Max Grossman has worked with my project as a student programmer since January and accomplished a great deal! He starts graduate school next year and hopes to continue working with the project.
He has been working on our importer/editor. You can see an alpha version at cnx.oerpub.org. The editor consists of a collection of converters that take documents in common formats (Word, Open Office, Google Docs, HTML, or LaTeX) and convert them to a remixable XML format, CNXML. Authors add metadata and then the editor employs an API adapted from the SWORD AtomPub profile (called OERPUB API), to upload and publish the documents to Connexions, cnx.org. The tool is designed to be extensible to publishing to other repositories (libraries of content) as well.
Max started by fixing bugs for us and immediately dove into some really gnarly ones dealing with Unicode handling, improper retention of user inputs, error handling, and the Google Docs file API’s. He also did some hand testing. I always like developers to test to see what real users see when they are trying to get work done. And as a side benefit, developers always want to make the process more efficient and Max is no exception. He created a script to break large documents down to isolate problem areas, and he also created a set of unit tests for the importer to be run automatically. Read the full story on his blog.