This Chinese New Year holidays I worked feverishly on the Web thread of BATCHEM and made good progress.  Here’s a batch ’em technical progress:

  1. Set up a VPS with the LAMP stack,
  2. migrated content & databases from Dreamhost, and
  3. installed Python 3.3 and node.js on the server.
  4. Registered jon.hk (cute), and
  5. Parked jkwchui.com on top of it.
  6. Updated lpcuwc-coral.hk
  7. Setup Moodle 2.6 on chem.jon.hk,
  8. Installed a responsive theme, customized the appearances,
  9. selected, installed, and tested all the extensions required for the desired functions, including
    • question types useful for sciences,
    • mathjax for LaTeX…
    • …extended with mhchem.js…
    • …further extended with chemistry units (subset of the SIUnit package)
    • Hanson’s JSmol (via Rowland’s filter)
  10. Duplicated and synchronized all of the above with a XAMPP stack for local development.
  11. Wrote one question of every question type,
  12. exported and imported questions via both GIFT and MoodleXML formats.
  13. Wrote a glossary for the IB command terms,
  14. Planned and wrote the entire category tree for chemistry questions at the pre-uni level (based in part on the inventory developed by ACSEI),
  15. Wrote a quiz with full feedback, hints, timed, with certainty-based marking.
  16. Sketched out the full approach to the Questionbank component of BATCHEM,
  17. Made a JSmol swatch palette in Illustrator,
  18. Through a chapter of learning to typeset in InDesign,
  19. developed styles and workflow for SVG from Illustrator,
  20. Rendered to vector from PDB (via Blender-wrapped ePMV, Freestyle with SVG-writer style)
  21. Pulled a few Bezier curves for Wikipedia, and
  22. made booking for summer adventures.

Apart from feeling quite alive, what I found remarkable is that, with the exception of Illustrator, everything is open-sourced.  Blender, ePMV, Freestyle, Moodle and extensions, XAMPP, JSmol, mathjax, TeX/LaTeX and packages, apache, MySQL, python and modules, node.js… there’s an interesting oasis in the soul-parched materialistic world.