As all of you probably know, February is the shortest month of the year. Ironically, this month’s update is longer than usual. A lot of work was invested in our favourite judge portal lately, and there are many interesting things to cover. Take a deep breath. We’re diving in…
Projects, Spheres, and Regions
As part of our efforts to move all aspects of the Judge Program into JudgeApps, we implemented some of the program’s core ideas into the website (you can find the official announcement here). First, we implemented the concept of Spheres, which weren’t formally supported by JudgeApps. Spheres are a way of organizing the Judge Program’s projects based on what type of work they do, and each one is run by a Sphere Lead, who coordinates and organizes all the projects in their Sphere. JudgeApps now allows a Sphere lead to have more oversight over their designated scope of responsibility. On the user side of things, people can find all the information they need, since it can all be accessed from a single web page.
Spheres, by themselves, are merely an organizational structure. What do they organize? Mostly Projects. With that philosophy in mind, projects can now be aligned to a sphere. That alignment allows Sphere leads (and users) to easily find all the projects under a specific Sphere, as well as getting to a Sphere page from within the project.
So far so good, but something is still missing. While a lot of projects fall within the scope of a Sphere, some projects relate to regions, instead. If a Regional Coordinator has a project for their regional leadership or someone uses a project to run some regional or local activity, the project doesn’t always fit nicely into a Sphere. To prevent projects from being forced where they don’t belong, projects can be aligned with regions instead. Just like with Spheres, regions now have a page of their own with a summary of all their projects, as well as other relevant information.
But there is one more thing…
Up until now, a lot of projects added the relevant Sphere lead (or RC) to their projects so they could keep track on them without having to rely on the project lead for regular updates. Then, if the Sphere lead changed, the project had to manage that change manually. With the new system, once a project has been aligned to a Sphere or a region, the lead or RC can be added from the project’s administration page. Adding an aligned lead means that the lead is added with administrative permissions to the project, and that they’re added by role, so whenever the person behind the role changes, the project is updated as well. Older projects who added the lead manually will still require a one-time manual intervention in the future since the lead was added as a member, but all newer projects have this functionality out of the gate.
Just because we have a new shiny toy, doesn’t mean we don’t care about other features. When creating a new event, you might forget to add a Judge Manager. It happens. The code didn’t expect that to happen, though, and when something unexpected happens, code usually crashes. The code can now handle this kind of mistakes, and leaving the Judge Manager field empty no longer crashes (but it is frowned upon).
We fixed some minor issues with the links at the bottom of email notifications. One issue was caused when aggregating comments on event applications, so if an applicant had several comments, an email was sent with a broken link. Other minor changes were made to make sure that links in email notifications use HTTPS, which is the encrypted and more secure protocol for browsing the web these days.
Some useful links were added to user profiles when viewed by RCs or site administrators. These links allow RCs to see reviews and tests related to that user, and site admins can access the setting for the user if a user has a problem with their profile which they can’t fix themselves.
When looking at your reviews, if you have any unsubmitted drafts, they’ll appear before other reviews. We hope this will help users notice that they have reviews that weren’t submitted yet so they’re not forgotten.
As always, your feedback is welcome. If you have anything to share with us, please send it our way.