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Review/Update Submit Practical Submission System

Project ID: 
Current stage: 

Description: The current Submit submission system is written in C. This project is to either rewrite it in a more suitable language (Python or Perl) or to make changes to the existing codebase whichever is more cost effective. Also want to look at converting the current back-end which uses NFS storage space to either AFS space or a version control system such as Subversion. It is also necessary to make changes to support EUCLID.

Deliverables: A new or revised Submit system. Either way the following need to be addressed:

  • Improve error return status on zero length submission due to filespace full
  • Freeze submissions at the deadline point (or maintain a version history in some form)
  • Drop years from submissions directory structure, data and command line
  • Re-consider how to upload data to the submission system (currently uses cron and CVS) post-EUCLID

Customer: Students, Teaching staff and the ITO.

Case statement: Limitations of existing system. Consideration for AFS. Consideration for EUCLID changes. Requested feature improvements.

A complete re-write was considered and deemed unnecessary at Teaching Committee. However changes to support the following were considered needed (but should not need re-write, except possibly the year handling):

* Support for changes driven by EUCLID and School Database revamp.
* Making link to "staff use" documentation more prominent.
* Making sure set_submit_filenames works properly.
* Removing the legacy "year" level as a submission property. Driven by School Database revamp.



Timescales: Needed for the start of a session ideally. EUCLID changes will have to supported prior to the start of the 10/11 academic session.

Priority: Low for general changes and re-implementation. Very high for EUCLID integration.

Time: Six weeks for rewrite. 2 weeks for other changes only - although thats a little speculative at this stage.


Proposal: See plan. More data on EUCLID changes is needed.

Resources: Effort

Plan: Evaluate whether the EUCLID changes in themselves should constitute a re-write and whether the length of time before any central UoE submission system will be used by the School should constitute a re-write. Implement EUCLID changes either way.


Dependencies: None of note.

Risks: IS do not produce a means to access data from EUCLID to support the submission system. Data provided from EUCLID is so functionally different as to necessitate a complete re-write.


Proposed date Achieved date Name Description
2010-12-03 2010-11-12 Look at the C Look at the 4500 or so lines of C code and see how easy it might be to go through it cleanly removing the "year" level from the directory structure it uses.
2011-01-14 2011-01-14 Remove the year Remove the year level from the submit code and data files.
2011-01-21 2011-01-21 Tidy code Tidy & update code, add more comments
2011-03-01 2011-03-01 Test suite Write a test suite
2011-03-08 2011-03-08 Test code Test the submit code for proper behaviour.
2011-09-12 2011-08-31 Final conversio Convert the associated scripts to work with the new yearless submit. Replace the old submit with the new yearless submit.