Discussion:
[Inkscape-devel] Inkscape Classes?
Bryce Harrington
2008-03-09 00:30:13 UTC
Permalink
Ubuntu does a really cool thing by holding online "classes" on various
topics, like making patches, using Launchpad, doing Screencasts,
etc. [1] Other FOSS projects do similar.

I think it would be very worthwhile for us to do something like this -
brief 101-level intros to various topics (both usage and development),
if enough of us are able to teach.

How it'd work, is we'd set up #inkscape-classroom in IRC with logging,
and publish a timeline of classes. The teacher would prepare their
lesson plan, including screenshots, sample files, etc., then run the
class for 1 hour (max) and answer questions, and afterwards put the IRC
log into wiki (and clean it up a bit), for future reference.

Some random ideas for topics:

* Using Live Path Effects
* Using Filter Effects
* Creating Icons using Inkscape
* Web Design using Inkscape
* The Open Clip Art Library
* Google SoC Primer
* Translation 101
* Launchpad 101
* Refactoring 101
* Scripting Effects 101
* Bug Triage
* Debugging Inkscape
* Maintaining the Inkscape Windows Port
etc. etc.

What do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be
interested in teaching a class, or have ideas for topics not listed
above?

If there's enough interest (6+ teachers), I'll go ahead and start
organizing it.

Bryce

[1]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOpenWeek
Albert Cardona
2008-03-10 01:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bryce Harrington
What do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be
interested in teaching a class, or have ideas for topics not listed
above?
If there's enough interest (6+ teachers), I'll go ahead and start
organizing it.
I always wanted to do a scientific poster making tutorial, but never
found the time.
Getting comitted to teach a class on the subject would make me write it.

I'm in.

Albert
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Ted Gould
2008-03-10 20:20:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bryce Harrington
What do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be
interested in teaching a class, or have ideas for topics not listed
above?
I'd do one.

--Ted
Jon A. Cruz
2008-03-11 02:39:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bryce Harrington
What do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be
interested in teaching a class, or have ideas for topics not listed
above?
Sure. Count me in.
ryan lerch
2008-03-11 04:03:53 UTC
Permalink
sounds like a great idea...

ill help support / create materials for teachers if needed...
Post by Bryce Harrington
What do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be
interested in teaching a class, or have ideas for topics not listed
above?
Sure. Count me in.
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Bernard Gray
2008-03-12 22:20:11 UTC
Permalink
I'm keen - I'm not particularly good at herding cats so I'd prefer to
be the cat myself and perhaps teach a tute.

An area of inkscape which I really enjoy working with and has enough
depth for a full tutorial (imo) is clones - so I reckon it's worth
adding
I've also just gone through a fairly intensive icon creation period
for sidux so I can do/help with the icon one as well.

Bernie (cleary)
rygle
2008-03-13 12:08:35 UTC
Permalink
Sounds really good. Perhaps the Wiki thing could go both ways - as a space
both for prep and for summary. The Wiki can be a great asset for beginners,
and these sort of things would really help it along.

I've just had a small go at enhancing
http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Win32Port
http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Win32Port , to help new Windows devs
and bug testers, but I'm a bit out of my depth. Perhaps someone could take
it another step further with this idea?

Rygle.
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rygle
2008-03-13 13:03:37 UTC
Permalink
Just had a look at the Ubuntu IRC class stuff, for example
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/openweekgutsy/LP_ManageBugs here .

I still think the classes are a great idea, but after looking at Ubuntu's
IRC logs, I wonder whether there is a better medium for information to be
delivered apart from IRC first, and then use the IRC stuff as a follow-up.

Some of my concerns about using IRC as a starting point are;
* The information can be much better structured than IRC and helped with
graphics. The format is very hard on the eyes and hard to find where you are
if you lose your place.
* The volume of info able to be delivered well over IRC in one hour is very
limited and affected by variables like typing speed of the teacher,
interruptions, etc. It is also to a degree off the cuff, and so the quality
of the information is affected. Even if the material is pre-prepared to
enhance the quality, with IRC the teacher is left copying and pasting or
whatever.
* It's hard to communicate an idea, give the student time to work with it,
and then get feedback or field questions, given the time frame. Better to
deliver the major ideas beforehand in some other format, and be able to
refer back to diagram 3, or point 2 under the heading "How to ..."
* I guess a lot of this comes down to quality of communication, which for
foundational stuff is pretty important. IMHO, IRC or similar is better for
follow up of some pre-prepared stuff that can be an assumed pre-requisite.

