koolhead17hi all03:40
vmlintujoerg: have you been working on the portal project you mentioned some time ago?16:59
joergsure :)17:00
joergvmlintu, I am just working on it right now.... the thing is, I somehow need more developers and more motivation.17:01
joerga project like that is quite hard in the beginning.17:01
joergI have written some specs, you know - but they don't attract anybody....17:02
joergI guess people want a demo / see some code.17:02
alkisgDevelopment is the best motivation for the open source world :)17:02
vmlintujoerg: www.myserv-project.org ?17:03
alkisgI've seen many, many many specs in #edubuntu the last years - only 1 or 2 of them got implemented..17:03
joergalkisg, I am developing for some time now, but it is really hard17:03
joergif I had an active community around it, I'd be really motivated and be twice as fast I guess.17:04
alkisgAs sbalneav says, each one scratches his own back... e.g. I'm developing "school-scripts" because I need them, to use them in my classroom17:05
alkisgSo even if I had to do it on my own, I'd still do it17:05
joergI need people telling me that they need my work, people who challenge me with new things etc.17:05
alkisgDid you send an announcment on the mailing list?17:05
joergyes......that's different17:05
joergI am doing that because I have a vision17:05
joergI am not a teacher or a student17:06
joergI am just enthusiast :P17:06
alkisgIf you did, and people didn't respond, are you sure that your project fits some existing need?17:06
vmlintujoerg: I've checked the site a couple of times, but as it uses python, I really cannot say much..17:06
joergalkisg, well, ages ago I posted a rough draft.....17:07
joergand people like vmlintu responded :)17:07
joergbut at that stage it was still too early17:07
joergvmlintu, you should learn python :) not only to contribute to that project ;) but to make your daily life easier.17:08
vmlintuI'm more into ruby17:08
vmlintujoerg: We've been working on a new version of the ldap based user management tool we've been using for schools17:12
joergvmlintu, is that web based17:12
vmlintujoerg: yep17:12
vmlintujoerg: hopefully we get it out before lucid17:13
joergthat is php based?17:13
vmlinturuby on rails17:13
joergthat should mean it has a clear MVC structure and is easy to extend ;)17:14
joergin contrast to these php things which do great things but mostly have bad code17:15
vmlintuwe have an old perl catalyst based tool for user management that is now replaced with this17:15
vmlintuWe be using it to handle some hundred schools with 25-30k users17:16
vmlintuby default it'll be using openldap + mit kerberos as databases17:18
joergis there a demo/preview of it?17:19
vmlintuthere's no public demo yet17:19
joergvmlintu, ok....anyway, I am quite sure that we could integrate it in myserv somehow....17:23
joergif we extend it to authenticate using CAS, we could load it in an iframe and we'd be done17:24
joergthat's what I am doing with roundcube webmail at the moment17:25
vmlintuwe are now running rubycas-server with kerberos to provide cas17:25
vmlintuwe've been doing some testing with oauth to provide rest+oauth api for external applications to fetch user information17:27
joergvmlintu, why do external apps need to talk to your user management tool? :P17:28
vmlintuThere are some educational applications running in the web that need user information like class level, pupil/teacher, groups.. now they need to import the data using files or setup ldap connections that require firewall changes..17:30
joergopensocial is the way to go :P17:30
vmlintuopensocial uses rest+oauth :)17:30
vmlintuimplementing opensocial is just 100x more work than simple rest+oauth api17:31
joergno, it is not.17:31
joergit is 100x less work17:31
vmlinturest+oauth was like 30 lines of code with ror17:31
joergbecause the os rest api is well documented and tested - and there are lots of apps already implementing it.17:32
joergwell, and?17:32
joergdon't reinvent the wheel :P17:32
joerguse the structure/methods that opensocial uses17:33
joergin your rest api17:33
joergchoose the methods (e.g. to retrieve user/group info) and implement them in your rest api17:33
joergyou don't have to fully implement open social17:34
vmlintuthat's what we pretty much did17:34
joergyeah, then it is fine.17:34
vmlintuI just wouldn't call it opensocial unless it's the whole thing17:34
vmlintuthe user management tool won't implement any of these, anyway17:35
joergand I just wanted to say: don't invent another api :P17:35
vmlintuIf we do any of that, it'll be a separate application17:35
vmlintugoogle's using saml and that's way more requested feature than opensocial17:36
joergbut I am not sure if it takes care of all the other nice things17:37
joerglike user/app data17:38
joergfriendships / pictures etc.17:38
joergmyserv is using it to provide a way to integrate gadgets17:39
vmlintufriendships are not on our agenda really17:39
joergusing javascript / iframes17:39
joerghe he17:39
joergwell, I have implemented friendships17:39
joergbecause I think it can be helpful17:40
