[schooltool-dev] Configuration issues for schools

Tom Hoffman tom.hoffman at gmail.com
Sat Feb 7 19:13:56 UTC 2009

On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 2:02 PM, Tim Holy <tim.holy at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Tom
> On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 9:49 AM, Tom Hoffman <tom.hoffman at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I'm a little confused about what you're proposing for configuration.
>> The standard way to address your use case is via web services or
>> perhaps LDAP.  There are a few directly relevant existing standards
>> (SIF...) but none that are widely used, particularly by free software.
>> or generally appealing.
>> Actually, at this point, I'd say storing the data you want in LDAP is
>> probably the approach most likely to work.  The coolest way to do it
>> would be passing around the relevant data via XMPP.
> My impression is that the advantages of LDAP are manifest mostly if you're
> interested in security. My point is that, in every _elementary_ school I've
> seen (I'm sure high schools are different), there isn't any security and
> they don't want it. Kindergartners (and even 2nd graders) are bad at
> remembering and even typing passwords, and the teachers don't want to spend
> their time running around asking people to whisper their passwords and then
> typing it for them.
> I think it would be great to use LDAP when it's installed, but I think we
> really need to have a lightweight substitute in the large majority of cases.
> I'm thinking mostly about the Tux4Kids market, which is elementary schools.

I'm more thinking about LDAP as a well understood shared remote
database for info about people with lots of implementations, free or
otherwise.  I'm just throwing it out as a suggestion though.

Frankly, the best idea I can think of is to just have SchoolTool
manage this data for you and work out how to exchange it over XML.  We
originally planned to (and had) very comprehensive web services, but
that implementation has been on the back burner in the interests of
finishing the browser based version.


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