IRC log of #schooltool for Monday, 2008-12-15

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th1aHi aelkner, yvl, ignas, jelkner.16:31
ignasth1a, hi16:31
jelknergood morning!16:32
th1aIs yvl around?16:32
yvlmorning :)16:32
yvlth1a - I got better, so I'm back on schooltool16:33
yvlIgnas caught something though16:33
th1aOK, let's start with yvl, what are you doing now?16:34
yvlI'm in the middle of SLA reports feature16:34
th1aSo you're working on those other report groupings.16:34
yvlI'll have it done tomorrow16:34
yvlit will be a "dropdown" schooltool action16:35
th1aYou should decide if you want to and/or can come to the February sprint in Virginia.16:35
th1aAnd you guys should do what you need to do -- visas to the US are easier now, I think I read?16:36
* th1a found an English blog about Lithuanian politics.16:36
ignasoh yeah, I must get a new pasport16:36
ignasbefore february ;)16:36
th1aDo you guys need letters?16:36
yvltrue, I'll need to check what's my situation (I have visa valid untill 2012 or something, but passport will expire sometime soon)16:37
yvlth1a, when is the sprint taking place?16:37
th1aOK.  I'll try to find/replace all the correct words in the letter.16:37
th1aFeb. 6-8.16:37
jelknerreplaceafill will definitely need a letter16:37
th1aI can do all three at once.16:38
yvlI'll talk to Aiste, but I guess it's a matter of funding16:38
th1aWe'll pay for the travel.16:38
th1aYou guys can work out if you want to do it otherwise.16:39
th1aIt would be nice to have you.16:39
th1aIt looks like Chris A. from SLA (the sys admin) is coming.16:39
yvloh, great16:39
th1aAnd the two outstanding problems are a) good person demographic schema b) organizing reports throughout SchoolTool.16:40
th1aThose are the big problems I see, at least.16:40
th1aI'm sure ignas sees others as well ;-)16:40
ignasth1a, and the german guy ;)16:41
th1aSo we'll need to keep aelkner and yvl from stepping on each others toes this week.16:41
th1aYes... I don't think we'll actually mess further with the spreadsheets ourselves for a while.16:41
aelkneri can stay out of schooltool.sla for the short term16:41
th1aBut we will accept patches!16:41
th1aaelkner: That shouldn't be necessary.16:41
aelknerisn't that where yvl will be working?16:42
th1aThis is why we have a revision control system.16:42
th1aJust don't fix the same bugs twice!16:42
th1aSo what's your plan for the week, aelkner?16:42
yvlI assigned 2 bugs for myself: reports and  "show all narratives"
aelkneri need to continue diagnosing the sendmail problem16:43
aelkneri looked at the code this weekend in zope.sendmail16:43
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aelknerand i found the thread that gets created at startup16:43
replaceafillgood morning all16:43
th1ahi replaceafill.16:43
th1aaelkner:  If it works with our test sendmail, how do we know it is not a problem with their sendmail configuration?16:44
th1aDid you tell Chris A. what we found?16:44
aelknernot yet, but i can do that today16:44
aelkneri wanted to have more info on the code first16:44
aelknerand i had an idea for some trace debugging16:44
th1aI wouldn't get too deep into it.16:45
th1aLet's discuss it a little after the meeting.16:45
yvlaelkner, wanna do the ?16:45
yvl(gradebook export) ?16:45
yvlwhen time permits16:45
th1aWe can do a very simple implementation of it.16:46
th1aYou just have to be clear about how little it is actually doing.16:46
yvlthe one where they just need the export of "Student, StudentID, Teacher, Course, Section, Scores"16:47
th1aPerhaps I should actually re-read the bug.16:47
budgesterhi all16:47
aelkneri don't see those details in the bug report16:47
yvlyes, those were sent by email16:47
th1ahi budgester.16:47
aelknerit just says 'This will take discussion'16:48
yvlSubject: Re: ShoolTool16:48
yvlfrom Chris16:48
yvlupdated the bug16:49
budgesterto bring people up to speed about my interest in school tool. I'm a network manager and school mis/dba for a secondary school in the UK16:49
th1aThanks budgester.16:50
budgesterso if I can help in any way, i'm willing16:50
th1abudgester: OK.  For the moment we're in the middle of our weekly developer meeting, so just follow along a bit.16:51
th1aaelkner: That seems more straightforward than the larger question of gradebook export.16:51
aelknerwhat seems more straightforward?16:51
replaceafillignas, is the excel import feature in the trunk?16:52
yvlmaybe this export should be added directly to SLA and not generic gradebook?16:52
th1aStudent, StudentID, Teacher, Course, Section, Scores16:52
ignasreplaceafill, maybe, not sure at the moment16:52
ignasreplaceafill, as you have mentioned that term dates are missing16:52
th1aWell, the real problem is having some pretense of doing export AND import.16:52
ignasterm date fixes are missing in one of the eggs16:52
th1aex/im of gradebook, I mean.16:53
