Connexions Conference Sprint Day 1!

We had a fantastic first sprint day after the Connexions Conference. Over 50 people, from all over the world were here. We had user interface designers working on Connexions, OERPub, and Siyavula, content entry and enhancement sprint working on a Life Sciences textbook and procedures for Physics teaching materials planned, developers sprinting on Connexions, the OERPub Connexions Importer, and a new Visual Editor for Semantic/Structured Documents.

Sprinter photo by Daniel Williamson

Below is a brief list of the checkins the groups did at the end of the day.

Design Sprint

  • Connexions importer at oerpub.org : Got advanced mode options compact on each page
  • Designed workflow for creating new versions of documents


Content Sprint

  • Disastrous morning — initial document had unexpected structure (a table inside a heading). Lots of struggling – also known as learning!
  • Got over half the textbook in in the afternoon after the nuclear option (cut and paste the document with all formatting removed). Then put the formatting back in. As the importer improves the nuclear option should be needed less often.

Repeatable process for St. John’s Physics content

  • No complete solution yet.
  • Open Office — better for general audience, but converted all math into inline math
  • LaTeX — problem with math fonts on mac

Bug fixes on Connexions

  • Took a while to get up and running. Easter eggs in the buildout
  • Fixed a handful of bugs
  • Cancel button for banner color so doens’t change if you haven’t gotten it right
  • Collection rendering improved
  • Login status improvements
  • Design for editing the modules (content) in a collection being derived

OERPub Connexions Importer bug fixes

  • Fixed red text processing that was going wrong, better id gen
  • JP enhanced client to use public google docs URL, button disabling
  • Ying fixed google new stylings bug
  • Various other bugs
  • The fixes will help both cnx and oerpub

Visual editor

  • Looked at Aloha, TinyMCE, WYM editor
  • Aloha doesn’t work on ipad
  • Mercury — in place DOM editor, works on the ipad — looks well structured, easy to extend
  • Wym focused on semantic editing
    • difficult to extend — too strict, has javascript hand xhtml parser — would be a lot of work.
  • TinyMCE — plugin created for adding exercise, auto numbers, validation next.
    • Mapped a small snippet of CNXML to HTML with microformat and microdata. TinyMCE handles both. CSS3 to style.

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