This week I’ve mainly been looking at creating the LD authoring tool that we’re also developing. This is because I;ve got a little stuck with the player until I can get the web services version of CopperCore, this isn’t going to be available (fully developed) until the end of July.
The authoring tool seesm to be coming on well, I’ve got an interface to use for the wizard and I just need to apply this. Still having the slight problem of being unable to upload any other LDs through the CopperCore publishing tool, except for the Versailles example, and I’d really like to be able to try out some different content.
I’m also looking at getting the very first version of the LD Player up on the sourceforge site, but we’re trying to sort out which license we’ll be using. I hope not to get drawn in to long discussions about which one would be best and would rather someone just told me which one to use ;-). I think that as the player is already based on some sections of the CopperCore code that the license will need to be GNU GPL license – as that is the one CopperCore is released under.
Been a bit slack this week in keeping this diary thingy up to date, but here’s roughly what I’ve done…..
- All upgraded to Jboss 3.2.3 so have created virtual directories for storing the images and the resources for each of the runs
- Updated the XSL stylesheet a little so that there’s no one which doesn;t use the iframes, but puts logos of the resource and links through to them
- Had a little trouble with outputting the environment tree. Not totally sure why this is, it seems to work to start with and the gets an exception, which I can’t work out if it’s from CopperCore or from what I’ve been doing. I suspect it’s more likely it’s something I’ve done 😉
- Got a space on Sourceforge sorted out (see http://sourceforge.net/projects/ldplayer/) – there’s not much there at the moment – there’s not even anything to download yet!
- Been searching for some more demo or example LD content – of which I can’t find execpt for the Versailles Experience, which is the one I’m already using. The examples from the IMS site (http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/index.cfm) aren’t full packages as the don’t include the resources, so CopperCore won’t validate them when uploaded…
- Had a think about how to create the LD authoring wizard. I don;t think this should be too hard providing I keep to using a set of existing templates and allowing users to just ‘fill in the blanks’, instead of creating a tool which will all users to do anything they want with Learning Design.
- Also been reading the Best Practice and Implementation Guide (http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/ldv1p0/imsld_bestv1p0.html) to get some more ideas about what the player should be doing.
Started to develop the new XSL stylesheets for displaying the generated learning design XML. I was trying to combine the 3 seperate stylesheets into one, and was having a bit of difficulty to start with – mainly problems with the numerous xsl:apply-templates tags in the existing xsls. Eventually got some of it sorted out.
Then realised that the images and resources required for the LD player were not web accessible so needed to create a virtual directory in JBoss for storing these files. Couldn’t find anywhere that described how to this in JBoss 3.2.1, but found instructions for version 3.2.3 (http://www.jboss.org/index.html?module=bb&op=viewtopic&p=3829886). So… I’m in the process of upgrading JBoss to 3.2.3.
Axis now running and tested using JBoss on my desktop. I’ve written and deployed a couple of very simple web services which appear to be working fine – they can be called by servlets running on the machine – so that’s what I’m looking for.
I think I’ve also solved the problem I may have had a creating a layout/banner and footer etc. My original problem was that I’d have serveral xslt files, banner.xslt, activity.xslt etc, but then how was I going to allow the users to totally customise the actual layout (eg menu bar on the left or right etc). I think the way to do it is to parse the individual xslt files with the xml, then create another xslt (layout.xsl) which accepts the transformed subsections of the page. This will then provide a whole page customisable using xslt.
Installing Axis and configuring it to work with JBoss (v3.2.1). Found a useful article on how to get it set up on JBoss: http://www.tusc.com.au/tutorial/html/chap9.html
I started to try and get CopperCore up and running on tomcat – however, after lots of fiddling around getting nowhere (and some bits of web searching) I’ve found that CopperCore will not run on tomcat as CopperCore uses EJBs, which don’t run on tomcat. With me being a novice at all this stuff I’ve only just found out that tomcat isn’t a full J2EE server. But nevermind – in getting tomcat up and running (and configured with Axis) I’ve learnt some useful stuff.
For the Learning Design project it would seem to make more sense to keep CopperCore and the player running on the same platform, even though they’ll be communicating using web services (so the platforms shouldn’t matter). They are designed to be used in conjunction with each other – so need to test some web services running on JBoss
I’ve now got apache axis set up so that it provides a web service, which can be consumed by other programs. This took a bit of fiddling around (restarting tomcat numerous times) but that was mainly becuase I had either files in the wrong place or there were other little typos etc in the wsdd file, or classpath or something else 😉
I’m now in a position to start looking at the JUnit testing module and to start thinking about how I’m actually going to build the LD player. There’ll porbably be a load more problems to overcome, but at least now I;ve got all the various aspects of what I need to do in place – providing a web service using Tomcat/Axis, consuming a webservice (and supplying parameters) and interacting with CopperCore (on a java level rather than webservice).