Forum .LRN Q&A: What are you working on?
We'd like as many people as possible to respond to the following three questions to help us:
1. What *funded* work are you doing using .LRN/ OpenACS? ("Funded" could mean you have a paid position with an organization that uses .LRN/ OpenACS, or you have a contract to develop an application that uses .LRN/ OpenACS, or you have a research grant for a project that uses .LRN/ OpenACS. In short, there's money behind you in one form or another.)
2. What are you scheduled to deliver, by when, to whom?
3. Do you have plans to contribute your work to the projects? If so, what if any help do you need? If not, why not?
1) Assessment as well as SOAP/Java integration.
2) February (both).
3) Yes, none.
I do plan on contributing to this project in terms of the uses of dotLRN/Open ACS in transnational education.
1) (FP6 stands for "Framework Programme 6", an EU programme for funding Research Institutions and european enterprises).
2) ECDL with two University consortium (40 Italian University) : CILEA and CILEA
3) an important project in Emilia Romagna Region (RER)ITALY for a Learning Point Master in order to supply e-learning services to RER employees all over the region based on .LRN and OpenAcs
3) KESCH project see http://cadses.sii.it
4) IPAB project http://ipab.sii.it/custom user id test pw test
and many others.
It's very important for us to work on standars and inter-operability. We'll invest on it during 2005.
At the Univ. of Sydney:
- A working teaching 'administration' tool with integration to dotLRN as a staff collaboration tool, version 0.9 has been deliverd and is available in CVS. Funding until July by the Fac of Engineering
- Already commited to CVS. Requested funds to have a senior developer 'clean it up'
- An ePortfolio tool. First release in July.
- The work will be contributed when ready
Solution Grove recently contributed a new version of the survey package in contrib. We expanded the survey functionality to allow the admin to give the survey questions variable names then use those variables to create custom reports. The reports are version controlled and allow for the use of ADP tags for simple logic. Note that you can escape to tcl from adp, in our systems only Site Wide Admin had access to report editing. The use cases we used this for were "Prescription and Diagnosis": The user answers a survey about his organization's current situation and then received a report with suggestions such as reading lists and next steps. This work was funded by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and by Innonet and a grant from the Hewlett Foundation.
Solution Grove also recently contributed survey library and survey-builder-ui. The use case is: The site owner creates a library of useful surveys. The user takes a survey from the library, modifies it, and then distributes it by emailing out a url. Survey-builder-ui uses the survey data model but provides a simpler interface to a subset of survey's functionality. This work was funded by Innonet under a grant from the Hewlett Foundation.
1. Performance improvements to two key packages, forums and bug-tracker. Forums performance is important to all .LRN installations. bug-tracker performance is only important to those doing development but is crucial to that community, who has found the current implementation to be too inefficient to be usable with even a moderate (> 1000 entry) bug database.
The forums work has been released and can be seen on OpenACS.org. The initial bug-tracker work's been committed and will be tested in the next few days on the openacs dev site and then rolled out to OpenACS.org.
Underlying this work has been a fundamental improvement in the performance of the template list builder, our tool-of-choice for presenting lists of information (threads of a forum, bugs in a project, members of .LRN etc). The API for applications is unchanged, however using the list builder in pagination mode will now result in very tangible improvements in performance even if you choose not to cache results.
I'm also fixing a couple of very minor bugs in the pagination UI that have led that UI to be a bit confusing to at least some of our OCT members, and undoubtably users at large.
2. Portals rewrite. I'm going to be incorporating the improvements (localization among other things) to the new portals package made for the CTK project. I'd gotten about 2/3 of the way through the very complex upgrade scripts needed to migrate sites to the rewritten package before the holidays, then set that work aside because we decided that the items in #1 above were of a crisis nature for OpenACS 5.1. Currently some folks have been using the new portals package for openacs.org-based work, and integration with .LRN is mostly complete. The upgrade process is the stickler, it's a complex problem.
3. Rapid development, particularly of CR packages. I want to spend a month or so working on building tools to make much easier the rapid development of simple packages, including those that make use of the CR. This will build on the excellent Tcl API work done by Daveb, Jun and others.
I don't have a schedule for either #2 or #3 other than a rather loose "by spring" self-imposed deadline.
I use the latest default OACS releases, no customided code and no dotLrn at the moment. Based on the experience and questions asked by the users the final release will feature additional graphical design upgrades. The creative process is blogged and wikied on http://www.timedeskblog.com/weblog/