Implementing Layouts for Different Screens in Android PSLab App

The Pocket Science Lab Android app has various functionalities implemented in it, one of the major implemented functionalities is the knob in the multimeter, In my previous blog I have mentioned about the knobs and how exactly it has been implemented, one the major problems in the knob is that it doesn’t fits correctly in all layouts, even though constraint layout is used , as it has different text-views positioned in a circular constraint in which exact circular radius has to be mentioned (which cannot be constrained), mentioned in my previous-blog there comes the idea of creating different layouts for different-screens in android.

Need to create multiple layouts for different screen

There arises this question of the use of creating multiple layouts for different screens when you can create a flexible layout using tools such as constraint layout. The answer to this question is that in some cases such as as the case of circular constraint or using a linear-layout  one has to use use hard-coded dimensions which thus makes difference in various screens on, there comes the need of using size and orientation quantifiers i.e making layout according to screen sizes. Als

Figure 1:Screenshot

Figure 1 shows how different layouts are made for multimeter according to the screen-size.

Size quantifiers in android

Size quantifier is a name that specifies an individual configuration (in this case size) corresponding to which resources can be used.

For example, here are some default and alternative resources:


In this case -hdpi is a size quantifier, there are default size quantifiers at the drawable folder.

Making different layouts according to size-quantifiers[1][2]

This blog will give a step by step guide on how to make layouts using size quantifiers.

  1. Right click the res folder in android studio and select New-> Android Resource directory.
  2. A screen like below will appear
  3. Change the resource type to layout.
  4. From the available quantifiers select the quantifier which you would require, (in our case it is size).
  5. After selecting the quantifier click the >> button after which the following screen will get displayed.
  6. Now select the screen-size and click ok to make the directory, note that only one directory can be made in a single go.
  7. After this make different layouts according to the screen-sizes and then save the respective alternative resources in this new directory. The resource files must be named exactly the same as the default resource files.

Thus by following these steps one can make different layouts according to screen-sizes in android.


  1. Support different screen sizes, Android developers (Link to repo)
  2. App resources overview, Android developers
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Implementing Custom Rotary Knobs and Circular Positioning in the Multimeter in the PSLab Android App

In my previous blog [2I have discussed about how to implement  normal rotary knob using an open source library, this blog will be about the new user interface (UI) of multimeter in the PSLab Android app, how a custom rotary knob is implemented in it and how how the text views are positioned circular in them.

Implementation of Custom Rotary Knob

In the PSLab device  the rotary knob is implemented using the BeppiMenozzi Knob library[1] as by doing this we don’t have to manually create the extra class for the knob and we don’t have to write the code from scratch.

Figure 1: A basic rotary knob

Figure 1 shows a basic knob implemented using the BeppiMenozzi library whereas figure 2 shows the implementation of a custom knob using the basic knob.

Figure 2: A custom Knob

Steps of making a Custom-Knob using a simple Knob

  1. Implement the the basic knob using the steps given in my previous knobs explained in my previous blogs.
  2. Download the images of the knob which has to be implemented.
  1. Using the above code amend the knob as per the requirement. The advantage of using the beppiMonzi library is that the knob is fully amenable  , we can even define the minimum and maximum angle and many more stuffs can be done using the library.






Figure 3: Showing the implementation of other custom knobs

The above figure shows the example of custom knobs implemented using the simple knob and by following the steps.

Implementation Circular positioning

One of the other major issues while making the new UI of the multimeter is the positioning of text-view around the circular knob. The issue was made overcome by implementing a circular positioning constraints in the text-views.

Steps of implementing circular positioning

  1. Use the constraint layout version 1.1.0 or above as the previous versions do not support the circular positioning feature.
  2. Add the circular constraint individually to every text-view.

The above code snippets shows the addition od circular constraints added to a text-view. Using these constraint it decides positions the views relative to another views at a particular angle which thus makes up circular positioning.

Thus, this is how we can implement circular positioning in the views.


  1. BeppiMenozzi Knob Library
  2. Rotary knob Blog
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Implementing Notification Action Buttons in Open Event Frontend

The Open-Event-Frontend allows the event organiser to create access codes for his or her event.  Access codes can be used to password protect hidden tickets reserved for sponsors, members of the press and media. Notifications are an important part of the project. We show each registered user notifications based on their activity. This blog post goes over the implementation of the notification action buttons in the notification panel.