aelknersla is not currently using schoolyears version of schooltool16:53
aelkneror schooltool.gradebook16:53
yvlth1a, it seems to me that it would be much easier just do the basic export for SLA16:53
th1aThat's what I'm saying.16:53
yvland then a complete ex/im for schooltool.gradebook16:54
aelknerthat sounds more practical for now16:54
th1aThis is exactly my point.16:54
th1aYou guys have to get used to me bringing up what I DON'T want to do.16:54
yvlok, just making sure I'm on the same page with you guys :)16:54
th1aIt is a habit.16:54
th1aIt is the way my brain works.16:54
yvla good one, by the way :)16:54
aelknerprocess of elimination16:55
th1aLet's leave that bug on the table and address the school years question.16:55
th1aI guess we need to get SLA up so speed version-wise?16:56
yvlaelkner, to avoid accidentally doing the same work twice, please assign bugs to yourself before starting16:56
yvlI'll do the same16:56
th1aSo does aelkner just need to do the same thing for SLA's code he did for CanDo?16:57
aelknerthat's one job that needs doing16:57
aelknerare we talking about switching sla to schoolyears soon?16:57
th1aAgain, Christmas is the second best time to do this kind of thing (after summer).16:58
aelknerthat could the time to do it, yes16:58
th1aIn the larger picture, I'm going to start talking to Chris about a larger Philly pilot for the fall.16:59
th1aBut we should rip off this scab in all our code now.16:59
th1aI don't want to be thinking about this in May.17:00
th1aSo do you want to do that first, aelkner?17:00
aelkneri would definitely like to have schoolyears behind us after Christmas17:00
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th1aOK.  get started on that.17:01
th1aWe've got lots of guests this week ;-)17:01
th1aignas, you're up.17:01
ignasth1a, yep17:02
ignasnot much done this week17:02
ignasdue to the release nasyness17:02
ignasand the general lack of concentration17:03
ignasit seems that not having a release comming soon totally broke my sense of focus17:03
ignasand again I don't know what is important and what is not important17:03
ignaswe should probably try and come up with some list of priorities17:04
ignasand decide what we want in our 2009.04 release17:04
th1aA list of priorities?17:04
ignasto get it on track17:04
ignasi mean - i am working on import/export17:04
th1aI thought we were getting to that point.17:04
ignasbut I don't really know what else are we going to do for the release17:04
ignasand what *must* be in the release17:05
th1aThe two big things in my mind I mentioned above.17:05
th1aGood default person demographic schema.17:05
th1aIncluding a few school-definable text fields.17:05
yvland a good way to extend it maybe?17:06
th1aI would say a good way to extend it in code.17:06
yvlwhere good means fast and easy17:06
th1aDon't think we can do fast/easy/reliable.17:06
ignasyeah, I guess we can work on it17:07
ignasthough it seems that priority is on the user side extendability17:07
ignasoh, one more thing - i'll want to talk about date entry formats in schooltool after the meeting17:08
ignasa bit17:08
th1aWhat I'd like for 1.0 isn't so much extensively user-customizable, but I'd like a developer to be able to make, say, a UK demographic schema without permanently forking everything.17:08
ignasbecause it seems that this issue is becoming annoying17:08
th1aWell, it is extra annoying because our current demographic data is so obviously incomplete.17:09
th1aIt is an 80/20 problem.17:09
th1a80% of the data is going to be common.17:09
ignasi am talking about "ISO" vs "localised"17:09
th1aOh... yes.17:09
th1aWell, yes, if that needs fixing, fix it.17:10
ignasi mean - choices are17:10
yvlI needed help from Ignas to set up schooltool on a clean database - just because of the different date formats everywhere17:10
ignasI work hard and make localized date picker17:10
ignasyvl, that one is fixed17:10
ignasI can make all date entry in schooltool and all short date formatting ISO17:11
yvlsorry, missed the fix17:11
ignasso that users would be able to copy and paste dates17:11
ignasor we can make all the dates locale sensitive (both entry and short format)17:11
ignasbut live without date pickers17:11
ignasand I need someone to help me pick the solution17:12
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aelkneri have a question17:12
aelknerin sla's goal entry17:13
aelkneri used a date widget17:13
aelknerwhy can't we use the same?17:13
aelknerthe widget brings up a calendar17:13
aelknerso there's no issue of format for entering the dates17:13
aelkneryou just click on the calendar17:14
aelknerthe people at sla love that widget17:14
ignasaelkner, so ISO dates and ISO date formatting17:15
yvlthat would be " I can make all date entry in schooltool and all short date formatting ISO" option17:15
ignasaelkner, mostly the issue is that we print one kind of date in UI when schooltool prints for example errors17:15
