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Old 02-18-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
lukva
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Courses - Scorm - Forms possible - interesting tool?

Hello,
I'm responsable for looking new technology in education. I have 2 questions because I want to be sure if the Irex is interesting for what i look for.

a) What is the system to fill in forms? For example we have for our trainees to fill in some forms now in word. But can the iLiad be used to fill in them? How should it be done? Is there a possibility to convert to word forms?

b) In e-learningenvironments people use scorm packages. Is it possible to put them also on the iLiad? Because learning is not only
Can someone test it. You can easily create a scorm package with the open source software: exelearning. It would be great if the iLiad can play such files.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:26 AM   #2
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Hello Lukva,
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukva
a) What is the system to fill in forms?
There are three answers to this question:
1) The iLiad allows for annotation in files which is saved separately in a vector-based format and (if you use a PNG-Bitmap as stationary) as a PNG-bitmap. These are open standards that could be used and converted to mostly any graphical file format automatically.
For example: You could print your form to a GIF-File, convert it to PNG and put it on the iLiad. The user would then open the file on the iLiad, fill in the form, repeat this as many times as necessary and end up with a directory of PNG-Files of filled-in forms which could be uploaded automatically (The iLiad has WLAN.). This would be very easy to implement, I use parts of this approach myself.

2) The iLiad System is based on Linux, the X11 graphical system and GTK widget-toolkit. The Software Development Kit is available for free.
Since these components are extremely extremely common, building an application that suits your needs should be possible for any software developer who is used to Linux/X11/GTK.

3) The iLiad does not have a system that is specifically designed to filling in forms. However, see 1 and 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukva
b) In e-learningenvironments people use scorm packages. Is it possible to put them also on the iLiad?
If there is software to read scorm on linux an implementation on the iLiad should be possible and might be easy.
However, today the iLiad only comes with applications to viewing (complex) html, pdf and different image formats.

#!chris
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2r
The user would then open the file on the iLiad, fill in the form, repeat this as many times as necessary and end up with a directory of PNG-Files of filled-in forms which could be uploaded automatically (The iLiad has WLAN.). This would be very easy to implement,
Hmmm.... Right now, the networking interfaces of iliad, both wireline and wireless, are not open for normal communication except when doing an update from the (centralized) iDS service at irex. One has to get the shell hack access (which has to be approved by irex on a per-user basis manually), and install a script to manually start/stop networking. Also, currently, when anybody requests the shell access and has problems with the iliad later, chances are that the warranty will not apply.

This will hopefully change soon, per irex promises, but right now there is no way to implement anything like that easily and still retain full warranty for the box.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukva
b) In e-learningenvironments people use scorm packages. Is it possible to put them also on the iLiad? Because learning is not only
Can someone test it. You can easily create a scorm package with the open source software: exelearning. It would be great if the iLiad can play such files.
If I understand correctly what is said in exelearning.org, to be able to use a SCORM, you need a CMS server capable of importing SCORM packages and a client to cennect to the server to access to the content. And I see that all the servers listed in exelearning use as client a simple web browser (firefox in the examples).

Case 1: accessing an external CMS server

Short reply: Not yet, but feasible in the future (accessing via wifi...)

Long reply: In the iliad there are two web browsers, dillo (very simple) and minimo (based on firefox, but the iliad version is crippled in many ways, so it's not suitable for web browsing). I don't think that either one will work for e-learning but for the most simple pages of the CMS. In the future it would be possible to get firefox running in the iliad, but don't count on having that soon (and AFAICT, it'll need a beefy SD card with a Debian installation and some software that's not yet written so that to use that in the illiad... and firefox is very slow to boot on those devices, if my experience with debian on the zaurus is translatable to the iliad).

Case 2: Both the browser and the CMS server on the iliad

I just don't know the requirements of those servers (docebo, dockeos, atutor...). If they are not too demanding (i.e. not based on apache/php, but in C/C++), it should be possible to run them in the iliad... but as I said, I don't know.

Hope it clarifies anything .

Last edited by Antartica; 02-19-2007 at 05:54 AM. Reason: Typos (ugh!)
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BACbKA
Hmmm.... Right now, the networking interfaces of iliad, both wireline and wireless, are not open for normal communication
If you (let iRex) setup your iLiad for shell execution it is very easy to substitute the iRex Update script for something else.

By this, pressing the update-button makes the iLiad execute your script.

I installed something like this months ago and use it multiple times a day to make my iLiad download the newspaper I'm subscribed to and to make it upload the notes I take during the day.

Of course this should be only implemented by people who feel comfortable with the commandline, but it requires no magical secret power.

Last edited by k2r; 02-19-2007 at 07:22 AM. Reason: s/subscribet/subscribed/
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2r
If you (let iRex) setup your iLiad for shell execution it is very easy to substitute the iRex Update script for something else.
The 2.9 firmware will let you transfer files between your Iliad and your computer wirelessly, or via the hub. No hack required.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jęd
The 2.9 firmware will let you transfer files between your Iliad and your computer wirelessly, or via the hub. No hack required.
This is not the same as what k2r has done, far from it. He has done what I'm thinking of doing. He has more-or-less set up his own iDS server, or at least simulated it. With the extra bonus of uploading his own scribbles.

