Forum OpenACS Q&A: Education - Problem Sets

Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
I have started to collect, review, and update the problem sets. I feel these are important, because they attract new people to the platform and promote sharing. There is going to be an area on the new site to reflect this. You can find preliminary work in this direction under /education (on the new site). We are not in a position to offer boot camps so I am going to change the context to that of home study. We also need to add some PostggreSQL examples. Anybody that wants to help, please do.
Posted by Jorge Garcia on
Hi, Carl

I send a question on the same subject few days ago.

We want to port the Psets to PG.

What is the direction on the new site?.

You don't include the url in the message.


Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
That would be great Jorge. I didn't include the url because (if all goes well) the new OpenACS site should be up this week and I hate to post links destined to die. You can find preliminary pages here: (RIP). I still have to add credits and clean things up, but it is a start. I will be working on it on and off this week as time permits. I look forward to integrating your contributions.
Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
Here is the new address:
Posted by Walter McGinnis on
Are you going to divide the psets into 3x and 4x?  Have we decided on overall objectives for new versions of psets?  Is it time we built some admin psets?

I just did a search on "pset" in the forums.  You may be aware of this already, but it looks like Todd Gillespie had done some work on 3x, but it will need a rewrite to bring it up to speed with the current state of OpenACS 3.2.5.

Also, here's a handy link to aD's full set of psets care of the wayback machine:

If your look at 4x pset 2, its geared toward teaching developers best practices for building a package and is now very outdated.  It would be nice if we went ahead and updated it to reflect the current state of affairs (new-portals and permissions come to mind).  Perhaps this is already being discussed and this is why it is absent from


Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on

I am going to concentrate on 4.x psets as I work through them. There is enough material floating around to keep me busy on the side for at least a month or two. Any help I can get updating them would be great (it is an ETP instance which makes collaboration easy... anyone who is willing to help should send me a mail telling me what they are willing to do).

Focus Now:

  • Collecting and updating what we already have. Starting with basics and tips (introducing OpenACS and the tools people can use to help).
  • Simplification of existing problems sets so that they give a general overview of what can be done with OpenACS and AOLServer
  • Examples that use existing tools to create little applications quickly and easily
  • Focus later:

    • Best Practices
    • OASJ
    • I am not sure if the examples should permanently live where they are right now. It might make more sense to include them in ACS Core Documents so people can install everything and go off into the woods and play with localhost

      I welcome any suggestions and/or help. I should eventually reach a point where I need both anyhow. :-)


Posted by John Turner on
I will help as much as I can.

After a sabatical from learning OACS, I am again starting and this time I do not have to worry about a firewall stalling progress just homework 8-).

Please recognize that my comments are based on preferring hardware to software, wanting to do the least amount of system admin as possible and that I am having to learn specifics for the OS and database along w/ going through the tutorial.  I have worked w/ Linux and other databases so I do have knowledge, which may or may not help me and I might switch back to Linux if I have too many problems w/ the BSD.

My plans are to use FreeBSD and Postgres along w/ OACS and AOLserver.  Might work through some of the MIT Internet Applications workbook as well.

1. Install guides all on the same site in the same format would be nice.  I used the link to Orchardlabs instructions for a FreeBSD install.  I have run into one problems w/ one of the additional (nssha1?) parts not wanting to install cleanly --I will research the issue later this week.  Other than that the FreeBSD install guide from Orchardlabs has worked rather nicely.  In my mind I see the problems sets working like the ones I read through on AD, which had the install of everything as part of the initial problem set --or are you wanting to have the install guides separate?  My thought is if you are new it is likely you will be needing to learn about the components and installing is a good introduction besides it ensures a known good starting point.

2.  Explanations about the modifications to the standard packages for those that desire to read would be nice.  Specifically I am thinking of the mods to the aolserver.  It doesn't have to be real technical but saying why they have to happen would be nice.  Or maybe I haven't looked in the right spot.  I am also wondering if it might be better to just supply instructions on how to mod each one and then let each individual do the modding along w/ supply instructions on how to create their own shortcut package.

3.  Logically group activities.  When setting up the OS also include the instructions for creating the different users and groups at the same time.  I don't use the add user admin much so if the instructions are intermixed I have to go back and figure out what I need to do again.  While creating all the users at the same time means I have it all fresh in my mind.