Now that the Python Summer course is underway I have exactly 30 minutes to catch a breath. Despite the frenzy of getting 35 students logged in, set up, and working with Python 3, I’ve been doing some other things that I’ll list here.
I’m figuring out how to use Sass to create a single CSS stylesheet to rule them all. I realize that I have miles to go before I can consider myself CSS competent, but I’m working on it. SaSS is one of the ways CSS is generated in Rails. It’s one of those new technologies I’ve foolishly resisted, but now I see the light. Check out Sass here.
I’m not one to leave well enough alone. I’ve been working with Wordpress for years and I have a good idea of how it works, and how it’s a pain in the neck. One of the issues that really bugs me is that everything is hooked into a database, which slows everything down and create all of those funky security problems we hear about. Sure, we can make it go faster, but for what I have to do — write some text now and then — Wordpress is serious overkill. Did I mention that the security updates are rolling out every month or so? That’s a good thing in the long run, but in the short run, it’s annoying.
That’s where Octopress comes in. Octopress a blog platform based on Jekyll and built on Ruby. It also uses Sass to generate the super awesome and sophisticated layout. And best of all, Octopress generates a static site with no database involved. My first effort is based on the default theme. Eventually this blog will be an Octopress blog.
BTW, if you’re looking for some cool Octopress themes, you’ll have to write your own. The upside of that scenario is that you’ll learn a little bit about Ruby and Sass. What more could you ask for? :)
I know the deadline keeps shifting on these. At first I thought it would be a good idea to put my courses online and write the LMS software myself. Fortunately I pulled myself back from that brink. Then I thought about using Udemy, then thought twice about it. Another brink avoided. Now I’ve decided to use Moodle and run the courses on my own server. I’ll be using Moodle 2 and I expect that it will perform just fine. One concern that Moodle is monster. It’s one of the most complex pieces of PHP software I know of. Still, it gets the job done. CCSF, SFSU, and CSM use it for online courses.
If you want to see what hoops Moodle goes through to say “Hello, world”, check out this really scary graph.