[Edu-sig] The Crunchy Way

David MacQuigg macquigg at ece.arizona.edu
Fri Mar 27 21:18:03 CET 2009

At 03:34 PM 3/27/2009 -0300, Andre Roberge wrote:

>On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 2:26 PM, David MacQuigg <<mailto:macquigg at ece.arizona.edu>macquigg at ece.arizona.edu> wrote:
>>At 11:30 AM 3/27/2009 -0500, kirby urner wrote:
>>>So Croquant is like a delivery tool, where the lesson plans
>>>accumulate.  PyWhip is similar but more static (making the content
>>>Wiki based is likely to promote organic growth).
>>Not quite sure what you mean here.  Could you be more specific?
>>Anyone can contribute problems to PyWhip, including students.  I expect we will have a huge accumulation, and the final quality will be determined by how well we chose the best, and how well get these collections organized into a good learning sequence.
>>Currently PyWhip more like Citizendium than Wikipedia.  Teachers (editors) control the content.  We are talking about expanding this to allow anyone to be a teacher, and register a setup.  Students who select that setup, will then see whatever problems their teacher wants them to see.
>Since what I said in my talk is at the origin of Kirby's post, perhaps I should be the one to clarify.
>In my talk about Crunchy, I mentioned and showed (very superficially) both PyWhip and Croquant.  Croquant is a MoinMoin extension that allows to add additional markup which Crunchy can recognize and insert the requested interactive element (e.g. Python interpreter, doctest, unittest, editor, etc.) inside the browser window. Because Croquant == MoinMoin, it is a purely collaborative media where no one is the single author (with exclusive editing rights) of any example.  Someone setting a Croquant server could create a site where doctest-based problems would accumulate organically (like Wikedia).  But Croquant is static - you need to view it with Crunchy to have the interaction.
>PyWhip, by contrast, includes both the editing and interacting features in one app/site.  However, to use your expression, it is more like Citizendium than Wikipedia - which is essentially what I attempted to convey in my talk.

I think the essential question here is - should we allow one author to edit another's work, or preserve the original and ask the new author to submit a new problem, even if it just a minor edit of the original.  We're going with the latter for now, but at this point, anything is open for discussion.  If the new problem is a variation on the original, different numbers, etc., then we can include them both.  These are exercises.  Repetition is OK.  At some point we may want to limit the number of problems, but we are no where near that limit now.

If the new problem is a correction of some deficiency in the original - an ambiguous question, etc., then the original author has the option of including the correction in his original.  If the original author chooses not to include the correction, then the editors will have to decide whether to use the original or the corrected version.  There will never be a Wikipedia-style "edit war".

>And I did invite everyone (I would say over 100 people present) in my talk to go to PyWhip and contribute at least one problem!

Just so everyone understands, Andre is a contributor to PyWhip with full SVN access.  If there is any "competition" between PyWhip and Crunchy, it is entirely friendly.  I'm assuming all code will be available under GPL, but that is actually for Athar to decide, since he wrote it.  I think this answers Kirby's question in the next message.

99% of the value will be in the content, not the website coding.  Among the developers, I have proposed, and nobody has objected, that we use the Creative Commons license.  If this is acceptable, we will have something like this in a pop-up which appears when an author clicks SUBMIT:  
By clicking ACCEPT, you are certifying 
1) The problem you are submitting is your own work, or is a derivative 
work consistent with the original author's license. 
2) You agree that your submission will be licensed under the Creative 
Commons Attribution-Share Alike license <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 
This means that others may modify and share your work under the same 
-- Dave

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