Project: Apache Taverna (incubating) http://taverna.incubator.apache.org/
Mentors: Ian Dunlop <email@example.com>, Stian Soiland-Reyes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Taverna Mobile: A year or so ago in conjunction with a University of
Manchester undergraduate we developed an Android app to run Taverna
workflows available on myExperiment (http://www.myexperiment.org)
using Taverna Server.
It is available here https://github.com/myGrid/taverna-mobile. Later on we updated it to use the android IDE from google/idea and the gradle build system as well as fixing some of the dependencies, see
The code relies on some APIs from google and apache which have moved
on since then eg the https libraries which needs updated.
The project would be to:
1) fix the ssl/https parts and use the latest version of taverna server (with configurable URI and username/password)
2) update the code to remove some legacy dependencies and use the
3) improve the UI and responsiveness
1) & 2) are the most important bits with 3) being a bit extra
depending on how the first bits progress.
The original app was designed for Android 18 although there are now
various SDK levels mentioned in various manifest files. Minimal
testing on other API levels was done, pretty much just the developers
phone. Targeting as low an SDK version as possible would be desirable.
Obviously not way back to Android 2 but something which allows a
reasonable percentage of devices to use the app
(http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html). 4.1 (SDK
16) may be a good target.
The app uses various dependencies, listed in the build files. However,
these dependencies may be out of date and in fact may be unused by the
code. They need to be cleaned up.
The original app used a modified version of the apache http libraries
to talk to the taverna server code because the android sdk did not
include an up to date version and the latest versions clashed with the
android package namespaces. Android compatible versions of recent
versions of the apache http libaries are now available
and I tried to use them in my 'fork' although testing was minimal.
The mygrid taverna server library
(https://github.com/myGrid/t2-server-jar) is used to access the
taverna server API. This library is not actively supported and in fact
may be too heavyweight for the app. It is not even clear what branch
is used. The taverna server API is just a REST based API over HTTP
(http://dev.mygrid.org.uk/wiki/display/tav250/REST+API) so some
refactoring is a good idea. It has to be able to handle talking to a
taverna server over HTTPS with a username/password that is not the
default taverna/taverna one. The HTTPS may have a user created
certificate which is not from a CA.
Some of the UI relies on the sliding menu library by Jeremy Feinsten
which is included directly in the src rather than via gradle. The
provenance of the code is unclear, possible from
https://github.com/jfeinstein10/SlidingMenu. There may be a more
modern Android way to do that kind of UI design but I am not convinced
that the app needs it.
The PullToRefresh library by Chris Baines (possibly
https://github.com/chrisbanes/Android-PullToRefresh) is used via
gradle but again there may be a modern Android way to do things.
One of the important tasks is to ensure that the app can be supported
beyond the project end and that means relying on 3rd party libs that
are actively supported.
Think of the current app as a demonstrator. I would be happy for the
it to be developed from scratch. There is no need for it to even be an
Android app, a web app would be just as good as long as the
functionality is there. In fact, that is a good way to target multiple
mobile platforms perhaps using some apache cordova
(http://cordova.apache.org/) for any native functionality required.
The basic app functionality required (not an exhaustive list):
View workflows from http://www.myexperiment.org
Log in to http://www.myexperiment.org and view your workflows
Talk to required parts of taverna server API over HTTPS.
Run a workflow. Requires upload of input data and the workflow to a
taverna server instance.
Monitor workflow run.
View workflow run results.
The project would interest students with a good grounding in Java
looking to get into Android mobile development.
You would be part of he Apache Taverna community
which would be giving advice and feedback on your
Videoes of the current app https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs1PhQrR0xxH3j-f6FXU2cp9fBVTDrl6T
Interested students should sign up to the dev@taverna mailing list to discuss their proposal in detail: http://taverna.incubator.apache.org/community/lists