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Python Programming
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You have joined a startup that develops software for IoT devices

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
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Code Task & Marking Criteria

You have joined a startup that develops software for IoT devices. This software runs on a custom low power consumption operating system. The main user interface of this system is a homegrown shell. Since its inception, the company relies on this shell, and many scripts and commands have already been written by the users and developers of the system. However, the functionality and stability of the shell do not longer meet the requirements of the growing business. At the same time, legacy code makes it too expensive to switch to a different shell implementation. Your manager asks you and two other novice developers to extend the capabilities of this shell, while preserving the original features and fixing existing bugs. After examining the source code, you realise that it was developed without following software engineering practices, and as a result, it is extremely difficult to extend without introducing new bugs which will lead to problems in production. You receive the source code of the shell on GitHub, and an incomplete specification of its functionality in the README.md file. To complete this task, you will need to apply the principles and techniques that you learn.

The existing legacy implementation of the shell provides the following functionality:

Shell features: calling applications, quoting, semicolon operator, globbing.

Applications: cd, pwd, ls, cat, echo, head, tail, grep

Your goal is to preserve the existing functionality (while fixing possible bugs), and implement the following new features: 

Shell features: pipe operator, IO-redirection, command substitution.

Applications: find, sort, uniq, cut, unsafe versions of all applications.

You are expected to refactor the current implementation to make it extandable, and add the missing functionality to pass the system tests. You are also expected to write unit tests, analyse the project with a static analyser, compute code coverage, and follow other modern development practices.

The submitted file must be a ZIP archive named “<GROUP ID>.zip”. The file must contain the source code of the shell. The submitted code will be tested by executing the commands in the file doc/interface.md. All these commands must be reproducible. It must also be possible to open the submitted code in VSCode using the “Open in Container” function.

Marking

The coursework is designed in such a way that you have the flexibility to focus on the parts that you are more interested in. The mark modifiers specified below can help you to invest your time and effort more efficiently. The modifiers are applied only when the corresponding concepts or techniques are used sensibly and mentioned in the report. The final mark of the group code will be calculated as 69 + the mark modifiers. 69 does not mean 69% of the requirements; it means “High Merit” according to “UCL Computer Science: Marking Criteria and Grade Descriptors File”. You do not have to satisfy all requirements to successfully complete this module.

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