Wednesday, May 25, 2005

IASSIST conference

So I have an opportunity to attend an IASSIST conference in Edinburgh. How exciting! BYU's College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences paid my way to demonstrate a software product I wrote for them. Many, many thanks to them for giving me this opportunity, and allowing me to share with the world what they have sponsored.

I wrote several web sites to collect survey data over the web and present respondants with immediate reports of how their responses fit a norm, and acceptable levels for marriage with another respondant. After coding the same things (and debugging) over and over, I decided to write a reusable engine that does all the work, and more, and can share the code across all the web sites. This engine uses DDI as its core questionnaire schema to define a codebook that the questionnaire is rendered from using XSLT.

The code for this surveying and reporting engine can be shared with the world, and shortly will be through a customized open source license. I am not what I would call an open source freak, or even fanatic, but I see it's place, especially in the academic world, and I'm eager to share this, because I see it as very useful generally, and I don't want to take the time to market it. I'll post here again when it becomes available. Probably on Novell Forge.

I have already put up a web site where BYU professors can post surveys very quickly and easily and begin collecting data over the web immediately. Soon I hope to put up a site generally available to all universities at http://www.collegestudies.org. It's not there yet though.

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