IRC log of #schooltool for Monday, 2010-06-21

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th1ahi replaceafill, yvl, menesis, aelkner, jelkner.16:30
replaceafillgood morning/afternoon16:31
yvlgood morning guys :)16:32
th1aLast week was a good one for me, motivation-wise.16:33
th1aGoing down to Virginia to pick up our award from the commonwealth -- I'll be posting announcements about that today.16:34
th1aAnd finding that SchoolTool more or less works on the TonidoPlug is very exciting.16:35
* yvl agrees - that definitely was very exciting16:35
th1aI'm looking at SchoolTool on ARM as an early 2011 initiative.16:35
th1aLike, having the software ready and a hardware strategy at that point.16:36
th1aThis would be the sweet spot, hardware-wise, I think:16:36
* jelkner is doing grades, will only be lurking this morning16:36
th1aExcept right now they apparently totally overheat.16:36
th1aBut an external SATA connector would be nice.16:37
th1aAnd two USB's.16:37
th1areplaceafill:  I'm thinking we might try out a plug server at one of your schools in the fall, at least part-time.16:38
replaceafillthat would be great16:39
replaceafillthere's one currently without internet connection16:39
replaceafillit would work great there16:39
th1aOK.  We don't necessarily want to do that from the beginning, so there is no rush.16:40
th1aWe can always copy the database over.16:40
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th1aAs far as building packages goes, in addition to cross-compiling, qemu supports an ARM simulator, so that is probably even easier than getting the cross-compiler toolchain set up.16:42
th1aEither way, it shouldn't be too horrible.16:43
* th1a guesses.16:43
yvlwell, it's actually up to menesis :)16:44
th1aI just forwarded to the dev list an email Javier sent this weekend.16:44
yvlbut I guess it shouldn't be too difficult16:45
th1aSumming up priorities -- nothing new but it was good timing to make sure we're all on the same page.16:45
th1ayvl:  I don't think so.  The biggest hassle is that we may be stuck supporting 9.04 for new releases indefinitely.16:46
th1a(for ARM)16:46
th1aAlso, PPA support for ARM is "planned."16:46
yvlyes, thats one16:46
th1aI'd think it is a pretty high priority, as ARM looks pretty crucial to Canonical's future.16:47
yvlsecondly - Ubuntu ARM support is kind of a very hot topic nowaday16:47
th1aYes... and not just for geek points... $$$.16:47
yvlprecisely :)16:47
th1aSo, replaceafill, do you feel like you're getting a good handle on Cambodia's needs now?16:48
replaceafilli think so, i understand their grading logic now16:49
replaceafillth1a, did you see the spreadsheet i created?16:49
replaceafillmy big question is how are we going to model that? UI-wise16:50
replaceafilli mean, i think those are going to be reports, right?16:50
replaceafillall those average16:50
replaceafilli was thinking the gradebook will stay kind of the way it is now, a monthly grade and a semester grade and that's it16:51
th1aI'm not sure what the problem is.16:52
th1aI mean, that spreadsheet seems like a good model, UI-wise.16:53
replaceafillare we going to insert all those monthly averages in the gradebook?16:53
replaceafillfor instance, the monthly average for a student only makes sense when you take into account all the student's sections16:54
th1aComputers are good at math.16:54
replaceafillthe gradebook is section by section16:54
th1aYes, but that just makes it simpler.16:54
replaceafillwell, maybe it's not a big deal, i just don't see it yet :(16:55
th1aThe overall averages would go in a separate report.16:55
replaceafillbtw, others can see this spreadsheet i'm talking about
th1aWhat's the next step?16:57
replaceafillth1a, about javier's lastest email i think the class/group assignment is the next step16:57
replaceafilldont you think?16:57
replaceafillthe filtering in the views is not difficult either: display only teachers when assigning an instructor, etc16:58
th1aWell, that probably makes sense in terms of meeting their expectations -- they're kind of looking at it from starting at the beginning.16:59
th1aSo if we work on things in that order it will make more sense to them and feel like we're getting somewhere.16:59
th1aOK, why don't you focus on that, then.17:00
th1aIt should be pretty straightforward.17:00
replaceafillcool, i will17:00
replaceafilli hope so :)17:00
replaceafilljust one question for yvl :)17:00
th1aI'd think we should have it done this week pretty comfortably.17:00
replaceafillas usual ;)17:00
yvlgo ahead, replaceafill17:00
replaceafillyvl, for the group assignment i was thinking we will need two dropdowns in the UI - one for the level and one for the group (2A)17:01
replaceafillbecause i think they want to be able to assign the level even if they dont know the group yet17:01
