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Re: Micah's menu program

> As many of you know, Micah Yoder wrote a menuing program designed to host
> educational programs (Micah, correct me where I get this wrong).  It was to
> keep track of the student's progress in the various programs listed, and to
> use that information to lock out or enable options on the system.  For
> example, access to a reward game program might not be available till a
> certain level of proficiency was displayed in some educational program.

Yes, that's correct.

> As I recall, Micah had the program to a point where it needed just a bit more
>  work to be useable.  Micah, can you let us know what remains to be done to
> your program? I'm sure I speak for more than just myself when I say if we can

OK, the menu needs to be prettied up.  Basically all I've done is write
a Perl/Tk shell that lets you select an option.  My interface specified
an icon and a description for each program - the menu currently doesn't
display either.

And the thing about rewarding users after they've reached a goal still
needs to be written.

And we need to figure out a whole bunch of permissions issues.  I
intended to have an "education administrator", which would own the
education launchpad and probably all the software under it.  It would
probably run setuid so that the student couldn't mess with his own

>  help we'll be happy to.  Also, what is the interface between the menuing
> program and the hosted programs?  Maybe we can convince some other people to

There's a README file that specifies the interface.  For those who don't
have the tarball, I just put it in my directory on cran. 
~yoderm/edulp.tar  Grab it if you want!

> start writing code to work with your menu.  I've been thinking about a drill
> and practice program for spelling, arithmetic, things like that.  It'd be
> nice to get it to work with your menu.  A note for anyone else interested in

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I had in mind.

> Finally, just because I'm curious: Micah, do you by chance come from an Amish
>  or Mennonite background?  I ask because here in PA the family name Yoder is
> extremely common in the Amish community, and Micah (being Biblical) is not an
>  unusual surname.  I realize that computers would probably be anathema to the
>  Amish, but I just had to ask.

Ahh, yes!  I come from a long line of Mennonites on both sides of my
extended family.  Mennonites generally don't mind technology - it can be
used for good as well as evil.  :-)