Interesting post: Apress is bringing out 10 new Ruby books this year, targeting everyone from beginners to systems administrators. Maybe it’s time…
As regular readers will know, one of the features I like most in DrProject (and its predecessor, Trac) is the RSS feed it automatically creates showing events from each project. Unfortunately, we’ve had to disable the feeds for class projects at U of T, since we don’t want students in one group to be able to see the check-in comments or ticket updates of another, and web-based blog reading services like Bloglines haven’t standardized on an authentication mechanism.
However, I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about OpenID recently, which has me wondering whether it’s worth rolling the dice and incorporating support for it into DrProject. Oh, and running some sort of authentication server in the department, tied into the IDs students are automatically allocated for courses. I don’t want to venture into these waters without a guide — anyone out there done this yet?
I don’t know Peter Guttmann, but judging from his cost analysis Windows Vista content protection (note: not cost-benefit analysis, since there aren’t enough of the latter to count), he’d be an interesting drinking companion. (Via Bruce Schneier.) It’s hard to square this with Jon Udell’s belief in a new, more open Microsoft…
Michael Arrington, at TechCrunch, has updated his year-old list of companies he’d like to profile that didn’t exist at the time. His mojo must be stronger than mine: my “Not on the Shelves” articles have only ever led to a couple of books, but many of the companies he described so wistfully 12 months ago are now realities.
The A&E’s and final reports from the fall CSC49X projects are now on the web. It was a productive term; I’m proud of how much this term’s teams accomplished.
I am increasingly fascinated with, and frustrated by, spreadsheets. Like most computer scientists, I have mostly ignored them, thinking that they were toys for non-programmers. The more I play with Excel for managing grading and other tasks, though, the more impressed I am.
But now I have a problem. I have three columns of data: the first is a date, the second is a project name, and the third is a count of lines of code. I want a time-series chart that shows the size of each project over time. The samples are irregularly spaced, and different projects are sampled at different times. Damned if I can figure out how to get Excel to do it. If anyone knows…
The last thing I need in my life right now is an addictive computer game, so what have I found? Galcon, that’s what. It’s a five-minute real-time strategy game (think “Risk” on speed). If y’all want to crush a prof, get back to me in the New Year — I oughta be at a non-totally-embarrassing level by then…
One of the profs in the Computer Science department at U of T wants to create a web-based forum in which researchers can discuss key papers in their area. The system he has in mind would let people post papers as PDF or PostScript, then allow users to add comments to specific sections (possibly as fine-grained as a single line). It also has to allow comments on comments, linking of comments (within one paper, or between papers), and so on. Sounds something like ConceptShare, something like our own Online Marking Tool, something like TrailFire and its many cousins — anyone know of anything? Doesn’t have to be open source…
And while we’re on the subject, check out Jeremy Chan’s comment on my previous post — his company, Jonah Group, needs a tool for managing interactions with employees and contractors that combines features of Monster/Workopolis, LinkedIn, Microsoft Project, and PGP.
Could your business use some help with a design problem? Perhaps you are wrestling with space layout, storage problems, environmental analysis, energy decisions, technology choices, websites or something along these lines? For the course Engineering Strategies and Practices, 1,000 first-year students must tackle a team design project for a community group, non-governmental organization, industry or a group within the university. Many projects are required in order to keep the teams small and individualized.
Please consider proposing a project, or passing this message on to someone who might need assistance. Serving as a project client only requires six hours of your time over the winter term, but the effects on the students will last their lifetimes. Work begins early in the new year, so please respond promptly.