IRC log of #schooltool for Monday, 2005-12-05

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*** mgedmin changes topic to "SchoolTool development | IRC logs at | Buildbot: | Dev meetings Mon, 14:30 UTC (16:30 EET)| CanDo dev meetings Tue, 4pm EST"13:12
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th1aGood morning all.16:30
mgedminhi, th1a16:31
srichtergood morning16:31
th1aGood afternoon mgedmin, ignas.16:31
th1aHow have things been going at POV?16:31
mgedminok, I guess16:32
mgedminthe "default groups" story is finished (although it took more time than initially estimated)16:32
mgedminwe're still at the API design stage of the attendance workflow story16:32
mgedminbut now everyone understands how zope.wfmc works16:33
th1aCool.  We should talk about my crack at the workflow.16:33
th1aIn a bit.16:34
th1aI want to get srichter's reaction.16:34
th1aSo you're working on the workflow now?16:34
th1aOK, cool.16:35
th1asrichter, how's our sample product coming?16:36
srichterok, I have a bit that is not checked in16:36
srichterbut I think it will be neat, since the documentation is the test16:37
th1aThat is good.16:37
th1aOK then, let's discuss this "expanation" workflow.16:38
srichterok, shoot16:39
mgedminit looked very strange to me at first, but finally I realized that it works16:39
th1aDoes everyone have that?  JaWE fired up?16:39
th1aWell, it assumes that you've got one object for absences and tardies, I think.16:39
mgedminthat's a sensible assumption16:40
th1aOr at least it encourages that worldview.16:40
srichterdid you send a file?16:40
th1aI checked it in.16:40
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mgedminso, when a teacher submits an attendance tracking form, we create an attendance tracking object for each student16:41
srichter(I have not read E-mails since Friday, so I anything might be burried. ;-)16:41
ignasmgedmin, not for each, only gfor those that are late/absent16:41
mgedminand if the checkbox was unchecked, we create a process and start the workflow16:41
mgedminignas, we also need to record presences, so for each16:41
mgedminI think the "create absence" activity does not require any manual interaction16:42
mgedminso the workflow progresses to the Explain activity and sits there16:42
th1aI agree.  It seemed to be necessary to the structure of the workflow.16:43
mgedminif a student comes in late, we finish the work item with some flag saying "tardy=True"16:43
th1aYou can't make a two-way arrow off the first node of a workflow.16:43
mgedminmove to the make tardy, have no manual interaction there, and move right back to Explain16:43
mgedmin(and store a tardy flag on the absence tracking object as well, probably)16:43
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mgedminI suppose it is the teacher, and not the student, who enters explanations16:45
th1aIt would be.16:45
mgedminand is it the same teacher who accepts or rejects the explanation?16:45
srichterth1a: the workflow looks good, except that the workflow also can end with "Make Tardy"16:45
mgedminis the acceptance done at the same time when an explanation is entered, or are those two separate steps?16:45
srichter(if the student never gets a valid excuse)16:46
mgedminsrichter, I assumed that students also must explain why they were late16:46
th1amgedmin:  Yes, that's what I'm thinking.16:46
srichteryeah, but then it still should not go through excuse to end16:46
mgedminand if a student didn't show up because he felt like that, that's not a valid excuse either16:46
mgedminor is it? th1a?16:47
th1aYou still need an excuse.16:47
mgedminwhat do you do with malicious students?16:47
srichterbasically, if someone just takes off and never presents an excuse the workflow will always be around16:47
srichtermgedmin: right, that's the use case I am thinking about too16:47
th1aEventually these will need to close themselves automatically.16:47
th1aIn most schools there is a certain number of days.16:48
th1aAnd we'll also need some end of term cleanup methods that'll clean up stray workflows and the like.16:48
th1amgedmin:  That's a good question about who enters the excuse and who resolves it.16:48
mgedminshould there be a different activity in the workflow then?  "close without excuse"?16:49
mgedmin"give up"16:49
th1amgedmin:  I was thinking we'd do that later.16:49
ignasfrom what i understand - at the moent reject and ecuse activities don't require any user interaction too16:49
