IRC log of #schooltool for Monday, 2009-07-13

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Lumierehi th1a16:26
yvlhi guys16:26
* yvl runs off to brew some coffee16:27
* Lumiere sucks on a colder caffiene source (Diet Coke)16:29
Lumiere9 am here16:29
Lumierealready 85F outside16:30
th1agood morning yvl, menesis, aelkner, Lumiere, moquist.16:32
menesis20C here at 4PM :(16:33
th1aIt is a lovely 70F here.16:34
th1aNothing but blue sky.16:34
th1aIt seems like the release went smoothly.16:34
th1aGood work everyone, esp. yvl and menesis.16:35
* yvl seconds - thank you all for a great release!16:36
th1aOne interesting piece of news here, I've got a meeting next Friday with in New York.16:37
th1aI think they mostly invited me down to talk about their open source strategy -- they're about the only US ed tech company that has one.16:37
Lumiereihu all :) it is gonna be a really nasty day here :)16:37
th1aAnd they also use Python.16:37
th1aBut I am going to get to give them a SchoolTool pitch.16:38
th1aBasically, they collect a lot of assessment and testing data from schools, but they also need to collect a lot of other data, like demographic data.16:38
th1aThat would come from an SIS.16:38
th1aSo if they still have schools trying to give them that stuff on spreadsheets or worse, a free SIS to distribute with their products would save them a lot of data cleanup costs.16:39
th1aI'm sure that's less and less of an issue in the US, though.16:40
th1aIt is about as good a lead as we're going to get with a US software vendor at this point though.16:40
yvlhmm, interesting.16:40
aelknergood luck with your  pitch!16:41
th1aGenerally vendors who do data warehousing type of things are most likely to be interested in SchoolTool.16:41
th1aA million idiosyncratic SIS's costs them money.16:41
Lumiereth1a: especially if we get SIF or some other information sharing format going16:42
th1aThey actually quietly let/assigned a developer to help me with TinyZIS years ago.16:42
th1aWireless Generation did.16:42
th1aSo they know what is going on.16:43
th1aWhich is more than I can say about... just about any other ed tech vendor.16:43
th1aOK... yvl?16:43
yvlnot much to say here16:44
yvlI tried to figure out how to... hum16:44
yvlwell, do the security thingie16:44
yvlthat's still in progress16:45
th1aYes, the security thingie.16:45
yvlfrom where I stand now, it seems that we can come up with something usable16:45
yvlmain requirements, from my point of view, being16:45
th1aI was thinking the first thing to do would be to figure out what a report of the security settings of a group look like.16:45
th1aHow you'd display it.16:45
yvlyes, that's one end of it16:46
yvlI looked at the way Moodel does this16:46
yvl(somewhere on Youtube)16:46
th1aAh, good.16:46
yvlit seems quite reasonable16:46
yvlthough there will be differences16:47
yvland I want to keep crowds16:47
yvlthey give a lot of customization power to the developer16:47
th1aYes, absolutely.16:47
yvl(and pain to understand them, of course)16:47
th1aWe need them though, definitely.16:47
yvlas for groups...16:48
yvlwell, I think we can collect some (or all) of the data required automatically16:48
yvlbut, shaping it into something human-readable is another thing16:48
yvlI'm still thinking about it16:48
th1aIt does not seem easy.16:49
yvlhope to come up with a prototype this week16:49
th1aI was thinking about the sophistication of the user in this case.16:49
yvlIt certainly does not look easy :|16:49
Lumiereit isn't... but it is important16:49
th1aThis isn't something where we're shooting for a display we'd expect a casual user to easily grok.16:49
Lumiereth1a: btw.. SMART has a linux version of their notebook software ;)16:49
yvlth1a, I agree completely16:50
Lumiereit is somethink I expect to require documentation16:50
yvlI lean towards Gnome rather KDE16:50
yvlless settings, less text16:50
th1aIt is for when a serious sys admin is ready to dig in and make sure this does what it is supposed to.16:50
yvljust most important things presented to you16:51
Lumiereyvl: gnome runs 2 layers of settings16:51
Lumierethe menus and their settings view16:51
Lumierethen the full gconf editor16:51
Lumierewhich lets you touch everything16:52
th1aMy goal in the first pass is "audit" not "customize."16:52
yvlyes, th1a.  But we need to think ahead.16:52
yvlI certainly don't want to spend time rewriting something I've just written16:52
