IRC log of #schooltool for Tuesday, 2006-07-11

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* th1a sputters back to life.16:29
* th1a shuffles some papers.16:31
th1aGood morning/afternoon folks.16:31
pcardunegood morning th1a!16:32
th1aGlad you could join us pcardune.16:32
pcardune(I too am glad16:32
pcarduneto be here)16:32
th1aUm... anyone else here?  srichter?  ignas?16:34
th1aignas: hi16:34
th1aignas:  Did you go to EuroPython?16:34
ignasth1a: yes16:34
th1aHow was it?16:34
ignasquite nice16:35
ignasmet jinty :)16:35
algaer, hi16:35
th1aalga:  Hi.16:35
th1aSo what's jinty like in real life?16:35
ignasfun to talk with :)16:36
th1aMaybe someday EuroPython won't be the same week as NECC, and I'll be able to come.16:37
ignas:) we can arange that :D16:37
th1aWill it be in Vilnius next year?16:37
ignaswhen is the NECC next year ?16:37
ignasth1a: yes i think so16:38
th1aJune 24-27.16:38
th1aNECC was very exciting this year.  The awareness of and interest in open source was way up among educators.16:39
th1aEspecially Moodle.16:40
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th1aI blogged about it:
th1aAnyhow, hopefully I'll see you in Vilnius in a year.16:40
th1aOK.  Moving on...16:41
algaMy visa interview tomorrow morning16:41
algaAistÄ— has contacted the travel agent re. plane tickets reservation16:42
th1aLet's talk about goals for NELS.16:43
th1aOverall, I want to focus on UI.16:44
th1aWe'll have some student interns with us, who we'll be able to put to work but aren't super Zope 3 experts.16:44
pcardunethey are very limited in their knowledge16:45
th1aSo one goal is getting them to go through various views and identify and hopefully clean up various rendering bugs.16:45
th1aWe have lots of glitches on browsers that aren't Firefox.16:45
pcarduneI've been trying to bring them up to speed but we have had a lot of technical issues here in virginia with power at schools being turned off for the summer without anyone notifying us (bye bye servers)16:46
th1apcardune: That's nuts.16:46
pcarduneno kidding16:47
th1apcardune:  Can you generate a list of the views in the system by parsing the ZCML (like we discussed)?16:47
pcardunewill we have computers running these other browsers?  I think we will be bringing ubuntu laptops (they might dualboot windows)16:48
pcarduneth1a, I can work on that16:48
th1apcardune: Thanks.16:48
th1aBeyond that, I think we need to use the face to face time to flesh out the navigation/ui stories.16:49
th1aAnd do some rough implementation.16:50
th1aI'll bring my whiteboard and a big roll of newsprint.16:50
th1aignas:  From our discussion yesterday, what you need is a more focused description of what each role should be able to see?16:51
ignasyes, what parts are important16:52
ignasi mean16:52
ignasboth sutents and admins should have a way of looking at "group list"16:52
ignasbut for one of them it must be somewhere deep (like student has a link to a list of all groups near the list of his groups)16:52
ignaswhile for administratior accessing of group list should be more direct16:52
ignashope i made it clearer :/16:53
th1aignas:  I see what you mean.16:53
th1aThe thing about groups now is that for most (non-admin) people, they are only relevant in terms of having a calendar.16:54
th1aSo a student perhaps only needs to interact with groups via the calendar.16:55
ignaswell, students care about group calendars of groups they are in or groups their firends are in16:55
ignashaving a link that would say "Add this calendar to my overlays" not that is useful16:56
th1aRight, but as long as they can add the group's calendar, that's pretty much all they need to know about the group.16:56
ignasprobably yes, though i can imagine one looking at the list of other students attending "Judo" stuff just to see whether i want to join it or not ...16:57
ignasin the begining of the year16:57
ignasprobably once or twice16:57
th1aIt is a low priority use case.16:58
ignasbut yes, you are looking at groups if "You want to join some" or if "you want to see it's calendar because your friend is in it"16:58
th1aWe need to focus on getting the attendance, gradebook & demographics to work for teachers and admins.16:58
ignasjust looking at a calendar of a group you have no connection to and not wanting to join it is a weird usecase16:58
th1aWell, we need to start thinking more like a student information system that has unusually well developed calendars, rather than primarily a calendar system.17:00
th1aMaking an easy to use SIS is the focus now, so leaving out some navigational paths that aren't strictly necessary is ok.17:01
