From hear-ye to cyhoeddwn

06 Oct 2021 - Genevieve Clifford

It’s been a while since I posted about my MSc Project, an update is well overdue. At the time of writing, I am a day away from giving a demonstration, and two days away from submitting my dissertation.

The core concept of the project is much the same as it was back in January: a content management system for hosting content to be displayed on pervasive displays in rural communities. Instead of hear-ye, the software is now called “cyhoeddwn”, which is Welsh for “let’s announce”.

cyhoeddwn is written in Ruby, and is based around the Rails web framework. The base of the code is Michael Hartl’s Social Media tutorial, to which I have added the required functionality. Having had very limited web development experience before this project, the utilisation of this code base allowed me to get the web app on solid foundations, while introducing me to both Rails and web development in general.

The current version of cyhoeddwn is Version 1.0 of the software. cyhoeddwn is based around a cyclical value-sensitive design approach, where in a deployment of cyhoeddwn, the community and software are meshed heavily and software is continuously and incrementally developed according to the community’s needs.

cyhoeddwn is supported by cyhoeddwn-guide. This static website hosts the user guide for cyhoeddwn and the privacy policy which are updated by cyhoeddwn developers (well, potential cyhoeddwn developers at this point, i.e. just me at the moment). The master repo of cyhoeddwn-guide is hosted on GitLab with a mirror on GitHub. Communities will fork the mirror and can push their own guidelines and rules to this fork while still receiving updates to common documentation.

If you’d like to see or read more of this project, I’ve made available the demonstration slides from the aforementioned demonstration. I’ll update this with a video recording of the presentation when I get chance. If you’d like to read my dissertation, please get in touch with me, as I’ll need to check if/when I can share this after submission! Please feel free to have a mess with cyhoeddwn or cyhoeddwn-guide, I’ll set up a rake task to reset and re-seed the database every day.