Notification Action Model

The model for Notification action is very simple. It has the following variables:

  1. Subject: The subject of the notification. E.g. ‘event’, ‘order’ etc.
  2. actionType: The action that can be taken by the user for that notification. E.g: ‘view’, ‘submit’.
  3. subjectId: The id of the subject. In case of an event, it will store the event id. Similarly for other cases.
  4. Link: The link to be applied to the button.

import attr from 'ember-data/attr';
import ModelBase from 'open-event-frontend/models/base';
import { belongsTo } from 'ember-data/relationships';

export default ModelBase.extend({
  subject    : attr('string'),
  actionType : attr('string'),
  subjectId  : attr('number'),
  link       : attr('string'),

  notification: belongsTo('notification')

Action Button Title

We make use of ember computed property to determine the action button title. The title of the button depends on the subject and the actionType defined in the notification-action model. The actionType can be one of ‘download’, ‘submit’ and ‘view’. If the action type is ‘download’ and the subject is ‘invoice’, then the button title will be “Download Invoice”. Similarly, for other cases, we do the same.

buttonTitle: computed('subject', 'actionType', function() {
    let action;
    const actionType = this.get('actionType');
    switch (actionType) {
      case 'download':
        action = 'Download';

      case 'submit':
        action = 'Submit';

        action = 'View';

    let buttonSubject;
    const subject = this.get('subject');
    switch (subject) {
      case 'event-export':
        buttonSubject = ' Event';

      case 'event':
        buttonSubject = ' Event';

      case 'invoice':
        buttonSubject = ' Invoice';

      case 'order':
        buttonSubject = ' Order';

      case 'tickets-pdf':
        buttonSubject = ' Tickets';

      case 'event-role':
        buttonSubject = ' Invitation Link';

      case 'session':
        buttonSubject = ' Session';

      case 'call-for-speakers':
        if (this.get('actionType') === 'submit') {
          buttonSubject = ' Proposal';
        } else {
          buttonSubject = ' Call for Speakers';

        // Nothing here.

    return action + buttonSubject;

Action Button Route

The route that the button will lead to depends on the subject of the action. If the link is provided in the notification action, we simply set it on the button otherwise we use the subject to derive the route name. For e.g., if the subject is an event, then the route will be “events.view”.

   * The route name to which the action button will direct the user to.
  buttonRoute: computed('subject', function() {
    const subject = this.get('subject');
    let routeName;
    switch (subject) {
      case 'event-export':
        routeName = 'events.view';

      case 'event':
        routeName = 'events.view';

      case 'invoice':
        routeName = 'orders.view';

      case 'order':
        routeName = 'orders.view';

      // Nothing here.
    return routeName;


We simply check if the link exists or not. If it does then we simply use it otherwise we use the computed button route name.

     {{#link-to tagName='button' class='ui blue button'}}
         {{t action.buttonTitle}}
    {{#link-to action.buttonRoute action.subjectId tagName='button' class='ui blue button'}}
         {{t action.buttonTitle}}


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Measuring capacitor in PSLab and its Bugs

In this blog I will discuss about how we have measured capacitance in Pocket Science Lab and the  issues in capacitance measurement which was finally solved.

Measuring capacitance in PSLab device

To measure capacitance we need to go to the multimeter instrument from the instrument section of the PSLab

Figure 1.  Showing Multimeter Tile

Capacitance in PSLab is measured by keeping the capacitor or the element of which capacitance is to be measured between the CAP and ground pin.

 Figure 2.  Showing CAP pins in PSLab

For measuring capacitance in PSLab we use a specific method in which we supply a constant current to the CAP pin and thus we charge the capacitor to the maximum level, the math involved in it is as follow:-

We know that

Q{charge stored} = C*V


Q= I * time


I=current (constant)

Thus the capacitance

C = Q / V


C = I*time / V (measured). – (1)

Therefore we know the current supplied, we know the voltage measured and we have also set the time to charge the capacitor and thus we get the capacitance from equation (1).

