Developer updates

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🎉 1.1.0 Update

CougarGrades is getting its first major update since the big redesign in 1.0.0 with some hand-crafted new features.

Changes in this update:

  • “Popular” page:
    • Added the “🔥 Popular” page
    • This page has 4 different tabs under it:
      • Top Enrolled Courses
      • Most Viewed Courses – Powered by Google Analytics
      • Top Enrolled Instructors
      • Most Viewed Instructors – Powered by Google Analytics
  • Bug Fixed: GPA/SD calculation fixed
    • Fixed bug where GPA/SD was calculated incorrectly, resulting in some Courses/Instructors having very poorly skewed data (#115)
    • This is a bug that has been affecting CougarGrades for some time, often leading to misleading results. It disproportionately affected Graduate level Courses/Instructors and we’re happy to have it resolved.
    • Below is a Before/After example using the Course PCOL 6198 and its associated Instructors

  • “Random” button:
    • Added the “🔀 Random” button
    • Clicking the “Random” button will take you to a random Course or Instructor
    • The /random, /random/course, and /random/instructor links are all valid

  • Improved Search Engine
    • Added a new Search Engine to replace the old one.
    • This new search engine is fast, is tolerant to typos, and is processed entirely in the browser.
    • Uses search algorithm Okapi BM25, which has been used since the 1970s, powered by open-source project Lyra.
    • Searches against a Course’s name, short description, and long description

  • Groups:
    • Added more Groups based on each College at UH
      • From College of Architecture, to College of Technology, and more.
    • Added “All Subjects” Group
    • Sidebar now has “peeking” arrows to make scrolling easier

  • Maintenance Monitor
    • Added “Maintenance Monitor” to automatically be informed if the site is in “Maintenance Mode” and to see how much longer it will be

  • Minor changes:
    • Improved SEO reliability
    • Pages with “Sections” tables have had the “Total Enrolled” column added (requested by @drwang22)

    • Other various small UI/UX changes
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed bug where “Class Size” measurement doesn’t exclude “empty” classes (#114)
    • Improved various 404 pages
  • Technical changes:
    • The web app should be much faster. It fetches data in a much smarter way.
      • We no longer use the Firestore Web SDK in our front-end and instead use HTTP requests to our serverless API powered by Vercel