Django framework for crowdsourcing complex tasks using MTurk
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templates first commit Feb 1, 2011
README first commit Feb 1, 2011 first commit Feb 1, 2011


CrowdForge: Crowdsourcing Complex Work
(released for non-commercial use

Getting CrowdForge to run locally:

1. Prerequisites: python, django, boto (tested with python-2.7,
django-1.2.5 and boto-1.8d). Known issues with boto-1.9b.
  - NOTE: There's a bug in boto-1.8d that you need to tweak. 
    Change to say
      value = self.connection.get_utf8_value(value)

    (instead of)

      value = self.get_utf8_value(value)

2. Download: go to and get the
3. Extract: let's say to ~/crowdforge
4. Configure: tweak
  - specify AWS keys found at URL:
  - specify absolute URL to your templates directory
5. Create database: run ./ syncdb, create new account
6. Run server: run ./ runserver
7. Test! 
8. Setup cron jobs!

Testing CrowdForge

1. Point browser to localhost:8000/admin (or whatever your production
server URL is) and login.
2. Add a new Problem instance. Give it a name and these parameters
  - flow: SimpleFlow, 
  - partition: create article
  - map: collect a fact
  - reduce: write a paragraph
3. Run `./ poll` manually, and a HIT should be created (check
the MTurk server)
  - expected output: 
4. Do a sample HIT from the new HIT group
5. Run `./ poll` again, and a Result should be created locally
(look in db or check http://localhost:8000/turk/problem/YOUR_PROBLEM_ID)
  - expected output: results retrieved [<Result: Result for "Create an
    Article Ou... #141KMADQXJEYF9EQWEG9UA7S6J5JEW">]

Setting up Cron Jobs

0. Basically, you want to run `./ poll` periodically
1. So just tweak your crontab
  - `crontab -e`
  - Create a line that says something like
  "*/15 * * * * /path/to/ poll >> /path/to/crowdforge.log" 

Getting CrowdForge deployed on a production server:

1. Get CrowdForge running locally (as per instructions above)
2. Get django and crowdforge running on a public facing server
3. Tweak
  - specify external URL of your server in
  - switch from sandbox to production
  - change the database engine to be mysql or postgresql
4. Resync database
5. Do a test
6. Setup cron jobs

Advanced: Make your own Hit Types

1. Open management console (localhost:8000/admin or whatever)
2. Add a new Hit Type.
3. Specify title, description and body. These fields can all be
parametrized, depending on your flow.

Advanced: Make your own flow

1. Open crowdforge/
2. Create your own subclass of Flow. See SimpleFlow for an example.
3. Don't forget to register your new flow using
  register('MyNewFlow', MyNewFlow)