Code implementation for measuring capacitance

This is the primary code for getting the data for measuring capacitance in which we pass the current range and the current time through which the data gets fetched from the device which is then further processed in another function in which we finally get the capacitance.

public double[] getCapacitance(int currentRange, int chargeTime) { // time in uSec
        try {
            Thread.sleep((long)(chargeTime * 1e-6 + .02));
            int VCode;
            do VCode = mPacketHandler.getVoltageSummation();
            while (VCode == -1);
            double v = 3.3 * VCode / 4095;
            double chargeCurrent = this.currents[currentRange];
            double c = 0;
            if (v != 0)
                c = (chargeCurrent * chargeTime * 1e-6 / v - this.SOCKET_CAPACITANCE) / this.currentScalars[currentRange];
            return new double[] {
        } catch (IOException | InterruptedException e) {
        return null;

In the above function we can clearly see how we send the bytes in the device by the sendByte function through which various functions are sending current, setting voltage, setting current range etc are done in the device and then we can see how the voltage measured is taken using the getVoltageSummition method (of packet Handler class) , how we get the current and finally using them in equation (1) we get the capacitance of the element.

The following implementation is taken from the PSLab desktop app where the same method is used to measure capacitance.

Bugs in measuring capacitance

The capacitance measurement although was working in the desktop app but had bugs in the android app. It could never read the correct value also everytime gave a null value for capacitance.

Figure 3.  Showing null value for capacitance  PSLab

Solving the Bug [2]

After a deep research in the inside  the code of the capacitance measurement it was found that the error was caused while fetching the incorrect data from the device and processing it. The device gives a negative one value when there is any error in capacitance measurement  and that was being processed, thus the error was solved by introducing a do while loop as shown

 do VCode = mPacketHandler.getVoltageSummation();
 while (VCode == -1);

And thus now only the correct data fetched is processed further and thus the bug was solved after which the capacitance measurement was correct.


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Onsite Attendee in Open Event Server

The Open Event Server enables organizers to manage events from concerts to conferences and meetups. It offers features for events with several tracks and venues. The Event organizers may add orders on behalf of others and accept payments onsite. This blog post goes over the implementation of the onsite attendee feature in the Open Event Server.


Normally we expect the payload for a POST request of order to contain already created attendees also. In this case we want to create the attendees internally inside the server. Hence we need some way to differentiate between the two types of orders. The most basic and easy to implement option is to use a query parameter to specify if the attendees are onsite or not. We use ?onsite=true in order to specify that the attendees are onsite and hence should be created internally.

In the POST request, we check if the query parameters contains the onsite param as true or not. If it is true then we create the attendees using a helper function. The helper function will be discussed in detail later in the article.

# Create on site attendees.
if request.args.get('onsite', False):
elif data.get('on_site_tickets'):
    del data['on_site_tickets']
require_relationship(['ticket_holders'], data)



In order to create attendees on the server, we need the information about each ticket bought and it’s quantity. This data is expected in the format declared in the OnsiteTicketSchema.

class OnSiteTicketSchema(SoftDeletionSchema):
    class Meta:
        type_ = 'on-site-ticket'
        inflect = dasherize

    id = fields.Str(load_only=True, required=True)
    quantity = fields.Str(load_only=True, required=True)

Creating onsite Attendees

Following are the few points which we need to focus on when creating onsite attendees:

  1. Validate if the ticket’s data is provided or not. We raise an error if the ticket data is not provided.
  2. Verify if the ticket is sold out or not. We raise an error if the ticket is sold out.
  3. In case an error is raised in any step then we delete the already created attendees. This is a very important point to keep in mind.

if not on_site_tickets:
        raise UnprocessableEntity({'pointer': 'data/attributes/on_site_tickets'}, 'on_site_tickets info missing')

ticket_sold_count = get_count(db.session.query(
                                      filter_by(ticket_id=int(, deleted_at=None))

        # Check if the ticket is already sold out or not.
        if ticket_sold_count + quantity > ticket.quantity:
            # delete the already created attendees.
            for holder in data['ticket_holders']:
                ticket_holder = db.session.query(TicketHolder).filter(id == int(holder)).one()
                except Exception as e:
                    logging.error('DB Exception! %s' % e)

            raise ConflictException(
                {'pointer': '/data/attributes/on_site_tickets'},
                "Ticket with id: {} already sold out. You can buy at most {} tickets".format(ticket_id,
                                                                                             ticket.quantity -

The complete method can be checked here.




