IRC log of #schooltool for Thursday, 2014-02-13

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th1ahi menesis.15:13
th1aSo, I met the guys from a school in Dover who do this:
th1aOr more usefully:
th1aBasically it is a 100% Bash system that very slickly sets up servers for an English (and other) schools.15:26
th1aWeb based, but generating HTML in Bash.  :-D15:26
th1aThey use kerberos for sso, menesis.15:27
menesishtml in bash? :-o15:32
th1aAnyhow, it works, and you'd never guess from looking at the interface.15:34
th1aThey were talking about just having Apache do the kerberos auth, which they already do, and then SchoolTool using Apache's remote auth?15:35
th1aIf that makes any sense...15:35
th1aOr of course there should be a Kerberos Python module we could plug in.15:36
th1aThey SEEM to know what they're doing, and the code looks clean and well organized.15:36
menesisI have never used Kerberos.15:36
menesisBut of course it makes sense15:37
th1aDo you know what they are talking about with Apache?15:37
th1aHave we done that?15:37
menesisBut schooltool needs to create persons for kerberos users15:39
menesisApache Basic auth should work, some tests login this way15:40
th1aWell, assuming it would be going the other way.15:40
th1aKaroshi users creating SchoolTool users.15:40
th1aAnyhow, I'm trying to set up a chat so we won't be dependent on my interpretation of their explanation.15:45
menesisIs there Samba or LDAP used, or only authentication?15:51
th1aThey use Samba 4 in the current version.15:52
th1aWhich is pretty impressive.15:52
th1aThey've switched to Samba's LDAP.15:52
th1aOne of their debs filed a LDAP bug or question, actually.15:52
th1a(with us)15:52
menesisok, so there is LDAP15:54
menesisSchoolTool asks for username & password and then authenticates through LDAP15:55
th1aYeah, ideally we'd be able to do SSO for their system.15:56
menesisBut user is already logged in so there should be no login to schooltool required15:56
menesisBut don't know what needs to be done to enable that16:00
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nedosa1hi there, i'm trying to build debs from the schooltool src, is there a reason why there isn't a debian directory included in trunk ?16:18
th1ahi menesis.16:20
th1ahi nedosa1.16:20
nedosa1looking at the daily builds logs, it seems bzr builder is being used and merges the schooltool packaging branch into trunk16:20
nedosa1hi th1a :)16:20
th1amenesis would be the person to answer your question.16:20
th1aWhy do you need this, if I may ask nedosa1?16:21
nedosa1ah great, thanks a lot16:21
nedosa1i'm making some changes to the source code and need to build debs in order to make deployment easier16:22
nedosa1i'd like to add a contact parent by sms/email action when looking at a student16:23
th1aAh, yes, that is a good idea.16:24
th1aDo you have any Zope experience or are you just figuring it out as you go?16:24
th1aThat would be a reasonable thing to include in the core release, ofc.16:25
menesisdebian/ directory is usually separate. Upstream maintainers and packagers are different people, packaging may need fixes for the same upstream release. And when multiple ubuntu versions need to be supported, packaging may be different16:26
nedosa1th1a, i have some zope experience, yes16:27
th1aAh, excellent.16:28
nedosa1menesis, that's true, what is confusing I guess is that the packaging repo also contains the src dir16:28
menesisYou can do the same as the daily builds, merge the packaging branch.16:29
nedosa1so ignore the src dir of the packaging branch and just use the debian dir I guess ?16:30
menesisYeah, I don't have a separate branch with only the debian directory, like zope packages have at alioth.debian.org16:30
menesisno, commit your changes, and merge the packaging branch16:31
menesisprobably some older revision if you don't want latest trunk16:32
nedosa1ok, i'll try that16:33
th1aWe'd love to hear more about how you are using schooltool, nedosa1.16:33
menesisyou do work in a branch, not an extracted tar.gz?16:33
