I'm happy to announce that we've got a new release of SchoolTool, a
free student information system, out in sync with Ubuntu 2008.10.
We're calling it a "beta." We plan on continuing to map to the Ubuntu
schedule, with "1.0" slated for April.
Geeky packagaging explanation: Currently, we're distributing
SchoolTool .deb packages for Ubuntu through our personal package
archive (PPA) on Launchpad.net. There is a bit of a roadblock for us
and Debian & Ubuntu proper because of the Zope 3 packages. Basically,
Zope 3 has switched itself from being a more or less monolithic
application server to being a pile of libraries, packaged as Python
eggs (like Java .jars, for example). The current Debian and Ubuntu
packages for Zope 3 are the monolithic version. We've got scripts to
autogenerate separate .debs for all the little libraries now packaged
as separate eggs. The current Zope 3 maintainers don't have a lot of
enthusiasm for exploding the number of .deb packages they'll need to
maintain. So we're at a bit of a standoff. In the medium term, this
doesn't seem to be a big issue, since, while not being in the main
Ubuntu repositories isn't idea, it is an advantage for us to be able
to push bugfixes into our PPA very quickly and control our whole stack
A couple additional notes: we're working right now on setup/export via
spreadsheets, which I think will make everyone wanting to experiment
with SchoolTool happy. We should have that in an update release soon.
Also, I'm working on documentation for using SchoolTool as a personal
gradebook or for scheduling resources in a school, which are good ways
to use/test SchoolTool without making a major commitment.
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