ignasaelkner, and use a different format for entry17:15
aelknermy point is, don't use any format for entry17:15
aelkneruse the widget17:15
ignasand use format for output17:16
Aisteth1a: sprint sounds good :)17:16
ignasI can do that, but to me it seems nasty, because some users use their keyboard17:16
th1aAiste: Good.17:16
ignasespecially when entering dates a year or so into the future17:16
aelknerwell, there's often a conflict between user preferences for data entry17:17
th1aOne thing that a lot of sites do which seems kind of nasty but is probably effective is just use a series of pop-ups for the date.17:17
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th1aAlthough I guess we're saying the sequence of those would have to change based on locale.17:17
aelknerso are we saying that the way sla goal entry works is wrong?17:18
th1aignas thinks it is suboptimal.17:18
* th1a thinks it might be the best solution.17:18
ignasso format the locale specific17:18
ignasand accept only ISO17:18
ignasand show date entry widgets17:19
ignasmy point is - I don't like to show users "Date 05/15/08 that you have entered is outside of the range of the schoool year" and have "2008-05-15" entered under the message17:19
ignasthe other thing - what do we do with our new enthusiastic german user?17:20
th1aWhy would you see the ISO in that case?17:20
ignasth1a, well because inputs with date widget17:21
th1aI'm getting him going on some screencasts, I think.17:21
ignasonly accept ISO dates17:21
th1aRight, but won't the user see a little calendar instead of a string?17:21
aelknerthey see both17:21
aelknerthe string is entered into the text field17:21
aelknerand there's a ... button right next to the test field17:22
th1aIs that the way it works for SLA?17:22
aelknerthat calls up the calendar17:22
aelknerit's a very nice widget17:22
aelknerbecuase it allows text entry as ignas suggested17:22
th1aSo the reason this is hard for us is that most people don't worry about being this localizable?17:22
ignasth1a, making it localized is very very hard17:23
ignasth1a, srichter would be glad to have it localized and ported to his z3c form library17:23
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replaceafillaelkner, got my mail?17:25
th1aWhat if you did just use pop-ups for Day/Month/Year.17:25
ignasth1a, not sure I understand17:25
aelknerreplaceafill: the meeting is not over yet17:25
replaceafillaelkner, sorry man17:26
th1aYou have three pop-ups:  Day: (brings up 1-31) Month: (brings up months) Year: (brings up a bunch of years).17:27
aelknerth1a: what about the calendar widget?17:27
aelknerwhat you're talking about sond so combersome for teh user17:27
ignasth1a, you mean 3x dropdowns17:27
ignasth1a, that is even more inconvenient than the picker that shows the wrong format17:28
yvlthen simple YYYY-MM-DD text format would be more convenient...17:28
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th1aYou know, I've thought that, yet I see many sites that do it, and it isn't that bad.17:28
ignasyvl, point mostly is, that it's not "simple" in ome countries17:28
yvli mean just doing the ISO format for input17:29
th1aYes, the text format is the opposite of how it is done in the US.17:29
ignasmy point is - if we accept ISO, we should probably output ISO17:29
ignasbut it seems that SLA do not have any problems17:30
ignaswith having one kind of dates entered, and different printed17:30
aelknerthey use the calendar17:30
aelknerand they love it17:30
th1aBut if they did decide to type, they'd probably get it wrong.17:30
yvlignas, ISO for input, locale-aware output seems to me a cheap / impressive (the widget!) way to do it17:30
aelknerbut they don't decide to type17:30
aelknerbut, yes, if they did...17:31
th1aPerhaps just hiding the text field would be better.17:31
ignasyvl, it is cheap, the biggest kludge is the error messages, but I can defitinetly do it17:31
th1aThat's the thing about three pop-ups.17:31
th1aYou don't need an accompanying text field at all.17:31
ignasth1a, i know i'd hate 3 dropdowns, and I use the forms rarely17:31
ignasth1a, now imagine someone entering birth dates for 200 students17:32
aelkneri know sla would17:32
aelknerhate it, that is17:32
aelknerusually a goal due date is soon17:32
aelknerso the calendar is really handy17:32
aelkneryou just click on the ...17:32
th1aYes, the calendar widget is much more of a pain if you're entering 300 birthdays.17:33
aelknerand the date you're looking for is probably already visible17:33
ignasI guess i'll have to try and estimate how long it would take to make localized date widget, how long it would take to port ISO widget to z3c.form17:33
aelknerin our case, we're only entering a limited number of datesd17:33
aelknerso using the calendar is easy and efficiient17:33
th1aYes, I need some time estimates at this point.17:34
