IRC log of #schooltool for Thursday, 2005-12-08

srichterth1a: btw, sections are not groups at this point, but in your requirements E-mail you write:00:09
srichter  The overall idea is to allow teachers, clerks and administrators to00:09
srichter  enter a commendation for a person or group (including sections).00:09
srichterso you want commendations for person, group and section?00:09
th1a Yes.00:10
srichterbtw, this is a feature that should be implemented soonish00:11
th1aMaking sections groups?00:16
srichteryes, or better create a group when a section is created00:16
srichterwhen a section is deleted the associated group will also be removed00:17
th1aWell, we'll have to keep them in sync then.00:17
srichternot very problematic with the dependency framework00:18
srichteryou basically cannot delete section groups by themselves00:19
th1aYeah, but if you add someone to the group they have to be added to the section, etc, etc.00:19
srichterand when you delete a section, the group is also deleted00:20
th1aOr do you disallow editing the group?00:20
srichterI would disallow editing that group00:20
srichteractually I take that back00:20
srichterthe section group will be a special group that stores all its data int he section and not directly in itself00:20
srichterso when you add a member to a section group, it is really added as a member to the section00:21
th1aThe problem with this DocTest method is that you don't refer to or quote the file itself.00:29
srichterI refer to it and it is clear which file I mean00:30
srichterand it is totally intentional that I am not copying the source code00:30
th1aYes, you refer to it...00:30
srichterit is very difficult to keep the real source code in sync with the documentation00:31
srichterI was able to do this with the book, because I had full control00:31
srichterwhich is not the case here00:31
srichterit takes a lot of discipline to keep code and documentation in sync, if not tested00:32
srichterI am not sure everyone every playing with this has this discipline00:32
th1aCould you add more comments in the source files?00:32
srichter(or at least I do not want to figure it out the hard way)00:32
srichtersure, but can you be more explicit about what you are missing?00:33
srichter(I'll note that I dislike documenting comments in code, becuase it makes the code more scary looking than it really is)00:33
th1aI should go through the whole thing...00:34
th1aWe need a chapter to explain how to use this style of documentation.00:36
srichterI intended the README.txt file for such information00:37
th1aWell, it isn't there yet, right?00:38
srichterbecause I have no problem with it00:38
jintysrichter: A question, why are the schoolbell and schooltool translations in separate locales directories??00:38
srichteryou need to tell me what you are missing :-)00:38
th1aIf someone never read a DocTest before, they'd be a bit baffled.00:39
srichterI thought I was very clear in the testing section, where I said that the documentation file itself serves as the test00:39
srichterbut you told me I can assume Python skills00:39
srichterdoctests are not even Zope-specific, so it should be a skill that one has00:40
th1aWell, maybe I can write that part.00:40
srichterif not, what more than: This is a doctest; read more at XXX. would you want me to write?00:40
srichter(I'll note that it is very difficult for me to gauge what people know and don't know, since I know all this stuff very well)00:41
srichterI can only guess what people would like to know00:41
th1aI understand.00:41
srichterso if you tell me don't assume X, Y, Z and write in detail about A, B, c and more than glad to do that00:41
srichterjinty: I think it is cruft; we really need to merge the two00:42
srichterjinty: I just did have time to do that, since it is a bit tedious00:42
th1aLet me think about it.  You should definitely explain, for example, what you're doing when you're doing set-up for the tests.  Not in detail, but explain what's going on.00:43
srichterso more than "it brings up the component architecture"?00:43
srichter(btw, it would be best to send me an E-mail with all of the comments, so that I will not forget about it.00:44
jintysrichter, k, I thought so, I'll think I'll try moving them all to schooltool/locales as it makes what I am trying to do easier.00:45
th1aOK, I don't think you can wait till the testing section before you explain that this file is a doctest.  That's too late in the game.00:45
th1a(having just got that far...)00:45
srichterhuh, interesting00:46
srichterI felt that this was the punch line at the end00:46
th1aI tend to do the same kinds of things as a writer.00:46
srichterI showed basically interactive Python sessions (just like the standard Python module documentation does), but at the end I tell the user; look this is a real working tests here00:46
srichternote that Python developers are definitely used to reading interactive prompt output, whether it is a real test or not00:47
srichtersince it is used in all Python documentation, books, etc.00:47
th1aI guess I have a slightly different perception of the skill set.00:49
povbot/svn/commits: * hoffman committed revision 5398:00:49
povbot/svn/commits: Some small edits.00:49
th1aThere are a lot of people who know a little Python who aren't into the scene enough to know about DocTests.00:49
th1aI just cleaned up a few things.00:50
th1aOK.  Time for dinner.  I'll look at this some more later.00:50