th1aMight be a good thing to get some feedback on.16:49
srichterno, you need that now16:49
th1aignas:  What happens there is what we need to discuss.16:50
srichteryou really want something that allows you to end the WF ina  valid manner16:50
srichterwithout having an excuse16:50
srichterright, so not every activity requires manual input16:50
th1aThis might be another case where in trying to make this workflow very simple I'm confusing the situation.16:51
srichterthat's okay16:51
th1aIt probably will make everyone happier if we add a "not excused" termination now.16:51
th1aAnyway, getting back to mgedmin's question.16:53
th1aWho in a school manages entering the explanation (and what codes are used to do so) will vary from school to school.16:53
th1aSame with deciding if it is accepted.16:54
th1aI guess we do need to create groups for these.16:54
th1aWhich will generally map to the built-in groups.16:55
th1aSo should we make a path from reject to End?16:56
srichtermaybe we should have a smart way of mapping WF participants to groups and users16:56
mgedminperhapd not16:56
mgedminif you reject one excuse, can the student submit another?16:57
srichterright, I think reject should not lead to an end16:57
ignaswell it leads back to explaining16:57
th1aOK.  From explain?16:57
ignasat the moment16:57
srichterwhat is the antonym for "excuse"?16:58
mgedminactually, there can be two transitions from Reject: one back to Explain, another to End16:59
th1amgedmin:  That's what I was thinking.16:59
* mgedmin suddenly feels very confused16:59
th1aIt is a user decision at that point.16:59
* mgedmin quaffed a smoky green potion16:59
srichterth1a: I think that is not possible17:00
th1aMy thesaurus suggests "condemn," but that sounds a bit harsh.17:00
srichteran activity that links to an end cannot link back to another activity, as far as I remember17:00
th1aAh.  That sounds likely.17:00
srichteryep, just tried and it fails17:00
mgedminhow about this: from Explain you may go to MakeTardy (then back), or to Reject (then back), or to Excuse (then to End), or to $SomethingElse (then to End)17:01
srichterthe reason you cannot do this is because the end transition is automatic without condition17:01
th1aSo it would be Reject > Unexcuse > End.17:01
th1aWe always called them "unexcused absences."17:01
mgedminthere's a subtle difference between "unexplained" and "unexcused"17:02
th1aLet me see what term is used in the High Tech High spec.17:02
srichteryep, that would be good17:02
srichtermgedmin: good point17:02
th1aHm... not obvious.17:05
th1aI'll look it up after the meeting.17:05
th1aAny other questions about the workflow?17:06
th1aI guess the next step is to add the Application method names.17:06
srichternope, not from me17:06
mgedminno questions come to mind right now17:07
th1aI'm working on a rather long email announcing our "partner schools" in the Northern hemisphere for next year.17:08
th1aIt ended up being a pretty straightforward decision.17:08
th1aWe've got High Tech High in San Diego - http://hightechhigh.org17:08
th1aThey're really the toughest.17:09
th1aThe biggest, with probably the most data to migrate and the highest expectations.17:09
th1aThere is the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -
mgedminreminds me of slartibartfast for some reason17:10
th1aThis is a new high school that is starting with just a ninth grade class.17:10
th1aThe principal is a fellow who did a ton of stuff with open source and home-brewed PHP scripts at his former school in New York.17:11
th1aSo he's got a lot of experience and understands what he wants and what can be done.17:11
th1aAnd then at the last minute I got a proposal from a school in Boston,17:12
* srichter notes that the word "leadership" is his most hated US English term :-)17:12
th1aThe Smith Leadership Academy
th1aYes. We have two "S. Leadership Academies"17:13
th1aHere's our contact there:17:13
th1a#  the qualifications/background of the intended primary contact person and their relationship to the school;17:13
th1aPrior to changing careers, Keith Donaldson specialized in providing technical support to students, faculty and staff in educational environments.  He has also served as project manager in a 24x7 data center, directed a web design team and developed a design criteria for an on-line interactive learning tool.  Currently, he serves a mathematics instructor, the robotics coach and the first line of technical support at Smith Leadersh17:13
