Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #webwork, 2012-06-29

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Time Nick Message
14:25 aubreyja joined #webwork
15:14 mgage_ morning
15:17 aubreyja Hi
15:22 mgage_ are you all coated in soot?
15:22 aubreyja :) - I finally got to shower yesterday, but I'm still heavily bearded
15:25 aubreyja (and probably too tired to be responding to email….:)
15:25 mgage_ ... yeah .... pause before hitting send
15:26 mgage_ if you want to think about something slightly different -- I did some more work on the publications splash page.   -- it's now reading the RSS feed from moodle.
15:26 aubreyja Cool - I'll have a look
15:26 aubreyja brb
15:27 mgage_ there are some glitches -- google doesn't update its feed very often (not a big deal but annoying during debugging) and also moodle has quirks, it only sends out a new rss feed if you add entries to the database -- so you need to add fake entries in order to test.
15:29 mgage_ I had to remove the quick search for the moment  because it fires before the HTML table is built by the javaScript and therefore it finds nothing to index.  There might be a better way to do this, or it's possible that we can find a better package for displaying the table -- perhaps one that allows sorting as well as filtering?  -- Haven't explored this much yet.
15:31 aubreyja back - I think there are a lot of packages out there for displaying the rss as html - I only chose the google one because it came up first in a google search :)
15:33 mgage_ no real urgency -- I think a lot of the packages use the google feed, but we might be able to find one with a sort feature for the table.  I'll keep looking also
15:33 aubreyja that looks pretty good - it seemed to load slowly for me - do you notice that?
15:33 aubreyja So the table display - did you have to tweak the rss template in moodle?
15:34 mgage_ yes -- it's fussy but you have good control over the moodle rss feed
15:38 mgage_ yes -- it's a little slow.  There is no reason that it needs to updated just in time (except during debugging) but I wasn't concentrating on that yet -- just get it to display what we want how we want it first.
15:41 aubreyja joined #webwork
15:41 aubreyja joined #webwork
16:23 mgage_ aubreyja:  did you see https://hosted2.webwork.rochester.edu/webwork2/maa102/compoundProblemExperiments/3/?  I'm kind of pleased with it
16:24 aubreyja looking now - just a sec
16:24 mgage_ profa/profa
16:25 aubreyja very nice!
16:25 mgage_ it's basically the original cervone stuff -- but javaScript makes it work better.
16:25 mgage_ it's got potential once it is cleaned up.
16:26 aubreyja sure does - all of that javascript can go in the macro, and it would be nice if it was slightly more obvious to push submit for each answer
16:27 mgage_ good point.  I've left all the moving parts out in the open for now so that I can just send one file to demo it, and so that it's easy to tweak.
16:27 aubreyja btw, do you have a suggestion for some javascript that will iterate over all of the answer boxes on the page - is there an example of that somewhere? I've tried it a couple of ways but keep getting it wrong
16:28 aubreyja (of course, the number of answer boxes isn't known to the macro file the js will be in)
16:29 aubreyja In other words, I need to get them all in an array and loop over the array
16:29 mgage_ jquery might do that -- it will iterate over all input boxes for example -- and I believe it will filter by class -- so we can just add a class tag to NAMED-ANSWER_RULE in PGbasicmacros.pl and you would be all set
16:29 aubreyja I can loop over arrays alright, but...
16:30 aubreyja ah - that's a good idea - use named answer rules instead
16:30 mgage_ all the answer rules go through NAME_ANSWER_RULE if I remember correctly.
16:30 aubreyja it would be nice to set up some standard and easily usable ui elements authors can use in problems like in sage interacts
16:31 aubreyja btw, where's the OPL discussion at? And, should I change references to the NPL to the OPL on the splash pages now?
16:32 mgage_ you can grab the items you want using a jquery selector http://api.jquery.com/category/selectors/
16:32 aubreyja Oh, and inspired by Freeman (Sam) and Rob Beezer, I've started thinking about how a "PG-XML" specification might look and an xslt to translate xml to pg...
16:33 aubreyja Sam's really interested in this idea, and Rob showed me how it works with his book
16:33 mgage_ sounds like a good idea to me.  By the way read through some of the WPI student reports -- there are three in the reference collection -- they've been working on compound problems and also on simplifying input -- I'm going to connect them up with Steve Jacobs -- the WPI guys are doing POSSE type work in spades.
16:34 aubreyja I recall there was some discussion of this in 2007…did anybody do any work on it?