th1aOne thing to take into account is that the person who might want to enter dates manually is probably doing a lot, so they could be trained in version 1.0 to do it the backwards way if necessary.17:34
th1aWe couldn't kludge this in javascript could we?17:35
aelknerwhere would a user be entering a lot of dates?17:35
ignasyeah, I guess17:35
th1aLike, I'm typing in 300 students.17:35
ignasaelkner, dwelsh told me that all the initial cando users more than 100 were enterd by hand17:36
ignasas in - using the "add person" form17:36
th1aAnd each of their birthdays is 12 years ago.17:36
th1aAnd I'm, you know, a fast typist.17:36
jelknercan i interrupt a minute?17:36
jelkneri should have asked this before hand17:36
jelknerbut i have class in 25 minutes17:36
th1ayes jelkner.17:36
jelknerso i was wondering if we could discuss any sprint issues now17:36
jelknerbefore i have to leave17:36
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jelknerregarding philly17:37
th1ago ahead17:37
jelkneri have confirmed that both fsutifchi and ccary are coming17:37
jelkneri've registered17:37
jelknerand i need to follow up with dwelsh and jstraw since today is the deadline for early registration17:37
jelkneris there anything else that needs to be done?17:37
jelknerregarding the feb sprint17:38
th1aI think we're ok for SLA.17:38
th1aI'll touch base with Chris.17:38
jelknerreplaceafill will need two things:17:38
jelkner(actually 3)17:38
jelkner1. a letter17:38
jelkner2. $160 for the visa fee17:38
jelkner3. a plane ticket17:38
jelknerwe really don't have a lot of time17:38
jelknersince this process can take awhile17:39
jelkner(oops, i gotta go)17:39
jelknerincoming student tour17:39
aelknergetting back to dates17:40
aelknerwith the calendar widget17:40
aelkneryou can enter dates as a typist, 1990-10-01, for a student's bday17:40
aelkneror you could use the calendar if you prefer17:40
aelknerwhy would that be a problem?17:41
ignasaelkner, my point is - if we do ISO, maybe we should do ISO in the output too17:41
ignasas in - around the system, not show 05/05/05 dates17:41
aelknerfine, let's do that then17:41
th1aIt is clearly suboptimal to ask people to enter dates backward.17:41
aelkneri think people can understand 1990-10-0117:41
aelknerto mean what it means17:41
jelkneri'm back17:42
th1aWhich one is the month?17:42
aelknerok, good point17:42
th1ajelkner: if nobody other than me needs to know this stuff we can talk about it later.17:42
ignasi mean - the perfect way is z3c.datewidget that can do locale specific date picking17:42
ignasas it is very "expensive" i want to know what is our second best option17:43
aelknerbut that requires changing the forms to use z3c, right?17:43
th1aI just wouldn't want to spend much more than a week on it.17:43
ignaswhether it is "ISO dates everywhere" or "ISO dates for entry + localised output"17:43
th1aDoing it in javascript seems plausible to me.17:43
ignasth1a, well - the picker is java script, but javascript can't do localisation17:44
th1aJavascript doesn't know the user preference?17:44
ignasaelkner, yes, other kinds of forms do not support losalised dates at all17:44
ignasth1a, even if it knows, do you want to write java script parsers and formatters for all the dates?17:44
ignasth1a, it's a python library that does all the maqgix17:44
ignasth1a, deep in Zope3 and knows how to parse and print all the date formats possible17:45
ignasth1a, if user enter 05/03/11 - java script must convert it into a date to show it in the picker17:45
th1aYes, but something simple could do most of the work.17:45
th1aI mean, you could peek at the date and say "please format this YYYY-MM-DD or use the calendar picker" in a relatively painless way.17:46
th1aBefore the form was submitted.17:46
ignasyou mean adding a java script validator for the input field?17:47
th1aI mean, it is a question of priorities.17:47
th1aI would rather spend two weeks on reports than date pickers.17:47
ignaswhat I want to know - what is our strategy for date entry/ display17:48
aelknerwe could add the calendar widget at least17:48
aelknerthat would not solve the text entry problem17:48
ignasISO/local, ISO/ISO, or local/local17:48
aelknerbut it would make the user experience of picking term dates nicer17:48
ignasbecause we want it consistent, which it is not17:48
th1aI think that for now we could take a 90% of the time use a calendar and the other 10% of the time use Javascript validation might be best for now.17:48
th1aSo ISO in for now.17:49
ignasISO/ISO or ISO/local17:49
aelknerand calendar widget?17:49
ignasi mean our short date formatters should use which one17:49
th1aISO/Local with widget and validation.17:49
th1ashort-date formatters = no calendar?17:49
ignasaelkner, making widget work on z3c forms still requires work, what I wanted to know is - which system do we follow, I can make it more and more convenient gradually17:50