nedosa1th1a, certainly16:34
nedosa1i plan to work in a branch, correct16:34
menesisanother way is to download the source package and extract it16:39
menesisapt-get source schooltool16:39
menesisthen go to you branch16:39
menesisbzr builddeb --merge ../schooltool-
nedosa1ah yes, that's a good idea also16:40
menesisbut the versions need to match16:42
nedosa1right, so there are no source packages for 2.7, is that correct ?16:43
menesisthere is no 2.7 release yet16:46
menesisit is in development and there are some big, unfinished features16:48
nedosa1is it Q1 or Q2 that you expect 2.7 to be released ?16:50
th1aYes... don't jump on that yet.16:50
th1aApril, with the Ubuntu release.16:50
nedosa1ah ok :)16:50
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th1ahow'd it go replaceafill?20:54
replaceafillhey th1a20:54
replaceafillwill you be around at 8 pm?20:54
replaceafilli'm about to have lunch20:55
th1a9:00 might be better.20:55
th1aDid it go ok?20:55
replaceafillit went very well20:55
th1aOK, see you in two hours.20:55
replaceafillalthough experience has taught me i shouldn't get too excited about these things...20:55
replaceafillcool, see you then20:55
th1aYeah, of course.20:55
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th1ahi replaceafill.23:02
replaceafillhey th1a23:03
replaceafilli just fwd'ed you their latest email23:03
replaceafillso, the meeting went well23:03
th1aA little IT pushback.  ;-)23:03
replaceafillas usual...23:03
replaceafillso, the bottleneck is the ZODB23:03
th1aWhat do they use now?23:03
replaceafillthey're a british academy, right?23:04
th1aI don't know how these things work.23:04
replaceafillwhat's the monopoly of SIS there?23:04
th1aOh, SIMS?23:04
replaceafillbut they say it's "old"23:04
th1aBut they probably don't have to deal with the English census...23:05
th1aUpgrading would probably be *very* expensive.23:05
replaceafillbut they were very interested in custom demographics23:05
replaceafilland attendance23:05
replaceafillbasically, we have what they want23:05
replaceafilland they know they'll always need multiple systems23:06
replaceafillthey didn't mention a financial module for example23:06
replaceafillwhich lots of people asks23:06
replaceafillso after the demo23:06
replaceafillwhere i showed like "everything"!23:06
replaceafillincluding our custom work23:06
replaceafillcairo, niepa, quiz23:07
th1aAh, you're probably better at that part than me!23:07
replaceafillyou know23:07
replaceafillthis is the first time in 5!!!! years23:07
replaceafilli see potential in the app23:07
replaceafillno s**t23:07
replaceafilli think it can go somewhere...23:07
replaceafillthe last part of the discussion was23:08
replaceafillhow do we handle import/exporting23:08
replaceafilland then the SQL topic came out23:08
replaceafill"we can't query the data easily"23:08
replaceafillthe IT manager says23:08
th1aIt is a valid concern.23:08
replaceafill"this ZODB is really weird/unknown"23:08
replaceafillthat's what i said23:08
replaceafillbefore that came up23:09
replaceafillthey even asked me to come back in 1-2 weeks23:09
replaceafillto set it up23:09
replaceafillto be used in a class23:09
replaceafillas a pilot23:09
replaceafillthey're willing to pay for that23:09
replaceafillso they know it well23:09
replaceafilltheir vice-principal reminded me of dwelsh23:10
replaceafillbut with a british accent :D23:10
th1aYeah, the guy who brought me down to London was also a british dwelsh.23:10
replaceafilland the school, wow23:10
replaceafillwhat money can buy you...23:10
replaceafillwhat do you recommend me to reply?23:11
replaceafillthey also appreciated having a local developer23:11
th1aThat's why we really need to get this one.23:11
th1aThey would be running this locally?23:12
replaceafillthe IT manager considers it trivial23:12
th1aOK, about the zodb I'd say 3 things.23:12
replaceafill(to run it locally)23:12
* replaceafill listens23:12
th1a1) zodb is unusual but it is simple, robust, and used in big production systems all over the world for a long time.23:13
