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Re: Gradebook, codenamed Babylon's tower ;-)


It's good and unavoidable to have a brainstorm at the beginning
of the development. But then all interested in the goal of  the
project better forget their personal preferences for language Y
or tool Z, otherwise it will never get completed, and will be a
sad repeat of the Babylon tower builder's error.

However, it could be good  design  solution  if  the  gradebook
server part will allow plug-ins with supereasy interfaces: this
way good CS teacher will be  able  to  add  something.  We  are
making it open, right?

So, some programing design must take place. And better be  done
professionally. This way amateurs could add and still get  what
is needed without fuss.

On Sun, 15 Nov 1998, thi wrote:

>Roman Suzi writes:
> > The major problem with Linux in education, as you well know, is lack
>In the educational software domain, I would like to work on things that
>benefit my learning primarily, and others' learning secondarily.  (It's

I've heard that many times. Every  teacher  is  individual.  No
common  methodology  is  possible.  That  is  why   authorware,
HyperCard, SuperCard, HyperStudio are so popular.  As  well  as
simulation    environments     like     Microworlds     (Logo),
SimLife/SimCity, Interactive Physics, etc.

>hoped, however, that my learning style is not too wacky.)  I feel that
>otherwise I would not be able to relate fully to the work.

On Sun, 15 Nov 1998, Bruno Vernier wrote:
>On Sun, Nov 15, 1998 at 08:52:07PM +0300, Roman Suzi wrote:
>I think you are getting at the core of what we should be doing. pardon the
>pun :-).  I have worked solo too long (not out of choice) and am not sure
>quite how to move from here... luckily there are freeware group project
>veterans on this list who can perhaps provide with a roadmap?

The list is 9 days old ;-)

>> So, relational database (some SQL) is indeed a must here.
>and maybe even nosql ...? (see previous email)

Well... nosql will be quick hack, but do we really need  to  go
so cheap? SQL is not so hard even  for  non-programmers  (sic!)
And SQL presents database concept loud  and  clear.  (And  many
textbooks  on  databases  uses  educational  (even  gradebook!)
examples in SQL.

>yes! I like the idea... since the common denominator is a GNU/linux server,
>then why not make use of it with server side includes! (Back when I wasted
>years thinking about how to do this across all OS platforms, I had ruled out
>that idea. But now that I am not trying to please every OS, I like it!)

It is inevitable that  Linux  development  efforts  being  open
sources freeware will benefit almost every OS out there.

*** Lets not microsoftie-like think influence our solutions. ***

>> (But not Java - it will be too sloooowww.)
>I'm not a java writer myself, but let's not exclude any language. In one of
>my schools with a parent participation program, a java expert has just
>enthousiastically volunteered her expertise to help in this project.

(I was under impression of a char-counting Java program being
250 times slower than
cat file | wc

and 125 times slower than Perl program.

>well, I hope every one on this mailing list will keep us informed of other
>free software educational projects.  I understand someone is working on an
>FAQ in this area ...? 

not enough questions for being FAQ...

On Sun, 15 Nov 1998, Tim Wilson wrote:

>In general, it seems to me that we must strive for the utmost
>flexibility for the various users, while keeping the software usable for
>those teachers who aren't willing or interested to customize the

Certainly. It could be like it is done in  pine,  for  example.
Power-users open needed functionality themselves.

>As far as the general program design is concerned, I think it's
>important for the software to be as modular as possible, allowing people
>to extend the program's functionality. For example, I'd like to try to
>learn Python, and I'd want to be able to make a "plug-in" for the main
>program that would perform some custom function. Also, we should make
>everything as Internet-ready as possible.


>to email grade and attendance reports to parents as easily as I can
>print them.

Thats why we use Unix. Where to mail is as to breathe.

>1. Gradebook
>2. Attendance
>3. Seating charts
>4. Unit planning
>5. Lesson planning
>6. Small-group generator

In fact, there could be some vertical integration problems with
what edu districts acquire from schools.  Those  solutions  are
usually done singleminded (like  using  Excel-form  to  present
school statistics and so on)

If such limitations exist somewhere, better  think  about  them
sooner than later.

Roman A. Suzi

I speak about Gradebook,  but  it  could  be  applied  to  any
edusoft which will be developed by the people  here.  I  myself
have not decided which I will participate in first.

P.S.S. I'd like to write Edu-soft.minihowto, but my 
Internet access is far from good these days :-(

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