srichterbut I also don't expect a Python code scripter to be able to develop add-on components00:50
srichtera developer must have at least enough knowledge to grasp adapters00:51
srichterscripters cannot do this in general00:51
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5399:00:51
povbot/svn/commits: A small script to extract .pot files.00:51
povbot/svn/commits: All of them are extracted to schooltool/locales as that is where all translations will end up, according to srichter.00:51
povbot/svn/commits: Also see for some discussion of this.00:51
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5400:00:52
povbot/svn/commits: Remove this bloody untested and broken stump.00:52
th1aWell, given an Zope 2 Python product tutorial I was able to bash out something that worked, even if it wasn't pretty and I didn't completely understand it.00:53
srichterright, so this is certainly a goal of this documentation as well00:55
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5401:00:56
povbot/svn/commits: Update and fix the extract-translations makefile rule.00:56
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5402:01:16
povbot/svn/commits: Move all the existing schoolbell locales to the schooltool/locales directory. I wanted to change the schoolbell code to look for translations in schooltool/locales, but it seems to do that already.01:16
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5403:01:17
povbot/svn/commits: remove the now empty schooltool/sbapp/locales directory.01:17
povbot/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5404:02:14
povbot/svn/commits: update the update-translations make rule to something that kind of works.02:14
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nphello Tom, I am now online to start a discussion15:37
srichternp: tom is usually not up at this hour15:44
npThanks Stephan. Tom fiwed me a meeting on IRC at 14h30, and I understood that it was my time (GMT+1). Do you know where is Tom timely located ? (which timezone)15:46
tiredbonesnp, I beleave Tom is in eastern time zone.16:02
npThanks. So it is about 9 am now for him.16:09
srichternp: oh, he meant 15h30 your time16:09
srichterhe probably mixed you up with lithuania, which is +216:10
npsrichter: No problem, I'll stay connected for about 20 minutes then I'll leave and be back in about 1 hour I suppose. I'll let him know by mail16:12
th1anp:  I'm here now.16:13
srichterthere you go :-)16:13
th1aSorry about the timezone confusion.16:14
npThanks Stephan. Hello Tom16:19
th1aHi Nicolas.16:19
npThis is not really a problem if you accept that I have to leave for a while to drive my children to their grand parents to celebrate "Saint Nicolas" (Santa Claus, different from "père Noel = Father Christmas)16:20
th1aThat's fine.16:20
npTHis should take me about 40 min, and I'll leave within 10 minutes.16:20
th1aOh, ok.  So we'll chat a bit and then I'll be here to pick it up later.16:21
npThank you very much for accepting us, La Futaie school. I"ll report this at the parents meeting that is taking place tonight by chance, and that I happen to chair this year.16:21
npWhere do you want us to start ?16:22
th1aWell, could you tell me a little more about the school?16:22
th1aDoes it have a website?16:22
th1aAny other information online?16:22
npI am with another father constructing the website and actually doing a lot about everything that is concerned with the informatics in the school.16:24
npSo far it did not have any site, because there where administrative questions. A prototype has been waiting for about 2 years now. I am busy putting it online.16:25
npYou can find it on that will redirect you for a while. Sorry it is in French only, but I'll add other info as soon as I can as I have some.16:26
th1aNo problem.16:27
npI have decided to use Site@school as the provider offers php+mysql hosting but hardly zope so far16:27
npand also because there is a good deal of documentation in French ofr the users. THis is crucial for us.16:27
th1aAh yes.16:28
th1aHow big is the school?16:29
npI wish I could have used plone but there is a lack of user documentation in French (I happen to be the frist president of Zope-Europe, and one of the founder with Paul Everitt so I believe a lot in plone and Zope ... even if I am not a hard core programmer )16:30
th1aOh yes, I had forgotten about your connection with Zope-Europe!16:31
npthe school counts about 12 primary classes, with 2 classes by level (1 for 6 year old pupils to 6 for 12 year old pupils) + 3 classes for pre-primary schools pupils. Each classes counts about 20 pupils.16:32
Aistehello from a Zope Europe Assosiation meeting :)16:33
Aisteseeing as you are talking about this anyway :)16:33
npAltogether then there are about 320 pupils. It is considered a rather good primary school in the Brussels region.16:33
th1aHi Aiste.16:33
th1aIt is a public school?16:34
th1aIs Belgium's school system similar to France's?  Or anyone's in particular?16:35
npLa Futaie is a public school yes. All the money comes from the taxes through government and administration. But it is considered also "local" as the local communes (that is the locally elected people with mayor and so) are the people who administrate the schools at their level and not the state, here the community  (which is still providing the money). A rather ticky system indeed.16:38
npFrench and Belgian system have a lot of similarities but are still different. This relates to the way the management is "dictated" by the politicians.16:39
