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Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6


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IndieRect

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Subject: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
Recently I downloaded a 2007-11-25 nightly build of the upcoming ATutor 1.6. I was tempted with the description of UTF-8, new look and custom course icons. Unfortunately, only the first of those features appeared to function. Here are the problems I noticed.

Feature-related:

1. Custom course icons should not be uploaded into a general-purpose workspace. The arguments against this are:
- file structure and names may be changed by an inattentive instructor or assistants, and the picture will not display;
- assistants with FM privilege would be able to substitute the icon. Thus they are granted a part (and a substantial one) of course properties privilege, which is otherwise restricted to the instructor only.
I suppose this feature can be implemented in a way alike the profile icon, or using a separate field in the AT_courses table.

2. Custom course icons of GIF and PNG format should be accepted, and allowing arbitrary symbols in their names would be a nice plus to user-friendliness.

3. When the questions in a test are answered one-by-one, there must be some way to help the student keep track of those he skipped. The ability to skip questions will surely cause students to answer easier ones on the first pass, harder on the second and so on. Currently, if one clicks "Next" on the last question, the test is submitted. That will be a nasty surprise and result in an underestimation of students' real knowledge.
So in addition to the splash page there could be a final one informing a person about the questions he didn't answer, and asking confirmation for submitting.

4. Caption of the "Next" button at the test splash page should be replaced with something more descriptive. Currently, there is no information for the student what will happen when he clicks the button, and just "Next" is not so intuitive. Besides, I believe the button to be important enough to assign it a custom caption.
I guess that "Take the test" would be adequate.


i18n-related:

5. Built-in search is case-sensitive for non-English chars (cyrillic at least) despite the fact mbstring is loaded. I tested with PHP 5.1.6, which is higher than the currently required 4.3.0.

6. A possibly related bug: glossary terms enclosed in [ ? ] tags in content are not recognized if they are non-latin and in different case than the corresponding term.

7. In English lang pack, the chars (C) and (R) are wrong in $copyright langvar.
Posted: 2007-11-28 08:11:06
IndieRect

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ATutori18nBug.png
Subject: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
8. An untranslated term in File Storage.
When uploading a file into file storage, and the file name is wrong, an untranslated message is shown.
See the attached part of the screenshot (5.3 KiB).
Posted: 2007-11-29 03:11:16
greg

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
I'm not sure where the string is coming from. Its not from ATutor as far as I can tell.
Posted: 2007-11-29 08:28:10
IndieRect

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
Right, I didn't find it either. It appears to be some sugar in Opera. smile I'm sorry for that.

The other 7 issues remain.
Posted: 2007-11-29 11:41:44
greg

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
The others are all in the tracker (except the first one, which should be addressed when the custom icon tools is completed.)
Posted: 2007-11-29 11:49:40
IndieRect

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
OK, thanks.
Posted: 2007-11-30 09:35:19
IndieRect

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Linkcolors.png

Attachment: Linkcolors.png
Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
I've just posted some more bugs in 2007-12-14 nightly build to Mantis. They are mostly minor or tiny.

There are several issues which aren't real bugs, so I'll post them here for possible discussion.

1. String types in DB.

String types in installation SQL files atutor_schema.sql and atutor_convert_db_to_utf8.sql don't match: the first uses TEXT and the second uses MEDIUMTEXT for string fields.
MEDIUMTEXT is as much as 16 MB. Do we need such a huge size for element titles and member real names?
For member names, even VARCHAR(255) may be enough.


2. New default theme.

New ATutor theme differs from the previous so much that it would take some time to get used to it. I believe it's too early to compare them.
But, after having worked some time with it I can say that several things should be changed before the release since they impact productivity.
I'm using 17" TFT Samsung 740N, so your opinion may vary.

The first is a background color of input-form style. It is too dark to comfortably read text on such forms.

The second are links.
The unvisited link color looks much like the text (black), and there's no underlining. So novices will have hard time navigating the system.
Please check the attached screenshot (Opera, Windows): the spacing between children items is hardly larger than between words within them. Are those items in the highlighted row "Import/Export", "Content TILE Repository" and "Search", or what?
In addition to being almost as much close to black, visited link color also mixes up with the unvisited, so any practical advantage of having them different is minimal.
Posted: 2007-12-16 03:05:44
harris

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
I agree, but it can't be in VARCHAR(255), it would have to be in TEXT. This is because 1.6 is an upgrade from 155's database. For instance, the real_name was defined to be VARCHAR(120) in 155. As we moved to UTF-8, all fields have to be multiplied by 4 because all the characters are multibyte (worst case). That makes real_name to be in VARCHAR(480), but mysql <=4.1 can only support VARCHAR(<=255). So, the only approach is to use TEXT

ref:
dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/4.1/en/storage-requirements.html

In reply to:
String types in installation SQL files atutor_schema.sql and atutor_convert_db_to_utf8.sql don't match: the first uses TEXT and the second uses MEDIUMTEXT for string fields.
MEDIUMTEXT is as much as...

Posted: 2007-12-17 11:13:18
harris

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
In addition, for member names and some title fields, TEXT might still be too much, VARCHAR(255) should be enough actually.
Posted: 2007-12-17 12:28:20
IndieRect

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
Thanks for the detailed answer. It's a reasonable thought.

Look also into TEXT and MEDIUMTEXT issue: where atutor_schema.sql (i.e. on clean installation) defines TEXT, atutor_convert_db_to_utf8.sql (i.e. on upgrade) declares MEDIUMTEXT.
Posted: 2007-12-18 07:48:30
harris

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Subject: Re: Some issues in upcoming ATutor 1.6Quote this post in your reply
Hi Indie,

I saw this bug in mantis (http://www.atutor.ca/atutor/mantis/view.php?id=3202), however I couldn't reproduce the problem in the glossary. Can you please clarify if it's still causing problems at your end? Thanks.


harris

In reply to:
6. A possibly related bug: glossary terms enclosed in [ ? ] tags in content are not recognized if they are non-latin and in different case than the corresponding term.

Posted: 2008-05-27 15:28:04
 
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