yvlwe don't have this kind of a budget ;)16:53
yvlLumiere - here we have the code, and then... well we need to build the second part now.16:53
Lumiereyvl: yep16:54
yvlwell, another thing I worked on this week, was adding plugin initialization and startup order control16:54
yvlit's in trunk, but without examples16:54
yvlfor now it will be useful for CanDo16:55
yvlas their demographics should be configured after the SchoolTool16:55
yvlnot in a random order16:55
ignasyvl: you probably will want to look at reusing the same principle with evolution scripts some time in the future by the way16:55
ignasyvl: the plugin ordering thing16:55
yvloh yes16:55
th1aHi ignas.16:55
ignasth1a: hi16:55
yvlit's a beginning of my hidden agenda :)16:55
yvlwell, not that hidden :)16:56
yvljust that plugins will be a headache some time in the future16:56
th1aAgendas aren't hard to hide from 8 time zones away.16:56
yvlmy apologies16:57
yvlI'm really not trying to hide anything16:57
yvljust that I didn't spend enough time to write it all down :|16:57
th1aI'm just kidding.  ;-)16:58
yvlphew... :)16:58
aelkneryeah, you got to watch that dry hoffman wit :)16:58
th1aIt's not hard to miss a joke from 8 time zones away.16:58
yvlI'm not that good at communicating via... any kind of writing, sadly.16:58
th1aActually, most people can't tell if I'm joking when I'm in the same room.16:58
th1aIt is one of my defining characteristics.16:59
yvlmakes me smile every Monday :)16:59
th1aActually, the funny thing is that I've gotten in the habit of winking a lot on chat and mail, but I NEVER wink in real life.16:59
th1aAnyhow, looks like yvl has plenty to keep him busy the rest of the month.17:00
aelknerok, first a small matter17:00
aelkneri fixed the bug about not highlighting error values on return17:01
aelknerbut i didn't change the status yet becuase i wanted to discuss something17:01
aelknerall along, the gradebook would abort processing on first error which you uncovered as a bad idea17:01
aelknerso i fixed that last week17:02
aelknerthe errors then were listed out17:02
aelknergrade G for activity foo is invalid17:02
aelknergrade H for activity foo is invalid17:02
aelknerbut then you pointed out how the error colors were not there, which i fixed17:03
aelknernow i'm thinking, instead of listing the errors, i could now take advantage of the red higlighting17:03
th1aThat's probably sufficient.17:03
aelknerand just say "Invalid scores (marked in red) were not saved'17:03
aelknerand then, if the user had many red scores and wasn't careful abotu saving17:04
aelknerthey would at least not get many lines of red text17:04
aelknerone for each error17:04
yvlsounds great17:04
aelkneri figured it would be cleaner that way17:04
aelknerth1a: does my error message sound right17:05
th1aThat sounds ok.17:05
th1aI think in a perfect world we'd actually save them but not use them in any calculations.17:05
th1aAnd keep them red.17:05
th1aI'm not saying it is necessarily worth doing now,17:06
th1abut I don't like that the scores show up after you hit save without being saved.17:06
aelknerwe could discuss that in the near future, but for now I'll make the one message only change17:06
th1aThat's fine.  Thanks.17:06
aelknerok, onto bigger things17:06
aelkneri didn't respond to your note about the gradebook summary becuase i wated to turn my attention to SLA17:07
aelkneri did a study of the remaining intervention issues as you requested17:07
aelknerand wrote the migration script for moving narratives to gradebook report activities17:08
aelknerone thing that i needed to decide was to make the activity for 'Overal Grade' a comment activity like the other two17:09
aelknerthis means that the gradebook will give it a fckeditor widget as well17:09
aelknerthis is a departure from the current narrative edit view which has just a TextLine widget for 'Overall Grade'17:10
aelknerwe don't have a second type of Comment scoresytem for free comments that use TextLine rather than fckeditor17:11
aelkneri'm not saying this is a problem, just that SLA users will notice the change17:11
aelkneryou see, they don't just put A+ in that field17:11
aelknersome teachers put 8517:11
aelknerother's all kinds of stuff17:11
aelknerso now score system other than comments would work17:12
aelknerok, so that should be no problem17:12