Some other possible ways to communicate this information well;
* The wiki is capable of delivering well structured notes that can be a
spring board for later stuff
* Alternately we could have some other tutorial stuff in SVG or PDF format
available online, and then follow with IRC
* I love heathenx's videos - they have worked very well for some Inkscape
virgins I am trying to help. Video is a bit harder to make, and can be much
less useful for certain topics like coding, but can be very valuable in
other areas. If content delivery is a hassle, then at the least there is
YouTube.

Cheers,

Rygle
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john cliff
2008-03-13 13:12:23 UTC
Permalink
If it was stable, this is the kinda thing that inkboard would be ideal for.
teacher could just share his doc and do the demo on the fly.
Post by rygle
Just had a look at the Ubuntu IRC class stuff, for example
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/openweekgutsy/LP_ManageBugs here .
I still think the classes are a great idea, but after looking at Ubuntu's
IRC logs, I wonder whether there is a better medium for information to be
delivered apart from IRC first, and then use the IRC stuff as a follow-up.
Some of my concerns about using IRC as a starting point are;
* The information can be much better structured than IRC and helped with
graphics. The format is very hard on the eyes and hard to find where you are
if you lose your place.
* The volume of info able to be delivered well over IRC in one hour is very
limited and affected by variables like typing speed of the teacher,
interruptions, etc. It is also to a degree off the cuff, and so the quality
of the information is affected. Even if the material is pre-prepared to
enhance the quality, with IRC the teacher is left copying and pasting or
whatever.
* It's hard to communicate an idea, give the student time to work with it,
and then get feedback or field questions, given the time frame. Better to
deliver the major ideas beforehand in some other format, and be able to
refer back to diagram 3, or point 2 under the heading "How to ..."
* I guess a lot of this comes down to quality of communication, which for
foundational stuff is pretty important. IMHO, IRC or similar is better for
follow up of some pre-prepared stuff that can be an assumed pre-requisite.
Some other possible ways to communicate this information well;
* The wiki is capable of delivering well structured notes that can be a
spring board for later stuff
* Alternately we could have some other tutorial stuff in SVG or PDF format
available online, and then follow with IRC
* I love heathenx's videos - they have worked very well for some Inkscape
virgins I am trying to help. Video is a bit harder to make, and can be much
less useful for certain topics like coding, but can be very valuable in
other areas. If content delivery is a hassle, then at the least there is
YouTube.
Cheers,
Rygle
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Bernard Gray
2008-03-14 02:46:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by john cliff
If it was stable, this is the kinda thing that inkboard would be ideal for.
teacher could just share his doc and do the demo on the fly.
This is a chicken and egg problem though - currently noone is using
Inkboard, so noone is inclined to work on it and make it useable. If
we could get a process started that would be significantly improved
with the Inkboard tool then somebody is much more likely to scratch
the itch.
Bryce Harrington
2008-03-14 03:12:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bernard Gray
Post by john cliff
If it was stable, this is the kinda thing that inkboard would be ideal for.
teacher could just share his doc and do the demo on the fly.
This is a chicken and egg problem though - currently noone is using
Inkboard, so noone is inclined to work on it and make it useable. If
we could get a process started that would be significantly improved
with the Inkboard tool then somebody is much more likely to scratch
the itch.
Would anyone like to run a session about Inkboard? Perhaps describing
how to set up a server, pointing out a few of the bugs, and outlining
work needing to be done, could be quite valuable.

Bryce
Dale Harvey
2008-03-14 03:25:31 UTC
Permalink
Inkboard would be perfect for user tutorials.

Given 2 weeks I think I could put inkboard into a workable state, then it
would
be good to have a session about its use / future.
If somone else is committing to getting it workable I wont step on any toes.