replaceafillbut we store the level and the group in one single relationship, correct?17:02
replaceafilli mean you assing the student to the group 2A for instance17:02
replaceafillmy doubt is, how can we store only the level17:03
yvlhmm, your'e right17:03
th1aWe can't do that now?17:04
yvlno, the student is at level X17:04
yvlwhen he is a member of a group that is at level X in that year17:04
th1aWe probably need some simple kind of inheritance.17:05
* th1a ducks.17:05
aelkneroh no :)17:05
yvlwell, there are so many ways to do that...17:06
yvlone of them - assign the level to a student somehow17:06
yvlwith a relationship for example17:06
yvlor annotations17:07
replaceafilli'll do whatever you think is better :)17:07
aelknerrelationships ARE annotations, so...17:07
* yvl looks at the sky for a moment...17:08
th1aWe may really just need to change level assignment to individuals.17:08
aelknerwasn't that the original intent?17:09
aelknerlevels are for what grade a student is in, ight?17:09
yvlhmm, groups having levels is useful17:09
th1aThis is the classic case where the differences between American and Lithuanian schools confuse us.17:10
yvlsections are generated for all groups at the level X courses at the level17:10
th1aThis is the original confusion from six years ago.17:10
aelkneri can see why having a group belong to a level is useful for section generation17:10
aelknerbut that shouldn't conflict with students having levels17:10
yvlyes, aelkner17:11
aelknergroup levels could just be an additional feature17:11
th1aIt is a fundamental conceptual difference in our school systems.17:11
yvlyes, th1a17:11
aelknerth1a, please explain17:11
yvlreplaceafill, I guess it would be easier to define a relationship between a level and a student17:12
th1aWe just think of "11th grade" as being an attribute of a student.17:12
yvland make sure that a student can be in only one level in a schoolyear17:12
th1aLithuanians think of it as an attribute of a group the student is a member of.17:12
replaceafillyvl, got it17:12
th1aDifferent models.17:12
aelknerbut schooltool groups are a general concept17:12
aelknertrack, or any club17:13
aelknerdoes not care what grade level a student is in17:13
replaceafillmenesis, i need to make a small change to one cando report, should i do it in trunk or in your branch?17:13
yvlCambodian implementation allows to link (when creating) a group with a level17:13
yvland link courses to a level17:13
th1aI'm not talking about SchoolTool per se -- but how people conceptualize a student's grade level.17:14
aelknerso that's why i suggest that having groups optionally have a level would be a benign additional feature17:14
aelknerbut the student level is important by itself17:14
th1aOK, can we untangle this thread?17:16
replaceafilli'll go with a relationship as yvl suggested17:17
replaceafilllevel - student17:17
aelknerwait, i thought yvl was working on a branch regarding levels17:17
th1aWhat are groups' role then?17:17
th1aI believe we merged yvl's branch?17:18
yvlyes, it's merged17:18
yvlit's just some basic code17:18
replaceafillyvl, to me the relationship is just a temporary storage, in case they dont know the group yet17:18
yvlevery group of students, say 2A (second level group) has to attend all courses of level 2 together17:19
replaceafillyvl, btw there's some cambodia wording in trunk :)17:19
replaceafillthe relationship namespaces17:19
yvlso there must be automation to create sections, and enroll all students of the group17:19
yvlsorry, will fix that17:19
yvlcopy-paste, grumble grumble17:19
th1aWell... hm.17:20
th1aSo maybe I need to understand this better.17:20
replaceafillyvl, cambodia uses trunk's levels now17:20
yvlgreat, replaceafill17:20
th1aSo lets say we have a cohort of students who enters 9th grade in 2010 and expects to graduate in 2015.17:21
th1aThat is a group.17:21
th1aA class?17:21
th1aThat is associated with a level.17:21
th1a9th grade for starters.17:21
yvlwell, they will be just associated with a level17:21
yvlno group, no sections17:21
aelknerindividually, right?17:21
replaceafill9th grade -> level17:21
replaceafill9th grade, section A -> group17:22
yvlyes, replaceafill17:22
th1aThat is how it will work in the new system.17:22
th1aBUt not how it works currently.17:22
replaceafillwe're just adding the first part17:22
yvlthe second part is done17:22
th1aThen how do I promote students at the end of the year?17:23
yvlcurrently - assign them to a new group next year17:23
yvlif they are in group titled "2B" for example17:23
yvlnext year assign them to group "3B"17:24
replaceafillassign them to a group in the next year in the appropriate level :S17:24
yvlyes, that is how it works now17:24
aelknerbut i thought we were going to support a student having a level regardless of group membership?17:24
yvlwell, that is how it *will* work in the near future probably? :)17:25
