Deploying parallel Eclipse installations for teaching labs

I’ve worked on documenting and automating the deployment of Eclipse installations for several teaching labs of Telecom SudParis.

The recently introduced Eclipse Installer (Oomph) allows to install several parallel Eclipse installations containing diverse versions of Eclipse and bundles, so that each specific installation only contains a limited set of features, and that common plugins are pooled in a shared space.

This allows to deploy different Eclipse installations for different course labs, containing only the needed features, and minimizing the disk space needed for the whole.
Previously, we installed pretty much everything in a single place (yum install eclipse*), which lead to providing students with all possible languages support and features, on every machines, by default.
One of the main expected benefits of the new approach is to minimize Eclipse startup times, but this should also help avoid conflicting plugins.
If the experiment proves useful, we’ll then have one Eclipse installation for each needing computer science lab, all under different subdirs of /opt/eclipse/. For instance students registered in CSC4101 will start Eclipse by executing /opt/eclipse/CSC4101/eclipse/eclipse, giving them features for PHP and Symfony development (resp /opt/eclipse/CSC4102/eclipse/eclipse for CSC4102, for Java + Maven, etc.).

I’ve made available a document which explains the process, which was originally documented using org-mode’s babel feature which allows to write “litterate devops” documents containing executable instructions. I’ve used a Vagrant + Virtualbox setup to create the installation inside a Fedora VM, which mimics the target system for our lab machines.

The git repo of the corresponding project should be accessible for anyone interested.

Handling video files produced for a MOOC on Windows with git and git-annex

This post is intended to document some elements of workflow that I’ve setup to manage videos produced for a MOOC, where different colleagues work collaboratively on a set of video sequences, in a remote way.

We are a team of several schools working on the same course, and we have an incremental process, so we need some collaboration over a quite long period of many remote authors, over a set of video sequences.

We’re probably going to review some of the videos and make changes, so we need to monitor changes, and submit versions to colleagues on remote sites so they can criticize and get later edits. We may have more that one site doing video production. Thus we need to share videos along the flow of production, editing and revision of the course contents, in a way that is manageable by power users (we’re all computer scientists, used to SVN or Git).

I’ve decided to start an experiment with Git and Git-Annex to try and manage the videos like we use to do for slides sources in LaTeX. Obviously the main issue is that videos are big files, demanding in storage space and bandwidth for transfers.

Continue reading “Handling video files produced for a MOOC on Windows with git and git-annex”

Présentation du projet Debian par Nicolas Dandrimont lors de la Debian release party de Jessie

Nicolas (olasd) Dandrimont est venu présenter le projet Debian à Télécom SudParis lundi 18 mai 2015, pour la petite fête de sortie de la version majeure “Jessie” que nous avions organisé avec MiNET.

Les transparents de Nicolas sont disponibles sur son site.

Updated : Voici l’enregistrement de la conférence sur YouTube :

Merci aux membres de MiNET qui ont joyeusement participé à cette petite fête.

Voici quelques photos :

Vous pouvez aussi revisionner l’enregistrement de la conférence de Stefano il y a 4 ans.

Avec MiNET, première Debian release party française de Jessie le 18 mai à Télécom SudParis

Vous étiez frustrés de ne pas pouvoir fêter Jessie en France dignement ?

On a pensé à vous, avec MiNET.

Le 18 mai entre 17h et 18h30, nous fêterons ça à Évry (Essonne) à Télécom SudParis, avec la participation de Nicolas Dandrimont en guest star, pour présenter le projet.

Attention, inscription gratuite par avance en contactant les organisateurs, compte-tenu des contraintes de sécurité pour l’accès au site (vigipirate).

Plus de détails sur :Évry

A howto record a screencast on Linux and tablet

I’ve documented the process of how I’m trying to perform DIY screencast recording, for the needs of a MOOC.

I’m working on my Debian or Ubuntu desktop, using an external graphic tablet with integrated display for annotating slides.

The main software used for the process are xournal for annotating PDFs and vokoscreen for the screen and video recording.

Here is the documentation :

And here’s the companion video :

I hope this is useful to some.