Edu_RSS 0.2 Code and Installation

Don't know what Edu_RSS is? Read this page first.

Caveat

Edu_RSS 0.2 is an unfinished project. The code works fine on my site, but you may encounter undexpected issues (like some links that point to downes.ca for example). If you are dowloading and installing this, you are doing it to explore the system, rather than to set up a production environment.

Getting Ready

Edu_RSS uses and runs in the same environment as the mIDm login system. Before you install Edu_RSS, install and test mIDm according to the directions posted here.

During your installation of mIDm you will configure access to the mIDm database. Edu_RSS shares this same configuration file and stores files on the same database. So once you have mIDm installed, your server environment will be set to go.

Perl Environment

I have tried to keep the use of Perl modules to a minimum, as I have no control over their development, and because you have to be a server administrator in order to install them (in other words, they're a pain to use). Nonetheless, the scripts below require the following Perl modules:

CGI
CGI::Carp
XML::LibXML
File::Copy
LWP
Apache::DBI()
GD
Image::GD::Thumbnail

Most of these will already be in your system. If they are not, ask your server administrator to install them.

Edu_RSS Software

Edu_RSS emplys a set of Perl scripts and some SQL to set up your database. You should probably set up the database first. Download and run the following SQL on the same database you used for mIDm:

This SQL not only defines the database, it also contains some templates and views to get you started. You can always edit those later.

Next, download and install the following scripts, renaming them and putting them into your web server directories as follows (The cgi-bin directory should be whatever you specified in mIDm.conf as your CGI directory):

cgi-bin/page.cgi
cgi-bin/mycss.cgi
cgi-bin/mytheme.cgi
cgi-bin/edurss/page.cgi
cgi-bin/edurss/gallery.pl

If you are using a Linux or Unix system, you will need to give these scripts execute permission (chmod 755). If you are using a Windows system, you don't have to do this (but I have no idea whether they'll run, either).

Note: right now, you will need to edit a couple lines at the top of page.cgi to point to actual file locations in your system. Specifically, change &get_site($Site,"/home/downess/opt-httpd-prefork-htdocs/cgi-bin/data/midm.conf"); to the location of your configuration file and require "/home/downess/opt-httpd-prefork-htdocs/cgi-bin/edurss/harvester.pl" to point to your edurss subdirectory (sorry about that; it was a quick fix to make cron work properly).

That's it! Your Edu_RSS system should now run. Should. It has been tested only in limited environments. Note as well that many of the views point specifically to downes.ca - check the edit views especially and change the post action="" parameter to the location of your own script (you may have to use phpMyAdmin to edit view_edit in the view table to get the system off the ground).

Bug reports, comments and cheerful notes would be warmly received. If you want to contribute to this code, your contributions are welcome.

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Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

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