replaceafillthat's what we're adding!17:25
yvland keep in mind, that we are talking about *Cambodia* now17:25
yvlnot generic SchoolTool!17:25
aelkneri think th1a is asking about generic schooltool17:26
th1aThis is not some weird edge case.17:26
th1aI'm thinking about core SchoolTool.17:26
th1aI'm not talking about doing anything strange.17:27
replaceafilli vote for doing it in cambodia17:27
* yvl too17:27
replaceafilland then see if it works and move it to core17:27
replaceafillas it was done with levesl ;)17:27
yvlyes, please17:28
th1aWell... I'm getting a bad feeling about this.17:28
th1aThe thing is this is going off the rails for exactly the same reason things went off the rails six years ago.17:29
th1aWhich is that those of us in the US cannot IMAGINE that those of you elsewhere would be doing things differently.17:29
th1aSo six months later it is like "Wait, you did WHAT?"17:29
yvlthat's why I want it done in a "controlled environment"17:30
yvlthen have a "different version" designed by those in USA17:30
th1aExcept that it just means we have to start over from scratch in six months.17:30
th1aNo no no no no.17:30
th1aLook -- these are not actually different problems.17:30
th1aAT ALL.17:30
th1aIt is a simple problem, that gets screwed up because we're using different mental models.17:31
yvlwell, I think you're right17:32
yvlhmm, how to put this17:32
th1aThe manager needs to manage this?17:33
yvlCambodian case is a stripped down, stricter version of SchoolTool, right?17:33
yvleven their person views - different, simpler17:33
yvlone contact, etc,17:33
yvlthe way I see it it's the same with automatic section enrollment17:34
th1aThe thing is that despite the fact that we've put levels off forever, they are absolutely fundamental, so we don't want multiple versions.17:34
yvlthey will not be multiple versions per se17:35
th1aI think levels need to be directly connected to persons with convenience methods related to groups.17:35
yvlmore like - stripped down version of things in core ST17:35
th1aWe don't want incompatible data models.17:36
yvlit won't be so much of a problem17:37
yvlth1a, I want it that way because of ZODB17:37
yvlbecause it's more convenient to convert data Cambodian -> SchoolTool17:38
yvlthan SchoolTool v1 -> SchoolTool v217:38
yvlin orders of magnitude17:38
yvland we're doing this with relaitonships because it will be easier to do the conversion if need arises, in my opinion17:39
yvlbut I think once they are done in Cambodia, I'll start pulling bits to trunk17:40
yvlwe kind of have a lot of "movement space" before the Cambodian pilot is deployed17:40
aelkneri'm back17:41
yvlwhat I'd like to see in the result17:41
yvlis a version that works for Cambodia17:41
th1aThis ought not to be so complicated to require more multiple versions.17:41
yvland is at the most part compatible with ST at data model level17:42
yvlI kind of don't care about UI and UI logic, it's skinning anyway17:42
yvlthe difference between linking student to a level with relationship in Cambodia17:43
yvland linking student to a level with relationship in ST17:43
yvlis that one will have (custom, as they required) UI17:43
yvland ST does not at the moment17:43
yvlwe are doing custom UI for them anyway - this is a requirement17:43
th1aI'm not thinking about UI at this point either.17:43
yvlthere's not much apart from UI17:45
th1areplaceafill:  What do you think?17:45
yvland specific subsribers17:45
replaceafillth1a, again, i saw it like what happened with levels, we implemented them in cambodia, we saw they worked right, they were a good idea and then we moved them to core17:46
replaceafillif the level - student relationship doesnt work, we'll have proof that they dont17:47
th1aLet's move on.17:48
th1ayvl:  How is timetabling coming?17:48
yvlI will have timetables applied to a part of the term sometime this week17:50
yvlUI is a little bit redone17:50
yvlclearer, in my opinion17:50
yvlI'm terribly unhappy with the implementation, though17:50
yvlI had to scrap several prototypes17:51
yvlso I'm at the point where I have a data model design on paper17:51
yvlwhich is timetabling done right, in my opinion17:52
yvlbut it requires timetable rewrite17:52
yvlalmost from scratch17:52
yvlwell, reusing some parts of the code17:52
yvlso, I won't be doing the rewrite now17:53
aelknerare you changing the way timetable schemas are defined, models, etc.?17:53
yvlthere are... just too many design and other mistakes there to refactor step-by-step17:53
yvlno, I will not be doing that now17:54
yvlbut basically, no data structure would be left untouched17:54
yvlthe resulting code should be smaller17:54
yvland do the same it does now17:54
yvl+ more flexible17:55
yvlin my opinion, I screwed up17:55
yvlinstead of pulling off the rewrite I'll have to leave the code as it is, at least this week17:56