ignasth1a, separate issues, short-date formatters are the code that prints short dates around the system17:50
ignasth1a, like in the calendar17:50
aelknera simple change to use the calendat widget would require no z3c17:50
ignasth1a, or in display forms17:50
ignasor error messages17:50
ignasaelkner, problem is - we use z3c17:51
ignasaelkner, person add/edit form, term add/edit form17:51
ignasand a couple more places17:51
aelknerwe do?17:51
aelknernever mind :)17:52
ignasok, going for ISO entry / local printing17:52
th1aThat seems most doable.17:52
ignasth1a, changing printing is easy17:52
ignasjust wanted to know which one is better17:52
th1aOK.  I don't think I have anything else to contribut about dates this morning.17:55
th1abudgester: Fun, eh?17:55
th1aAh... anything else?17:56
budgesterhad to do some other work, but reading it seems there is a lot going on17:56
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th1aA lot going on with DATES.17:57
th1aignas: We'll probably need to discuss priorities later this week.17:58
ignasth1a, yeah, when I'll get better17:58
th1aOK, have a great week guys!  Get better ignas.17:58
ignasthanks, bye17:58
* th1a drops the bag of gravel.17:58
th1aaelkner: sendmail.17:58
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budgesterNot much I can contribute to at the moment17:59
th1aWell, not to fixing date formatting, I imagine.  ;-)17:59
budgesterespecially not with zope17:59
yvla productive day to you all... :)17:59
th1aDo you have any Python experience?17:59
th1aEver looked at ReportLab?18:00
budgesterno i'm afraid not18:00
budgesterI'm currently working on moodle integration with my MIS at the moment18:01
th1abudgester: Did we discuss CAS via email?18:02
th1aIt is hard to keep everyone straight with their IRC handle.18:02
budgesterth1a: no i don't think so18:02
budgesterI'm the same as my launchpad account18:02
th1aYeah, we're doing some Moodle integration, starting with using CAS for single-sign-on.18:03
budgesterReportlab looks fairly good, but we need some data to work with18:03
th1aWe're hoping to turn that on at a test school over Christmas break.18:03
th1aYes, have you tried importing the test data spreadsheet?18:03
th1aaelkner: Do we know if on SLA's server that SchoolTool is actually  sending the email to sendmail when it is suppose do (as opposed to when it is restarted)?18:05
aelkneri was trying to explain to you before, so here goes18:06
aelknerat startup, a thread is created for queued mail delivery18:07
aelknerthat thread runs in a loop, looking at the contents of the queue directory18:07
aelknerand sending the emails found there18:07
aelknerthen it sleeps for three seconds, and tries again18:07
aelknerthe only thing to stop this loop would be if for some reason, the stop() method gets called on the thread18:08
aelknerwhich should only happen at shutdown18:08
aelknerso perhaps that gets called earlier18:09
aelkneri would need to put some log messages in that code to trace debug it18:09
aelknerthat's what i planned as my next step this evening18:09
aelknerwhen it would be ok to bring down the server18:09
aelkneri could put log messages in the zope.sendmail code and see what happens18:10
th1aBut another question is whether we can just see if sendmail is getting the messages the first time.18:10
th1aIf Chris A. actually knows anything about sendmail, he can probably tell us that.18:10
aelknerbefore i ask him that18:11
aelknerwhat are you suggesting is happening here?18:11
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aelknerthat we are sending a mail to sendmail and yet it doesn't get purged from the queue?18:11
th1aWell, supposedly we have two identical SchoolTool instances, sending messages to sendmail.18:12
th1aOn one sendmail it works, on another it doesn't.18:12
aelknerone doesn't even send anyting18:12
aelknerexcept at startup18:12
aelknerthe other doesn't seem to have that problem18:12
th1aSo we have two different SchoolTools.18:12
aelknerwe have a problem with that thread i mentioned18:13
aelknerwhy is it shutting down?18:13
aelknerthat would not have to do with delivering mail to sendmail18:13
aelknerthat part works fine18:13
th1aThat thread stops on the production server but not the test server?18:13
aelkneri need to put the traces in to be more sure about the thread stopping and wny18:14
aelknerwhy don't i look into that and report back18:14
th1aWell, it is a guess.18:14
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aelknernothing is a guess with traces18:14
aelknerit's a smoking gun18:15
jstrawhi all... sorry I'm so late, had a dedication to tape this morning18:15
jstraw****************** ******************* * ************************18:15
jstraw*not having a good morning*18:16
th1ajstraw: You can read the log for an exciting discussion of ISO date formats.18:16
