[Server-devel] Edublog notes
Greg Smith (gregmsmi)
gregmsmi at cisco.com
Tue Jun 3 11:04:50 EDT 2008
Hi Yama and Wad,
Give us a blog hosting app. and an API. EduBlog adds a one click HTML
front end with an option for teachers to approve posts. The blog can be
hosted anywhere routable from XS (e.g. on XS itself), no internet
That's the idea, we'll see how it turns out :-)
I'll leave it to others to comment on what blog hosting tools are
planned for XS. I believe Moodle has or will have a blog tool and if
Moodle is in default XS build that's an obvious choice. Drupal is
another option. Ceibal jam people investigated this and client side
ideas a little. See: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Ceibal_Jam/Blogs
My suggestion is to use Moodle, let teachers and sys admins set it up.
Then use EduBlog to allow kids to post. If kids are comfortable posting
right to Moodle Blog UI then you don't even need EduBlog.
BTW I need more people to test out the EduBlog GUI during Beta test,
target late July. You're going to need internet and preferably an XO for
the Beta. I need a teacher, a kid and an admin so let me know if you
have any contacts who are interested.
From: Yama Ploskonka [mailto:yama at netoso.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 10:23 AM
To: John Watlington
Cc: Greg Smith (gregmsmi); server-devel at lists.laptop.org
Subject: Re: [Server-devel] Edublog notes
I second this request for off-internet solutions.
I am currently cooperating with a Bolivian Ministry of Education project
for community/school centers which depends largely on blogging and such
tools, so I am following this thread closely for concepts / ideas /
solutions that would be obsessively user friendly.
It would be just the best of both worlds if the same tool were used for
XOs when we do get a deployment there!
John Watlington wrote:
> What do we provide for the schools which don't have internet access
> right now ?
> Should the XS contain some blog hosting software which can actually
> host the pages created by this tool ? (Pardon my ignorance of
> Moodle already contains such.)
> On Jun 3, 2008, at 9:27 AM, Greg Smith (gregmsmi) wrote:
>> Hi Martin,
>> On the sanity check, that's not it :-(
>> It my fault for not explaining it better! I really hope Tarun, Marcel
>> and Pablo are more in synch... It will be more clear once we get some
>> draft/static HTML pages in place.
>> I'll take some HTML editing help if anyone thinks they can mock up 3
>> static HTML Pages based on the text here:
>> Here's another earlier write up which includes a network diagram
>> which may help explain the parts.
>> We do not plan to code, host, share or serve any blogs! All we will
>> build is a simple front end that let's users create a blog post and
>> click once to have it appear on a Moodle Blog, Blogger.com, Drupal
>> Kids enter content, clicks post and that's it. The back end SW
>> running on the XS takes that post and puts it on the blog e.g.
>> The SW we will build on the XS may include Apache + PHP + DB for HTML
>> towards client and probably XML + RPC or SOAP towards blog API. There
>> will be three main web pages and we will build no client code on the
>> XO at all, just support Browse! I need it to be simple so we can
>> build in 7 weeks.
>> Three web pages towards the client then APIs towards supported blog
>> systems on XS. That's everything. Let me know if that explains it
>> better or its still not clear.
>> I'll think about the database comments too. Let me see what fields
>> and tables Tarun thinks he needs and I'd like to get his input.
>> Tarun and Marcel, let me know ASAP if the description above is not
>> clear. I think we are in synch but it never hurts to re-ack (there's
>> a reason why TCP is a triple handshake :-).
>> BTW better book mark those two links. The main Uruguay page just got
>> a major re-edit and those links are now very hard to find.
>> Other than that the new page is packed with info and links thanks to
>> Pablo! http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Uruguay
>> Greg S
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Martin Langhoff [mailto:martin.langhoff at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 5:38 PM
>> To: Greg Smith (gregmsmi)
>> Cc: server-devel at lists.laptop.org
>> Subject: Re: Edublog notes (was: Re: The road towards xs-0.3 -
>> On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 7:09 AM, Greg Smith (gregmsmi)
>> <gregmsmi at cisco.com> wrote:
>>> Sanity check on our high level concept.