th1aSo national funding and local control?16:39
th1aWe're creeping toward the opposite here, which is pretty dreadful.16:40
th1aIf you're in a poor community.16:40
th1aLocal funding and federal control.16:40
npas far as schooltool is concerned, I'll do my best to make sure that the specifications I request are generic to be adequate for most Belgian and French schools while still be specific enough to meet the need of La Futaie and similar schools.16:41
th1aDo you have a lot of requirements for reporting data to other authorities?16:41
npOur national money is not enough to answer all their requirements !! So local complementary money is needed.16:42
npSorry I have got to go now and I'll be back later.16:42
th1aOK.  I'll be around.16:43
th1aTalk to you later.16:43
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nphello, I am back18:02
Aisteth1a: before I forget, yesterday i spoke to some people from Software AG who got really interested in Schooltool18:11
th1aAiste:  Interested in what about SchoolTool?18:12
Aisteas far as I understood they are planning to build something that has similar functionality18:12
th1anp:  Hi Nicolas18:12
th1aFor schools?18:12
Aisteso either they are going to reuse some parts of ST18:12
th1aOr calendars?18:12
Aisteor maybe it means that they would be interested in funding ST further18:12
Aisteit was about schools18:13
th1aIs that a big company?18:13
Aisteit's huge18:14
th1aAnd they're in Zope Europe?18:14
Aisteit is a German based company18:14
th1aI see the website.18:15
Aistethat has departments in quite a few other european countries18:15
th1aHm.  Well, if you can send me someone to get in touch with, I will.18:15
AisteI will send an email to the guy that I spoke to yesterday18:16
Aistehe's got my business card18:16
th1aOK.  Cool.18:16
Aisteand he's going to get me in touch with the people who are doing that particular thing with schools18:16
th1anp:  So tell me about what kind of system your school is using now.18:17
npHello. THere was yesterday a meeting of the Belgian Plone chapter, where some people from Software AG where apparently present. I was not unfortunately.18:17
Aistenp: yes, I met them at this meeting18:18
th1aSo they use Plone.18:19
npAiste: Where are you working  ?18:19
npApparently, yes, software AG decided to use and implement Zope/Plone18:19
th1aWell, that's a good sign.18:20
Aistenp: Lithuania18:20
Aistebut at this moment I'm in Louvain la Neuve18:20
npth1a: I do not yet know the details of the system that the school is using because I have not spent enough time with it. I'll do it now.18:20
th1aBut they have to change for some reason?18:21
npAiste: OK, I see. I know well Godefroid Chapelle.18:21
Aistesoftware AG where one of the main partners in one of the FP6 EU bids and the technology for that particular bid was zope python etc18:21
Aistenp: he's in the same room with me now :)18:22
Aistealso Xavier Heymans18:22
Aisteand Paul Everitt18:22
th1aAiste:  Is anyone from Infrae there?18:22
Aistekit blake18:22
npNo, they do not *have to* but it cost quite a bit of money, and sofar they could not change because there was no system that was OK18:23
thisfred(i mean yes there is, I'm not kit blake tho ;)18:23
nphello Eric (thisfred)18:23
th1aAh, I didn't realize thisfred = Eric.18:23
npAiste: please say hello to Xavier and Paul from me.18:23
thisfredyes, I should probably change my nick for work18:23
Aistenp: yes, just did they also send their regards to you18:24
Aisteit's a pity you could not be at the meeting tomorrow18:24
AisteI need to go back to the meeting now18:24
th1aI've been talking to Kit about working on SchoolTool.18:25
Aistetalk to you later18:25
npAiste: I forgot Kit. Please give me18:25
npAiste: OK good meeting for you now; I know it was a pitty I could not be there yesterday. I also go back to this chat.18:25
th1aAiste:  ttyl.18:26
npSo Tom, I'll go and get as much info as I can get on the current system, so that we can implement the features that are needed.18:26
th1anp:  Do you know why they need to change?18:27
npth: the need to change could be figured as a too great dependance on one single company, not to say person, who has the only control on the source code of the application that is used. Usual problem with proprietary solution.18:29
npSo the price is too high (as in many cases), and it is difficult not to say very difficult and therefore expensive to consider to go towards another solution, unless this one is really open.18:30
npAnd there is none so far really.18:30
th1aOK.  Do you know anything about requirements for reporting data to higher authorities?18:30
npNo, only that so far, most of the job is done on paper form and that this takes an awful lot of time and money. I'll inquire ASAP.18:32
th1aDid you get my email about demographic requirements?18:33
npI happen to have been informed very recently that in Belgium a "structure application" as they call it has been developped for primary schools that is not deployed in some tests schools to allow for the collection of these "demogrphic data" that allows to compute how much money and therefore teachers the school can get.18:34
npth: which mail ? the one with our first "homework" ?18:34
npif yes, I am answering it now.18:35
npI'll also take the opportunity to translate the fields in French because that will be necessary for local usages.18:36
th1aOf course.18:36
npI know that now the central administration is at the beginning of the design of another such "structure application" for secondary schools.18:37
