Outreachy Week #5

This week was a good one. 🙂 We found out that the MediaWiki API actually returns the n closest results when geosearch is used, so there is no need for the successive calls to the API that we’d planned – we just need to specify a large radius and the API will do the rest. Simplifies things greatly.

I also managed to get the caching of area -> categories done, using the varunpant/QuadTree library that my mentor suggested. Going to promote this library a little – it’s pretty awesome, even though there don’t appear to be many people using it. Lightweight and does what we need it to do, AND the code is very well documented! The latter is such a rarity in obscure GitHub projects that I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I saw this one. Made it so much easier to learn to use it. There was an issue with the lack of namespace when we were trying to create a JAR and import it, but that aside I loved this library.

Also pushed version 1.5 to Google Play – yay! Download it and let me know what you think, guys. Every additional install is an encouragement. 🙂 Edit: Whoops, don’t do that yet. Have an issue with app running on my real device… 😦


I was raving about the joys of working remotely in my last post, but I also realized recently that it’s a double-edged sword for me. There isn’t really any predetermined ‘off’ time, and initially I didn’t enforce one. I kept pushing myself to do ‘just a little more’ every day, working more than 5 days every week, dealing with an email or post as soon as I saw it. To be clear this was entirely my own fault/issue, as neither my mentors nor org admins have ever complained about me ‘not responding quickly enough’ or ‘not doing enough work’. I just felt compelled to, and wasn’t allowing myself any proper downtime each day or week, except for the vacation I took for traveling early last week.

The net result is, I came close to burning out near the start of this week. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted and like I just couldn’t be arsed anymore. But then I realized it was my own doing – of course I’m burned out when I’m not allocating any proper time for relaxation. In fact the lack of downtime was probably making me less productive in the long run.

So what I’ve been trying to do is to enforce a downtime. I’ll work hard for 40 hours a week (not necessarily 9-5, I’ve never liked 9-5, but 40 cumulative hours), and the rest of the time I’m going to just allow myself to plug off and do something else. Hopefully that works out!

Outreachy Week #5

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