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5 years ago
When you edit documents on BitBucket, you will use the Markdown syntax. Markdown is a new type of text-to-html syntax, which is comprised entirely of punctuation characters. The punctuation characters have been carefully chosen so as to look like what they mean. As I'm creating a long README file using markdown on BitBucket, I have to save the text from time to time. I do this in order to inspect what my latest input looks like and also to make sure all work is saved in time. However, I noticed sav...
The AWS Summit last week introduced to us some great tools for creating and maintaining scalable cloud-based products on AWS. In building scalable products on cloud, developers are faced with a few challenges that are insignificant when working with single-instance servers. These challenges include quick configuration of multiple servers, quick codebase deployment, performance monitoring, autoscaling, etc. The three most relevant tools introduced were CloudFormation, Elastic BeanStalk and OpsWorks. All of them belong to the Deployment & Management section of AWS. They are tools for develop...
Tomorrow at 9am, the purchase window of Google Glass will reopen. Google Glass is a new type of information access terminal other than computers, smart phones and tablets. Given its great portability, it may potentially become the most popular terminal in the long run. With its unique software and control system, applications that run on it will have a great deal of new functionality and features. I was excited to hear from Hui Soo that EdLab already bought a pair of Google Glass. It will be great if EdLabbers can think of new products or features that make use of it. The first thing I thou...
Pranav organized a team building session yesterday for the development team. During the session, people expressed their concerns and ideas regarding how to better coordinate the work between each other when working on a bigger project. People discussed issues like meeting participation, bug tracking, dependency of work, prioritization of work, etc. Particularly, we discussed in depth what ownership is and how we should take it in our work. In the end, we figured out a list of rules, which are believed to resolve the concerns people mentioned as well as to help fulfill people's suggestions for ...
This recent Sunday Review section of the New York Times released the grading guidelines rubric of Harvard. It is a very interesting system that, I believe, arouses students' passion for doing their assignment in the best way they can. As mSchool may also need a guideline for grading students' assignment, it's worthwhile to take a look at Harvard's standard and consider adapting it for mSchool. Here is a summary of the guidelines. The A+ grade is used only in very rare instances for the...
6 years ago
Berlin-based MOOCs startup iversity, which last year began a pivot away from online learning collaboration tools with the aim of becoming the Coursera of Europe, is launching its first clutch of free online courses today. iversity CEO Marcus Riecke said the level of launch traction it has achieved proves the MOOCs concept can fly in continental Europe, which has lagged behind the U.S. in experimenting with the massive online courses model for free-to-learn higher education. In the U.S., a raft of MOOCs players have sprung up, with Coursera, Harvard- and MIT-backed edX and Udacity bei...
6 years ago
This was a very impressive session because it dealt with a generic concept - hypermedia client. The most common hypermedia form that we have known is web pages and the client for it is actually a web browser. However, there exists many other types of hypermedia and their corresponding clients. Specific types of hypermedia differ from each other in three aspects - structure semantics, protocol semantics and application semantics. A web page is an XML in terms of structure semantics. It's transmitted using HTTP in terms of protocol semantics. And it uses CSS in terms of application semantic...
6 years ago
In this session, Paul Irish introduced a few tools and techniques he's been using for JavaScript developing. The first tool introduced by Paul is SASS (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets). SASS is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance and more. It's translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin. Per the above definition, SASS is pretty close to LESS, the tool EdLab developers have been using. However, SASS does provide some unique features that makes it...
One of the very interesting sessions at the recent Fluent Conference was the one given by Irene Ros, which was about d3.chart, an upgrade of the powerful charting tool, d3.js. d3.js has proved successful by its efficient manipulation of documents based on data. This avoids proprietary representation and affords extraordinary flexibility, and exposing the full capabilities of web standards such as CSS3, HTML5 and SVG. In simpler words, all the chart elements created by d3.js are transparent to users and are directly customizable. Users don't need to learn particular API names to control the charts they draw. Instead, they just use the normal JS or JQuery selector syntaxes to locate their charts and style them up. It also supports dynamic value assigning which means users give a function instead of a static value in configuring a certain chart property. A typical example is like this d3.selectAll("p") .data([4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42]) .style("font-size", function(d) { return d + "px"; });
I just read a New York Times article that dwells on the situation Chinese rural families are facing in getting their children access to higher education. The article gives a few stories that illustrate how much families need to pay for their children's education and how these children have been getting along in their campus life. The article also gives very interesting comparison of higher education costs between China and the US. Feel interested?