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Old 04-07-2008, 10:02 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2008
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Advice: College student wishing to make a super-simple website for Latin students.

Alright, my goal is to create a program that will allow students of Latin to take quick grammar drills and be able to chart their accuracy. The program will most likely be made entirely in flash and made available on a website I make which will most likely be nothing more than that one flash.
One feature I want for it is the ability for the program to show a line chart and various data concerning the student's progress. Basically the website will be a simple menu, with buttons for noun, verb, adjective, and grammar drills. The scores will be saved by the program, and allow the users to access it.
The only thing is that I have no idea how this works. My general understanding is that:
-I have a PC connected to the internet that has the website on it.
-A student creates an account, so the PC makes a data file for him.
-The flash program updates that data file whenever the student completes a drill.
-The flash program will take the data from the file when the student requests to see the data.
-Teachers may link accounts with the student and be able to see the student's scores as well as the scores for all the students in one of his classes.
Is it this simple, or do I not understand a lot of things? Do I need a PC that is connected to the internet all the time for the students to access the website? Can this be simplified in any way? Am I making any sense? Is this plausible for a College Student to do?
Old 04-08-2008, 01:05 AM   #2
Wim Sturkenboom
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Assuming that you're talking about a PC at home:
First question is how the student and teachers are going to find that website? I guess that you're going to register a domain name.
Next question will be if your ISP allows hosting? If you ISP does not allow it, you have to host with a hosting provider.

It's nicest if the PC is 100% of the time available; you never know when a student wants to access the site. If you don't like that idea, you have some options:
- hosting the site with a hosting provider (or maybe the school/university already has a website where you can add this one)
- arrangements that site will only be available betwwen e.g. 8 and 4

You also might want/need secure access (https) so e.g. usernames and passwords can not be sniffed when students and teachers login.

The most difficult part is probably defining the format of the datafile. What is the info that needs to be stored? Just a simple score or more complicated? If the information for a student becomes complex or large, you might want to consider a simple database.

A database might also come in handy when linking teachers to students (although a file can do this trick as well but might be more complicated to maintain).

I'm not familiar with flash, so I can not comment on the use of it for this application. Why did you consider it?
Old 04-08-2008, 07:17 AM   #3
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Your best option is to have the site hosted, or if you have University space to host on hosting it there, if not then maybe even a teacher or a department will let you host it on their section of the University web site. Secondly I do not know all that much about referencing and using outside files with Flash programming, I do not even know if it's possible, but it probably is. Lastly use a database for all your student data and the student/teacher linking. MySQL works well if you have access to use a MySQL server, or you could even scrape by using an MS Access database file provided there is a dataadapter for it in Flash programming. If you need help on ideas aboutusing a database let me know I am pretty good with that part of things, but haven't used Flash in years to design anything.
Old 04-08-2008, 07:26 AM   #4
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If you have a static IP address there is no reason why you shouldn't host it on your home computer if your ISP allows it. Of course, you will need to keep your computer running the whole time access is to be required, which may be the biggest consideration in deciding whether you want to find a host for it, given that bandwidth will probably not be a problem. There are some free hosts, of course, if you don't want things like MySQL (you do mention Flash) and don't mind putting up with advertising. If it is the only site you are going to host on your connection (no virtual hosting required) then it could be found by your students if you give them your IP address plus the name of the folder with the site, e.g. http://82.176.445.88/website no need for domain registration.

Last edited by r-t; 04-08-2008 at 07:34 AM.
Old 04-08-2008, 08:31 AM   #5
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Well, I'm pretty sure I could do most of what I need to do in the command line, all the data file needs to have are the scores, such as if the student takes a test in nouns, and there are 10 questions, 1 point each, and he gets 8 right, the database will add 8 points to his # of nouns correct, 10 points to his # of total nouns, and create an entry with the date he took the test, along with his grade (80). For the data section of the website, it will show his total % grade for the time he has used the program, and a line chart showing his daily score.
I suppose a host would be best, right now I'm just in high school (senior year), but I'll be in college by the time I finish this, and it's a very small college. If they host it would make things easier.
I don't know a lot about free web hosting, but I am kind of wary of it, I would rather have something reliable that if something breaks it is at least my fault. My family does not have a static IP adress, but I did hear of something called 'Dynamic DNS' would this allow me to host it from home? And if I do, will it slow down my family's Wi-fi?
Would there be a risk in hackers getting on the website and hacking my family's computers through the wi-fi?
If I host from home, my pc would only need to be a hard drive, mother board, and internet connection, right? I won't need a video card or anything like that, correct?
And I like flash for it's ability to easily create GUI's, I'm trying to make this more game-like to attract students, think a Latin version of "Brain Age" (Nintendo DS)

Last edited by Romanus81; 04-08-2008 at 08:33 AM.
Old 04-08-2008, 12:47 PM   #6
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If you have dynamic DNS where your ISP allocates you a different IP address each time you log on, then hosting on your computer at home is not really going to be an option.

Hosting your own website may incur a a little bit of danger regarding hackers there are safety measures you can take, of course.

Note that Macromedia do not make Linux packages for writing Flash web pages. (The one for Windows cost about $700, I note.) I think the Linux Flash project has been a bit on and off over the past few years.


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