Forum OpenACS Development: Assessment "Son of Survey" package discussion

Several of us have been working on enhancements to the current "survey" package. The goal is to create a much more capable generic "assessment" package that can be used in more types of applications and by other packages. We'd like to get a substantial revision of the package out in Q1 2004 (for 5.1? who knows).

To move this ahead, we've created an area in the Projects section of to develop some docs about this effort. Some of us are principled believers in "documenting-before-coding". Me, I'm just too dumb and slow to start slinging code without a clear idea what I'm doing. 😉

Anyway, anyone who is interested in this should please come over and help review and revise these plans. Thanks!

Here's the project url:

Would it be possible to schedule a chat to discuss the datamodel draft and other things? I'm asking because several things are pretty unclear so it would be nice to clarify them in a chat.
I will attend as well (for obvious reasons). Sadly I'm currently at the other end of the world with regards to Stan, so we do it either next week, or early in the morning (Pacific Time).
A chat sounds like a good idea. I would like to attend.
Glad to hear of the interest, and I agree a chat would be very helpful sooner rather than later. How about tomorrow Thursday Nov 13 at 0600 PDT = 0900 EDT = +7/8 in Europe?
Well tomorrow was probably too soon to set up a chat. On Friday 11/14 I have a conference call at 0800 PST but presumably we'll be done by then if we start at 0600 PST = 0900 EST = 1400 GMT.

Next week looks OK for me, too. I'm happy to begin at this (very early for me) time if that works better for others.

Hi Stan, I'm happy to have the chat next week, as I will be back from India (which is GMT+5.5). Normally I'd have no problems in attending tomorrow, but we already have plans with the office guys here.

Once I'm back anything is fine with me, so you do not need to get up at 6am ;). How about wednesday and pick a time (preferred in the morning (PST)) ?

Next Wednesday 11/19 is good. That will allow more time to work on the docs before the chat anyway. How about 0800PST=1100EST=1600GMT?

I see now what you meant by "the other end of the world", Malte. You're lots of longitudes further around than usual. Have a safe trip!

Wednesday would be great, but it should start at about 16:00 CET (german time), since i do have an appointment in the evening.
CET is +1 from GMT and thus +9 from PST, isn't it? So that would put the chat at 0700PST = 1000EST = 1500GMT = 1600CET on Wed 11/19.  Fine with me! Work for everyone else?
I will be there as well. As I'm still in India, I wil have to add that to the list:
0700PST = 1000EST = 1500GMT = 1600CET=2030IST on Wed 11/19
This really is a drawback of Globalisation 😊
I'm not familiar with this topic but this document may be of use.
Since most people ended up with conflicts during the planned chat today, Malte and I decided to reschedule for next week:

0700PST = 1000EST = 1500GMT = 1600CET = 2030IST on Wed 11/26

Hope that works for most people who want to join in. The objectives for this chat (and the ongoing asynchronous discussion via doc/comments we're developing in the Projects section, plus discussions here) are:

1. agree on a common data model that supports identified uses (educational; clinical trials; others? -- this is where we're focused now)

2. define areas where we have distinct, nonoverlapping functionality in the application domains, and what this implies for the datamodel and UIs

3. review development time-table

A couple of the most difficult/interesting issues are how to handle data validation steps, and whether to use curriculum, workflow or our own version of workflow for the branching/sequencing mechanisms.

Anyone interested in discussing the Assessment package under development is welcome to join an #openacs chat tomorrow:

0700PST = 1000EST = 1500GMT = 1600CET = 2030IST on Wed 11/26

The docs continue to evolve here:

All clever ideas, rapier-like wit and justifiable criticism are appreciated! Feedback would be particularly helpful regarding the "sequencing" issue ( which is the most difficult design problem, IMHO. Thanks!

We had a useful discussion today; transcript available here:

Next conversation on #openacs will happen:

0700PST = 1000EST = 1500GMT = 1600CET = 2030IST on Tues 12/2

At this early stage of the project, the conversation resembles to some degree the proverbial blind men touching different parts of the elephant, so all insights are certainly great to have!

Nice work guys, but you really are all a bit soft - fly 26 hours to come visit me and feel the other end of the world ;)

It's actually quite nice here! (When you're not on a 3am conference call...)