joergif you can share files and/or collaborate with a group of people you trust.17:40
vmlintuwe are focusing on the k12 segment, so especially the grades 0-6 don't really benefit from that17:42
vmlintuwe have been thinking about "pre-defined friendships" that would be defined by teachers instead of pupils17:43
vmlintuharassment by excluding people from group is a real problem in schools, so the tools need to address that17:44
vmlintuOr maybe a facebook application could be used to take care of all that.. Everyone's using it anyway, so bringing information from school to it would be probably easiest..17:49
joergyou don't have to be friends with everybody, right? :)17:49
joergmaybe finland is a bit more socialistic :)17:49
vmlintuin class setting everyone should get along with others, I think17:50
joergso there is a group called "class 5a"17:51
joergbut if lisa is closer friends with alice and linda it is perfectly okay, isn't it?17:52
vmlintuI've talked about that here and the opinion seems to be that in that case they are most probably already using facebook or something else for their own stuff17:53
vmlintuand nobody is going to trust a school-run system for their personal stuff17:53
vmlintubut like I said, we don't have real plans for this..17:54
joergwhy not?17:54
joergmy idea in the long run is to replace facebook and all that stuff17:54
vmlintuyou mean trust?17:54
joergstudents have an account at their school17:55
joergthey need it anyway17:55
joergthey usually have their friends at the school17:55
joergwhy can't they share (private) stuff there?17:55
joerge.g. fotos17:55
vmlintunot all their friends are in the same school17:55
joergI want ppl to say: well, I have a great tool at school, why do I need facebook? :)17:56
joergthat's true17:56
joergbut for those who are I want to be better than facebook17:57
vmlintuit'd most probably work for school related stuff, but I really have doubts about private stuff17:57
vmlintu(actually here facebook is not dominating, but an older local competitor)17:57
joergbecause I think if a web portal (run by the school) get's a social meeting point for the students, it means that they identify a lot more with school17:58
vmlintuthat thinking is loosing ground over here - the new thinking is that everybody should be able to use their own tools and the school's system should be able to collect the information from all over the net17:59
vmlintumeaning that if someone wants to use blogger for bloggin and someone else uses facebook for blogging, it should work18:00
vmlintupersonal learning environments are something in that direction18:01
joerga lesson has 45 minutes here18:04
joergif the project is to write a blog about something and people are using 5-10 different tools18:05
joergand the teacher only knows one of them18:05
joergthat means 2/3 of the time will be wasted on technical stuff18:05
joerginstead of producing content.18:06
joergwe have had that issue a lot of times.18:06
joergit doesn't work.18:06
joergthat's why most of the schools tell their students and teachers:18:06
joergwe have ONE tool to make a presentation and that is called openoffice.org impress18:07
Ahmucki agree. setting the tools for an organization is the only way to go18:07
joergand if people don't have it at home, they can get a copy of it at school18:07
joergon their flash drive18:07
joergand if they prefer powerpoint18:07
joergthey can use it at home18:07
vmlintuthe idea behind ple's is that the platform aggregates the content using rss/atom/whatever..18:08
joergand it is their responsability that it runs with openoffice18:08
joergyes, I understand.18:08
joergmaybe in finland things are different.18:08
alkisgjoerg: where is that?18:08
joergbut here, teachers are happy if they more or less know ONE tool18:09
joergthere is no money for system administration and maintenance18:09
joergand teachers are not educated in IT concepts18:09
joergalkisg, germany18:09
alkisgNice, I didn't know openoffice was so widespread there...18:10
joergalkisg, I don't say it is wide spread18:11
joergit is up to the school18:12
joergI am freelancing for an organization that takes care of the IT infrastructure of 200 schools here18:13
joergthe townships usually have contracts with us18:13
joergand they pay a certain amount per student/per year to us18:13
joergof course schools can buy a MS office license from microsoft18:14
joergthat's up to them.18:14
joergbut we don't spend a single cent on proprietary software we provide to the schools18:15
joergopen office is good enough.18:15
joergand everybody can have it18:15
joergno matter if daddy is a rich manager or a poor worker :P18:15
joergand well, the PLE stuff is nice18:17
joergbut that would mean students and teachers (!) would need to have an understanding of the technologies.18:17
vmlintuok, I'm back..18:25
vmlintuover here quite a few schools are using moodle, but not all.. some use blogger or other blogging services and some use other learning environments18:26
vmlintuand I've been hearing people talking about mahara lately18:27