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Channel Communications Error of PSLab

The Pocket Science Lab multimeter has got three channels namely CH1,CH2 and CH3 with different ranges for measuring the voltages, but there was a channel communication error occuring at CH1 and CH2 pins of PSLab. This blogs will give a brief description of the channel communication error and how was it solved by me.

In the previous blog I have discussed about the channel communication of PSLab and how it works. In this blog i will be discussing about the channel communication error which was occuring while using CH1 and CH2 pins of PSLab android.

Communication between PSLab device and Android App

As discussed in the previous blog the communication between the PSLab and the android occurs with the help of the USBManger class of android.

One of the major function which makes it possible is the bulk transfer function of the android

amtWritten = mConnection.bulkTransfer(mWriteEndpoint, src, written, writeLength, timeoutMillis);

As shown in the above code, there is a timeout that some time required for this function to be executed, and otherwise this function will return a negative value which will mean that the communication is not successful.

Voltage Measuring Functions

The main function which gets called while pressing the button for measuring voltage is the getVoltage function which simultaneously calls the volmeterAutoRange function as well as the getAverage voltage function. The voltageAutoRnge function also calls the getAverage function inside of it.

public double getVoltage(String channelName, Integer sample) {
    double Voltage = this.getAverageVoltage(channelName, sample);
    if (channelName.equals("CH3")) {
        return Voltage;
    } else {
        return 2 * Voltage;

Calling both these functions simultaneously results in calling of the bulktranfer method

VoltmeterAutoRange function:-

private double voltmeterAutoRange(String channelName) {
    if (this.analogInputSources.get(channelName).gainPGA == 0)
        return 0;
    this.setGain(channelName, 0, true);
    double V = this.getAverageVoltage(channelName, null);
    return this.autoSelectRange(channelName, V);

The getAverage voltage function calls the getRawableVoltage function which thus calls the USBManger class functions of read and write, thus calling the bulkTranfer function.

Thus as the bulk transfer function is called simultaneously it caused problem in communication.

Solving the issue

The communication related  issues were finally solved when these bugs were spotted, the solution to this issue is that the voltageAutoRange function’s return value was never used in the codes and was thus not required.[2]The voltageAutoRange function was calling the getAverageVoltage function just to get a return value. Thus I formatted the function and now it looks like this-

private void voltmeterAutoRange(String channelName) {
    if (this.analogInputSources.get(channelName).gainPGA != 0) {
        this.setGain(channelName, 0, true);

And thus finally the issue was solved and all things were working fine in channel communication.


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Pop-Up in Meilix Generator

Meilix Generator has fields which the user needs to fill up. There are fields for the required information and for customization process too. This solves the problems and helping user to know about the requirement of each field. We implemented a pop-menu which appears and tell about that particular field.

We will here describe only the implementation of email pop-up.

function hideDiv(){
document.addEventListener("click", hideDiv);
function noti()
	alert("Email is used to mail user the link to the build ISO");

We have embedded a javascript in html file.
Function hideDiv contains document.getElementsByClassName() method.

The getElementsByClassName() method returns a collection of all elements in the document with the specified class name.

Then we have a document.addEventListener() method with click and hideDiv function as the parameters. It also contain a function noti which get toggle at the time of click and display the alert message. hideDiv closes the toggle when clicked on the cross button again.

<label class="heading" id="label" for="email">Email *&ensp;<img src="{{ url_for('static', filename='alert.jpg') }}" height="20" width="20" onclick="noti()"></label>


We implemented a question mark after the email line which when clicked showed the following message on the webapp.

This will help user to know the requirement of the particular field.

Through the help of the required function and implementation of the button, we can embedded a help icon which pop-up to give required option present in the webapp.

These are different pop-ups that are currently present in the webapp. User can know about the particular field by clicking on any of the pop-up.


