Visualizing networked writing activity
In conjunction with the Honors Fellow program and two faculty advisors from both the English and Computer Science departments, another student and I have written software to visualize how participants collaborate on networked writing projects. Using Google Docs as a way to allow students to instantaneously interact with a document in real-time, this software captures data from Google's cloud service and displays it in a pair of visualizations. We used agile methods of software development to devise a way to implement their ideas in an appealing way. This document contains detailed instructions on where the latest iteration of the software can be located. It also details the process of making the system operational on a new machine, stating how the software works and where it should be placed in the file system. The document also explains how one can use the system to visualize writing collaboration. Finally, many failed iterations of the software have led to meaningful reflections on software development practices. The document serves as a technical report for the software, but also elaborates on the hardships of development, as well as provides insight on how this software may evolve toward richer experiences. Also included is an Author's Statement which reveals many of the learning experiences that arose throughout the development of this project.