Friday, January 20, 2012

Connexions Dev Update for Jan. 20, 2012

Lots of info to share since last week's update was missed.


  • We tested the Physics book PDF generation and the Word Importer changes in QA last week.    The code was using FOP and Docbook to create more professional looking PDFs.  Our plan was to release this code and in a couple of weeks release the Prince XML version of the PDF generation.  The urgency was caused by the lack of harddrive space on the development server where the content is being created.  We have now fixed the space issue so it was decided not to release the FOP version of the PDF code.  We are focused on the new Prince XML version.
  • Documentation - We have some new styles needed for the Sociology book to our documentation of the new markup.
  • Coding is continuing on the PrinceXML version of the PDF.  You can see a sample of the Sociology layout at  It has Physics content, but the color scheme of Sociology.
  • Some minor issues have been brought up by our content team regarding Math display in the Physics book.  Some of this will be fixed in the Prince XML code, but others will have to be fixed when we do the migration to production by tweaking the MathML generated by the Word Importer.
CNX Conference Preparation

  • As the CNX Conference approaches, we are preparing for the sprints that will happen after the conference.
  • The Bug List for the Sprint has been completed.
  • Documentation for the Sprint has started.
Donate Button Change

  • The donate button now has a minimum donation of $1.  The original minimum was $10. We hope this will lead to more donations.
iPhone App

  • An Apple Developer Program for iOS was finally purchased last week.  It has taken months for all the documentation problems to get ironed out.
Consortium Tech Committee Meeting

  • The Connexions Consortium Tech Committee held its monthly meeting last week.
  • Discussions included current Connexions dev work, OERPub API update, Sprint topics and other member updates.  Check the minutes for more details.
  • We are currently testing a new release of the OERPub API which uses Sword to add and modify Connexions content.
  • The latest release allows users to add content to a Lens, add Featured Links to a module and to create a collection in a Workspace or Workgroup.  The code should be released early next week.
  • The latest documentation for the API is at
HTML Editor Discussion
  • We have been talking within our team and on the Rhaptos list about the possibility of using HTML5 Microdata in the new WYSIWYG editor to document non-HTML elements in CNXML in the editor.
  • HTML5 has some traction because of support from, but it also has problems such as very limited browser support.
  • The thread on the Rhaptos list has more information.  


  1. I think there is a slight conflation between HTML5 and Microdata in the discussion. Some features in HTML5 have wider-adoption than others. Microdata is a proposal to embed semantics in HTML, especially to make searching and discovery richer.

  2. As with any good story, the beginning should be tied to the end. Once again, share a tidbit about the story you introduced in the beginning of the statement See more personal letter of intent