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 (cute), and
  5. Parked on top of it.
  6. Updated
  7. Setup Moodle 2.6 on,
  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.