By the way, that scribble-stuff was nicely done. Would you mind sharing the scripts, k2r? Or have you posted them somewhere already?
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narve
This is not the same as what k2r has done, far from it. He has done what I'm thinking of doing. He has more-or-less set up his own iDS server, or at least simulated it. With the extra bonus of uploading his own scribbles.
Yep, but I'm trying to point out that with the 2.9 firmware this would be redundant, and wouldn't rely on warranty busting "hacks"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by narve
By the way, that scribble-stuff was nicely done. Would you mind sharing the scripts, k2r? Or have you posted them somewhere already?
A script for merging scribbles & pdf is here... (Also probably made redundant with software Iliad is supposed to be releasing with 2.9)
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antartica
Case 2: Both the browser and the CMS server on the iliad

I just don't know the requirements of those servers (docebo, dockeos, atutor...). If they are not too demanding (i.e. not based on apache/php, but in C/C++), it should be possible to run them in the iliad... but as I said, I don't know.
ATutor wants PHP and Apache. I wouldn't try to run it directly on the iLiad. Besides which, it would sort of defeat one of the purposes of having an LCMS, namely, tracking student progress in some central location. The better bet would be getting a browser working, and connecting to an external LCMS. It's possible that minimo would do it, after all -- the client side of LCMS support tends to be pretty simple. IIRC, minimo supports javascript, which is likely all you would need for most SCORM systems (outside of a working wireless connection, that is).

Regarding form entry, the Vision Objects software iRex has licensed is supposed to allow limited HWR directly on the iLiad. Full page recognition isn't supported yet, but forms should be. I don't know if it would be feasible to get this working directly in the browser, but that's what I'd shoot for. Though most SCORM-based assessments are multiple-choice, anyway.
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jęd
Yep, but I'm trying to point out that with the 2.9 firmware this would be redundant, and wouldn't rely on warranty busting "hacks"...



A script for merging scribbles & pdf is here... (Also probably made redundant with software Iliad is supposed to be releasing with 2.9)
What I need the most, and I will script when I get the time (sigh), is something like what k2r has: Hold the "connect" button to upload all scribbles to my server and download some newspapers and documents etc to my iLiad. Perhaps rsync would be best. My problems is that I don't always carry my iLiad with me, and sometimes I create/receive documents at the office which I would like to sync with my iLiad whenever I get a wireless connection, not necessarily at home, and not bothering to turn on my computer or do anything but hold the button...
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:27 AM   #11
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transfer files in 2.9: will it obsolete the need for a card reader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j[
d]The 2.9 firmware will let you transfer files between your Iliad and your computer wirelessly, or via the hub. No hack required.
Great news. Does it mean that iliad will also function as an external card reader? i.e., one will be able to transfer directly to, say, CF card on the iliad? AFAIU, currently one has to use an external card reader to prepare contents on a card for the iliad.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:27 AM   #12
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Note that in terms of SCORM - this is a packaging standard - WHAT you put in your SCORM package needs to be able to be unpacked and displayed.

In terms of the Iliad - it cannot read SCORM packages - also it has a very limited set of file format it can currently read, even it it could unpack ...

It's unlikely that SCORM support would be ported?
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BACbKA
Great news. Does it mean that iliad will also function as an external card reader? i.e., one will be able to transfer directly to, say, CF card on the iliad? AFAIU, currently one has to use an external card reader to prepare contents on a card for the iliad.
No, not that I'm aware of.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narve
By the way, that scribble-stuff was nicely done. Would you mind sharing the scripts, k2r? Or have you posted them somewhere already?
Well, thank you, but it is actually a set of very dirty scripts that does uploading by 'tar'ing and piping through a ssh connection and downloading the newspaper by getting a tar'd file via a cgi-bin on my server that downloads the newspaper and converts it to pdf...

I do no pdf-notes merging since I don't need it (yet), I just upload my .png notes and organize them automatically in some folders using their name.

I don't even use rsync but I'm planning on doing so since I wan't to have a simple two-way-mirror of my iLiad's /mnt/free and /mnt/card to drop in stuff (documents) that get transferred to the iLiad automagically the next time I sync.

You see why I didn't publish the convolute yet, they depend on the scripts on my server and I haven't bothered writing a save way to install the part on the iLiad.

I really should polish them a little, but you might be way better off waiting for 2.9. I'm curious whether iRex' solution will be platform independant.

However, if I was to implement a straight forward way to fill in graphical forms this is exactly the kind of solution I'd present first.
It's easy to implement in a few days on any given number of iLiads.

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Old 02-20-2007, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2r
I really should polish them a little, but you might be way better off waiting for 2.9. I'm curious whether iRex' solution will be platform independant.
I would agree with this... Probably better to wait until 2.9, unless you really need it now. Having seen the method Irex have I hope you'll like... At the moment I'm bouncing up and down in as I think it really makes the Iliad a very handy device... With 2.9 moving content backwards and forwards is *very* easy...
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