IRC log of #schooltool for Monday, 2005-11-21

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srichtergood morning15:23
th1aIs alga around?  He's not wind surfing yet is he?15:25
ignashe's kind of sick :/15:26
th1aAh.  I'm kind of sick too :-(15:26
th1apcardune:  Where are you?15:27
srichterbeside me in my office15:28
pcarduneim doing alright actually15:29
pips1hi, count me in on the sickly club too :-(15:29
th1aHi pips1.15:29
th1aOK, let's get started.15:30
pips1hi, th1a15:30
th1aSo have the rest of the POV-ites had a look at the attendance stories?15:30
pips1not all at once!15:31
th1aignas, mgedmin, vidasp?15:32
mgedminre: looking... probably not15:34
th1aRegardless, based on my conversation with alga, we probably need to discuss why and how we want to use workflows in the attendance system.15:35
th1aIn general in SchoolTool, when we've got administrative workflows which will vary frequently, we're going to use WfMC workflows.15:35
th1aIn attendance, we'll be doing this for individual instances of absences,15:36
th1ato cover the steps in their resolution.15:36
th1ai.e., if an excuse is submitted and the absence is excused or not.15:36
ignaswhad do you mean by - "will vary frequently" ?15:37
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th1aHi alga.15:37
mgedminhi alga15:37
th1aI mean, the process for processing and clearing absences will frequently be different.15:38
th1aFor example, sometimes the absence will automatically become unexcused after X days.15:38
ignasbut from what i have seen different cases would require programming with wfmc or wihtout it ...15:38
srichteryou mean accross schools, right?15:39
th1aAcross different schools.15:39
th1asrichter is good at explaining the rationale for this.15:39
srichterignas: this is too vague of a statement to make it useful15:39
th1aHint hint.15:39
srichterfor one, the programming required will be much less for WfMC15:40
srichteryou only need to implement new work items and their views, which will naturally fit into the look and feel15:40
srichterinstead of rewriting logic15:40
algaer, hi15:40
srichterthe second and much, much more important point is that administrators can feel copnfident that their process is enforced15:41
th1aTo me, this is about writing SchoolTool so that it will be more easily modified and maintained by different people over a period of years.15:41
srichterthey can look at the workflow definition and say "Yep, this is how our school does it." and that's it15:41
th1aThey can look at the workflow definition in a graphical editor.15:42
srichterthere is no need to prove the correct functioning of the workflow anymore; an administrator cannot follow code anyways15:42
srichtera workflow also is an extension mechanism15:43
srichterif you want something else to happen at a certain activity, you can simply add another application to it15:43
th1aThis is not to say that it will be magic.  Some programming will be necessary, but the process will be more structured.15:43
srichteror,if your school has an addition side-workflow, it is very easy to hook into this workflow on a logical level15:44
srichterright, it is not magical, but much easier to argue/discuss with15:44
pips1I am kind of hesitant to chip in to the conversation about WfMC in Schooltool, since I don't know how much has been discussed on IRC before and whether I should read up on that before I try to join the conversation...15:44
pips1srichter, th1a, when you talk about a visual editor, I suppose you mean something like  Enhydra JaWE ?15:45
th1aThat's exactly what we mean.15:46
srichteryep, JaWE it is15:46
th1aIt isn't drop-dead simple, but it is a structure.15:46
srichterand it is really nice15:46
srichterIt allows you to assemble a workflow piece by piece15:46
th1aSo... are we being persuasive?15:47
algaI think so15:47
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th1aThis is what's called a double-team.15:48
th1aI guess Lithuanians are familiar with basketball terminology.15:48
* mgedmin isn't15:49
* Aiste is more than i would like to :)15:49
* Aiste is more than she would like to15:49
th1aSo... when is POV going to start this work?  Should we wait to discuss details?15:50
Aistealga: do we have a proposal?15:50
Aisteth1a: alga got suddenly ill today, so i did not get an update on this front15:51
th1aWe should be close to a final proposal.15:52
Aisteth1a: if i have not overlooked something, POV can start work on this next week15:52
algaAiste: the draft is in the wiki15:53
Aisteok, I just found that out, thanks15:53
newnickalga, can you point me to the wiki?15:53
pips1alga, is that an internal wiki you are talking about or is it public?15:53
