More Options” dropdown on the form index page.

PG Module:

  • Allow students to register for comprehensive exam only after research areas are floated by Chairman DRPC
  • Allow secretary DRPC to define research areas, registration deadline and exam date for comprehensive exam.
  • Display “Student History” on PG employee dashboard

Others:

  • CDC: Improved the design of company card
  • Course Feedback: Automatic generation of feedback forms and questions when grading is locked, and send notifications to the students
  • Student Data: Added the first-year section as an exportable column for generating customized student data
  • Library: Push student profile photo after Library::Patron object is created
  • User Authorization: Integrated LinkedIn as an OAuth solution
  • NITK Website: Upgraded to CKEditor 5.0 due to a file upload bug
  • CI/CD: Changes to make test stage faster – execution of test stage conditionally, usage of custom mysql Dockerfile to avoid health check delay, usage of structure.sql instead of running all migrations and not cache gems as they will be cleaned up anyway

App

  • CDC: Migrated the code to support null safety which involved – upgradation of packages used, necessary changes to code to support upgraded packages (along with CDC module, certain core functions that required migrational changes were are also taken care of)
  • Notifications: Enabled pop up notifications for the app and tested it with the dev server; Resolved the issue of unsubscribing devices from the app
  • CEMS: Established web socket connection from mobile app to the server, and created the main calendar page with event listings
  • e-Scooter: Prototype for talking with the server for scooter events was done along with basic Leaflet.js map integration.
  • Design System: Completed and merged in-house widgets used all over the app
  • Internet Connectivity Issue: Fixed issue which incorrectly shows internet available when device is offline.  

Systems

Moodle:

  • Tuned database for improved performance
  • BBB lectures in video format (limited & on-request basis)
  • Allow rendering questions/question banks with large number of math tex symbols

Development Server:

  • Disabled development logs
  • Auto-restart development server and elastic search on reboot

NodeBB

  • Upgraded to Nodebb v1.19.5
  • Installed plugins to drive engagement – threaded replies, category notifications and leaderboard.

Others:

  • Created status page for major services: https://status.irisni.tk
  • Mail: Added basic health check for mail service
  • Backup: Segregated database backups to be initiated from a different container thereby reducing load on the primary servers

Product

NodeBB Forum:

  • Moderation of the forum
  • Identified and gathered use cases to integrate IRIS notifications with the forum

Others:

  • FAQs: Created FAQs for Course Registration, My Grade Card, and Fee Payment pages
  • Handled Tell IRIS tickets
  • Prepared the rules, usage policy and community guidelines for the upcoming Buy & Sell module
  • Completed testing of Employee Profile changes; extensive testing of upcoming Guest House booking & CEMS user tour taking place actively
  • Identified various pain points wrt various academic, institute & hostel related processes happening off IRIS and gathered requirements to start development of upcoming Service Requests module
  • Contacted The Office of Dean Alumni Affairs and received the template for the follow-up email feature in the upcoming Alumni Connect module
  • Reviewed the Sports module and notified Students Council and NITK sports teams to resume activities related to Sports module on IRIS
  • Identified and conceptualized changes in the Gyan and Forms module to improve UI/UX
  • Brainstormed and zeroed in upon ideas to further build and improve brand IRIS
  • Planned & prepared for media team recruitments; recruitments currently underway

Upcoming Releases & Events

App notifications public release
All of us find it extremely useful and convenient when we receive real-time updates through the apps we use in our daily lives. With the aim of providing the same comforts to all our users, the IRIS Android app notifications is planned to be released soon.

SBI ePay
The SBI ePay is a online payment aggregation service (or payment gateway) provided by the State Bank of India. It is intended to support all the online payments such as institute fee payment, hostel fee payment, etc., that happen via IRIS.

Hostel Module Updates
A feature to enable students to book their own rooms shall be made available on IRIS. A mess management system has also gone under works – provisions to book messes, generate smart mess cards, avail mess concessions, etc., through the click of few buttons on IRIS shall be made available as part of the module.

Contact & Support

In case of any issues, queries, suggestions and feedback, please raise a Tell IRIS ticket from the IRIS website or mobile app.
Log on to https://forum.iris.nitk.ac.in/ – the one-stop discussion platform for all the students and alumni of NITK to discuss academics, student life, career opportunities and much more…

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