th1aYou missed a good one.18:16
jstrawdamn it18:16
jstrawI wanted to be in that conversation18:16
th1aThat's truly dedication.18:16
jstrawth1a: I did not have a choice18:17
jstrawI just got to sit down in my office18:17
th1aNo, I mean, if you even wanted to discuss ISO date formats, you're truly dedicated.18:17
th1aaelkner:  What I'm saying is that there are two parts of this system.  In theory, we have identical copies of one part of the system (SchoolTool) and known different configurations and version of the other (sendmail).18:18
th1aIf the system works on one but not the other, the logical step is to focus on the known different parts.18:18
th1ai.e., sendmail.18:19
aelknerthat's one way of looking at it18:20
aelknerbut then again, that could be chasing a red herring18:20
aelkneri mean, different admins would wnat to use different mail servers18:20
th1aWell, I'm saying that I'd rather Chris chased that herring first.18:20
aelknerif he's available18:21
th1aOK aelkner, trace away.18:22
aelkneri win18:22
aelkneri can't believe it :)18:22
aelknerreplaceafill: i got your email18:23
replaceafillaelkner, thanks18:23
replaceafillsorry for interrupting before18:23
th1aI'm not saying you're right.18:23
aelknerthat's ok, you didn't know18:23
th1aI've just given up.18:23
aelknerth1a: but i won, and that's what's important :)18:23
th1aWell, what's important is getting this working.18:23
aelkneryes, making the opponent give up is one tried and true method of winning18:24
jstrawaelkner: every mail server provides a sendmail backward compat mode18:24
jstrawaelkner: because most stuff is written to work in sendmail18:24
aelknerzope.sndmail is written to work with any smtp server18:25
aelknerwnyh shouldn't it?18:25
jstraws*** happens18:25
th1aPerhaps aelkner underestimates the likelihood of sendmail acting irrationally.18:25
aelkneri don't18:26
jstrawsendmail acting irrationally is the norm18:26
aelknerzope.sendmail logs stuff like 'Mail sent to ...'18:26
aelknerso if i can just get those logs working18:26
th1aAnd the guy who set it up was escorted out of the building by security a few months ago...18:26
aelkneri could see how it18:26
aelknerworks already even before adding my own traces18:26
aelknerth1a: i get your point18:27
aelkneri will check with Chris A. to make sure he looks into whether sendmail is set up correctly18:27
aelkneri could get him on that18:27
jstrawlong term, replacing sendmail with postfix18:27
jstrawwill make you happier18:28
aelknerwhile i look into the log problem18:28
th1aWhat he needs to tell us is if the initial email is getting to sendmail at all.18:29
aelkneri'll ask him18:29
aelknerso perhaps you won after all18:29
th1aEveryone's a winner, aelkner.18:31
th1aEven jstraw.18:31
th1aWe're all winners.18:31
aelknerno, i'm too competitive for that18:31
th1aYour trophies are in the mail.18:31
aelknerwith me, it's a zero-sum game18:31
aelknerlike with my Thursday night board game club18:32
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budgesterback, having fun with linking door access to our our MIS here18:36
budgesterthat should be fun when it gets to Schooltool18:36
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budgesterIs there a road map for school tool developement ?18:41
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jstrawbudgester: ignas keeps a list of release goals18:42
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budgesterAre these the same as the blueprints on launchpad18:43
jstrawright now the big upcomings are import and export of data and demographics18:44
jstrawthose all seem valid, but they're not a complete list it seems18:45
jstrawth1a: I have something for your documentation18:45
jstrawth1a: we really need documentation on setting up schoolyear, term, timetable18:46
jstrawincluding more complex stuff like sections that cover multiple terms18:46
th1aYes, I need to get rolling.18:49
th1aWaiting for new data import gave me an excuse to wait.18:50
th1aI'm out of excuses.18:50
budgesterregarding the demographic stuff, any idea how it is likely to be implemented18:50
th1aPrimarily we need to come up with a good default schema.18:50
budgesterand is that going to be hardcoded ?18:51
budgesteror setup from an external file18:51
budgesteror exendable in the web interface18:52
th1aIt will be hardcoded with a little web extendability.18:53
budgesteris that cast in stone ?18:54
th1aAnd we should at least have a strategy for coding and using different schemas.18:54
th1aThere is nowhere near enough time to do something customizable and reliable.18:54
th1aIn my opinion.18:54
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budgesterbeing a zope/zdb noob, how are attirbutes for db objects configured ?18:55
th1aThey are persistent Python objects, and that's pretty much it.18:55
th1aI mean, everything in ZODB is a persistent Python object.18:56
