Archive for August 2005

Wednesday 31 August 05

Started to have a look at how we can integrate ePortfolio into LD and I think it’s going to prove more difficult than we first thought – especially compared to the QTI integration. The main reason being that ePortfolio is a different type of spec to QTI & LD in that it only specifies how the structure of the data stored – it doesn’t specify any kind of ‘interaction’ commands.
For example, with the QTI spec all we needed to do was take the QTI xml (for a particular question) and add it in to the LD package. With ePortfolio we can’t do this because the ePortfolio xml is user specific, so we can’t load this as a resource into an LD UoL. The only way we’ve thought so far is to come up with our own xml schema for specifying the various commands that could be put into the LD package as an xml file, which can then be parsed by the LD dispatcher/player and can then call the correct function/method of the ePortfolio tool.
The other thing we’ve not yet sorted out is which ePortfolio tool we are going to use. We’ve got a list of various tools, but we need to know which ones have an API, rather than just a gui interface, so that the player can call the tool using either java or web services.

Friday 26 August 05

After working at home for the last couple of days, I’ve made loads of progress with the updated Sled player. Here are some of the things I’ve done:

  • Updated the activity and environment menu trees, so they appear combined, rather than 2 seperate menus. The player now also highlights the current pge you are on, and will remember this if you go to search or forum and return to activity (previously you just went back to the home apge)
  • Given an option for users to switch to another course without having to navigate back to the login screen
  • Linked the player up to the latest version of CopperCore, which uses the CCSI integration module (not released yet) and I’ve got the Sled player to run QTI
  • Fixed the problem we had in the previous player where the display of some of the global content didn;t look quite right because the stylesheet was missing. I couldn;t just include the stylesheet from the CC player because that one uses frames so the stylesheets work ok as they are only applied to a single frame. In Sled the page is just one frame so adding the extra stylesheet messed up the whole page, I found that you can actually name a stylesheet element
  • Made a good start on transferring the search and forum services (currently in the LDSToolkit module) to the CCSI, so that all the service requests are sent to the same module – would be a little odd if the player connected to CCSI for some services and the LDSToolkit for others

I’m now going to finish off the search and forum services so they run properly from the CCSI – at the moment the CCSi doesn;t connect to the actual service – just returns dummy data. Also been learning more about Ant build scripts, I knew a little about them before, but usually just from editing an existing one, so learning how to build them from scratch and do exactly what I want.

Friday 19 August 05

Have now fixed the problem with the conflict between Jboss and Active Sync (so that I can now have them both running at the same time). All I needed to do was edit the Jboss config file: jboss\server\default\conf\jboss-service.xml so that the attribute ‘RmiPort’ had port number 0 as a value instead of 1098. In the comments in this file, setting it to 0 means it will be anonymous – though to be honest I’m not sure if this will have any implications for my setup.

Thursday 18 August 05

 I got a new desktop PC a week or so ago and so have been busy getting that set up. On my previous machine I was getting a port conflict whenever I tried to run Jboss (on port 1098) – at the time this didn’t matter too much as I was doing the development work on the desktop, then just using an old laptop as the development Jboss server. I’ve now got rid of the old laptop so I really need to get the problem fixed. After a couple of searches on the internet, found out that the problem was a port conflict between Jboss and Microsoft Active Sync Connection (which runs as the program wcescomm.exe) – so what I need to do now, whenever I wasn’t to be able to run Jboss is to turn off the active sync, which is a bit of a pain !

Thursday 18 August 05

 Once again, been a bit slack in keeping this up to date, but I’ve been away a fair bit recently. The amin thing I’ve been doing the last few weeks (very much off and on – odd days here and there) is transferring the Sled program to the Struts application framework. Once I’d been on the JSP and Servlet Sun training course at the end of July it was soon apparent to me that I would need to rewrite Sled to make it fit into a ‘proper’ application methodology. Although this has slowed me down in the short term, once completed it should make further development etc much easier.

Tuesday 9 August 05

 Not been very good recently at keeping this up to date – but I’ve been away a bit over the last month or so. The time that I have been around working has mainly just been spent on the Learning Design projects. I’ve been on a Web Component Development course for a week, learning all about JSPs and Servlets, which was really good an I learnt a lot – although I’d been doing some programming with these over the last year or so, I didn’t know all the best practices/tips etc. Got a good handle on the struts framework now too.