th1aSo he should be able to make some real contributions.17:14
th1aAlso, Smith uses PowerSchool, which is the same system that High Tech High uses.17:14
th1aAnd of course, it is close srichter and I.17:15
th1aThen we have one UK and one European school.17:15
th1aIn the UK, breaking our pattern of urban public schools we've got St. Ives School in Haslemere:
srichteryeah, the UK does not really belong to Europe ;-)17:16
th1aI think of it as separate.17:16
th1aAnd then Nicolas Pettiaux offered two possibilities in Belgium.  One primary and one secondary.17:18
th1aWe have to decide which one will be more useful.17:18
th1aThe UK school is the only primary.17:18
th1aIn the US it is two high schools and a middle (grades 6-8).17:18
th1aAnd then I need to discuss with the Shuttleworth Foundation who we're going to work with in the Southern hemisphere.17:19
th1aSo that's the lineup.17:20
mgedminwe should fix bugs17:21
th1aAnd I'm basically waiting for Aiste to give me a plan regarding POV's availability for next year before submit a plan for hiring another team.17:21
th1aFixing bugs is good.17:21
th1aWhich ones?17:21
mgedminall of them17:21
Aisteno want give plans17:22
Aisteanyway, I should have one ready for you by tomorrow17:22
th1aAiste:  OK.  Super.17:22
th1asrichter:  Do you have some time now or are you going off to class?17:25
srichterI am at home, but I am in a project17:25
srichterdo you need me online, or can we talk on the phone?17:25
th1aIt isn't pressing.17:26
th1aAnd actually, I don't think I can talk on the phone.17:26
th1aI went to see Dinosaur Jr. in Cambridge last night,17:26
th1awhich was literally the loudest rock show I've ever heard.17:26
th1aAnd I have the worst tinnitus of my life now.17:26
Aisteouch, sounds painful17:27
th1aIt was a great show though.17:27
Aistegood job there's irc :)17:27
th1aNot actually painful.17:27
th1aJust ringy.17:27
srichterok, so what did you want to discuss?17:28
th1aSo I thought the first step for gradebook might be to allow the teacher to assign an overall grade for the term.17:28
th1aIn which case you'll be applying a score to the section.17:29
th1aAn evaluation.17:30
srichterok, but I think this is a bit different than the gradebook for single class activities17:31
th1aAnyhow, I think I need to think this through first.17:31
srichterso let's do that17:31
th1aWell, the reason you have a gradebook is to create a grade for the section.17:32
th1aI'll work on it myself today.17:32
th1aTimes up.17:32
* th1a strikes the virtual gavel.17:32
srichterright, but the final grade from the section is usually different from the grade calculated by the grades of activities17:33
srichterat Tufts these are two very different systems17:33
srichterone is better guarded than a safe, the other a lot of people have access to17:34
srichterand you can get access easily17:34
th1aI think both should be equally secure.17:34
srichterhere is a the reason17:34
srichterthe grades of activites are there for the instructor to have a platform of evaluation17:35
srichtermany courses have easily 5-10 instructors (including labs), so the access is wide open17:35
srichterbut once the final grade is determined, the main instructor goes to the official university system to assign a grade17:36
th1aOh.  I see what you're saying.17:36
srichterthis is the grade that will always show up on the transcripts17:36
th1aWell, we're kind of assuming that there is only one official system, SchoolTool.17:36
srichterright, but the problem domain remains17:37
th1aSo I'm not sure what we'd do to make one part of it more or less secure than another.17:37
srichtermy point was not so much security, but workflow17:37
th1aAlso, we aren't really dealing with the one prof, many TA's use case.17:37
srichterand I think that workflow distinction holds for us as well17:38
th1aI don't think it does.17:38
th1aI'll write up a proposal.17:39
srichterth1a: are we done? :-)17:43
th1aThat's what the "virtual gavel" signifies.17:43
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ignasth1a, should the time of the end of a lesson be logged as an attendance event ?20:42
ignasth1a, or we are only tracking presence, like Student A was present for lesson B on day 2005-12-2020:43
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