IRC log of #schooltool for Friday, 2006-12-08

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mgedminlook at the screenshot:
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Aim202:38 < dudanogueira> Aim2, didymo vidasp ???13:58
Aim2slow response :P13:58
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aelknerth1a: aty?17:58
aelknerare there you?17:58
th1aaelkner: Hi.17:59
aelknerWill should be joining any moment now.17:59
jfrocheth1a: hello, got the news from Nicolas ?17:59
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th1ajfroche: Hi.  Haven't read email yet.18:00
aelknerHey Will18:01
Lumierehi will18:01
aelknerI want to start by summarizing yesterday's comclsions:18:01
aelkner1) The ZIS does not know about the app, it just hold the messages passed by agents.18:02
aelkner2) The app doesn't know about the ZIS OR the agent, it just holds the data in question.18:02
aelkner3) the agent, be it schooltool or moodle knows of both the ZIS and the app.18:03
aelkner  It looks into the apps db and does the communication wth the ZIS on the apps behalf.18:03
aelknerTom, does that sound right?18:03
wdickersSo you want the agent to modify the ZODB instead of the app doing it?18:04
th1aWell, the application needs to know a little about the agent, in most cases.18:04
th1aIt has to know to send it messages in some circumstances.18:04
th1aWhich brings up an important point...18:04
th1aIt can be very useful to simply make an agent that only handles subscription and sends requests for data, but doesn't provide any info to the Zone.18:05
th1aSo it only asks for data, never provides it.18:05
th1aThat kind of agent is way easier to write.18:05
th1aRequires far fewer hooks into the application.18:06
th1aAnd yes, the agent has to know about both.18:06
wdickersBut what would the agent have to change. Is it only adding/removing students and changing their attributes?18:07
th1aSo if SchoolTool is *providing* say, StudentPersonal data, you have to have hooks to add an event to the agent's queue in the db whenever a student is added.18:07
aelknerThat's what I was saing yesterday.18:07
th1awdickers: If SchoolTool just subscribes to StudentPersonal, yes, all it has to do is reach into the zodb and add or remove students.18:08
aelknerSchooltool itself has to talk to the agent.  You had led me to believe otherwise.18:08
th1aIt depends on what you mean by "talk."18:08
th1aIt has to put messages in the queue in the zodb.18:08
aelknerPut something in its queue.18:08
aelknerOk, maybe you misunderstood when I was talking about Schooltool being a http server.18:09
aelknerI meant that it sits still when noone is hitting on it.18:09
aelknerThat's when you said it doesn't need to talk to the agent.18:09
th1aSchoolTool does.18:09
aelknerHow if it's sitting still.18:10
aelknerI think you answered that just now with the db hook comment.18:10
aelknerAm I right?18:10
th1aI think so.18:10
aelknerWhen a use hits on schooltool, if it updates the db, an additional queue entry needs to be added.18:11
aelknerIs that right?18:11
wdickersBut only when it updets the information to which the agent is subscribed, right?18:11
wdickersBut that means schooltool would have to keep track of that information.18:12
wdickerswhat the agent subscribes to I mean18:12
th1aYou wouldn't subscribe to information that wasn't relevant to SchoolTool.18:12
wdickerscouldn't we simply have schooltool make queries of each change the db, and have the agent parse through to find relevant ones?18:13
th1aChange which db?18:13
wdickersthe ZODB18:13
aelknerLet's stick to concrete examples for clarity.18:13
th1aLet's go through various messages.18:14
aelknerIf a user adds a student:18:14
th1aLet's focus on messages.18:14
aelknerTom, I need to think about theis from SchoolTools point of view at some poiint.18:14
th1aOK.  Go ahead.18:15
aelknerWe should have an idea of the complete end to end interaction before we even code anything.18:15
aelknerSo if a hits the ADD button on a student page18:15
aelknerThat will add a student to the ZODB.18:15
aelknerWe need that to also result in a queue entry being added.18:16
aelknerThe agent is always alive, looking for queue entries to appear.18:16
th1aThe agent is awakened by a cron job and checks.18:17
aelknerOk, that wold work, too.18:17
wdickerssorry, but could you explain roughly what a cron job is?18:17
aelknerWhen the agent sees the queue entry, it interacts with the ZIS.18:17
Lumierecron is a daemon18:17
Lumierethat wakes up every minute or so and checks a set of files to see if anything needs to be run18:18
th1aCron starts a process at a scheduled time.18:18
Lumierelook at /etc/crontab18:18
aelknerIt's the way Unix allows us to have a process run every n minutes, hours, days.18:18
wdickersah, so the agent doesn't awaken by itself, it needs that process18:18
th1ae.g., cron (this is a unix thing) will start the agent every 15 minutes.18:18
wdickersgot it18:18
aelknerThe agent IS the process.18:18
th1awdickers: cron is the simplest thing that could possibly work in this case.18:18
aelknerIt's not very efficient to be constantly starting process, but it IS the simplist.18:19
th1awhere were we?18:20
aelknerI finished my end-to-end.18:20
aelknerBut I have a question:18:20
aelknerYou refered to the database hook that causes the queue entry to be added when a student is added.18:21
aelknerI know about stored procedures in sql database.18:21
aelknerHow does one do this with the ZODB?18:21
th1aWe just have to create an object to store the data.18:22
th1aI'm not sure what the best way to do that will be.18:22
th1aWorst case scenario, storing it as XML.18:23
aelknerI wouldn't think that wold be necessary.18:23
th1aI don't think so either.18:23
aelknerWe just need it in a form that the agent can understand.18:23
aelknerThe agtent will create the xml to talk to the ZIS.18:23
