It has been a busy summer and the new school year is already underway. I’ve acquired a few new responsibilities, which have taken up more of my free time, leaving less time for my side projects such as GradeL and yard work.
I thank you for your patience and hope GradeL users will remain patient as I try to catch up on requests for fixes and features. Right now my focus will be on maintenance and bugs. Then, as time permits, I’ll try to tackle additions. The irony is that part of my time is being taken up learning a new grade book program at work Go figure.
The GradeL wiki hosted at SourceForge is being converted from the old Wikispaces to MediaWiki. While this transition is taking place, the content will not be available. Hopefully, it will be completed soon. The new link for the wiki is http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/gradel.
I decided to take advantage of the wiki services available to SourceForge projects. I plan to use the project wiki as the location for GradeL documentation. If you use GradeL, then you know that documentation has not been a priority. I hope to improve this as the project moves forward.
The url for the wiki is http://gradel.wiki.sourceforge.net. If you would like to contribute content, please contact me.
Currently, GradeL will not run properly with the new Gambas 2.9 release. There were changes made to the way that Gambas handles window events including, opening and closing, which cause GradeL to crash. GradeL runs properly on Gambas 2.7, which is the version available in the Ubuntu 8.10 repositories. Until a fix is completed, please stick with the older version of Gambas if you wish to run GradeL.
It has taken me six days since releasing GradeL 0.9.0 to get the homepage at gradel.sf.net updated. Since I last used the shell service provided by SourceForge they have changed the way I access my web files. In the past I just used gFTP with SSH2 and I was able to connect. Now that’s not enough. The server now requires SSH key authentication, which took me a while to configure.
SourceForge provides documentation, which explains things pretty well, but I was still hitting a road block. The step I had been missing was uploading my public key to the server. The documentation seemed to say that I would have to upload several files, but in the end I was only required to paste the contents of my id_dsa.pub file to my account page.
During this process, I also learned to use Nautilus to browse the remote server just as I do my local drive, which I find very cool. Anyway, I’m mainly writing this entry to remind myself of the process and also to assist others like me who have trouble reading something right under their nose!
Although this is a busy time of year, development of GradeL is still slowly proceding. Currently, I have added the ability to export the current marking period data to a tab-seperated file appropriate for importing into a spreadsheet program.
The program now also trims long student names so that they do not overrun the adjacent columns.
Well, if your school calendar is anything like mine, report card time is fast approaching. Some bug reports have started trickling in, especially in reference to weighted grades and manipulating assignments. I plan to address these issues as soon as possible so that teachers aren’t left in a bind as deadlines approach.
This is also a good time to remind everyone that GradeL is still in development. Some features seem to be pretty solid, especially the straight points grading system. However, some parts are still unstable. Users are advised to keep backup records to avoid disasters. Many users have stated that they are running GradeL side by side with various Windows programs as a trial run – not a bad idea!
I would like to see that GradeL advance to a point where it is stable and useful as an option for teachers looking for a desktop gradebook app that runs on Linux. Keep you fingers crossed!
I have several people emailing me individually with bug reports, questions, and comments. This communication is vital to the development of GradeL. I think it would benefit all GradeL users to be able to read and/or participate in these discussions as well, so I have set up a mailing list through SourceForge for GradeL users. The list should be ready shortly. Please use the list or the forum for questions related to GradeL.
As for new bugs, it seems that the Category Weights are giving some users the business. I have found a work-around that solves the problem, although I’d like to eliminate it all together. The Seating Chart feature still needs tweaking as well. The changes I implemented seem to have created other problems. Both of these issues will be addressed in the upcoming 0.8.13 release.
I have already implemented the sorting of assignments by date and plan to address the saving of preferences between sessions too. Stay tuned…
Well, I finally read up on creating basic deb packages so I can build debs for each new release. Turns out it isn’t that big of a deal. I used this How-To as a reference.
I successfully created a deb for the latest development snapshot of GradeL and installed it on an Ubuntu Fiesty box. I even removed all traces of Gambas to test that the dependencies would be resolved. I’m happy to report that everything worked like a charm.
So, the plan will be to release both the source tarball (as usual) and the binary deb for easy installation on distros like Debian and Ubuntu. Look for a deb with the next release!
For those interested, you can download the latest development build here: http://littlerun.com/software/gradel-0.8.11-091607.tar.gz
This version includes three important bug fixes:
- Fixed crash in Single Student (MP) report.
- Fixed crash in Attendance Code dialog when trying to EDIT without selecting a code.
- Issue Date and Return Date no longer display nonsense data when there is no textbook issued (STUDENTS | EDIT menu).
The next release will include these changes plus any other bug fixes that are completed in the near future.