  1. HTML getElementsByClassName():
  2. Bootstrap 4 Form:

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UID file configuration for Meilix

Meilix has by default one user which is hotelos. Each user has a UID known as Unique Identification Display. Each UID is assigned some unique number. The range for uid is from 1000 to 65000. The login manager doesn’t create user which doesn’t have a uid in this range.


We found out that hotelos has a uid = 999 through this autologin file meilix-default-settings/usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/casper-bottom/15autologin. Therefore sddm would not accept this as the username.


Way 1: Increase the uid of the hotelos

Way 2: Decrease the default sddm uid through configuration file

We here tried with the second approach to decrease the uid of the sddm to 500, so that it will take hotelos as the default user.


# Hidden users, this is if any system users fall within your range, see /etc/passwd on your system.

# Maximum user id for displayed users

# Minimum user id for displayed users
MinimumUid=500 #My UID is 999


This is one of the way through which we have decreased the UID to 500.

We can use id -u in the terminal to check the uid of the user.

Root has uid = 0.

We can see different operations uid in the file /etc/passwd .

It looks like this:

We have a file /etc/login.defs where we can manage the max and min uid for the user.

# Min/max values for automatic uid selection in useradd
UID_MIN                     	1000
UID_MAX                    	60000
# System accounts
#SYS_UID_MIN              	100
#SYS_UID_MAX              	999

We can modify it to accept hotelos as the user.

\sed -i '/UID_MIN/ c\UID_MIN 998' /etc/login.defs


This will change the UID_MIN value to 998.


  1. User ID definition:
  2. SDDM User Issue:
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Integrating System Roles API in Open Event Frontend

The Eventyay system supports different system roles and allows to set panel permissions for every role. The system supports two inbuilt roles namely Admin and Super Admin. The users having access to permissions panel can create new custom system roles and define set of panel permissions for them. Also the users are provided with the option of editing and deleting any system role except the two inbuilt system roles. The feature is implemented using custom-system-roles and panel-permissions API on the server.

Adding route for system-roles

The route for custom-system-system roles is defined which contains a model returning user permissions, system roles and the panel permissions. The model is defined as async so that the execution is paused while fetching the data from the store by adding the await expression.

async model() {
 return {
   userPermissions  : await this.get('store').findAll('user-permission'),
   systemRoles      : await this.get('store').findAll('custom-system-role'),
   panelPermissions : await this.get('store').findAll('panel-permission')

The route created above gets all the data for user permissions, system-roles and panel permissions which is later used by the template for rendering of data.

Adding model for system-roles and panel-permissions

The model for system-roles is created which contains the ‘name’ attribute of type string and a relationship with panel permissions. Every system role can have multiple panel permissions, therefore a hasMany relationship is defined in the model.

export default ModelBase.extend({
 name: attr('string'),

 panelPermissions: hasMany('panelPermission')

Similarly, the model for panel-permissions is added to the models directory. The defined model contains ‘panelName’ as an attribute of type string and a bool value canAccess, defining if the panel is accessible by any role or not.

export default ModelBase.extend({
 panelName : attr('string'),
 canAccess : attr('boolean')

Defining controller for system-roles

The controller for system-roles is defined in the controllers/admin/permissions directory. The action for adding, updating and deleting system roles are defined in the controller. While adding the system roles, all the panels are fetched and checked which panel permissions are selected by the admin. A special property namely ‘isChecked’ is added to every panel permission checkbox which toggles on change. If the property is set true the corresponding panel is added to the panel permissions relationship of corresponding role. If no panel is selected, an error message to select atleast one panel is displayed.

deleteSystemRole(role) {
 this.set('isLoading', true);
  // Notify success or failure
addSystemRole() {
 this.set('isLoading', true);
 let panels = this.get('panelPermissions');

 panels.forEach(panel => {
   if (panel.isChecked) {
   } else {
 if (!this.get('role.panelPermissions').length) {
  // Notification to select atleast one panel
 } else {
    // Notify success or failure
updatePermissions() {
 this.set('isLoading', true);
  // Notify success or failure

The actions defined above in the controller can be used in template by passing the appropriate parameters if required. The addSystemRole action makes a POST request to server for creating a new system role, the updatePermissions action makes a PATCH request for updating the existing system role and the deleteSystemRole action makes a delete request to the server for deleting the role.

