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Gradebook development

Justin Bradford wrote:
> First off, does anyone have a design or requirement list yet?
> Also, what features do we need and what standards and protocols do we need
> to comply with? I can do some research on this.
Bob, Micah, Dill, whoever else has a particular interest in the
gradebook, it appears that now is the time to repost the gradebook spec
we got last week on seul-pub (has it been only a week?).  Here it is:

          by DBCooper (wilson@chem.umn.edu) on Friday November 06,
  Yes, gradebook programs are essentially database apps with
lots of custom features. There are a lot of good ones available.
Everyone at my school uses GradeMachine (http://www.mistycity.com). 
The big features would include:

* the ability to keep track of grade categories (e.g., quizzes, 
  homework, etc.) and calculate weighted grades.
* ways to keep track of quarter grades and calculate semester
* a way to place an assignment in several different courses
  without retyping it each time
* some student records such as phone numbers, names of
  parents, etc.
* lots of ways to customize printed reports

  Some additional features that are desireable:

* ability to communicate with administrative attendance programs. 
  In other words, the teacher does his or her attendance and
  sends it electronically to the office.
* email reports to parents
* custom grading scales for individual students
* ability to plot grade distributions

  There are lots of other ideas. These are some of the biggies.
I've often considered trying something like this, but my programming
skills aren't up to the task.

  I run Linux 90% of the time at school. The only time I have to
use the other half of my dual-boot is to run GradeMachine. There are
other teachers in my department who would be willing to try Linux, 
but not having an electronic gradebook for Linux means that they run 
Windows nearly exclusively.

  I'd love to see a group of people who are interested in seeing
Linux become more common in schools take on this project. I will help
all that I can.

Incidentally, Tim Wilson (the author of this spec) is on this mailing
list and I think will probably be very interested in helping out here. 
Bruno Vernier has some interesting ideas too with his report card
generator that seem as though they should be integrated into a gradebook
program.  I'm thinking of something where the individual teachers'
gradebook records are collated along with attendance records,
disciplinary records, etc. to provide the report cards for the period. 
All of this could be done over the network automatically.

If anyone gets the link to the GNOME gradebook Dill mentioned, please
post it.  I sense a _lot_ of pent-up skill and energy just waiting to
get this done.  If we can't get in contact with whoever is developing it
by Wednesday (just to set an arbitrary deadline) I think we should go
ahead and start development ourselves so as not to let the interest
dissipate.  Making the gradebook GNOME-aware is a good idea at any rate,
so if we decide to do it ourselves I think we should also make it a part
of the GNOME software.

Doug Loss                 It is impossible to imagine Goethe
Data Network Coordinator  or Beethoven being good at billiards
Bloomsburg University     or golf.
dloss@bloomu.edu                H. L. Mencken