Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 17, 2014, 12:14 p.m.
LINK: source.opennews.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   April 17, 2014

At the 2014 OpenNews code convening, two developers — WNYC’s Noah Veltman and Al Jazeera’s Michael Keller — got together to iterate on a preexisting tool from The New York Times.

FourScore helps developers easily build audience sentiment maps — think of it as a crowdsourced, less snarky version of New York magazine’s Approval Matrix. WNYC had used the technique previously for a Valentine’s Day sentiment matrix, and Veltman thought it would be useful if the code was open source.

In a post at Source, Veltman and Keller describe the importance of making code for projects like this not just open to other developers, but also useful to them.

In some sense, the WNYC sentiment grid was already “open source.” Virtually all of the code is client-side JavaScript; you could view-source in your browser, figure out how it works and then reuse or mimic it as needed. But this presumes that you have both the expertise and patience needed to deconstruct someone else’s spaghetti code, and you probably don’t. Ultimately you’d be better off starting from scratch than investing the time to get into the author’s brain and jerry-rigging the code for a different situation.

They go on to say that important considerations in writing code that’s helpful for future users include browser compatibility, logical chunking, documentation and consideration of diverse workflows.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
Gannett owns two college newspapers in Florida — it’s closed one and cutting costs at the other.
Where does local TV news fit in the digital age? Tegna, a year separated from Gannett, has some ideas
“By following the lead of our employees to create content that is digital first, it frees them up from the sameness of format that is plaguing local television news.”
Report: The New York Times is expanding to Australia and Canada
Having faced some difficulties with an earlier era’s attempts in large non-English markets, the Times is turning its focus next to more familiar territory.