Adding data to template for system-roles

The data obtained from the model defined in route is rendered in the template for system-roles. A loop for showing all system roles is added to the template with the name attribute containing the name of system role and another loop is added to display the panel permissions for the corresponding role.

{{#each model.systemRoles as |role|}}
     <div class="ui bulleted list">
       {{#each role.panelPermissions as |permission|}}
         <div class="item">{{concat permission.panelName ' panel'}}</div>
    // Buttons for editing and deleting roles

A modal is to the component for creating and editing system roles. The data from this template is passed to the modal where the existing permissions are already checked and can be modified by the admins.


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Integrating Event Roles API in Open Event Frontend

The Eventyay system supports different type of roles for an event like Attendee, organizer, co-organizer, track-organizer, moderator and the registrar. Every role has certain set of permissions such as Create, Read, Update, Delete. The Admin of the system is allowed to change the permissions for any role. The interface for updating the even role permissions was already available on the server but was not integrated on the frontend. The system is now integrated with the API and allows admin to change event role permission for any role.

Adding model for event role permissions

The model for event role permissions is added to the models directory. The model contains the attributes like canDelete, canUpdate, canCreate, canRead and the relationship with event role and the service.

export default ModelBase.extend({
 canDelete : attr('boolean'),
 canUpdate : attr('boolean'),
 canCreate : attr('boolean'),
 canRead   : attr('boolean'),

 role        : belongsTo('role'),
 service     : belongsTo('service'),
 serviceName : computed.alias('')

The above defined model ensures that every permission belongs to a role and service. An alias is declared in the model using the computed property which is later used in the controller to sort the permissions according to service name in lexicographical order.

Adding route for event roles

The route for event role is created which contains model returning an object containing the list of roles, services and permissions. The model is defined as async so that the execution is paused while fetching the data from the store by adding the await expression.

export default Route.extend({
 titleToken() {
   return this.get('l10n').t('Event Roles');
 async model() {
   return {
     roles       : ['Attendee', 'Co-organizer', 'Moderator', 'Organizer', 'Track Organizer', 'Registrar'],
     services    : await this.get('store').query('service', {}),
     permissions : await this.get('store').query('event-role-permission', { 'page[size]': 30 })

The route created above queries the data for roles, services and permissions which is later used by the template for rendering of the data obtained.

Adding controller for event roles

The controller for event roles is added to the controllers/admin/permissions directory. The computed property is used to sort the services obtained from model lexicographically and the permissions are sorted by the help of alias created in the model.

services: computed('model', function() {
 return this.get('').sortBy('name');
sortDefinition : ['serviceName'],
permissions    : computed.sort('model.permissions', 'sortDefinition'),
actions        : {
 updatePermissions() {
   this.set('isLoading', true);
     .then(() => {
       // Notify success and add Error handler

An action named updatePermissions is defined which is triggered when the admin updates and saves the permissions for any role where a PATCH request is made to the server in order to update the permissions.

Rendering data in the template

The data obtained from the model is manipulated in the controller and is rendered to the table in the event-roles template. Every role is fetched from the model and added to the template, all the permissions in sorted order are obtained from the controller and matched with the current role name. The relationship of permissions with role is used to check if its title is equal to the the current role. The permissions are updated accordingly, if the role title is equal to current role.

 {{#each model.roles as |role|}}
     {{#each permissions as |permission|}}
       {{#if (eq permission.role.titleName role)}}
           {{ui-checkbox label=(t 'Create') checked=permission.canCreate onChange=(action (mut permission.canCreate))}}
           {{ui-checkbox label=(t 'Read') checked=permission.canRead onChange=(action (mut permission.canRead))}}
           {{ui-checkbox label=(t 'Update') checked=permission.canUpdate onChange=(action (mut permission.canUpdate))}}
           {{ui-checkbox label=(t 'Delete') checked=permission.canDelete onChange=(action (mut permission.canDelete))}}

After rendering the data as shown above, the checkbox for permissions of different services for different roles are checked or unchecked depending upon the bool value of corresponding permission. The admin can update the permissions by checking or unchecking the checkbox and saving the changes made.


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