IRC log of #schooltool for Tuesday, 2007-10-23

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wbradycan anbody help with getting svg images designed in inkscape to be valid xhtml in web pages?16:27
* th1a shuffles some papers around.16:30
th1ahi ignas...16:30
th1aMoving the day isn't good for attendance.16:30
ignasseems so16:31
th1aHowever, it was a fruitful trip yesterday, so I think it was worth it.16:31
th1aSLA is pretty much the perfect school for us to work with.16:32
th1aSo I just have to work out the particulars to make the proposal to Mark for next year.16:32
th1aignas: We'll have some time next week to make plans for next year.16:33
th1aAlso, I think we should work on planning out the term/archiving issues.16:34
th1aI know you've been working that yourself.16:34
ignasnot much16:34
ignasi was thinking about internals16:34
th1aWell, thinking about it, yes.16:34
ignasbut with lyceum imports it is starting to touch some parts of the UI too16:35
th1aIt is the big remaining hairball.16:35
ignasi had to implement at least some timetable update from the csv import side16:35
ignasbecause the timetable i got was16:35
ignasnot really final one16:36
ignas(the word and excel files did not match)16:36
ignasthe excel file being slightly outdated16:36
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th1aNot surprising I guess...16:36
ignasso it seems that expecting timetables to finalize even 2 months into a schoolyear is not really feasible16:36
th1aThat is probably true.16:37
th1aTrying to make it impossible for people to hang themselves is futile.16:37
ignaswhich means that I need to do something about it, like making a second upload of the CSV update timetables16:37
ignasremove some lessons for sections, and add them in different places16:38
ignaswhich would be a lot easier if they had some ID's for the sections16:38
ignasbut I had to do it "blind"16:38
th1aHm... they don't give you id's for sections.16:39
ignasthey don't have any16:39
th1aYes, that's tricky.16:39
ignasyou have seen the open document spreadsheet file i gave you16:39
ignasbut still - if it's only moving periods around - everything works ok16:39
th1aSchools would almost never give sections ids in cases like this.16:40
ignasand i think adding new sections in the middle of the schoolyear deserves an error message anyway ;)16:40
ignasin the middle of the term16:40
ignasit's OK to add sections in the next term16:40
th1aUnfortunately, you can't enforce sanity for a school.16:41
ignaswell - i think we can make some assumptions about schools in the whole world anyway16:42
ignaslike - understaffed, administration poorly managed, teachers busy16:42
th1aYes ;-)16:42
th1aDo you know anything about CAS for single sign on?16:43
th1aOr single sign on in general?16:43
ignasno not really16:43
ignasbut it seems like i should find out ;)16:44
th1aIt's something they want at SLA.16:44
ignasit's a lot better solution than what i am going to be doing with lyceum16:45
th1aThey use Moodle and Drupal and they'd like students to be signed into all those (and SchoolTool) when they sign into one.16:45
ignas(lyceum wanted the same)16:45
ignasbut for wordpress website and schooltool16:45
th1aAh... that's good for justifying spending some time on it.16:45
th1aApparently CAS is well supported in PHP.16:45
th1aSo most of the big PHP apps support it.16:46
th1aI don't know if this will work for us:
ignasi'll see16:47
th1aI think the only open source implementation is in Java.16:47
th1aAnd not packaged for Debian, as far as I can find.16:48
th1aSo that's kind of a pain.16:48
th1aOnly open source server implementation, that is.16:48
ignaswell - if they were asking for CAS in SLA i'd assume they already have it installed16:48
th1aWell, no.16:48
ignasno ?16:49
th1aThey were asking for single sign on and that's the most plausible strategy we could come up with.16:49
ignasi see16:49
th1aSo feel free to explore other options.16:49
th1aThat seemed to be the winner though.16:50
ignasthere is a server written in ruby16:51
th1aWell, that might be easier to package.16:51
th1aWe also had a phone conversation with Benoit from
th1aThey have an account provisioning system in Python that could be useful for us.16:52
th1aBut it isn't really clear to me that they're going to open source it.16:53
ignasi see16:53
th1aBenoit talks like they are, but until we see the code...16:53
th1aI'm not sure if there is some internal dispute about it or what.16:53
ignaswhat exactly is an account provisioning system?16:53
th1aThey work with school districts in Quebec.16:54
th1aSo when you create an account in the SIS it makes accounts in all the other necessary systems for the student.16:54
th1aAnd it is in Python.16:55
th1aAnd it has no web front end.16:55
ignasi see16:55
th1aSo if it is actually open source we should be able to make use of it for little expense.16:56
th1aBut I kept feeling like I was buying something.16:56
th1aIt was a kind of confusing call in that regard.16:57
ignasi see16:57
th1aBut they definitely have useful experience in running big Linux deployments in schools.16:58
th1aThe schools in Quebec are connected to each other by gigabit fiber, so they can run centralized clusters of terminal servers.16:58
th1aIt makes a lot of sense.16:59
th1aSo I told them that it would be much easier to figure out exactly what we might do with them if they could get us a copy of the source code that you can look at next week.17:00
th1aSo hopefully that will happen.17:01
ignassounds good17:01
th1aSo priorities for next week:17:02
th1a* visit Lyceum, see how that's going;17:02