aelknerso the goal is to get rid of narrative reports from the intervention package, of course17:12
aelknerso migrating the data was a first step17:13
aelknergetting rid of the appearance of narrative report cards from the intervention views is the next step17:13
aelknerthere are two views in question17:13
aelknerone, the student intervention center has goals, messages, and narratives on it17:14
aelknerthe second, the section intervention view, also has links for viewing goals and messages as well as edting narratives17:15
aelkneri would need to get rid of the links there, too, for narratives17:15
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aelknerLehman may not be thrilled with losing those links in those two views17:15
th1aWhy do you need to get rid of them?17:16
aelknerif the intervention package doesn't know about SLA specific narrative report sheets17:16
aelknerit can't have a provision for displaying links to them17:17
th1aCan it display links to all report sheets?17:17
th1aShouldn't it?17:17
aelknerthat's your call17:18
aelknerif you want me to do that, i could17:18
yvlmaybe you can add a viewlet there?17:18
th1aIt seems to me that it should.17:18
aelkneryeah, i was thinking about that17:18
th1aBut I'm not looking at it.17:18
th1aNote that I'm ok with making gradebook a hard dependency for interventions.17:19
aelknerth1a: that helps to know17:19
aelknerso i was thinking of the viewlet idea like yvl just suggested17:20
th1aWe don't have cripple its functionality or tie ourselves in knots to make it work without the gradebook.17:20
th1aSounds good.17:20
aelknerbut i would ot bother with the viewlet idea if i know the dependency on gradebook17:20
th1aIt just depends on how much work it would be.17:20
th1aIt could always be refactored later, I guess.17:21
aelknerand the assumption that links to the report card activities would suffice17:21
yvlare goals, messages and narratives gradebook specific, or SLA specific?17:21
aelknergoals and messages are intevention general17:21
aelknernarratives are SLA specific17:21
aelknerth1a had the vision for moving the narratives to report activities which is gradebook general17:22
th1aI mean, I'm not sure of all the moving parts.  If there is only a few places where there would be a dependency, and a few hours work would clear that up, then do it.17:22
aelkneris intervention depends on gradebook, i can put links to the report sheets in the intervention package17:22
aelknerthen i don't need the viewlet17:22
th1aThere will be nothing SLA specific when aelkner is done.17:22
yvlsounds ok then17:23
yvladd the links to report sheets17:23
yvland see what happens...17:23
aelknerth1a: so the decision is to put links to any and all report sheets in those two views17:23
yvlit shouldn't be hard to refactor if we want to separate17:23
th1aAny report sheets related to the student.17:23
th1aReport sheets are by their nature, relevant here.17:23
aelknerok, so i'll handle it that way17:24
yvlI guess the only thing I'd like to see is that you could disable the intervetntion package and the gradebook would still work17:24
aelknerthe dependency only would go the one way17:25
aelknerso yes17:25
aelkneri will need to migrate the narrative pdf reports to the gradebook package17:25
aelknerbut that would require discussion about how to request them, the action links and all17:26
th1aCan you send me one?17:26
th1aA copy?17:26
aelknerone action link?17:26
th1aOf the report.17:26
aelknerafter the meeting i'll send a sreenshot17:27
th1aThese are essentially the report cards?17:27
aelknerthe action links are the important question here17:27
th1aProbably we need to enhance the report card layout to let you reproduce them.17:27
aelknerright, so you and i should discuss this soon17:28
aelknerbut i'd like to table that for week or so17:28
aelknerwhat i'd like to do this week is get SLA converted over to the new intervention package17:28
aelknerwith all the migration and everything17:29
aelknerso that i can get that behind me17:29
aelknerthere is one last issue related to that17:29
aelkneri investigated tying intervention school years to schooltool school years17:30
aelkneri'm mostly done with the code, but i need to do some more migration there17:30
aelknerthe change to the code is as follows17:30
aelkneri added link to the school year view called 'Interventions'17:30
aelknerthis will be how the user gets to last year's interventions17:31
