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Re: Coders and projects

> Once we have a good idea of the data we want to work
> with and how they're represented, we can think about what kind of operations
> we want to be able to do with them.

I personlly think the XML base is an excellent idea.
Does anyone have any functionality they want eventually that wouldn't
fit into the XML framework?
If not, then I think this just about solves our integration problem.
We could fairly easily extend applications at a later point to incorporate
a more complex DTD, with new cross-linked data.

Anyway, I agree that we need at least a rough DTD for the various
components. So exactly what do we want to store, what fields, how are they
defined, etc?

I don't know of a good XML tutorial, but http://www.w3.org/XML/ is
probably a good place to start.

This doesn't look too bad:

>  Once _that's_ done, we should have a
> reasonable functional description of the programs we want and can code away.

We'll need an XML parser. expat (http://www.jclark.com/xml/expat.html) is
the only one I could find in c, and it's under the Mozilla license. I
don't know if that will be a problem or not.
Anyone else know of a good XML parser?

> I admit that I don't have any experience managing a major coding project, but
>  I think Justin Bradford does (right?).  Justin, did my sequence above sound
> about right, or is there some better way to come up with a framework to work
> within?

I have never managed a large project, although I have participated in a
number. Most of the time, the only form of management is the guardian of
the cvs tree, anyway.

But regardless, I think it's clear where we start. What data do we want to
collect, how to manage, calculate, and/or present it, and how does it
interconnect. This doesn't have to be a complete definition right away,
but enough to know what functionality to start programming.

> And if you _are_ a coder and aren't excited about the core procedure stuff I
> talked about above, there's still a need for the UI stuff.

How do we want it to look? Since we've talked about the multiple
interfaces, we'll want to do UI work in duplicate, where appropriate, for
gui, web, and console. We can probably borrow/extend existing code for a
lot of this.

Just to get something going on the coding side, it might be interesting to
get Justin Maurer's gradebook running with an XML backend. I haven't
looked at the source, so I don't know how much work this will be.
It might require significant changes later, but at least it's something to
start with.
Justin, have you done anything more with your gradebook?

Justin Bradford