th1aignas:  So anyhow, what specific kind of documentation would you like to see at this point?17:02
th1aUse cases?17:02
th1aSome kind of UML?17:02
ignasyes, most important things that user should be able to perform in as few clicks as possible17:02
th1aShort use cases?17:03
ignasanything that is easy enough for you to write at the moment17:03
th1aLike:  Teacher is taking attendance for one section and wants to switch to the gradebook for the same section.17:03
srichterI am here17:04
th1agood morning srichter.17:04
ignasth1a: yes, would be good enough, would be a bit better if you would add some marker that would note how common/important that is17:05
th1aignas:  OK.17:06
th1aignas:  Actually, can you give me a summary of what you and gintas have been doing?17:07
ignasmoving away from Zope3 menu to viewlets and hiding links that users should not be able to see17:07
ignasactions menu contained a lot of links that would raise permission errors17:08
ignasthough one would still see them17:08
ignaswithout a way to handle them in a different way17:08
ignasthat's it17:09
th1aOK.  I wonder if I should give you some bugs to work on while we hash out the UI stuff.17:10
ignaswell i have 1 task on my work list "make password edit view guarded by an access control setting"17:11
th1aSo I could give you some more tasks?17:12
ignasyou can17:12
ignasi'll stop fiddling with the UI stuff until you decide what you really want then ;)17:12
th1aOK.  I'll do that.  We don't have any outstanding timezone bugs?17:12
srichterth1a: actually good afternoon17:12
srichterth1a: I had to go to Austria for an emergency thing17:13
th1aignas: I just need to get in the same room with some other people.17:13
th1asrichter: I wondered why you had been so quiet.17:13
th1aAre you going to be back in time?17:13
ignasth1a: don't really have any i think, there are such things as ICAL support though they are more of a time sink rather than bugs17:14
srichterth1a: actually, I was teaching and buying the house the last two weeks17:14
th1apcardune: Another fairly easy thing we might train the interns to do is make some custom form views for the demographics.17:14
ignasseems new17:14
th1aOK.  Definitely add investigating that that to your list.17:15
th1apcardune: That is, right now all the views are auto-generated, and it would be better if some of them were laid out more compactly.17:16
pcardunethat is a possibility17:17
th1aThey could even just work on the layout and then we can add the zpt later if they don't know how to do that.17:17
th1aignas & alga: if you have any ideas about useful things captive high school students could do for us at the sprint, let us know ;-)17:18
pcardunehe he he17:19
th1aI don't want them to be bored.17:19
algawhat could that be?..17:19
th1aThings that don't require too much programming skill.17:20
th1aWe could have them work on help files.17:20
ignasth1a: err, even very good programmers don't do that well :/17:21
th1aSo we have nothing to lose!17:21
pcarduneth1a, we could come up with a written list of tasks and check them off as we go17:21
th1aBut I agree, I wouldn't expect polished results.17:21
th1apcardune: Exactly, what can be on the list.17:21
th1aOne think is checking views.17:21
ignascss/html tweaks17:22
ignasmaking mockups for UI17:22
th1aWill anyone have a Mac with them?17:22
ignastesting UI ideas generated by ST developers17:22
pcarduneI wish :)17:22
th1aWe have some serious problems in Safari.17:22
algawill konqueror do?17:23
pcardunegetting coffee17:23
ignasthey will be users of the system in some time, so it is important to get their user experience good ...17:23
th1aalga:  I need to determine that.17:23
ignasusing them for some hallway tests in the begining ;)17:23
th1aignas:  Yes, that's one reason it is a good time to work through these UI discussions, rather than just me sitting in my room.17:23
th1aHallway tests?17:24
ignasok, won't do, people must know pretty much nothing about the system for a proper hallway test17:24
ignashallway test is when you just go into a hallway, catch some passer by and make hip perform some basic tasks17:24
ignaswith a piece of software17:24
ignasseeing how easy/difficult is your application to use17:25
ignasfor someone who did not spend 2 years developing it17:25
pcarduneno kidding17:25
th1aI'm hoping we'll be able to do that with our new ideas, since our old ones are pretty much played out.17:26
th1apcardune: dwelsh isn't going to be there, right?17:26
pcarduneI don't believe he is17:27
th1aOK.  So you'll have to do a couple brief CanDo talks.17:27
th1aWhich I know you can do on short notice ;-)17:27
pcarduneoh man... that was hell!17:28
pcarduneI should put that on my resume17:28