th1aYes, but you've got hundreds of different objects.18:24
th1aData objects.18:24
aelknerIn schooltool?18:24
th1aIn SIF.18:24
aelknerOnce again, the agent concern, not schooltool's.18:24
th1aRight now the agent doesn't know anything about specific data objects.18:25
th1aSo when it is passing along the specific data about, say, a student, it is going to pass it along as a blob.18:25
th1aIt doesn't try to understand it at all.18:26
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th1aSo SchoolTool would have to package up the blob properly.18:26
aelknerIf the agent is specific to schooltool, why shouldn't it know about the data?18:27
wdickerswhat exactly is the information that is being passed?18:27
th1aI guess you could do that, but it doesn't really matter which side you're coding on.18:27
th1aIt is some custom code either way.18:27
th1aHowever, this is the point where auto-generating classes from the XML Schema might be handy.18:28
aelknerThat's fine, but still in the agent.18:28
th1aNo.  Then both SchoolTool and the agent could share the same data objects.18:28
th1aThat would be how you'd pass the messages.18:29
th1aIt is not exactly a lightweight solution though.18:29
aelknerI think it's important to devide and concure to keep things simple.18:30
th1aWe're getting into one part of this I haven't given much thought to.18:30
aelknerschooltool should only have to add a simple object like a list or dictionary to "Chesty" off of the root.18:30
aelknerThe real heacy lifting should be done by te agent.18:31
aelknerWill, when does your bell ring?18:31
th1aaelkner: Realistically it probably isn't heavy lifting on either side.18:33
aelknerBy that I meant XML stuff and ZIS awareness.18:33
wdickersin about 5 minutes18:33
aelknerWe should set up another meeting.18:33
aelknerWill this is really going fast now.18:33
wdickersyeah, I can see18:33
aelknerYou might want to put aside some hours this weekend to continue.18:34
wdickersAlready done, and I hope you'll be able to come on saturday18:34
aelknerNot this sat.18:34
aelknerBy "put aside", I mean, can you give us a fixed time to expect you to be available?18:35
wdickersYes, from 7-10 on saturday, and 6-10 on sunday18:35
aelknerThat's terrific.18:35
aelknerTom.  How does that work for you?18:35
aelknerWill please send yourself a reminder of those times (if Tom concurs) so that you are sure to be there.18:36
wdickersI will, and I'll check the logs later for any convo18:37
aelknerGreat.  I'll proceed with Tom on the assumption that you are reading the logs.18:37
th1aUh... no guarantees on weekends.18:37
th1aI'll work on the message passing question today.18:38
aelknerI'm more concerned with the end to end then the particulars about message passing.18:39
aelknerWe need to have a picture (as clear and simple as possible) of all of the parties involved.18:39
th1aI'm down to implementation details on my end.18:39
aelknerBut you can't operate in a blcak box.  Everything's linked.18:40
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aelknerWhy waste time coding somthing that isn't going to fit?18:42
th1aIt'll fit.18:43
aelknerI'm glad you have it in your head.  I'm sure that makes you happy.  But I don't know what you're doing?18:44
aelknerIn other wods, don't expect that someone else could pick up and finish something that isn't clear.18:44
aelknerWe need a plan!18:45
th1aI'm not expecting anyone else to finish it.18:45
aelknerBut Will and I were supposed to contribute.  Are you saying you don't need us?18:45
th1aI need you to write the SchoolTool part!18:46
th1aI'll tell you what kind of messages I need.18:46
aelknerBut there isn't just one schooltool part.  There's schooltool and the agent.18:47
th1aaelkner: I'll have a crack at the message passing format.  If you don't like it, it will be easy to change that.18:48
aelknerSo Will and I should decide for ourselves how the SchoolAgent and schooltool itself should be written?18:49
th1aYou'll subclass my generic Agent class.18:52
th1aI'm only working on the generic class.18:52
aelknerKeep us informed of your progress.18:53
th1aI'm plugging away.18:54
aelknerI mean let us know when you reach a milestone.18:55
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kjaerAwesome project guys.23:23
kjaerThe buildscript for the alpha2 build fine with python 2.4.423:23
kjaerIf you edit the configure file that is. So that should probably be updated.23:24
kjaerHowever, the default login info doesn't work.23:24
kjaerWhich is a major problem, can I add a manager or edit the current one in any way ?23:24
mgedminthat's interesting23:25
mgedminyou can reset the manager's password from the command line; has the option, IIRC23:25
kjaerOkay. You can try for yourself at
* mgedmin tries23:27
kjaerHow exactly do I edit the managers password ?23:27
mgedminI'm not actually a current developer; I was more involved in the past23:27
mgedmin./ --help23:28
kjaerOkay, figured it I think.23:28
mgedmin  -r, --restore-manager password23:28
mgedmin                         (read password from the standart input if 'password'23:28
mgedmin                         is '-')23:28
* mgedmin wonders what ' --manage' does23:29
kjaerschooltool-server: error opening file /home/zope3/st2006-alpha2/libs/lib/ [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/home/zope3/st2006-alpha2/libs/lib/'23:29
kjaerSo it seems like the build failed :-)23:30
kjaerIt has some rought edges ;-)23:32
mgedminjinty knows everything about builds23:33
mgedminignas knows everything about the code23:33
mgedminboth are probably asleep now23:34
mgedminI suggest you try the mailing list23:34
* mgedmin yawns23:34
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kjaerAre you planning to authenticate against ldap or similar ?23:36
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