yvlto sum up17:56
yvlwe will have timetables that can be applied for the part of the term17:57
yvland lyceum.journal updated to handle all section events17:57
yvl(that means flexible scheduling, basically)17:57
yvlwell, that's for timetabling17:58
yvlI played around with optimizations last week also17:58
yvlespecially after the awesome teaser by th1a (Saturday was a workday in LT)17:59
th1aI got the sticker paper working in my printer.  ;-)17:59
* replaceafill was wondering about the sticker :)18:00
yvlwell, simply cataloging the relationships did not make much improvement on ST speed18:00
yvlbut I think we can speed up those views18:01
yvlthey just have some logic that loads the objects anyway18:02
yvland it can be replaced by catalogs + BTree operations18:02
yvlthat are supposed to be really really fast :)18:02
th1aIt seemed to me that there were a number of possibilities.18:02
th1areplaceafill:  Btw, does El Salvador use the same electrical outlets as the US?18:03
th1aAnything else, yvl?18:03
yvlno, th1a :(18:04
replaceafillth1a, yes18:04
th1aaelkner:  I'll send an email to Mrs. Taiwo this afternoon.18:04
aelknerdo we need to talk on the phone after the meeting?18:05
th1aI don't think so.  We saw each other on Thursday.18:06
th1aDo you know what you're doing?18:06
th1aGet reports from Jen.18:06
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aelkneri submitted a branch to fix the gradebook bug we discussed18:07
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aelknerand it was megerd immediately, was that you yvl?18:07
aelkneranyway, th1a, you said you would push for that code getting released?18:08
aelknermenesis, thanks18:08
th1aI would like to have the fix for 591872 released if possible.18:08
th1aSince a lot of people seem to be running into it.18:08
th1aOK... sorry for the long meeting.18:10
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th1aAlso, I keep accidentally quitting the channel.18:10
th1aThat must be me subconsciously wanting to end this.18:11
menesisth1a: ok, will release. no other changes for gradebook?18:11
th1amenesis:  Not that I can think of.18:11
th1aThanks menesis.18:11
* th1a drops the bag of gravel.18:11
th1aHave a great week gentlemen!18:11
aelknerthanks, you, too18:12
replaceafillthanks everybody18:12
replaceafillmenesis, did you see my question above?18:12
replaceafillshould i work on cando's trunk or your branch?18:12
menesisreplaceafill: yes. do everything in cando trunk18:12
yvlon the lighter post-meeting note18:15
yvlusing catalogs as relationship optimization was really fun18:15
* jelkner would like to ask a few post meeting questions18:15
jelknernow that his grades are done18:16
replaceafillcatalogs as relationship optmizations?!?!?18:16
replaceafillyou put the relationship attribute in the catalog?18:16
jelknerwhat would it cost to support a pilot at ACC using ST gradebook (3 teachers)18:16
jelknerand ST Intervention system (6 teachers)18:16
th1aCost for what?18:16
jelknerfor example, i just filed a bug18:16
th1aThe licensing is expensive.  ;-)18:16
jelkneryeah, yeah, i know that18:17
yvlreplaceafill, I'll chat about it some other day I guess ;) Users first! ;)18:17
jelknerbut i've been using ST gradebook for a year18:17
th1aWell, the first factor is you need to use more terms if that's an issue.18:17
jelknerand i know that if we have other teachers use it, improvements will be needed18:17
aelkneryvl :)18:17
jelkneryes, indeed18:17
jelknerso, i'm willing to do whatever you tell me18:18
jelknermr th1a18:18
jelknerso that it works18:18
th1aThe second thing is I don't particularly want to implement it the way you'd want to -- we really need to establish enrollment statuses in sections.  That might take a week or so.18:18
th1aTwo maybe.18:19
jelknerwhat do you mean the way "i'd want to"18:19
jelkneri have no implementation preferences18:19
jelknernot my job18:19
jelkneri'm just a customer18:19
jelkneri only care about ui and workflow18:19
jelknerwhat goes on in the back end is for developers to decide18:19
th1aWell, if you're a paying customer you'd probably want the 2 day solution rather than the 2 week one.18:19
jelknerwell, i need to fight for some budget18:20
th1ai.e. the kludge.18:20
jelknereconomic times are tough18:20
th1aWe'll probably need that anyway soonish.18:20
th1aSchools in Zambia and Nigeria don't exactly have stable student bodies either.18:21
jelknerok, i have to go for a bit18:21
jelkneri'll call you later th1a to follow up18:21
jelkneri need to submit a budget request and outline what it is for18:22
jelkneri could use your help with that18:22
jelknerthat's all for now18:22
th1aIt will take about six weeks.18:22
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aelknerth1a :)18:24
th1aThis looks like a good option:
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