Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #webwork, 2012-08-30

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Time Nick Message
00:01 Paul_Pearson Alex B showed me what the name of the DragMath environment variable was earlier, and I was able to set it in course.conf using $pg{specialPGEnvironmentVars}{DragMath} = 0;
00:01 mgage that one you can also set from the Course Configuration page
00:02 Paul_Pearson Yes, I see that now :)
00:02 Paul_Pearson I don't think it was there earlier.
00:03 mgage no it wasn't -- it's a new update from yesterday or the day before
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00:29 Paul_Pearson Mike, now that I have some students doing homework, I can see that my stats graph needs a bit of work.
00:30 Paul_Pearson I see from github https://github.com/mgage/webwork2-dev/pull/10 the pull request for the stats stuff.
00:31 Paul_Pearson Did you change the stats.pm or stats2.pm file after WeBWorK::Winona?
00:32 Paul_Pearson Basically, I would like the most recent version (if it's not already on my personal computer) so that I can work on it some more.
00:32 mgage I don't think so.
00:33 mgage So I think you want to add those modifications to 2.5.1.1 if you want to use them fairly quickly
00:34 mgage You have git hub on your laptop?
00:34 mgage you should be able to download that from openwebwork/webwork2-dev
00:34 Paul_Pearson I have git, yes.  But, I'm currently uneducated about how to use it :(
00:35 mgage me too to some extent -- the github page on the wiki helps -- and for using github  (as opposed to just git) the site has good instructions.
00:39 mgage I sent you a pull request -- will it merge without conflicts?
00:39 mgage if so that is your latest file to work with.
00:40 Paul_Pearson I'm looking at
00:40 Paul_Pearson https://github.com/openwebwork/webwork2-dev/blob/master/lib/WeBWorK/ContentGenerator/Instructor/Stats.pm
00:40 Paul_Pearson Is this the most recent version?
00:41 mgage probably but to be safe look at branch: ww2.5.1.1
00:41 mgage I believe I have master slaved to be the same as ww2.5.1.1
00:41 Paul_Pearson Ah.  I just discovered how to change the branch :)
00:42 Paul_Pearson OK, this should be the most recent:
00:42 Paul_Pearson https://github.com/openwebwork/webwork2-dev/blob/master/lib/WeBWorK/ContentGenerator/Instructor/Stats.pm
00:43 Paul_Pearson Sorry.  Copy / paste failure... trying again.
00:43 Paul_Pearson https://github.com/openwebwork/webwork2-dev/blob/ww2.5.1.1/lib/WeBWorK/ContentGenerator/Instructor/Stats.pm
00:44 mgage actually there is a slightly later version in 2.5.2 that has changes made by Geoff to work with the essayGrader -- but if you want something that you can put up on test easily you should use 2.5.1.1 -- I can merge in Geofff's changes later --- the beauties of git
00:45 Paul_Pearson On github there are buttons Edit | Raw | Blame | History.
00:46 Paul_Pearson Would clicking Edit be advisable (i.e., should I edit the file on github)?
00:47 Paul_Pearson The mouseover the pops up when the cursor hovers over the Edit button says that it will automatically fork this project so that I can edit the file.
01:02 Paul_Pearson OK, using the github editor and web gui, I think I forked, made changes, and submitted a pull request :)
01:03 Paul_Pearson For stats.pm on ww2.5.1.1
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01:23 rbeezer mgage, et al:  Used a CustomAnswer checker to create a random linear-combination problem with infinitely many correct solutions (a translated 1-D subspace of vectors).  In setLC, Problem 2.  Very nice to be able to do this!
01:25 rbeezer (But the set of vectors typesets weird when I try to wrap it in braces.)
01:26 mgage perhaps use $LBRACE and $RBRACE so that you get the right thing in both HTML and TeX mode
01:26 rbeezer OK, I'll try that now, thanks
01:27 mgage (I think that's right it might be $LB and $RB ) -- basically you'll need an extra backslash for tex mode or something like that
01:28 rbeezer $RBRACE, but they are "puny" and don't match the heights of my column vectors
01:28 mgage actually both of them should work
01:29 rbeezer Can I get a \left \right effect so they grow?  I had a big one before, but I also had an extra one then
01:29 mgage here's how you make one
01:31 mgage $BIG_LEFT_BRACE = MODES(TeX=>"\left\lbrace',HTML=>"{");
01:31 mgage brb
01:31 rbeezer thanks!