budgesterAnd how much work has been done on the demographics stuff so far18:56
th1aWell, we've had a few cracks at it.  What we've got now is very simple.18:57
th1aWe also had a "way too complex" version.18:57
budgesterHeres how I was hoping somthing would work18:57
budgestera config fie, csv/xml/whatever with fields,datatypes that is read into schooltool that configures the objects, then a relevant file could be configured and sent out as updates were required18:58
budgesteror for different countries, districts18:59
th1aI would like something like that too.19:00
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budgesterAs an example the UK government requires me do do a census each year, and for each census they seem to add an additional field of information that they require19:00
th1aThere is just a difference between doing that so that it works if the user does the right thing all the time (not hard) and19:00
th1adoing it so that it still works if the user does the wrong thing (hard).19:00
th1aBy hard, I mean "will take more time than we have."19:01
budgesterWhen you say user, do you mean school secretary or MIS administrator19:01
th1aAll involved parties.19:01
budgesterAnd how much time do you have19:02
budgesteri.e what are the constraints19:02
th1aThere is actually some disincentive to make it easy, since it is less likely that the MIS administrator will try to do something crazy.19:02
th1aWell, 1.0 is due in April, and we have essentially 1.5 developers.19:03
budgesterand it's a requirement for 1.0 ?19:03
th1aI'm saying it is NOT a requirement for 1.0, that's the point.19:03
th1aI'm saying we have time for a mostly hardcoded demographic system, not a cool very customizable one.19:04
budgesterThis is something I am willing to work on, and even learn zope for, as I think a customizable demographics system will give school tool a really big win19:05
th1aYes, I'm certainly not arguing against it on principle.19:06
th1aaelkner: Can you point budgester to your custom demographics stuff for SLA?19:06
budgesterIs there plans for somesort of RPC/SOAP interface as well19:06
th1aWell, let me tell you a little story...19:07
budgesterI'm a listening19:07
th1aActually SchoolTool was initially designed to have a client interface that used REST web services to talk to the server.19:07
budgesterI remember that19:07
th1aOK.  Well, then, basically the answer to your question is no.19:08
budgesterback in the day when I ran schoolbell here19:08
th1aBack in the day!19:08
budgesterSo how do I get my hard won data out of schooltool programmatically19:09
th1aAnyhow, do you have something specific in mind?19:09
th1aI mean, in terms of RPC or SOAP methods?19:09
th1aOne reason we can't write a fancy demographic system right now is that we need to give you more ways to get your data out.19:10
th1aEspecially since more customizability complexifies getting data in/out.19:11
budgesterHow close are you guys to day to day running of schools ?19:11
th1aIn what sense?19:12
budgesterLet me give you an example of some of the challenges I'm facing at the moment19:12
budgesterWe have a School MIS, this holds the most upto date information I have about my students and staff19:13
th1aI worked as a teacher and school technology coordinator, if that's what you mean.19:13
budgesterwhen they start, when they leave, what subjects they do etc.....19:13
budgesterI also have the following systems, Library software, Cashless catering, Door access, Moodle and a few others19:14
budgesterMost of these I am trying to tie together with a mash of SQL19:15
budgesterNow with the ZODB that throws a whole heap of integration out the window19:15
budgesterI was really hoping that yuor ZIS that you wrote was going to be the answer19:16
th1a...that scene is just too broken.19:16
budgesterbut it would seem SIF and ZIS is currently struggling19:16
th1aIt remains just strong enough to crowd out any competitor, yet too weak to solve the problem.19:17
budgesterSo we need something e.g. XML-RPC/SOAP so that we can transfer this information around19:18
budgesterand keep it all up to date19:18
budgesterAnd then if SIF/ZIS is resurrected a module could be written as required19:19
th1aBasically, these aren't problems we're focused on in the short term.19:19
jstrawschooltool has a half written very old sifagent module19:19
jstrawbut that whole model is so overengineered it isn't funny19:20
th1aIt is over-somethinged.19:20
budgesterI also think with XML-RPC/SOAP you will get rid of the requirement to learn ZOPE19:20
th1aWhat we need first is a basic, working SIS.19:21
budgesterAnd what constitutes as working SIS ?19:22
th1aI can add students and a reasonable set of contact/demographic data about them, track classroom attendance, enter grades, print out reports.19:23
budgesterSo why all the work on the calender stuff, when I can't even create timetables in it19:23
