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true stories from the interpreter

7.21.2006

One Month To Go

One Month

In a month, Summer of Code will be over and I will be back at my normal job. I'm really going to miss SoC. If I attend Graduate School I will definitely apply again.

What does the end of SoC mean for my project? Hopefully it will be included in the next Edubuntu release (The Edgy Eft). Hopefully it won't end with just Amenity and Quizzical. I already have an idea for the next program I want to build on top of the pyeducation library (a Grade Book application). Hopefully it won't just be me. SoC limits my work to just me, no help with the exception of guidance from my mentor. When SoC is over I hope that others will be interested in the pyeducation project and it will bloom into a true education suite. Only time will tell.

Progress

Progress is funny. I'm still making good progress. But if you compare the amount of progress I was making per week with Amenity to what I making now, it wouldn't look that way. The quality is about the same. I guess that's where the saying 'quality over quantity' came from. Also, Amenity is much more complex than Quizzical (development wise - in my opinion) and therefore requiring greater leaps and bounds in progress.

According to my timeline I should have the base library for Quizzical finished around August 1st. For some reason I need graphical confirmation that the library is working the way it should. So, what I've done in the past week is get most of the Quizzical Teacher Client to be functional. It wasn't very hard, considering that the interface is very similar to Amenity's (familiarity is a good thing). But I would venture a guess that the Teacher Client is about 75% complete. That includes a fully functional Quiz Editor.

I'd guess that the library itself is between 50-75% complete. I still need to write the Session class for Quizzical and any info classes it may need. I also need to write the remaining GTK displays for each question type and find a way to do PDF. I have plenty of time to finish the library (and tweak it as I finish the clients).

PDF

So my plan is to be able to create a PDF version of a quiz for printing purposes. Also, it may be useful to create PDF reports for each student, quiz, etc. I am aware of two ways to do this. The first one, that's been mentioned more than once is to create an HTML representation of the quiz and convert the HTML to PDF. That sounds easy enough, but it seems like on Linux I have to convert HTML to PS and then PS to PDF. I'm don't really like having more than one step. If I can find a way to go from HTML to PDF in one step that would be better, but I don't want to depend on some obscure tool.

The other option is to use Python's reportlab module. I've looked at the docs and it seems to be the optimal way to handle it would be to create a Document Template for a quiz and have each question generate flowables to put inside the template. It sounds easy enough, but I'll just have to play with it to see how it is.

This Weekend

I'm moving to a new apartment this weekend, so I'll be trading coding with heavy lifting for a few days. =(

I'll be back to work on Monday.

Miscellaneous

I've also been reading Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor when I get a chance. It's a very interesting book so far. I'm willing to recommend it to anyone (who isn't easily offended/shocked) based on the first 6 chapters. Of course, I've said this about all of his books (see: Fight Club, Choke, Invisible Monsters).

That's about it for today... ^D

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