vmlintuthat means that if we provide schools a portal, it'll be definitely different from the tools they are already using and the next school won't agree with the tools anyway18:27
vmlintuthat's why we are not doing any end-user services, but only administration tools and backend services for the actualy tools used by the end-users18:28
vmlintuan aggregator that would collect content from different tools could be a solution here18:30
vmlintuSo basically the solution would be that the school has a default set of tools (for example moodle + blogger + teachertube) that is taught, but you can use other tools if you know them already18:31
joergschools here never heard of moodle mostly :P18:33
joergapart from that, moodle speaks CAS and can use an ldap db18:33
joergso wouldn't be a problem to integrate that in a myserv portal18:33
vmlintumoodle is not exactly that great tool, imho18:36
vmlintuit's better than the old competitors that it replaced, but it's way too teacher-centric18:37
joergmost of that stuff is simply overkill for our schools18:40
joergthey want to upload files somewhere18:40
joergand they want to write e-mails18:40
vmlintuhere some are starting to use dropbox to upload files18:41
joergand the very advanced users use a wiki to collect results18:41
joergone out of 50 teachers :D18:41
joergyou can do that18:41
joergif you have enough bandwidth18:41
vmlintuwhat kind of connections the schools have there?18:42
joergwith an ISDN line or a slow DSL you know what happens18:42
joergif 25 users upload their documents18:42
joergyou have to ask people to start uploading 30 minutes before the lesson ends ;)18:42
joergsome still have ISDN (128k up/dn)18:43
vmlintuthat can be a problem then.. I thought that 2/1 adsl is bad..18:43
joergDSL 2048k dn/196k up18:43
joergschools having 512k up are very lucky18:44
vmlintuhere many of the schools have 100Mbps fiber to city network that has 10 or 20Mbps internet connection18:46
vmlintusome have 100Mbps internet18:46
vmlintuit seems like the background is quite different - we have tons of existing tools that should be supported and more bandwidth - you have no existing tools and less bandwidth18:47
vmlintuthere are already schools that are using google apps for all their classroom work..18:47
joergvmlintu, anyway....we more or less have the same concept19:26
joergbut we focus on both local and external services19:26
vmlintuyes, the basic concept is pretty much the same19:26
joergI see the myserv portal as the integrator: it provides a CAS auth server, users can create a profile there, users can found groups19:26
joergand in their user and groups profiles they can do "things"19:27
joerglike adding one of the apps you mentioned19:27
joerglike an externally hosted blog19:27
joergor wiki19:27
joergor a vocabulary trainer19:28
vmlintuwho creates the user accounts?19:28
joergthe only important thing is that the app "speaks" oauth/cas and opensocial19:28
joergif it wants to retrieve information about anything19:29
joergthe admins do19:29
joergdjango has a nice admin interface19:30
joergif the users are in ldap, we don't have a solution yet.19:30
joergthey would need to use whatever ldap user management tool19:30
joerga primary school won't need ldap19:31
joergthat's why I don't want to marry ldap :P but only provide is as an option.19:32
vmlintuwe are using ldap for every single school19:32
joergwe have primary schools with ten user accounts here19:32
joergfor what reason should they run ldap?19:32
vmlintusetting up a system without ldap takes way more time than with it19:32
vmlintuas all schools use the same user management tool, we can support them better19:33
=== joerg__ is now known as joerg
joergvmlintu, we don't have resources to support schools managing users :P19:46
joergand if they have ten users and only use that web app19:46
joergwe won't run and maintain an ldap installation for them19:47
joergit is just another thing to maintain and keep running19:47
joergand another DB to backup19:47
joergand the advantage is: none19:48
vmlintuwe are actually taking care of all the server management, so the schools don't even have to know that they have ldap..19:48
vmlintuand training for user management tools is part of the service.. and helpdesk they can call19:49
joergthey won't know it19:50
joergso there is no need to do that additional work19:50
joergwill not be of any use for them.19:50
joergthe web portal has user and group management in the postgres DB19:50
vmlintuwhat additional work do you mean?19:50
joergthat's perfectly ok for a system with ten users and no additional services19:50
joergadditional work means: setting up slapd, running slapd, backing up slapd19:51
vmlintuyes, in some cases ldap does not bring any features that would be needed, but in our case running some systems without ldap would make everything much harder19:52
vmlintuNow we have tons of identical servers that can be managed exactly the same way19:52
vmlintuand slapd installation is fully automated with everything else19:53
joergand we will have 10-20 servers with a big ldap DB19:53
joergand 130 servers with just the webapp19:53
joergand a DB to backup19:53