16:35 aubreyja Oh, and while I'm getting all of these backed-up thoughts out - the exchange between you and Arnie about 1995/1996 etc - that's great history.  I'm going to start a "History of WeBWorK" page on the wiki to collect this info
16:35 mgage_ well -- I'd like to see how it works.  Sam was always interested in an xslt solution but I wasn't convinced that it made things easier or more powerful.   I believe lon-capa when in this direction -- their input is xml like
16:36 aubreyja And, to follow up on the legal items email you sent before I left - that's great info - if you can track that stuff down can you send it to me? I did manage to do some reading about this and am still keen on the idea. Even more so after some recent commiques….
16:37 aubreyja It wouldn't make things more powerful, but it could provide a basis for a gui editor.
16:37 mgage_ I'll help -- writing up a history of webwork has been on my todo list for some time, but not very high up.  I think you could make a voiced over history of the webwork2 project with the gource as a visual
16:38 mgage_ I see -- that's a good point.
16:38 aubreyja Sam's point (and KD's) is that it's too hard to write problems for newbies, and that a gui editor to be useful can't go out to pg for real time translation, but the xml could at least be rendered as html in real time(ish)
16:38 aubreyja at least, I think this was his point
16:38 mgage_ Yes. I know where they are -- I'll get what seem to me to be the most important docs to you -- you can tell me if you need more.
16:40 mgage_ I'm not so sure that a gui editor couldn't go to pg for real time translation -- more and more machines (macs for example) just come with perl and if you connected up to PG through the render API but without using a webserver I think the result would be pretty fast.
16:40 mgage_ there might be some caching details that are trickier than I think
16:41 mgage_ on the other hand there may be completely off the shelf software that would work well with the xslt translation -- so that is also a consideration
16:41 aubreyja Also, could you send me a copy of the NSF proposal for the current grant…I want to read it to get a clearer idea of the relationship it intended to establish between MAA and webwork (feel free to remove any sensitive personnel info such as salaries)
16:43 aubreyja yeah, and I'm not completely sure of how expressive you can be with xml and xslt when it comes to procedural rather than declarative statements (such as loops or conditionals in problems)
16:45 mgage_ done.
16:45 mgage_ yes - that was part of my reluctance.  could you program in it without jumping through hoops.  beginners don't want to program, but those trying to push the limits always end up needing to program
16:46 aubreyja thx
16:46 aubreyja I'm reading about it and plan to pick Rob's brain some too
16:48 mgage_ the question is how much time you spend in each state.   Look at the WPI project -- they came up with a front end gui -- pretty similar to the one Sam Ashok came up with at AIM -- if we can grab the code I made include it -- I strongly suspect that authors will abandon using it very quickly -- but that doesn't mean that it is not appropriate as an introduction
16:50 aubreyja Right - as sam put it - this sort of thing is mainly useful for newbies and sales pitches, but those are important for expanding the user base and getting publishers on board
16:50 mgage_ the OPL project is going very well.  there has been a lot of discussion on webwork-devel -- you should review it.  I haven't waded in yet but I think that Djun has the best viewpoint.  It's larger than the others.  If you have good metadata you don't need separate libraries for capa problems and for gateway quizzes etc.  your actual libary turns out to be pretty flat and you use the database to provide structure.  (We should also look
16:50 mgage_ possibilies provided by the new "no-sql" databases for storing document type data.
16:51 mgage_ yep -- I agree with that.
16:52 mgage_ as to changing the name on the splash pages -- let's go ahead and do it but consult with wyatt at MAA first to see if there are issues (might as well practice what we preach)
16:56 aubreyja sounds good - brb - carpet installers just finished and I've got to move some furniture back…be back in about an hour
17:09 mgage_ ttyl -- by the way I am having trouble getting in as list administrator for the webwork-devel mailing list to clear postings.  the password I have doesn't seem to work for some reason
18:00 aubreyja Some interesting talks: http://www.youtube.com/yapcna
18:01 mgage_ Darwyn Cook wants to add PDL (perl data language) to webwork -- I'll nudge him again to see if he'll come to Winona
18:02 mgage_ speaking of which could you put the gourse from my youtube channel into the webwork channel? or do you think we should all have our won channels and aggregate the relevant posts?
18:05 aubreyja sure - I like the idea of one channel, but youtube doesn't make this easy.  I found a solution I think a while back - let me look into it and see what we can do
19:12 mgage_ afk -- back in an hour

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