01:40 rbeezer $BIG_LEFT_BRACE = MODES(TeX=>"\left\lbrace",HTML=>"\Bigg\{");
01:40 rbeezer (dinner)
01:46 Paul_Pearson Rob, you should try this with images / MathJax / JsMath just to see if they all work well.
01:46 Paul_Pearson Also, don't forget to generate a pdf hardcopy and view the results.
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03:12 Paul_Pearson Here's something to think about for updating / upgrading PGgraphmacros.pl: displaying svg graphics in html mode and converting them to pdf or png for display in TeX mode.
03:12 Paul_Pearson The page http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/2099/how-to-include-svg-diagrams-in-latex mentions Inkscape and Ipe as means to convert svg -> pdf or svg -> png.
03:13 Paul_Pearson The Ipe conversions shown on http://lamut.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/mediawiki/ipe7/index.php/Main_Page look pretty good.
03:13 mgage that's the only real downside -- you need inkscape and other external programs -- one more thing to install
03:14 mgage still worth looking into
03:14 Paul_Pearson That and fonts are a significant challenge when converting.
03:16 Paul_Pearson TikZ support would already require Inkscape.
03:17 Paul_Pearson Do we think svg is going to become the new web standard for graphics?
03:26 Paul_Pearson For svg -> pdf there is also Apache's batik project: http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/batik/tools/rasterizer.html
03:29 mgage yes -- I think svg will become important eventually -- it may take a while -- not sure it will replace bitmapped stuff compltely
03:39 JohnTravis A shout-out to Paul...I've used several techniques recently that are ripped from something originally done by you.  Glad for your good work.
03:44 Paul_Pearson Good.  The workflow should be copy, paste, modify, and improve :)
03:44 JohnTravis Steal, paste, steal some more, take all the credit.  ;)
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13:21 Paul_Pearson Ping
13:21 mgage hi
13:24 Paul_Pearson Two thoughts:
13:27 mgage ??
13:29 Paul_Pearson 1. If we're going to update / upgrade PGgraphmacros.pl, we should probably have svg and html5 & canvas display options for html mode, and for TeX mode we should generate eps graphics and convert them to pdf via epstopdf.  Our graphs only use a limited number of very primitive drawing tools (lines, etc.) and we ought to be able to write perl code that replicates those primitive drawing tools for each type of output (svg, html5, or eps).  Plus, I t
13:31 Paul_Pearson 2. One feature I would like to see added would be that clicking export a homework set would create a tgz file that contains the set definition file and any local pg files or macros located in the course templates directory that are used in the homework set.
13:32 mgage take a look at WWPlot and the underlying GD.  I think it generates both .gif and .png possibly .jpg at the time -- does the underlying module GD support .svg now (and perhaps even html5) -- if so this change over will be fairly straightforward
13:33 mgage yes -- we all want that.  I finished the first step -- it's in the current pg.  PGalias now makes a record of all the exterior files that references.   That can be used to do exactly what you want when you export a .pg file.  I might add this still needs testing so perhaps not _all_ the auxiliary files are recorded. :-)
13:35 Paul_Pearson What I remember about WWPlot and GD is that WWPlot provides some primitive graphing tools and also sets up the "plot window".  We ought to be able to replicate this functionality in the each of the svg, html5, and eps contexts since they're all human readable (and writable) formats.
13:40 mgage if we are lucky GD might already do this -- if not then yes the tools in WWPlot map onto the tools of html5 and svg pretty directly.
13:40 mgage not sure we want to write directly into eps
13:55 mgage http://search.cpan.org/~twh/GD-SVG-0.33/SVG.pm
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14:04 Paul_Pearson Nice find on the GD -> SVG :)
14:05 mgage there is SVG::GD as well
14:05 mgage adding direct html5 support shouldn't be bad either
14:06 mgage use jsxgraph or perhaps an even more recent .js package
14:08 Paul_Pearson If we write our own perl code to generate graphs in svg, html5, and eps, then there are no external dependencies.
14:09 mgage well we still need GD for .png and .gif
14:09 Paul_Pearson As nice as jsxgraph is, I found it was not working properly 100% of the time.