th1a* discuss overall strategy for next year and sketch out proposal for Mark;17:03
th1a* look at OAPS (the provisioning system);17:03
th1a* plan term/archiving/etc. implementation.17:03
th1aThat should keep us busy.17:04
th1aI just sent you an email asking about hotels.17:06
ignassaw it, forwarded to Aiste, she is way better informed in these things than i am17:07
th1aOK.  Thanks.17:07
th1aI guess that's all I have.  I'm going to keep picking at PPA's.17:08
th1aI think I'm getting close.17:08
th1aDebian packaging -- well, packaging in general -- makes me feel like I'm losing my mind.17:09
th1aignas: Anything else on your mind?17:10
ignas ,, maybe
ignasnot really, i am wondering how Ian/Jens is doing, and whether they have managed to at least start the buildout i made for them17:12
th1aI think they were working on other things last week.17:13
th1aJust getting ready to get down to it now.17:13
ignasI see17:13
th1aWhich of the hotels is closest to POV?17:13
ignasmgedmin says - centrum17:15
th1aOK.  Thanks.17:16
th1aAll right.  I guess I'm going to go make some lunch then.17:17
ignasbye ;)17:18
th1aSee you Monday!17:18
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* th1a drops the small bag of gravel.17:18
th1amgallagh: What are you doing with svg?17:18
mgallaghth1a, what happened to getting your pacakge in the ppa17:18
mgallaghumm, nothing?17:18
mgallaghdid someone tell you I was doing something with svg?17:19
th1aOh, that was wbrady.17:20
th1aSorry mgallagh.17:20
th1awbrady using svg.17:20
mgallaghnp :)17:20
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jelknerth1a: you were asking about svg?17:21
mgedminth1a: try this link:
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^Migs^what are the goals of SchoolTool?17:24
ignasto become the ultimate open source student information system, used an developed all around the world17:26
^Migs^what about the other SISs that are already around, like FocusSIS, CentreSIS, state-developed SISs, etc.?  How are you addressing those, and ensuring yours will be used more?17:43
^Migs^*ensuring SchoolTool will be used more17:43
^Migs^one thing I see a lack of is a nice "Web 2.0" SIS17:43
^Migs^something that's both simple AND fun to use17:44
ignasif you see the lack of such a sis you can always contribute to schooltool17:45
ignaswe accept patches17:45
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^Migs^I'm trying to decide if I need to join an existing project or start my own17:57
* ^Migs^ is an SIS web developer for a school district17:57
^Migs^except I built our SIS in Java.  I'd like to build one in PHP17:58
ignaswell - depends on what you want the SIS to do for you18:02
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ignasit might be easier to make schooltool do what you need, OTOH - our quality assurance process is a bit extreme18:02
^Migs^how so?18:02
ignaswhich means that contributing requires some effort18:02
ignaswell - unit tests + functional test for all the code you write18:03
ignasconformance to coding style guidelines for all the code that goes into trunk18:03
ignaswhich slows down the pace of development18:04
ignasbut gives the safety net18:04
ignasespecially when you are doing things in such a modular fashion that would allow the same code to be deployed18:05
ignasin 3 different countries18:05
ignaswithout any modification to the "core"18:05
ignasextensions being completely separate18:05
ignas - for the test coverage18:06
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ignas^Migs^: so if you want to build something other people can stand on and build upon - schooltool would be the choice18:14
ignasand if you want something that works just for you with lot's of shiny and nice - doing it without quality control, and without having to pay attention to needs of other schools18:15
ignasmight be faster18:15
^Migs^is SchoolTool run on Python?18:16
ignasit is definitely easier to do something that works for 1 school, especially when you can do sweeping changes without caring that "in Lithuania schools work differently"18:16
ignasyes Python, Zope3 as the backed18:16
^Migs^I actually work for two school systems: a school district, and I volunteer for a charter school18:17
^Migs^too bad, I don't know Python18:17
ignaswell - python is easy to learn18:17
ignasif you are a good programmer you won't really have that many problems with python, Zope3 might be a bit difficult to learn though, but there is enough code in schooltool to look at and learn from18:18
^Migs^I don't mind learning anything, I don't have a problem with that.  I pick up new languages quickly18:19
^Migs^I'll look into it.18:19
ignasand with checkin mailing list in there18:19
ignasyou can see how things are being done/ have been progressing for the last 3 years or so ;)18:20
^Migs^do I have to check out the SchoolTool SIS from CVS or SVN to see it?18:20
ignaswhat system are you on?18:20
^Migs^ah, thanks18:20
ignasfor the code -
^Migs^right now, using WinXP, SuSE, and Ubuntu18:20
ignashmm - on ubuntu it should be quite trivial, so if you will want to run schooltool just tell me and i'll guide you through it18:21
^Migs^haven't done anything with Trac's wiki yet18:21
^Migs^I can probably figure it out18:21
ignaswe are not using the wiki18:21
ignasjust the nice source code browser18:22
ignasand timeline18:22
ignas - the schooltool trunk18:22
ignasso you would not have to download anything to take a peek18:22
^Migs^yeah, I like Trac18:22
^Migs^I use it all the time, too for our SIS18:22
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