For the last 3 years, code.nasa.gov has hosted the NASA open source code catalog and provided a one-stop shop for citizens looking for NASA code projects hosted in various repositories across the internet, such as github.com/nasa. Through this evolution, code.nasa.gov has been through a few iterations, and we are now pleased to announce the release of the latest version of code.nasa.gov, which leverages the collective genius of the open source community.
Code.nasa.gov is essentially a front end to a NASA Open Source, community-maintained catalog hosted on Github that contains metadata, or attributes, describing code projects. The new site was built using Polymer and the Polymer App Toolbox, which is the bleeding-edge of today's web development stack. The latest implementation is considered a modern-day/best-practice example of a Progressive Web App and performs blazingly fast on repeat visits thanks to Service Workers (this also provides offline access).
Compared to the previous version of the site, the new code.nasa.gov performs nearly 5 times faster on mobile devices and has achieved a 90+ score on Lighthouse (auditing and performance metrics for Progressive Web Apps, do check it out). One of the challenging aspects of boosting performance to the site dealt with effectively managing client-side resources required to scroll through the 325+ code projects. By using the <iron-list> element, we've implemented infinite scrolling at 60 frames per second and in general the site uses significantly less CPU when compared to the previous version.
Special thanks goes to Addy Osmani, Frankie Fu, Hannah Lee, Keanu Lee, and Sam Saccone, our citizen open source community members who rallied around making code.nasa.gov better for the masses and building a site worthy of modeling your future designs around! If you'd like to also get involved, please visit the repository on the official NASA GitHub site.
NASA Ames Research Center/HQ OCIO
Open Data Program Manager