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Re: [school-discuss] Eduml Dream

On Sat, Jan 26, 2002 at 01:02:37PM -0500, Michael Williams wrote:
> > My Rough Conclusion:
> > -------------------
> > 
> > We must react to IMS which is by far the dominant player in education
> > software standards.  In theory, since both SIF and IMS are XML Schemas,
> > interchanging should be a simple XSLT exercise.  I have observed over time that
> > many of the commercial software companies whose products I have no choice
> > but to work with have  announced some claim to being IMS compliant in the
> > future ... I have not seen too much mention of SIF.
> > 
> > Bruno
> I would agree that IMS is the goal(although voting membership there makes
> SIF look like a bargain) But, I find myself in the opposite situation, 
> whereas, all of the commercial apps I'm forced to live with are SIF compliant
> and not IMS, more than likely due to our locations. So if there is a bridge
> between the two, my administrative software will be able to send and recieve
> student info from the instructional apps.

You make a strong case for us having to respond to both SIF and IMS.

I am sure that many others are working to harmonize the SIF and IMS XML

As Steve T pointed out, SIF is more than just an XML schema:  it is also
ZIS; like a telephone central hub which allows for secure  communications
between SIF-compliant software using HTTPS and the protocol to transfer SIF
XML packets.  (below I propose to make a napster-like ZIS)

Perhaps a few of us on this mailing list can experiment by transferring
XML Metadata between each other's applications so that we have something
concrete to show everyone else ... a picture (a live working system albeit
non-productive at this stage) is worth a thousand words. 

for example: 
Steve has his SIF Ack server, I have my zope server, Knut Y has a J2EE
server, etc...

if we assign a URL each using HTTPS such as:




which is a cgi form taking a made up student id such as "Doug Loss" and
spitting out some information about the fictitious courses he is taking at
each of these institutions, then anyone (with authentication privileges) can
compile a combined list of all the courses Doug Loss is taking at these
(let's say EDUML) compliant institutions

likewise another form with a keyword for subject such as "Math", could spit
out all the learning objects available marked as having subject "Math" in
their metadata ... and anyone can compile a list of all learning objects
about math from these 3 institutions

in fact, this has been called by a colleague, **learnster**, the napster of
education ... peer to peer sharing of resources and edu-administrative

We have a HUGE advantage over the commercial consortia (IMS, SIF) in that we
are not bogged down with commerical competitiveness consideration; so we
won't be spending too much time (I hope) worrying about making our learning
resources inaccessible to non-subscribers.  But we do have PGP GPG and HTTPS
to protect stakeholders privacy.

Nonetheless, we will want to clearly (a la debian) mark the intellectual
property rights attached to each record... in fact that is already part of
metadata schemas right from Dublin Core and up.