th1aSo perhaps we should collect the same data that application does?18:37
npI got in touch last week with the project manager to tell him about some free software project that I considered should be consiedred to "talk to" at the school level.18:39
tiredbonesWould it be possible to have the central admin to be involved in this right uyp front./18:39
npthis what I wanted, as descibed just here above18:39
npthe minister responsible is reponsive to free software argument, at least she was, but I have so far not had the time nor the opportunity to write to her.18:40
th1aThat sounds good.18:40
tiredbonesIf you could get them involed at the data model level, that is.18:40
th1aAt this point, it would just be good to know what their data model looks like.18:41
npthis is exactely what I want.18:41
npwait a minute. I'll call him right away now.18:41
tiredbonesThat service!18:41
th1aOTOH, I don't want to get TOO hung up on requirements beyond what the individual school needs to get through the year.18:42
tiredbonesthla, I think you will find that your much futher ahead then they are.18:43
tiredbonesI know in talking to my local school system they have many problems to over come in the data model area, because the state goverment wants is oneway and the school wants it another.18:45
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tiredbonesBut it will come down to who pays the bills.18:46
th1atiredbones:  Right.  One thing that is difficult for me to get a handle on at this point is the range of requirements that state governments are putting on schools.18:47
th1aThis time next year I think we'll understand it a lot better and we'll be getting ready for a more comprehensive solution to this problem.18:47
tiredbonesth1a, At this point I think the federal goverment will control most of what standards have to be applied.I'm trying to track this down now.18:50
th1aThere are lots of different federal governments for us to think about, too ;-)18:51
tiredbonesth1a, Yes, but "the no chikd left behind law" is pretty much controlling what the school systems want.18:53
th1aYes.  Even then there isn't a widely used format for passing the data around.18:54
tiredbonesYes, that's for sure.18:54
th1aThe guys I know in Maine tear their hair out over the bizarro CSV files they have to send to the state.18:56
tiredbonesThat's because the state dosen't know what it wants.18:57
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th1aI was at a SIF meeting a few years ago and I was amazed that there only a handful of people from the states there.18:58
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np_I have had a phone conversation that let me think that we come right on time. <tiredbones> is right: I think ST is further than the administration18:58
th1aDefinitely don't feel like what we're doing now is cast in stone.18:59
tiredbonesThat is good news.18:59
np_My contact at the administration was not present, so I got in touch with someone from the IT department he suggested that I call.18:59
np_That person told me that now, they are only at the very beginning of the consideration of exchanges with the schools with IT.19:00
th1aThat makes things easy then.19:01
np_For primary schools, they will only implement a basic solution where the schools will have to fill in forms twice (I know people who will be happy !!)19:01
th1aFill in paper forms?19:01
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np_once on paper as usual, and once on the screen, with very similar forms.19:01
tiredbonesnp_, do you thing they have any data models what-so-ever?19:02
np_yes th1a, this what I understood. I could hardly believe my ears.19:02
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th1ahm... connection problems.19:05
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th1anp_:  Losing your connection?19:06
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np_I suppose they have for existing applications, but I also know (from my previous works in banks for example) that a data model for existing applications does not necerrarily exists19:31
np_I am sorry the person I contacted first called me back and we talked for a while !19:31
np_For the primary level, they will be transfering very few (or nearly no) demographic data in the near future.19:32
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th1aOK.  It seems like we don't have to worry about it then.19:43
np_or nearly none19:43
th1aOK.  Can I throw a couple more quick questions at you?19:44
np_I'll try to get as much as I can19:44
th1aDoes each teacher have a computer or terminal in their classroom?19:44
np_no BUT by chance, I am now in the process of installing 1 or 2 compuer per classroom19:45
th1aWho do you think will be entering attendance information?19:45
th1aAnd when?19:46
np_the teacher self. WHen : I'll ask tonight19:46
th1aParticularly, will they be entering data into the web system during the class?19:47
np_I suppose so, yes19:48
th1aWe'll be supporting both during class and afterward, regardless.19:48
th1aOK.  That's enough for one day.19:51
th1aTime for me to go to lunch.19:51
th1anp_:  Thanks for your help.19:52
np_I think this is the best way, allowing both ways. The second one being good for the people who do not have a computer in the calssroom19:55
np_Thanks to you too for this first chat. I'll try to be there more often.19:55
th1aWe'll have to support both.19:55
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