[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[seul-edu] Re: Student Information Standard (EduML)

On Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 11:47:21AM +0000, Thomas TEMPE wrote:

> Is there something out there that could act as an (back-office) XML repository?
> Or could you point me to some way of mapping an XML structure onto a SQL
> database?
Thanks, Odile, for the reference to dbXML.  As for mapping XML to SQL, I
currently think the most promising, simple approach is to use XSL. 
(I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of XSL methods in the next version of zope).  

A non-open-source-but-still-free non-XSL-but-very-efficient approach is
xmlscript http://www.xmlscript.com

> 1) is the Casbah project still alive?
> Last year, I stood on their "users" mailing- list for something like a month
> without seeing a single post :(

I observed the same thing and suspect that project is sleeping.

> 2) You talk about centralizing _transactions_, not information, right? (ie
> "student Nr. 456I0 has dropped school", not "here's the list of our students")
> This should make it possible to integrate a transaction centralization
> mechanism based on EduML into an existing EduML-based project when such a mechanism
> becomes available.

Thanks for making me think this morning!  I suppose the Client/Server model
could be done as some kind of centralizing database storing transactions (or
even all information from everywhere ... but Manuel would be right in
labelling any effort in that direction as utopic, silly or quasi-fascist,
because it takes away local autonomy).  I want us to consider the social
effects of our invention; I am not sure I want to contribute to a
centralized database of educational transactions or student information.

On the other hand, I prefer the DNS model where every program remains
autonomous with its own database of local information and authentication
scheme.  The role of an eduSERVER would be to keep track of who is willing
to share their information with whom and if so, to actively regularly
synchronize those who have "bilateral agreements" so to speak.

Does this make any sense?  

> I'm willing to learn anything interesting I can put my hands on. (I'm currently
> learning Python)

> Do you have any documentation ready?
> And, above all, is Zope suitable for back-office work (ie the repository tiers
> of the 3-tiers model)?
The documentation is only about the XML schema for eduML.  I have not
written anything until now about the Client/Server concept.

Zope is very stable but still very much a work in progress.  I am betting my
open-source farm that it will turn out to be a very good platform for one
implementation of an eduML/eduSQL Client/Server.  As I mentioned, I am
waiting for the XSL methods to come out soon... and then I think I can
produce something publicly visible.

2 major obstacles to releasing what I have done so far on zope is that I
have been very specific to my site, and the data is all protected by the Privacy
Law of my province. I can't risk developing a client/server publicly with private
student information in case of leaks.  If several of us are to work on this,
we will need to build an entirely fictional student/instructor environment
for some time.
> Note: I really appreciate  your proposition for writing a FAQ. That would help
> me a lot :)

Well, I suddenly feel motivated.  Thanks.  I think it will also need to
include information/suggestions on how to handle Privacy Laws and Instructor's 
Intellectual Property Rights.