Forum .LRN Q&A: Re: Request for Comment: Implementing Profiles in .LRN

Hi John,

some comments:

1a) Though it would be really nice if students would only have to maintain the data once, how do you solve the problem of one department asking "Have you ever been on a sailing boat" vs. another "Have you ever been on a sailing vessel".
1b) We should think about storing general user data that you can usually find on an LDAP server in an LDAP server (or similar things). And this in not only something dotLRN should consider, but all of OpenACS. Now there is just a tiny culprit. Yet another system to keep running. So definitely don't make it default, just optional.

2) What is the benefit of XML document vs. using OpenACS party/permissioning system? If your main reason was portability then I'd much prefer generating the XML information when needed.

3) Definitly true. I'm not sure whether there are already mutually agreed upon DTD's out there, but this would be a good idea for using XML. Especially as it could be imported into statistical software to run analysis on the (student) data. The best thing to do would be to provide an administration interface to generate the DTD's on the fly.

Posted by John Norman on
1a) I'm not sure I understand the question - I've probably missed something
1b) From our point of view the second system may be run by someone else e.g. the Central Computing Service, but the Course Support software (dotLRN) will probably be run by us as we offer close pedagogical support as well as IT support.

2) I'm not technical enough to answer, but my mention of XML was to illustrate how I think about the problem not necessarily to suggest it is a necessary or sufficient solution

3) I don't think there is anything established yet (or likely to be in the near future) so something flexible will be essential