th1apcardune did a last minute CanDo presentation at NECC using Skype and VNC.17:28
th1aIt was an impressive feat.17:28
pcardune"can organize and give presentations from 3000 miles away with only 3 hours of preparation"  thanks to Nick Wheeler though17:29
th1apcardune: You absolutely should put that on your resume.17:29
th1aOK.  Time's up.17:29
th1aSorry things were a little rambly today.  I'll be using the rest of the week to focus things for NELS.17:30
th1aHave a good week.  Good luck at the interview, alga.17:30
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th1aalga:  When would you be arriving?17:30
th1asrichter:  When will you be back in the US?17:31
algath1a: don't know yet.  On 15th perhaps17:32
th1aIn Boston, right?17:33
th1aDon't fly to New York ;-)17:33
algaYep, I was aiming for Boston17:46
th1aOK.  Just checking.17:47
th1aIf for some strange reason you can get to Providence just as cheaply (probably through New York), you can do that too.17:47
th1aThe Providence airport is 15 minutes from my house.17:48
algatoo bad it's past business hours here, and AistÄ— has gone out too...17:49
th1aYou could mention that to your travel agent.17:49
th1aEither way is OK.17:49
algaso, if I'm flying to Boston I will stay at srichter's place for one night?17:49
algaif he is indeed back from Austria17:50
th1aalga:  That's what I was thinking.17:51
th1aOtherwise we'll have to bring you back down here.17:51
th1aOf course, srichter might be in the middle of moving into his new home, so things have gotten a little more complicated...17:51
th1aAnd I have a base ball game Saturday.17:52
th1aBut we'll figure something out ;-)17:52
algaAre credit cards ubiquitously accepted in the US?17:54
algacan I buy a train ticket or a bus ticket with a card?17:54
algaor pay for taxi?17:54
th1aYes, we use credit cards ;-)17:57
th1aI'd imagine we invented them.17:58
th1aWe lead the world in debt.17:58
pcarduneyou can buy a stick of gum with a credit card at some stores17:58
th1aalga:  You can learn about that watching "Oprah."17:58
algaWell, here the smart-card debit cards are more popular18:00
algaso they don't quite lead to debt18:00
ignaspcardune: at some stores or in pretty much ALL stores ?18:00
algabut the point is you don't need to carry cash18:00
th1aPretty much.18:00
th1aI usually don't trust taxi's to take credit cards, but I think most of them do.18:01
pcarduneignas, i'm not sure, i so rarely buy gum at all.  but *some* stores have a $5.00 minimum charge18:01
th1aI prefer not to find out the hard way.18:01
th1aI've been chewing gum lately, for some unknown reason.18:01
th1apcardune: Are you going to work more on your top menus in a branch?18:03
pcarduneth1a, yes, that would be a really good idea18:04
pcarduneit broke more functional tests than I thought18:04
pcardunealthough most of them look trivial ("     <a something>" versus "<a something>")18:05
th1apcardune:  I'd like to be able to get some feedback on it at NELS.18:05
pcarduneI'll be working on it thursday and friday18:06
th1aCool.  Thanks.18:06
algath1a: could you elaborate on Oprah?18:06
th1aI was trapped in a doctor's office yesterday, and her talk show was on the TV.18:07
th1aThe main feature seemed to be profiles of middle class families trapped by credit card debt.18:07
th1aPeople making $100,000 with $90,000 in credit card debt.18:07
th1aAt 20%+ interest.18:08
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th1aSo they bring on the financial advisor who starts out by saying, "Well, right now you aren't even paying in enough each month to cover the interest, so at this rate your debt will keep going up forever."18:11
th1aAnd everyone cries, etc.18:11
pcardunedo they own a house?18:12
pcardunethey should just sell it18:12
th1aAnd then live in a box?18:12
pcarduneand sell their car, and their children18:12
srichteralga: th1a: Sure you can stay a night :-)18:27
srichterWe will be still in the apartment this weekend, so there should not be a big hassle.18:27
srichterI make sure we bring the air matress back from the house18:28
algathanks, Stephan18:38
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* th1a is going to get a much needed haircut.18:44
srichteralga: send me your flight info18:57
srichteralga: I'll send you the address too18:58
srichterStephan and Claudia Richter18:58
srichter79 Clarendon Ave. #118:58
srichterSomerville, MA 0214418:58
srichterTaxi: tell them to go to Teele Square; it's the street between the church and the dry cleaner19:01
algayay, my mobile phone is tri-band, so I'll be connected!19:05
algawith exorbitant fees though19:21
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