th1aWell, that's all water under the bridge at this point.  That course was set in motion very early.19:24
budgesterSorry if I come across a bit blunt, I 've been watching schooltool for quite a few years and my level frustration has now overcome my non desire to program in zope19:24
th1aObviously, SchoolTool has not taken the shortest distance between two points.19:25
th1aAnd in particular it is difficult to learn to constrain this kind of open-ended philanthropically funded project.19:25
th1aSo we're trying to stay focused now.19:26
budgesterfair one, I would love to be able to throw out my MIS that I am currently using and pay the 12000GBP that I am currently paying to a open source venture and I am sure so would a lot of other schools19:27
th1aThat's why I'm still doing this. ;-)19:27
th1aAnd why Mark is still paying for it.19:27
th1aThere are a lot of you out there.19:27
budgesterSo do you want me to keep bitching and moaning about things we need, to help keep things on track19:28
th1aWell, the only problem is that the track is more narrow then you'd like right now.19:28
th1aI mean, it is pretty much part of the strategy to get something out with a more constrained demographic system than people would like.19:29
budgesterAnd you have users for this ?19:29
th1aBecause it is much better to have something real that people kick at and say "almost but let's add this" rather than "give us six more months."19:30
th1aI guess I'm getting the message that we'd better assemble our new demographics schema sooner rather than later.19:31
th1aThere is no pretense that what is there now is close to adequate.19:31
budgesterSure, any clues on what the demographic data may conatin initaially19:31
th1aActually, what we did the first time through was based on the SIF person objects.19:32
budgesterAnd does that actually work ?19:32
th1aIt just gives you lots of fields.19:32
budgesterBecause I didn't see anything in my demo install19:32
th1aI mean, like, two years ago.19:33
th1aI don't think you quite understand what I have in mind.19:34
budgesterWhat do you have in mind19:34
th1aBefore we had, I don't know, seven screens of demographic data for each kid.19:34
budgesterProbably missed that release19:35
th1aThen we started using SchoolTool at a couple schools and they were like "we don't need all this crap."19:35
budgesterBut we do need this other crap that you don't have in htere19:35
budgesterabout right ?19:35
th1aAnd the developers weren't happy with how it was implemented because I'd let a different developer do it his way.19:35
budgesterCan I have another rant19:36
th1aSo we scrapped that, and what is in there now is just a minimal set that one of the schools needed.19:36
th1aGo ahead.19:36
budgesterDo you know how hard it is to get into the development of schooltool19:36
budgesterDamn near impossible19:36
th1aI am well aware of that.19:37
budgesterI ran an opensource helpdesk project (IRM) in php, and the level of work done in that was astounding19:37
th1aWell, SchoolTool is what it is.19:38
th1aIn the longer run I think we can make it somewhat more accessible.19:39
budgesterI really hope so19:39
th1aThere are PHP open source school MIS's.19:39
budgesterthis is why I was banging on about the SOAP stuff19:39
th1aHave you looked at them?19:39
budgesterYup, they are all pretty much dead19:39
th1aHm.  Not really.19:39
th1aOpen Admin and Centre and its many forks are still going.19:40
th1aNot that I'm trying to get rid of you.  ;-)19:41
budgesterBut I can see that canonical will be able to support the system in the future and comply with govenrment regs etc19:41
budgesterThat waht Mark does for you guys19:41
th1aYes, we have our advantages.19:42
th1aAnd really, development has come along well the past two years.19:42
th1aWe rushed SchoolBell, etc. out and then ran into a brick wall and had to mostly reboot.19:42
th1aAnyway, getting back to demographics...19:43
budgesterWe used school bell until  this july when my server crashed19:43
budgesterand god knows how you back a ZODB up19:44
budgester All gone now using zimbra for that19:44
th1aI guess I need to get rolling on the "what demographics will be in 1.0" discussion.19:44
budgesterAnd if I can help let me know19:45
th1aOK.  You'll see something this week.  I've got the UK CDE or whatever they call it.19:45
budgesterIs there a wiki/19:45
budgesterWhere will the discussion be19:46
budgesteron the mailing list ?19:46
th1aI'm still more of a mailing list guy actually.19:46
budgesterMe too, IRC is nice but difficult to keep track of discussions19:46
th1aYes, you can only do so much on IRC.19:47
th1aAnd I tend to never come back to wikis.19:47
budgesternice talking to you, I've going home now19:47
budgesterprolly be logged back on there in a bout an hour19:47
th1aHave a good evening!19:47
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