>>> The core idea of this software is to present an easy to use
>>> interface so kids can post to blogs. Enter text, click post you are
>> Yes, and that's fantastic. But if I understand it right, we are
>> talking about 3 stages:
>> 1 - Blogging tool on the XO -
>> Something like Drivel, lets the user blog on the XO even while
>> disconnected. New articles and edits get placed in a queue and pushed
>> out when we see the XS. This needs Sugar integration work so it's a
>> candidate for a write-from-scratch effort or, more likely, a wrapping
>> around the abiword-based Write.xo .
>> 2 - Blog on the XS
>> This should
>> - display blog entries like a normal blog does
>> - receive blog entries and edits from the xo-based tool
>> - allow new blog entries and edits from a web UI
>> - allow "approval" stages
>> - "forward" blog entries & edits that are tagged 'public' to an
>> internet-hosted blog
>> Some of this aspects are _complex_, even if they sound trivial. So I
>> heavily recommend a pre-existing blog tool. Grab something that is
>> good, offers good APIs, is well maintained and known to be scalable.
>> And then patch it here and there to do what we want :-)
>> 3 - Blog on the Internet.
>> This bit is not under our control ;-)
>>> Let me know if you have any comments or questions and I hope its
>>> clear now we are not building another blog hosting system.
>> Ok, so my understanding (and hope) is that you are building #1 above,
>> and patching an existing blog tool for #2.
>>> Back to the DB. The EduBlog web app needs a table to store its own
>>> info (e.g. configured blog URLs, blog user name/pass, posts
>>> submitted but not approved by teacher, options set for each student,
>>> Should we store that in the same DB that moodle is already using and
>>> just create some new tables or should we create a new DB for our own
>> If you are talking about the queue of blog entries on the XO-based
>> tool, you will probably want to use sqllite. For the XS-based local
>> blog-and-foward tool, you _really_ need to get your head around how
>> the core tool works, and you'll find that you want to add a few
>> columns here or there. Most blog tools will already have a "Config"
>> table to hold configuration, so that's easy.
>>> In the future we may want to run a query on the moodle DB and web
>>> app DB. E.g. get user name, class and school from Moodle DB then
>>> look up configured blogs in web app DB.
>> IME the blog tool will expect to have a copy of the user profile to
>> be able to run joins across the data, and grab the relevant bits. So
>> you'll want to copy the "user profile" data into it, and lock down
>> the "user profile" editing in the blog tool itself.
>> It's a bit of work - I know - but it's very important that we avoid
>> reinventing the wheel. Building a blog is a huge job - easy to get
>> started, but pretty near impossible to get to the level of polish you
>> expect, and to keep it maintained long term.
>> If we reuse an existing blog, what we get is
>> - a solid base to build upon
>> - a pre-existing community that can help you, and that will keep
>> improving and fixing the blog for years to come
>> - if you hit a bug, and fix it, it can be merged upstream
>> - if you develop a useful enhancement - the review stage you mention
>> and the "forward to another blog" are good examples - it can be
>> merged upstream
>> - a few customisations that are local to us - hopefully minimal
>>> BTW last time I wrote an SQL query it ran against Oracle 8 (AKA
>>> ago) so let me know if my use of "DB" and "Table" is unclear or not
>>> relevant for PostGres.
>> Database and table are more than relevant - they are crucial :-)
>> The most important thing is to pick the best upstream, understand it
>> thoroughly (warts and all), and develop a good relationship with the
>> existing upstream core dev team. If you guys get that right, the rest
>> is a SMOP :-)
>> martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>> martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
>> - ask interesting questions
>> - don't get distracted with shiny stuff - working code first
>> - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff
>> Server-devel mailing list
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