algaIt's an internal POV wiki15:54
th1aAlso, as an aside, I got an email from bskahan yesterday.  His father has become disabled, and he's been off caring for him for the past couple weeks.15:54
th1apips1:  The stories are on the SchoolTool website.15:54
th1aGo to SchoolTool 2006 roadmap.15:54
pips1I see15:54
algaMostly, I've been trying to estimate stories written down here:
pips1I take it there is a bit of "backlog" from  SchoolTool 2006 m1 — "halloween" — 2005/10/31 ?15:55
th1aWell... sort of.15:56
th1aThe GUI work isn't really settled.15:56
th1aThat's the big loose end at this point.15:57
th1asrichter:  Can you specify the status of that?15:57
pips1well, I kind of feel partially guilty, because "#6: REST Example" with my school's example turned out more complex than what was expected.15:58
srichteroff topic: I finished the documentation work (phase 1) last week, so please have a look at the custom apidoc, specifically the new RESTive Views documentation module15:58
th1apips1:  No, it isn't your fault.15:58
srichterth1a: oh, the UI work? Okay, I would suggest we are working with it as we have always done15:58
srichterI think it will take us all some time to discover the capabilities15:59
th1aWell, what can we do now that we couldn't do before?15:59
srichterOnce I will do development on ST again, i.e. the documentation stuff, I will start porting UI components to viewlets15:59
srichterwe can separate the UI now15:59
srichteryou can specify viewlets for a particular problem domain15:59
srichterand hook them into the templates16:00
srichterfor example, currently the notes are hard coded into the person details16:00
srichternow we will only have a hook called "additional information" into which the notes can be placed into16:00
srichterthe hope is that we eventually can decide which packages are in the distribution without worrying about code and UI dependencies16:01
th1aWe have to make sure POV (and Paul and I) know how to do this.16:01
srichtera really good example is the devmode16:01
srichterbefore I had to keep a complete copy of the master template to insert the developer mode menu16:02
srichternow we just have a hook at this place for which I can register viewlets16:02
srichterthose hooks, btw, are called viewlet managers16:02
srichtersee trunk/src/schooltool/app/browser/templates/, line 3616:04
th1aOK.  We'll probably have to discuss the implementation in more detail next week.16:04
pips1To me it looks as if there is currently lots of architectural work being discussed / implemented and not so much use case driven "features" ? th1a, how has the echo from potential schools been ?16:04
srichterI would suggest that everyone should at least read through the viewlet README.txt file16:05
th1aWell, we're discussing the architectural changes which have taken place in preparation for writing features, which POV will be starting.16:05
th1aAlso, I'm going to start writing the gradebook next week.16:06
th1aTime for me to put up or shut up.16:06
srichterviewlet README: trunk/Zope3/src/zope/viewlet/README.txt16:06
pips1oh, you will do that, I see16:06
th1aI'm not going to do the whole thing.16:06
th1aBut get a first pass done by Christmas.16:06
th1aWe're going to contract the rest out, but I'm figuring out the budget for next year, and I haven't decided who to hire.16:07
th1aThat is, I'm not sure who I can afford yet.16:07
pips1There hasn't been much echo to the call for school test sites on the mailing list :-(16:08
th1aOh, it has been coming to me.16:08
th1aIt is no problem.16:08
pips1can you tell us more ? hint hint16:08
Aisteth1a: I got a suggestion from someone I know about Slovak open source people who want work16:08
AisteI am not suggesting them for anything but I promised that I'd ask...16:09
th1aWhat I really want to do right now is hire a very experienced team, because we don't have time to screw around.16:09
Aistethat's what i thought16:09
th1apips1:  I've got a few proposals, all of which seem reasonable.  I really only needed two at this point.16:11
th1aI am going to be talking on the phone at 10:00 with the principal of a new school in Philadelphia who we're probably going to be working with.16:12
pips1regarding POV re-doing the resource booking feature that got lost in the architectural transition to Zope3... will that be included in the proposals, as suggested by alga a while back?16:12
th1aI don't think so.16:12
th1asrichter:  You're going to work on the sample product next, right?16:14
th1aHm... seem to have lost srichter.16:17
pips1alga, since you are ill, i suppose it's is a poor time to ask, but would since POV did the resource booking feature before, do you think it would take relatively little time to reimplenent it ? (hint hint)16:18
