Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #webwork, 2013-05-02

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07:02 Topic for #webwork is now WeBWorK (http://webwork.maa.org) is an open-source online homework system for math and sciences courses. WeBWorK is supported by the MAA and the NSF. | Release notes: http://goo.gl/Ry5HN | Channel logged at http://goo.gl/jELTn
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20:25 ionparticle hi
20:25 ionparticle just wondering about the new math4 theme
20:26 ionparticle are you guys worried about backward compatibility with the old themes?
20:27 ionparticle e.g. is changing the markup allowed?
20:37 goehle hey
20:37 goehle one sec
20:45 goehle what was your question again
20:45 goehle sorry, I had a student
21:19 goehle math4 is (almost entirely) implemented through css and java so none of the old things should break
21:19 goehle a bigger issue will be when when the upcoming big graphical revamp is done, but I dont know the answer to that
21:24 ionparticle err, my question is more like I'm breaking the old themes to make it look better
21:24 ionparticle and is it ok
21:24 ionparticle lol
21:24 ionparticle cause I've found it necessary to shift the markup around
21:25 ionparticle not the system.template markups
21:25 ionparticle the ones that are generated by ContentGenerator
21:26 ionparticle when's the big graphical revamp?
21:38 mgage there are a limited number of themes -- so moving some stuff in ContentGenerator can make things look better in all themes then we can probably deal with the backward incompatibility.
21:39 mgage ionparticle: you and goehle can hash out things that look reasonable.  In general moving markup out of ContenGenerator and in to templates and css seems like the right way to go
21:40 mgage goehle and ionparticle:   as geoff says we do have to be ready to change things again when Peter Staab's javaScript interface starts to kick in
21:41 mgage much of it is currently in the develop branch of github now -- it would be nice if we could get it finished this summer -- but I wouldn't bank on that yet.
21:41 ionparticle I'm not sure if it'll make things look better in all themes
21:42 mgage what kind of changes are you proposing?
21:42 ionparticle changing the markup to fit bootstrap
21:42 ionparticle e.g.: http://twitter.github.io/bootstrap/components.html#navs
21:43 ionparticle and stuff like forms too
21:43 ionparticle http://twitter.github.io/bootstrap/base-css.html#forms
21:43 ionparticle might need to add divs
21:43 ionparticle or classes
21:43 mgage I think that is compatible with the stuff that Geoff is doing -- he used bootstrap
21:44 ionparticle yes, I'm working from what's in develop right now
21:44 mgage Peter Staab is also using twitter bootstrap  --
21:44 mgage so yes -- changing the markup style in this direction seems to me to be a good idea.
21:44 ionparticle just wondering if there's any concern about backward compatibility
21:44 ionparticle with the older themes
21:45 mgage if you change ContentGenerator you can change the templates for math2 and math3 (and other themes) simultaneously so that those themes look more or less as they did before.
21:46 mgage not a lot since there are only about 5 themes that I'm aware of -- and those are all being distributed with WW so the new theme code would arrive along with the new ContentGenerator
21:47 mgage while were on the subject -- i think that there is a lot of duplication in the themes and we should start taking advantage of the "cascading" part of CSS to make it easier for someone to use a standard theme and then add their own tweak
21:47 ionparticle ok, how about browsers
21:47 mgage (change to the school colors or something like that)
21:47 ionparticle anybody have a requirement to support older than IE8 browsers?
21:48 mgage I'm a little more concerned about browsers -- I'm willing not to support IE6 but I don't think we should require the very latest browser -- lots of users won't have that.    if we can arrange for graceful fallbacks we should
21:48 mgage and many libraries are pretty good about that.
21:50 mgage this might mean that we have at least one theme that works ok on older browsers -- they might not be able to use the newest and fanciest theme unless they upgrade ---- that would be ok.
21:50 mgage this would also mean allowing a student to pick their theme -- similarly tot he way they pick their math display mode.
21:50 ionparticle honestly, I'
21:51 ionparticle I'm not worried about the students
21:51 ionparticle they're the ones that'll probably have the latest browsers
21:51 ionparticle lol
21:51 mgage right -- they have new browsers
21:51 mgage although the labs might not have new browsers -- and they do use the labs
21:51 ionparticle yeah, that's the problem
21:52 mgage anyway -- I think about backward compatibility but I'm unwilling to be totally controlled by it --
21:54 ionparticle I'd suggest math3 for backward compatibility
21:54 ionparticle math4 for latest goodness
21:54 ionparticle so there's only 2 themes to maintain
21:55 mgage yes -- sounds good to me --- and even it could be regularized a little so that it is easier to use as a model.
21:56 mgage that's largely the case at the moment.  math hasn't been updated for a long time, nor has ur or union.  (union might be worth updating -- it's slightly different)   ubc might also be worth looking at to see if anything should be included from that.    math2 and math3 are pretty similar except that math3 has some tweaks to increase accessibility -- e.g. using sans-serif fonts
21:58 mgage I have to head home now -- I'll ttyl.  Let me know how things progress.
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