One of the key open source technological solutions used by Link Digital to build data management systems is the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN). This is what we refer to as out-of-the-box software. That is, it can work immediately when the product is placed in service. In CKAN’s case, once it is deployed and hosted on a web server. But CKAN also comes with a wealth of extensions and plugins that can increase its functionality.

As a CKAN ‘co-steward’ and one of its largest contributing developers, Link Digital is keen to support the large and diverse community of CKAN’s users and contributors. We are thus making available the first of twenty CKAN-related video tutorials by one of our global team of CKAN experts, Sergey Motornyuk.

The first of these videos, uploaded to Link Digital’s YouTube channel, contains an introduction to Python, a free, widely used open-source programming language that has an associated software implementation. Python is relatively easy to use and considered one of the most accessible programming languages. In the context of open data work, Python can help create tools and scripts for automating the publication and sharing of open data. Other uses include data retrieval and web scraping, the cleaning and preprocessing of raw data, and allowing users to analyse and visualise open data in an interactive and shareable format.

The introduction comes in two parts. The first tutorial video examines Python and its various components, the principles of object-oriented programming, introduces the fundamental data types, and the significance of variables in data storage and data manipulation. The second tutorial video provides a deeper dive into Python.

The videos are in Russian language but non-Russian speakers are able to listen to them by utilising the Chrome Browser plugin called Language Reactor, available here.

  • Click on the ‘Add to Chrome’ button,
  • Then click on the ‘Add Extension’ button in the pop-up window.

The plugin will then be added to the Chrome browser extensions and made available (and running) when viewing Sergey’s videos on YouTube. Other languages, apart from English, are also available.

Further videos, which Link Digital will be making available on YouTube over the coming two months, deal with other aspects of CKAN development, including HTML, Flask JavaScript, SQLAlchemy, Solr, CKAN installation, custom data fields, and CKAN API.

The videos represent one of the most comprehensive and detailed collections of CKAN instructional videos available on the Internet. They complement the CKAN installation and walk-through videos already posted on our YouTube channel by another one of our CKAN developers, Brett Jones.

If you have found this post useful, you might be interested in taking part in a series of forums being held by Link Digital on the last Thursday of every month, Australian EDT. These forums will connect you with like-minded experts who are passionate about the importance of open data and want to stay updated on the latest developments in the field. They are free to attend and open to everyone. Register today.