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Re: Weekend thoughts

EAMorical@aol.com wrote:
> Doug writes:
> >I think
> >it's important that we start getting something concrete developed, as
> >having a base to work from tends to distill the discussion from vague
> >philosophical thoughts to more precise ideas intended to further
> >development.

> Doug, I agree with you but I would change the words 'vague philosophical
> thoughts' to 'important pieces of information'.

Change accepted with gratitude.

> So what do we do. Here's my suggestion. We need to
> write out a specification of what we are planning to do. Show it to the world
> by putting it on the web site and announcing it. To me this is showing code in
> the Bazaar sense. One problem is how do we contact the customer, the school
> staff? Related to this is how do we find someone to work with thi? To end on a
> positive note, yesterday there was a notice about starting a Linux user group
> nearby. Tonight there is a notice that 11 people have already responded. In my
> response, I said I was interested only if they really wanted to do something
> for Linux. I'm sure you know what I've got in mind. We need to have volunteer
> work available for everyone.
For thi, Tim Wilson was looking for an analog circuit simulator for use
in a physics class; he might be able to help with this digital
simulator, or know someone else who would be interested in it.  A note
to freshmeat.net and/or comp.os.linux.development.apps might get people
who are interested in helping develop it.

Once we have the specification written up, similar posts to
freshmeat.net and c.o.l.d.a might get us a few code slingers who aren't
particularly interested in educational software but just want to code. 
This may or may not be the direction we want to go.  If we have enough
programmers who are interested in the project itself I'd prefer to use
them, as they will have a greater emotional stake in its success than
"code for hire" guys would.

I'm fairly sanguine about being able to contact the school staff.  We
have a number of educators on this list already.  I've contacted a few
of the local school districts where I live (and encourage all of you to
do the same) and have had at least some of them be very interested.  I'm
sure they'll be willing to look over what we're doing and comment.  In
my experience, keeping them _from_ commenting would be the hard thing. 
I've also approached a member of the Instructional Technology department
at my university who was surprised that this was happening under her
nose and was quite interested.  Next I'll contact the fellow who's
teaching Educational Computing and Technology this semester and see if
he's interested.  No, I don't think getting educators to comment will be
too difficult.

Now for the hard part.  Just what _are_ we planning to do?  I'm going to
ask some of our more active posters to describe their views of what we
should be doing.  Bruno Vernier, David Ridley, Roman Suzi, could you
each write up a list of goals/requirements/specifications for what you'd
like to see come out of this project?  Justin Bradford, Tim Wilson,
could you each do something similar from your perspective?  I don't mean
this to be limited to these people--anyone else who has a good sense of
where they'd like us to go, please do the same.  Once we get a few of
these we can see what things everyone agrees on and what other things
individuals would like.  We can then meld them together and prioritize
them, and use that as our specification.  Does that sound OK?

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