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Assignments for COMP492

Overview of the capstone project

The most significant component of COMP492 is the continuation of the capstone project started in COMP491. As is usual for COMP491/492, some students work in teams on contributions to a large-scale pre-existing open-source project; others work individually on a research project.

The goals for the project are the same as for COMP491:

In all cases, grading of assignments related to the capstone project will take into account demonstrated effort as well as concrete achievements. This principle applies to 5-15 reports, the checkpoint presentation, the poster presentation and the final presentation. The best way to demonstrate effort is to maintain a detailed and regular Slack live-log, as described next.

Slack live-logs

A Slack live-log is a Slack channel that will be used to assess effort invested in the capstone project. Its primary purpose is as a detailed diary to show the instructor when you have been working on which tasks. It is recommended that you log some kind of message every hour while working. Typically, you would describe in 1-2 sentences what you achieved in the last hour and what you are planning to do in the next hour.

Build something fun (BSF)

One important goal of working on software or research projects is to build something fun and enjoy doing it. With that in mind, you are invited to spend part of this semester on any creative project that is relevant to your chosen open source or research project. This is called the BSF (Build Something Fun) component for your project. The BSF component is optional. You are also welcome to continue on standard contributions such as pull requests for Issues on your project’s Issue Tracker. Choosing to work on a BSF component will not change your grade. You are still expected to devote the same amount of effort to your project, whether continuing to work on Issues, or spending time on a BSF component.

When can I start the BSF?

It is important to have reached a satisfactory level of standard contributions to your capstone project before beginning on the BSF. In most cases, it is not possible to begin the BSF until the second half of the semester, after spring break. You must consult with the instructor to determine whether your team can begin on a BSF. Once you have permission to begin the BSF component, the instructor may also require you to continue work on standard contributions. Please communicate frequently with the instructor to ensure that your project is on a successful track, with a good balance between standard contributions and BSF.

What could my BSF be?

You can work on the BSF as an individual, in a small sub-team, or as an entire team. You could build a small webpage or demo that is based on your project, or maybe some new content related to your project. It could be a crazy new feature that wasn’t requested by the maintainers. You could create something artistic that will look good in your final presentation. Feel free to pitch any and all ideas to the instructor. Please continue to log your efforts in the Slack live log.

Instructions for individual assignments

Honors grading