aelkneri could also add a drop-down to the intervention search view and also the student intervention center17:31
aelknerbut the view istelf had to change to have the intervention school year onject as context17:32
th1aThat's the kind of think where you generally do want to see multi-year data in the same place.17:32
aelknerand the Intervention tab had to change to use traversal adapter from app to current intervention school year17:32
th1aI mean, interventions from last year are *extremely* relevant to this year.17:32
th1aDid you discuss this with Chris at any point?17:33
th1a(multiple years in general?)17:33
aelkneryeah, so that's why i figured a drop-down with previous school years would help17:33
aelkneryeah, he was fine with the data being separated by school year17:33
aelknerjust as long as there was a drop-down to go between years17:34
aelknerso i'll do that17:34
th1aIf you've discussed it with him.17:34
aelkneri definitely did17:34
th1aFine then.17:34
aelknerso that's my report.  i'll get with SLA to do the migration this week17:35
th1aLumiere: How's CanDo packaging coming?17:36
th1amoquist: Any news?17:40
th1aOK then.17:42
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th1aHave a great week gentlemen!17:43
* th1a drops the bag of gravel.17:43
th1aignas: Did you hear U'K *almost* took over Immensea?17:43
ignasth1a: nope, haven't been keeping up to date last few weeks17:44
ignasth1a: why *almost*?17:44
th1aWell, AGGRO kind of fell apart, leaving an empty space within Atlas and AAA's sphere of influence.17:46
th1aSo I guess we got tentative approval to move in, which we started to do,17:46
th1aand then they decided that it would be better to give the space to someone who needed some inducement to be friendly, as opposed to someone already friendly.17:47
Lumiereth1a: sorry... busy17:47
Lumierethis last few weeks has been... bad17:47
th1aI've heard, Lumiere.17:47
Lumieretoday is the day I kick everyone out17:47
Lumieremy life at the job17:48
Lumiereand do this17:48
Lumieremenesis: can you send me documentation on the packaging system?17:48
Lumieremenesis: or do I just need to ask you to make something?17:48
Lumiereth1a: this afternoon I work with jelkner17:49
LumiereI teach 2:30-4:3017:49
Lumierebut 4:30-817:49
LumiereI have to me17:49
menesisLumiere: I don't have much documentation, just some scattered notes.17:52
menesisAnd there's not that much to do17:52
menesisLumiere: what you want to package?17:52
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Lumieremenesis: cando itself18:11
Lumiere(I apologize for slow responses... the itc office at mckinley is moving18:11
Lumiereand I am dragging equips around)18:11
menesisLumiere: I would rather package that myself18:12
menesisbecause I'm not sure what will be needed and explaining takes time18:13
th1aThat's fine with me menesis.18:20
Lumieremenesis: works for me18:54
Lumieremenesis: do you need anything from me18:54
Lumiereto make a test package?18:54
Lumieremenesis: what I need... is a code package (that is the egg) and a schooltool-cando instance package18:55
Lumiererunning on a separate port from schooltool itself18:55
Lumiere(so presumably someone could run a schooltool instance and a cando instance18:55
Lumierewith separate data.fs and start/stop scripts18:56
menesisLumiere: where do I get the source from?18:56
Lumieremenesis: currently svn trunk on schooltool.org18:56
menesistrunk, ok18:56
Lumieremenesis: I can put off bzr conversion if that helps18:56
menesisDoes not matter18:57
menesissvn will do18:57
menesisok I understand what is needed18:57
menesisthere is a schooltool-common package to help with instance packages18:58
LumiereI want to convert to bzr... but if it is easier for me to leave it in svn I can do that18:58
menesisLumiere: I will work on that tomorrow18:58
menesisI'm leaving already18:58
menesisLumiere: also please review the dependencies, description, long description in setup.py19:00
menesisso that I can copy them to the deb19:00
menesisauthors, too19:00
Lumieremenesis: in schooltool-common?19:01
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moquistth1a: no news from this week. I just got done with a major project at work, so I'll be focusing on this again starting Wed. or so.22:26
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th1amoquist: Thanks.22:47
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