TAO: Open Source Testing Platform

A bit of a diversion here: the ideal of a easy to use, free for everyone tool for creating and delivering online assessments has been appealing to me for some time.  I first noticed TAO, an open source computer based testing platform, last year.  This year they were a sponsor at ATP (the association of test publishers conference), so I was able to meet the staff and get a demo and learn a bit more about what it can do.

The learning curve is a bit steep; their use of LAMP technologies masks some serious ambition and innovation designed to make the platform as general and modular as possible.   In particular they have implemented their own persistent data management scheme on top of the RDBMS (mySQL or Postgress and perhaps others), which generalizes the underlying data models.  Sadly there is not yet a standard reference implementation that might support rapid deployment. This and the possibility of an iPad / tablet client app are things I am thinking about as I work at setting up my own implementation for study.

Since i have a Windows 2003 server box available, I am trying the implementation there. Soon I will give up and use a Unix platform — or re-purpose this hardward to some from of Linux.

A break from Box2D is probably a good idea anyway.  I will tag all these posts with TAO so if you don’t want to be distracted from 2dD graphics App development topics, they are easy to skip.



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