14:09 mgage my guess is that these cpan modules are easy to install -- no binary code
14:10 Paul_Pearson OK, so maybe what I'm proposing is PGgraphmacros2.pl (notice the 2) instead of replacing PGgraphmacros.pl.
14:10 mgage could be -- but using a .js package for html5 saves enormous amount of time debugging on all browsers -- that's a huge advantage over writing javaScript directly
14:11 mgage I don't think you have to replace PGgraphics at all --just WWPlot.pm
14:11 Paul_Pearson What I had in mind was even more primitive: no javascript; only a canvas and some primitive html5 graphing commands would be used.
14:11 mgage PGgraphics could also be updated PGgraphics2 to improve the interface for authors.
14:12 Paul_Pearson Yes, an improved interface would be a welcome change :)
14:12 mgage so then you need browsers that do html5 right.  as I recall jsxgraph works around that
14:13 aubreyja morning
14:13 mgage it's not impossible but there are tradeoffs
14:13 mgage hi
14:13 Paul_Pearson I think jsxgraph tries html5 and fails gracefully to svg.
14:13 Paul_Pearson Or just fails and goes blank (which has happened to me).
14:14 aubreyja Paul, I have a question for you about ProblemRerandomize
14:14 aubreyja One issue that has come up is that when a student sends feedback email, the link is often out of date by the time the instructor has a chance to look at the problem - that is, the student is on to a new version
14:15 aubreyja The result is that the students question may not make a lot of sense because the instructor sees a different problem than what the student asked about
14:16 aubreyja I'm trying to think of an easy way to make it easier for the instructor to see the version the student asked about
14:16 aubreyja brb
14:19 Paul_Pearson Blerg.  The counter for ProblemRandomize uses the number of attempts (if I remember correctly), but the number of attempts probably does not appear in the URL of the problem at all.  I don't have any ideas for a good solution (yet).
14:21 Paul_Pearson Could the number of attempts be passed to webwork via the URL (i.e., the link to the problem that shows up in the email the professor receives)?
14:23 aubreyja Sorry, back -
14:24 aubreyja I was thinking that the num correct and num incorrect attempts comes back in the email
14:24 aubreyja Can macros override the content of the email that is sent back? Do you know Mike?
14:25 aubreyja In other words, can we have the macro insert a different url than the default url?
14:25 aubreyja Or an additional url
14:30 aubreyja Another issue - AnswerFormatHelp urls reportedly don't work in gateway quizzes….haven't checked this out for myself yet…so I'm not quite sure what this means
14:35 aubreyja Ah, I see, Paul you can see that behavior here
14:35 aubreyja https://webwork.math.missouri.edu/webwork2/College_Algebra
14:36 aubreyja I made you a prof use username/password paul (please change!) - try the Test_problem_set quiz...
14:38 aubreyja I think for now I'll just override that macro to do nothing if QUIZ_PREFIX is defined...
14:42 Paul_Pearson Jason: I knew about the AnswerFormatHelp bug.  There is an old version of AnswerFormatHelp.pl that does not use javascript; instead it writes links and requires that certain html files be located in the course html directory.  The bug is (I think) that the javascript used by gateway quizzes interferes with javascript in newer AnswerFormatHelp.pl.
14:43 aubreyja yeah, this seems like a bug in gateway quizzes though, because it seems to imply that you can't ever use BEGIN_HEADER_TEXT/END_HEADER_TEXT to put custom js in a gateway quiz….
14:44 Paul_Pearson That seems like it may be the culprit.
14:46 aubreyja ok, in our local version I'm going to add && !defined($envir{QUIZ_PREFIZ}) to the last conditional to disable it for quizzes - that's one thing we did with ProblemRerandomize too
14:47 aubreyja I never use gateway quizzes myself, but our college algebra coordinator is using them a lot and using your two macros a lot
14:48 Paul_Pearson Should we ask Gavin LaRose to look into enabling the HEADER_TEXT feature within gateway quizzes?
14:48 aubreyja yeah, I think so, I'll send a note to webwork-devel
14:49 aubreyja btw - notice our custom text "Homework & Quizzes" , "Take Quiz" instead of "Take Quiz test",e tc.
14:49 aubreyja Oh, and "Preview my Answers" instead of Preview answers
14:50 aubreyja I just gave her a localization file and told her to customize it as much as she want - she was really impressed with that capability -
14:50 aubreyja I like the idea a lot because it's true 'localization'...