th1aAnyhow... that's about it.  It'll be nice to get development cranking forward again next week.16:18
th1apips1:  It just depends on how the estimates come out for the attendance work.16:18
ignaspips1, depends on the motivation ;) hint hint16:18
srichterth1a: yes16:18
srichterI got your mail and I like the idea a lot16:19
pips1ignas, you mean, if users are screaming for the feature ? :-)16:19
th1asrichter and I have been bouncing around ideas for a sample product tutorial.16:19
ignaspips1, at the moment there is a "user screaming" not users :)16:19
th1aIt is tricky because we keep making the example to complicated.16:20
th1atoo complicated.16:20
ignasbut we are flexible - and we accept different kind of motivation too :)16:20
pips1there haven't been to many users screaming yet, have there ...?16:20
pips1maybe they need encouragement to scream more! :-D16:21
th1aWell, I think we have happy users using SchoolBell and SchoolTool in fairly simple ways.16:21
pips1yes, you are probably right16:22
pips1probably more SchoolBell users, I think16:22
pips1the whole 'sections' machinery of SchoolTool is probably not used much yet and therefore we don't get more users asking for improvements to ST, I suspect16:23
th1aThe current idea for the sample product is commendations.16:23
th1aThat is, allowing teachers and admins to attach commendations to people and groups.16:23
th1apips1:  Yes, I think you're right.  There wasn't really time for people to get that deeply into the system.16:24
th1aI think that does it.16:25
* th1a gavels the meeting to a close.16:25
th1apips1:  Do you use an LMS?16:26
Aistescreaming is usually not much of a motivation16:26
th1aMoodle doesn't really use the idea of sections, right?16:27
Aistemore of a demotivation in fact16:27
Aisteyeah, to run away16:28
pips1moodle's "units" are 'courses'...16:28
th1aIs a "unit" a group of people or content?16:28
pips1group of content, I think16:29
th1aHow do you designate a group of people working with that content?16:29
pips1moodle is used by our computing departement, I need to take a better look16:30
th1aOK.  No problem.16:31
th1aI saw a number of LMS's in Holland, and I'm a bit confused about how they model courses and sections.16:31
th1aI think it is partly because in universities, each course is only taught by one professor, whereas in schools, the same course is simultaneously taught by several teachers.16:32
pips1yes, I think that is true16:33
th1aAlthough I'm sure you can come up with cases where the same course is taught by several professors in parallel.16:33
pips1yes, as well16:33
pips1th1a, how many people attended at in Holland, you'd say?16:36
th1aAbout 100.16:37
th1aI think the organizers learned that you shouldn't let people register without paying.16:37
th1aThe conference filled up quickly, but they had a lot of no-shows.16:37
th1aThey were annoyed.16:38
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pips1re moodle, I don't think the concept of 'sections' exists there, only groups and courses16:40
th1aI'll have to look into it more.16:41
pips1there isn't an overall school timetable in moodle, I think (not entirely sure though)16:41
pips1I also need to look at it16:41
th1aThe conference was good, but a bit too university/LMS oriented for me.16:42
th1aStill, I flew the flag and made some good contacts.16:43
pips1what was the drawback of that ?16:43
pips1the university/LMS orientation, I mean16:43
th1aWell, not many primary/secondary people.16:43
pips1I think Schooltool still has great potential for universities too and integrating with an LMS like Moodle would definitely be a good thing...16:44
pips1especially the moodle bit...16:45
pips1you are aware of the online moodle demo at, right?16:45
th1aYeah, I have access to Moodle.16:46
pips1thought so16:46
th1aOK.  I have to take a shower.16:47
th1attyl pips116:48
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pips1I got to go, but I will be back with more nudging about the resource booking feature (drafting a spec, e.g.) later ;-)16:50
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srichtermgedmin: can you give access to the cando repository?18:51
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jintysrichter: as far as I know bskahan and th1a are the admins of that machine19:07
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mgedminsrichter, no -- I don't have access myself19:44
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srichterok, thanks20:07
srichterI meet Tom later today20:07
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