If noone else heads it up, can somone give me a start on how to
create dockable dialogs, it sounds like a minor issue but testing inkboard
with
the amount of dialogs you have to manage got fustrating quickly.
Post by Bryce Harrington
Post by Bernard Gray
Post by john cliff
If it was stable, this is the kinda thing that inkboard would be ideal
for.
Post by Bernard Gray
Post by john cliff
teacher could just share his doc and do the demo on the fly.
This is a chicken and egg problem though - currently noone is using
Inkboard, so noone is inclined to work on it and make it useable. If
we could get a process started that would be significantly improved
with the Inkboard tool then somebody is much more likely to scratch
the itch.
Would anyone like to run a session about Inkboard? Perhaps describing
how to set up a server, pointing out a few of the bugs, and outlining
work needing to be done, could be quite valuable.
Bryce
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Bryce Harrington
2008-03-14 04:05:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by rygle
I still think the classes are a great idea, but after looking at Ubuntu's
IRC logs, I wonder whether there is a better medium for information to be
delivered apart from IRC first, and then use the IRC stuff as a follow-up.
It may not be evident what the value of these are. The IRC sessions are
not intended to be comprehensive, but short introductory pieces. The
idea is that someone with 0 knowledge on the topic can sit in and absorb
enough to whet their appetite.

But you're right that the maximum effect is gained when there are
supplemental docs. In some cases where there are pre-existing
documentation, the IRC sessions can be just summaries of them,
highlighting the important bits. In other cases, unfortunately no
documentation exists, but that's okay - the IRC sessions provide a
motivation and opportunity to generate them: The teacher might write up
some course notes, or the students might help in converting the raw IRC
logs into something more formal.

Bryce
rygle
2008-03-14 06:54:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bryce Harrington
It may not be evident what the value of these are. The IRC sessions are
not intended to be comprehensive, but short introductory pieces. The
idea is that someone with 0 knowledge on the topic can sit in and absorb
enough to whet their appetite.
OK. Didn't fully understand that. I think it would still work better
bouncing off even a one page thing prepared before hand. It seemed that the
example I linked to before took an hour to get out less than a page worth of
material.
Post by Bryce Harrington
In other cases, unfortunately no documentation exists, but that's okay -
the IRC sessions provide a
motivation and opportunity to generate them: The teacher might write up
some course notes, or the students might help in converting the raw IRC
logs into something more formal.
I guess I was thinking that if someone is going to put any effort into
thinking about what to say before hand, then it would make sense to use the
Wiki as a scratch pad/work in progress. That might also help others who want
to collaborate and offer feedback. But if it only happens after the fact,
then it's still a win-win situation.

Hopefully this would be an iterative process where last time's IRC chat
becomes next time's kick off notes. A lot like the FOSS programming model.

Cheers, Rygle.
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Vangelis Katsikaros
2008-03-13 10:27:29 UTC
Permalink
Bryce Harrington
2008-03-14 22:32:17 UTC
Permalink
To determine what times would be best to run these, I did an analysis of
#inkscape IRC log comments for the past 6 months. This counts IRC and
Jabber comments but not join/quit messages:

Time #Cmt Score
00:00 5783 *****
01:00 6994 ******
02:00 6998 ******
03:00 6867 ******
04:00 5427 *****
05:00 4926 ****
06:00 3405 ***
07:00 3224 ***
08:00 2176 **
09:00 2254 **
10:00 1655 *
11:00 2185 **
12:00 3026 ***
13:00 3059 ***
14:00 2989 **
15:00 4775 ****
16:00 5101 *****
17:00 5459 *****
18:00 7227 *******
19:00 7186 *******
20:00 7719 *******
21:00 9296 *********
22:00 8944 ********
23:00 6825 ******
Bryce Harrington
2008-03-15 20:13:22 UTC
Permalink
Thanks everyone who volunteered to teach classes, it looks like there's
enough basic interest, although we'll need more to cover enough topics.

Here is a page for organizing and scheduling:

http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Inkscape_Classes

Bernard, Albert, and Dale, I've listed the classes you expressed
interest in teaching; please select a time that is convenient for you to
hold the sessions.

Ted, could you do a class on doxygen code docs?

Ryan Lerch, could you and Tom tackle