vmlintuwe are using the same backup system for all the servers with identical settings19:54
joergprobably these 130 servers will just be one or two big root servers in some data center19:54
vmlintuand now that I remember, we need to be running kerberos anyway for the desktop, so ldap comes with it19:55
joergfinland must be a rich country :P19:56
joerghow many schools do you support?19:56
vmlintuover 100 now19:57
joergok. how many full time jobs do you have for that?19:57
vmlintusetting up a server with automatic tools takes about 30 minutes now.. with ldap+kerberos+web tools+desktop+ltsp19:58
joergmostly you just enter the domain name and a root password :D19:59
vmlintuwe install also the networks and thin clients and give training to teachers and pupils20:00
joergjust tell me how many full time jobs you have to support these 100 schools.20:00
joergyou see20:01
joergwe have 200 schools and two.20:01
joergactually 150 over years20:02
vmlintuwhat I'm trying to say is that if some of the servers didn't have ldap, we'd need one or two more to support all..20:02
joergbut now there's a new contract with some townships20:02
joergand we will have 200 very soon20:02
joergbecause that's the only way to hold the 2nd full time job.20:02
vmlintuwhat are the thing you charge for?20:03
vmlintuI've understood that you don't provide the desktop itself?20:04
joergput a hard disk image on and old computer20:04
joergdriving there20:04
joergsetup the "server" there20:04
joergdriving away and hoping that the hard disk will never fail :)20:04
joergit's basically just setting up a filtered proxy, mail, file and print server20:05
joergand taking that machine and bring it there.20:05
joergno clients :P20:06
vmlintuok, that's quite different from what we do.. we don't provide mail and pretty much nobody wants filtering20:06
vmlintulinux thin client desktops are the main thing20:06
joergso people are allowed to download porn and so on? :D20:06
joergwe MUST filter the internet, because law requires that.20:08
vmlintuI think the reason is that all the filters are so bad that they just encourage the kids to find ways around them..20:08
joergabsolutely true20:08
joergwe use squidguard with blacklists20:09
joergit is not that bad20:09
vmlintuall the blacklists we have tried also give a lot of false positives20:09
vmlintuteaching russian is not fun when half of the sites are blocked..20:10
vmlintua lot of video and image sites are also listed20:10
joergnobody teaches russian here ^^20:10
vmlintuwe need to support russian keyboards on most systems..20:10
joergdidn't know that there's such a deep "friendship" between finnish and russians ^^20:11
joergI thought you hate them20:12
vmlintuand one of the worst filters filtered all the sites that had "sex" in the name.. it just means number 6 in swedish..20:12
joergI know20:14
joergthat's why we just use these blacklists and that's it20:14
joergwe are not filtering for any keywords or so20:15
vmlintuwe have now more or less working blacklist for the ones who want it, but most schools have unfiltered access20:17
vmlintubtw, have you checked the tools like elgg or buddypress?20:18
joergelgg yes20:19
joergdidn't like the code20:20
joergdidn't know how to make that run opensocial apps20:20
joergauth with CAS20:20
joergand stuff20:20
joergthese tools all don't provide that pluggable concept20:24
joergthe idea of a big integrator portal20:24
joergI want to be able to say: today we are running our photo blogging app locally, tomorrow we have enough bandwidth and it will be hosted externally without the users noticing anything.20:26
joergthese tools are all very nice as a standalone solution.20:26
vmlintuwhat's your plan, do you plan on supporting multiple schools/organisations from a single installation?20:27
joergbut they don't provide the flexiblity of being the portal that is like a bolt tying all these already existing apps together20:28
joergyes, that might happen in the future.20:28
joergbut not for now.20:29
joergbut I could imagine that there's a library app for example hosted centrally20:29
joergthere are a lot of good open source opac / library tools20:29
joergthat could be on a central server20:30
joergonly one instance20:30
vmlintuI mean the portal - if you are going to run single instance to run the different portals for 100 schools if the network allows it20:30
joergusing oauth/cas they'd be logged in automatically20:30
joergand could manage their books there20:30
joergthinking that's "their" library20:30
joergbut in fact, they are just feeding a big catalogue.20:31
joergyes, as I said.20:31
joergwe gonna do that20:31
joergas long as the bandwidth is so bad that we have to run local servers.20:31
joergif it is getting better the school will simply have a VPN router and that's it.20:32
vmlintuok, it sounds like the "portal" part that connects the applications is the same for both..20:39
vmlintuuser management is different20:39
vmlintuproviding any end-user services is not in our interest, so having the other portal features is not something we need20:41

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