Collaborating with other teams is a core part of iGEM. We spoke to many different teams, exploring a variety of different possible collaborations, however most of our collaborations involved IDE, a software tool we developed to aid Wiki building.
We created iGEM Development Environment (IDE), a tool which allows faster and easier Wiki editing. We shared this tool with the iGEM community and spoke with a lot of teams who were interested in using IDE. We Skyped many of these teams, explaining how to use IDE as well as gaining valuable feedback. We collaborated with the following teams, who used IDE to help build their Wiki:
• University of Nottingham
"The IDE was not very difficult to get set up and this was coming from someone who has only just learnt html coding (I have used python before). Using it was slightly more difficult however this was more due to me having gaps in my knowledge of html coding. With that said, Albert was extremely helpful with helping me use it so I could design our wiki page how we had planned it. There were a few problems due to the IDE being coded in Linux while I am doing all my editing in Windows but I think these may have been fixed in an updated version of the IDE.
"It helped me by allowing me to test creative ideas, animations, layouts and much more without editing our actual wiki. This means I was not interfering with what anyone else was doing on our wiki by making big changes to the css files or navigation bar."
"All in all, the IDE is a helpful tool to develop the wiki faster. The strongest feature of it is how fast changes actually come through. At least for our team, whenever we changed the code in a template on the iGEM servers, we had to delete the cache to see the changes on pages using the templates, which was bothersome. With the IDE we only had to edit the code, refresh and were able to immediately see the modifications. That made the implementation of the css files and specially templates for menu and footer easier and more convenient. We also liked the possibility to, at least to a certain extent, work without internet connection, as it meant we could make some changes almost everywhere, for example the subway. However, a current problem is the need of an initial connection so the local server can be set up and that, sometime after the server is set up, it seems to expire. We would like to see IDE running 100% locally without needing a starting internet connection other that, say, the very first time is used."
• University of Sydney
"Since none of our team had experience with python, we had some difficulty setting up the IDE but once we understood how python worked it was a bit easier. Maybe you could use something simpler than python in the future?
"One way you could make the set-up and use of IDE easier is to include more screenshots in your explanation for setting it up on github.
"You've designed the IDE tool very well overall! Although our team had some difficulty with python, the way it was designed through python was very clever.
"For our team, I think the most useful thing would be to make the tool easier to use for people who have no experience with coding, particularly by providing more detail in your instructions and explanations."
• University of Warwick
"Your tool was able to accurately display what the site would look like (including our bugs on the page). This was helpful in identifying errors and making changes without having to constantly upload the site to test it on the iGEM wiki."
Warwick also pointed out a number of issues they found with IDE and with the instructions for how to use it, which allowed us to rectify these issues to make IDE easier to use for future teams. For example, they discovered an issue with running the build script on Windows, which we were then able to correct.
• CCA San Diego
"Although we did not use the IDE for the bulk of our wiki development, CCA iGEM tested the IDE, and found it very convenient to use when uploading content for certain pages of our wiki because it is much faster than the default iGEM wiki environment. In addition to providing us with the IDE, Bristol iGEM recommended a software tool, Bootstrap, which was also useful for us."
Skype sessions with CCA San Diego, Nottingham and Exeter.
University of Sydney - insulin prices
We assisted the University of Sydney iGEM team with data collection for their economic model of insulin affordability, by contacting a local GP to obtain the current costs of 3 different brands of insulin.
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