WebGUI ILAW site and H2O news

We use WebGUI as our content management system here at the Berkman Center. It has been a great success so far, enabling us to easily build and manage not only our new main site, but increasingly lots of other project sites as well.

Recently, we reimplemented the ILAW site in webgui, which has made the site lots easier to manage (offloading almost all of the content work off of the tech folks and onto the content folks and making the user registration system a lot cleaner, for example). One of the great things about using a free software system like webgui is that if it doesn’t do exactly what I want, I can just fix it. For example, the ilaw coordinator spends a lot of time mucking around with the data about the registrants, and webgui doesn’t provide any way to manipulate (sort, filter, total, etc) the registrant data. So I wrote a quick registrant export function that shoots the registrant data to a spreadsheet. Problem solved, user and programmer happy. And today, I worked on some bits of that export functionality — I added the ability to specify a different order for the data fields in the export than on the registration screen and I fixed the date creation field to appear in a nice human readable format instead of the epoch format it was in. Code is good.

I also had some great news for H2O today. We got an agreement from another professor to serve as a core faculty member of our 2004 Internet and Society cluster of courses on H2O. I’m waiting until we have agreement from a couple more folks to describe the project in more detail (email me though if you want details) so that we can make a big splash when we announce publicly. But this project has the potential to demonstrate how we can use thoughtful, innovative technology like H2O to really change how people teach and learn rather than just to provide conveniences like online lecture notes and assignment submission boxes.

1 Comment

  1. Jesse Littlewood

    September 18, 2007 @ 6:33 pm

    1

    Hi there-

    I was hoping I could borrow your export functionality for our webgui system — we are a boston-based non profit and we need a way to move data from a registration form (dataform) into excel in a specific order — the way the dataform exports to the tab-delimited file seems to be totally random, and it is a big problem. Please contact me if you can help out!

    Thanks,
    Jesse
    jesse@greencorps.org

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