14:51 mgage cool --  we have to get the maketext() tags up to date for the new code from this summer -- and we have to figure out how to extend it to strings created by javaScript
14:51 mgage ttyl
14:51 aubreyja taking off?
14:52 aubreyja I'll report back later about the meeting with pearson and progress on the building block (which should go live again today)
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15:10 aubreyja Paul_Pearson:  I see that HEADER_TEXT() is defined in PGcore.pm, and the return value is placed in the PGcore object's HEADER_ARRAY, but do you know where that is put on the page? I thought maybe there was something in Problem.pm that was not in GatewayQuiz.pm...
15:21 Paul_Pearson Hi Jason.  I have not looked at any of the three .pm files you mention.  I can send you the low-tech (html instead of javascript) version that does work with gateway quizzes.  Would you like that?
15:24 aubreyja Sure - thanks
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15:41 Paul_Pearson Hi Jason.  I just emailed you the old AnswerFormatHelp.pl and a tar file with supporting html help files in it.
15:42 Paul_Pearson Did you change PeriodicRerandomization.pl to get the counter issues straightened out?
15:43 Paul_Pearson We had talked about changing PeriodicRerandomization.pl in May, I think.
15:48 aubreyja Yeah, it works great - I'll send you are version and you can try it out and see what you think.
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19:48 goehle mgage is growing a tail :)
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20:20 aubreyja :)
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21:21 rbeezer mgage, goehle: all's well here
21:21 rbeezer showed my students the grades page
21:22 rbeezer and suggested a score be a link if there was a comment
21:22 rbeezer they all nodded "yes" vigorously ;-)
21:23 rbeezer the other suggestion is that it could be shown like answers are shown
21:38 goehle sorry
21:38 goehle I"m still hesitant on the grades page thing
21:38 goehle how will they know there is a new comment
21:38 rbeezer np, I just6 looked up myself
21:38 goehle will they check every day?
21:39 rbeezer I guess they'll be curious to look at their grades, but
21:39 rbeezer yo are right, an email in their inbox is more obvious
21:39 goehle Its the cynic in me
21:39 rbeezer I give 'em a *little* credit
21:39 goehle :)
21:39 rbeezer I'm good with anything
21:40 goehle I'm going to go with the email link for now
21:40 rbeezer I just don't want to leave my grading page
21:40 goehle since I can implement all of that through the problemGrader module
21:40 rbeezer OK, that'd be great, thanks
21:41 rbeezer and then you don't have to store it, either?
21:41 goehle exactly
21:41 goehle which has its downsides admittedly
21:41 rbeezer OK, that makes sense
21:41 goehle eventually we will get answer discussion going
21:41 goehle and then I'm thinking everyone will have either an inbox
21:41 goehle or a "discussion" page
21:41 rbeezer if I need to send an email that I want a record of, I can send a real one from my email client
21:42 goehle I could have it email you a copy as well
21:42 goehle but that could get annoying quickly
21:42 goehle and its not like you get to keep a copy of your comments when you give back paper homework
21:42 rbeezer I'd be nice if you could integrate some existing tool for discussions
21:42 goehle there sin't an existing one
21:43 rbeezer copies would be nice!  I'd send mine to   webworkcomments@beezer.cotse.net
21:43 goehle but its a feature that was requested along with essay answers
21:43 rbeezer I can make up infinitely many addresses
21:43 goehle yeah
21:43 goehle its more of an issue of where do they go
21:43 rbeezer and filter them
21:43 goehle do they get sent out to all professors at the address they gave tow ebwork?
21:43 goehle do you rpovide an extra address down at the problemgrader page when you hit submit
21:44 rbeezer Can you let an instructor configure a different address for comment-copies?
21:44 goehle it could be something hidden in the config files certainly
21:45 goehle thats a bit of a hack though
21:45 goehle then again I guess the whole thigns a hack so it will be right at home!
21:45 rbeezer ;-)
21:45 rbeezer send it to the one address but put [WWCOMMENT] in the subject
21:46 rbeezer so prof can reliably filter it away to a mailbox
21:47 rbeezer put student name, set, problem in subject line so it is easy to search
22:02 goehle sounds like a plan
22:02 goehle not today though
22:02 goehle :P
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