xmllint

This Linux tool is my new best friend. We get thousands of XML files from our clients for loading user, class, and enrollment information. Some of these clients customize our software or write their own software for generating the XML. This means we frequently get oddities in the files which cause problems. Thankfully I am… Continue reading xmllint

Email Harvesters

I missed the story about brothers convicted of harvesting emails the first time. Well, I noticed a followup. Back around 2001, the CIO received complaints about performance for the web server. So, I went log trolling to see what the web server was doing. A single IP dominated the HTTP requests. This one IP passed… Continue reading Email Harvesters

Relative Truth

Found an interesting comment on an article the state of Georgia observing the Confederate Memorial Day…. The truth of history means very little to those who are dead set against learning anything from it. No matter what the history books used in our public school system say, most will never believe anything other than their… Continue reading Relative Truth

Session Oddities

One of the clients we host complained about losing their session. Blackboard recommended we switch how our load balancer is handling the session persistence. Before agreeing to do that, we decided to use Blackboard’s script to determine if there is a problem before trying to fix something which may or may not exist. An acceptable… Continue reading Session Oddities

Blackboard iPhone App

People have been contacting me all day about the Blackboard iPhone App. Both Blackboard and the Chronicle of Higher Education posted blogs about its release. Blackboard + iPhone = Learning on the Go (Blackboard) Blackboard Releases iPhone Application (Chronicle.com) I find it interesting Jessica mentioned a Georgia student is the inspiration in the Bb blog… Continue reading Blackboard iPhone App

How Not To Break a Frame

Correct: <script language=”Javascript” type=”text/javascript”> if (top != self) { top.location = window.location; } </script> Incorrect: <script language=”Javascript” type=”text/javascript”> if (top != self) { top.location = “/webct/urw/lc18361011.tp0/logonDisplay.dowebct”; } </script> The problem with incorrect is the address used here is not the address in the location bar.  The one in the location bar has the values required… Continue reading How Not To Break a Frame

Forcing Weblogic’s Config.xml

Let’s nevermind why I am working on this in the first place. Namely… the Blackboard Learning Environment Connector introduced using the hostname and port for applet URLs in Vista 8 Blackboard, Blackboard dropped WebCT’s support for using a different port for an application when behind a load balancer. So we found out we could use… Continue reading Forcing Weblogic’s Config.xml

FBI Investigates Legal Activity Also

One of the reasons my photos sets are more full of flowers than buildings is people don’t call the FBI over pictures of flowers. While it is perfectly legal to take pictures of buildings from public spaces, it makes “victims” nervous. No one cares about flowers. I can take all the pictures I want without… Continue reading FBI Investigates Legal Activity Also

More Spiking CPU Over Assignments

More on concerns with editAssignmentSubmission.dowebct on Blackboard Vista nodes. Found an error in the exceptions logs tied to one of the transactions: Error occurred maintaining selective release status-Learning Object Id It gets better…. The assignment in question? Not using selective release. Yeah. There is an error for an assessment. Hopefully it is just the assignments… Continue reading More Spiking CPU Over Assignments

User Interface v. SQL Reports and Tracking

Blackboard Vista tracks student activity. This tracking data is viewed as a critical feature of Vista. Our instructors depended on the information until we revoked their ability to run reports themselves due to performance issues. Campus administrators can still generate reports (though some still fail). We doubt the solution to this is Blackboard improving the… Continue reading User Interface v. SQL Reports and Tracking