OLS-3 Speed Blog: Documentation enhancement with open science practices at sktime (open-source project)

- Afzal, Abdulelah

This post is guest authored by Afzal Ansari and Abdulelah Al Mesfer, two recent graduates of OLS-3.

Project background

sktime is a new Python toolbox for machine learning with time series. It provides state-of-the-art time series algorithms and scikit-learn compatible tools for building, tuning and evaluating complex models

Algorithms form a major part of sktime here. They require special expertise in their development and maintenance. We plan to enhance the existing documentation by making algorithm contributors more visible. To make it easier for users and other developers to directly get in touch with the algorithm experts and to recognize their contributions more visibly, we created a table with the algorithm name, estimator types and author’s list. The goal of this project is to improve sktime’s online documentation with a specific focus on documenting algorithm contributors.

Expectations from this program

Our expectations were to understand the specific community goals that could be achieved with our OS project to learn about openness, inclusiveness, welcoming contributors, project development tools, who will be impacted by this, what resources are available to support these goals, and what additional resources can be developed or adapted in our project to ensure its sustainability.

Goals set at the beginning of the project

The goal was to make it easier for users and other developers to directly get in touch with the algorithm experts to ask questions or suggest code improvements and to recognize their contributions more visibly and formally to encourage long-term maintenance of their contributions.

Key understanding and accomplishments

We gained useful insights into this project development through our journey. I listed few of them like we learned Open Community of Practice (Openness, Collaborations, Agile open software development tools, licensing, open leadership, etc.) and web development stacks.

The main goals achieved in this project

We acheived how to use open Science practices in developing resources and apply OLS principles to open leadership and working open in their projects and communities. Secondly, we were able to create dynamic search table GitHub issue link for users and other developers at sktime to find the algorithm experts as an estimator overview.

What elements helped you get there?

During our cohort calls, experts used to discuss various topics under OLS principles which helped in building our foundation of our project. And also we had our mentor-mentee call scheduled for an half-an-hour every two weeks where we used to discuss our project progress and accomplish our milestones set for our project.

Next steps

With the help of our Mentor Toby Hogdes, we have created our dynamic table. We are also working on a few other things as mentioned below:

Special mentions and acknowledgements

I am honored to have our OLS team and worked under our mentor Toby Hodges. It was a great experience working with diverse community through our OLS journey. Our mentor was a perfect match that he motivated us and showed a great deal of expertise in our projects and shared a useful resources related to our projects. And last but not least, OLS community is quite supportive and incredible.