If your code doesn’t do what it should, the first callee is probably a stack overflow. But what if you don’t have internet access? This is an issue resolved by Overflow Offline announced today.
Ice Cube Lab is a remote research station in Antarctica that observes neutrinos to study the universe. There are only two of us on site throughout the year to keep the experiment and all the tech related to it running, and that’s difficult when internet access is erratic or non-existent. Ralf Auer, his manager of the company’s data centers, explains:
“We are constantly working on scripts, for example a lot of Python code, where we use Puppet. Stack Overflow can help.”
As one of the first users of Overflow Offline, Auer relies on bringing Drive to update his copy of Stack Overflow’s database of questions and answers once a year. Because via satellite it is impossible for him to try to download 135 gigabytes.
“Of course, it would be great if we could get updates more often than what we have now. If you look there and run into problems with Python, your knowledge of Stack Overflow is incredible. It’s already there. Only a certain amount of knowledge is very useful to us.”
When Stack Overflow embarked on a project to take its Q&A database offline and make it “portable”, the nonprofit Kiwix was the second most popular data set after the Sotoki (Stack Overflow to Kiwix) scraper – Wikipedia. Since 2018, Kiwix has been unable to update his Stack Overflow offline version. However, for the past two years, Stack Overflow has provided financial and technical support to his Kiwix resource to unblock issues that are preventing updates and improve the usability of data on the platform. has provided A joint effort is to improve the readability and reduce the size of the resource, making it easier for end users. Perhaps this is what drives the weeding and pruning tasks mentioned in last week’s report, Using AI to Detect Duplicate Questions on Stack Overflow.
EduAirBox is another early adopter of Overflow Offline. Based in Cameroon, which has an internet penetration rate of 34%, it provides digital libraries for universities and training centers without an internet connection. EduAirBox founder Yannick Nkengne, a former computer science student, claims that about 50,000 Cameroonian students will have access to his Stackoverflow by the end of this year.
Prison inmates in the US and abroad also benefit from Overflow Offline. In the UK, Overflow Online is being piloted by Code4000, an organization that trains prisoners in coding at HMP Holme House, HMP Wandsworth and HMP Humber. One of his Code4000 instructors, Neil Barnby, describes the prison inmate case:
“When you have a problem, you can’t simply go to the internet and ask for help. This means that they will be more independent in finding their own solutions and becoming more comfortable with the resources they end up using when they are released, as well as the commercial It also means that we can work more efficiently on difficult tasks.”
Stack Overflow sees today’s release as the starting point for Overflow Offline, improving the dataset, making it accessible to more organizations, and helping people learn to code and build with software. We aim to provide a powerful resource.
For more information
Introducing the Overflow Offline Project
Using AI to detect duplicate questions on Stack Overflow
CROKAGE AI GETS STACK OVERFLOW ANSWERS
Newbies, Lurkers and Experts on Stack Overflow
How to ask successful questions on Stack Overflow
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