Posted by: Neil Brown | January 25, 2013

Beta Begins

We’re now accepting researchers into our beta program for the BlueJ data collection project. Here’s the announcement:

We are now pleased to start signing people up for participation in the BlueJ data collection beta. We are running a beta phase for two main reasons:

1. To test the collection mechanism on a broader set of machines and networks than just our own.

2. To allow researchers to see our data schema and give feedback before the full data collection begins.

Item 1 is practically useful, but item 2 is probably more important. If you want to use BlueJ’s collected data, please sign up to the beta and see if you will be able to perform the analysis you want with the data that we will collect. As anyone who’s done much empirical work knows, you can’t correct for bad design in the analysis phase! If we’re not collecting the right data, it won’t be much use when you all want to analyse it.

If you want to participate in the beta, please fill in the form (RTF). If you have any questions about filling in the form, just let me know. Once you’ve filled that in, email it back to us at blackbox-admin@bluej.org. I’ll start processing these from next week as I receive them — participants in the beta will be given:

- Copies of the BlueJ 3.1.0 beta software, which actually collects the data.
- Access to the data that is being collected during the beta
- The researcher’s handbook/manual describing the data schema, caveats and guarantees, and so on
- Source code for a simple example visualiser application.

We will iterate with the BlueJ 3.1.0 beta as needed, and then will release it as 3.1.0 once we are confident in the reliability of the software, and suitability of our data schema. You can help us advance both these causes by participating in the beta! Participants in the beta will automatically retain their access to the data being collected once we release (i.e. you won’t need to sign up for access a second time).

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