Today was recording day for the practitioner podcast for M887, the OU course on which I’m tutoring. It’s one of a series of podcasts the course team are recording and this time it was my turn to talk about what I do when I’m not tutoring and how what I do relates to the course content. There’s a lot of overlap in the course and what I do during the day.
It might seem strange to link the ancient world in the form of Aristotle, with the modern world of software engineering but Aristotle’s three-fold classification of disciplines applies rather well to the process of engineering a software solution to a problem. But what do I mean by software engineering? Is it different from programming? From what I’ve experienced, read and discussed over the years, software engineers take a keen interest in how the product is perceived by the client. They go out of their way to work with the client, face to face, understanding not only the requirements but also the underlying reasons for those requirements. In that way, they try to put themselves in the clients shoes but are able, at the same time, to bring to bear years of knowledge on the problem and can guide the client in their thinking, to reach what may be a better solution. Programmers, on the other hand, implement specifications. Both, however, fit in with the three-fold classification. (more…)
Just a quick note about the upcoming Guanxi2 release. It’s been a bit hectic with the UK Federation/Athens split, so I’ve been channeling a lot of effort into that, which has in turn fed into IdP development. The IdP is more or less ready for release, while the SP is just behind. The main differences with Guanxi2 are:
- Maven2 build
- Spring architecture
- Simplified Authenticator and Attributor interfaces
- Quartz integration for metadata updates
- Better SSL and X509 handling
- Web interfaces to register IdPs and Guards without having to restart the SP or IdP
- Customisable login pages at the IdP based on relying party providerId.
- Declarative attribute mapping and release configuration, based on XML (more…)
I have to keep a work log on our Elgg, to keep “da management” up to date with what I’m doing but after a while it starts to become extremely dry and tedious. So I thought, after some particularly harrying goings on, that I would attempt to keep some humour in the proceedings, especially when I note the bug fixes I’ve been doing. So this little ditty is an attempt to humourise the work of a bug slayer general, like wot I am! What follows is an elaborate account of how I squished a bug in Elgg today. (more…)
Following on from the initial install of my development Blackboard, I used the templates in the building block SDK to pull together a skeleton project using Maven.
You can get from our svn:
svn co https://source.uhi.ac.uk/svn/bb-bld-blk-template/trunk bb-bld-blk-template
Once you’ve downloaded the project, just go into the directory and do:
mvn clean install
then go to Blackboard -> System Admin -> Building Blocks and upload the war file from the project’s target directory. Then make the new building block available to courses and the system.
Then create a new course using the course wizard and when that’s done, navigate to the new course and on the left side of the page, click on Control Panel and you will see the Hello World link in the Course Tools section.
I’ve started looking into Blackboard development so thought I’d better set up a development environment. It was easy enough after I’d cleaned out the PC (which I hardly use), as the C: drive had filled up. I followed this excellent tutorial from Blackboard’s Edugarage site:
Installing Academic Suite – Developer Edition (more…)