replaceafilli did23:13
th1aWe have found it to be very reliable.23:13
th1a2) We'll set up daily incremental backups.23:14
th1a3) Whatever queries they run on SIMS we can implement for them easily.23:15
replaceafilli see23:15
replaceafilli mean23:15
replaceafilli'm not sure if the backups story could change their mind23:15
replaceafilli mean23:15
replaceafillthey really want queries23:15
th1aOf what?23:16
replaceafillbut 3)23:16
replaceafillSQL queries23:16
th1aI know, but what kind?23:16
th1aI mean, do these change frequently?23:16
replaceafillwhy don't you jump into the loop?23:16
replaceafilli agree with what you say23:17
replaceafillat some point i mentioned our xml-rpc experience23:17
replaceafillgetting data from the gradebook23:17
replaceafilland now we have json23:17
replaceafillmaybe that could be part of the solution?23:18
replaceafillas i see it, and i mentioned it23:18
replaceafillusers won't mind what persistency the app uses23:18
th1aThere is a pretty wide range of things they might be thinking about.23:18
replaceafillas long as they get the data they need23:19
replaceafilli mean, UI users23:19
replaceafillit's the IT staff that is used to go low level23:19
replaceafillmaybe for creating custom reports23:19
th1aI'd say you just need to see exactly what they actually do.23:19
replaceafillgot it23:20
th1aI mean, with SQL you can do anything.23:20
th1aAnd if they want to be able to do anything, that's difficult for us.23:20
th1aI mean, there is no practical way for us to teach them to just query our db using Python, right?23:21
replaceafillwell, we have zeo now...23:22
replaceafillbut no23:22
replaceafillunless they're realy really interested i guess23:22
replaceafillit's like training a new dev23:22
replaceafillyou'll have to know the data model23:22
th1aIt is not practical.23:23
th1aMuch easier to write simple scripts for them.23:23
replaceafillthey were also interested in marking absences as explained23:24
replaceafillparent access was briefly touched23:24
replaceafillthey didn't seem very interested on that23:25
replaceafilli told them about the plan for 14.0423:25
replaceafilli found a bug in interventions btw :)23:25
replaceafillthank you demos ;)23:25
replaceafillbut to answer your question from yesterday23:26
replaceafilli can tell fairly quickly their expectations are not *way* outside of what we do23:26
th1aOK.  They probably weren't maxing out their SIMS.23:27
th1aRegarding ZODB, another issue is, essentially, "How can we get all our data out if you are kit by a truck?"23:29
th1aWhich is something we may need to address.23:29
th1aIt is generally a problem of "Well exactly what data in what format would you want, anyway?"23:30
th1aSo perhaps we could dump to them all the data in whatever format they dump it to us.23:30
replaceafillall the data?23:31
replaceafilleven our export doesn't do that23:31
th1aWell, yes, depending on what "all the data" means.23:32
replaceafillah, got it23:32
th1aBasically just try to get across to the IT guys that we have no problem giving them the data if they know specifically what they want.23:34
th1aI mean, as long as you agree that's the case.  ;-)23:35
th1aUnless there is an underlying unaddressed "data model issue."23:35
replaceafilloh we have those indeed :D23:36
replaceafillbut not for this23:36
replaceafillthe transcript was mentioned too23:36
th1aIt is kind of necessaryl  ;-)23:36
th1aI gather this isn't a "Oh, also we have no money" situation.23:37
replaceafillbut i did told them what you say yesterday23:37
replaceafillabout supplement/backstop the rest23:37
replaceafillin case they come on board23:38
th1aYeah, that's fine.23:38
replaceafilli explained them how we try to solve problems first for the general case23:38
replaceafillok, i'll reply now23:38
th1aOK.  Great.23:38
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replaceafillth1a, you still around?23:59

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