We (the WeBWorK community as a whole) are at the beginning of a process
to develop a procedure which will accomplish this task efficiently. We
need both technical tools that make it easy to compare files (both the
source and the output) in order to see what changes have been made and
editorial procedures as to how to judge when one an "improvement" has
been made or whther one has created a new related problem. Finally we
want to create metadata that allows us to associate similar problems
and to find problems meeting certain characteristics. Among others,
John Jones at Arizona State, Jeff Holt at U. of Virgina and Bill Ziemer
at CSU Long Beach have been thinking about this problem.
I'm assuming that your modifications are to problems in the rochester
library (rochesterLibrary or rochester_problib) over which I guess
Arnie and I can claim editorial control.
So as a start I'd like to suggest the following -- if you have suggestions as to alternatives, please let me know.
Send me a tarfile of your corrected problems (my suggestions for the
format are below) and I'll review the changes and submit them to the
CVS. I'll use BBedit difference engine available on Mac's to compare
your submissions with what is already there and see how well it works.
I also have some local tools using Userland Radio and Userland Frontier
that allow me to display problems locally and compare how they look.
I'll report back on what successes and difficulties. If some of these
tools work we can try to port them to other platforms -- perhaps
developing tools in perl/tk or tcl/tk.
Other issues, which I'm not addressing here -- but I'm open to
suggestions -- involve giving attribution to problem fixes, maintaining
metadata, organizing and pruning existing problem libraries (see http://webhost.math.rochester.edu/webworkdocs/ww/problemLibrary)
and so forth. In the very long term I'd like to see an editorial board
for problems set up-- perhaps in conjunction with the MAA and
I'll try to see if I can set up a public "upload" directory on devel.webwork.rochester.edu
or on the sourceforge site where people can upload contributions rather than send me email and attachments.
For format -- it would help enormously if you can send me the problems in a directory structure that mirrors the original:
That way I can quickly compare the new version of the problem with the old one.
If you have renamed the problems and this is too much trouble give me
as much information as you can so that I can find the original problem
to compare it with.
This is an important issue to address -- sorry that we don't yet have a complete answer.
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