Welcome to Pyslet

Note

You are reading the latest development version of the documentation which corresponds to the master branch of the source on GitHub. The last release on PyPi was pyslet-0.6.20160201 and the corresponding documentation is here

Pyslet is a Python package for Standards in Learning Education and Training (LET). It implements a number of LET-specific standards, including IMS QTI, Content Packaging and Basic LTI. It also includes support for some general standards, including the data access standard OData (see http://www.odata.org).

Pyslet was originally written to be the engine behind the QTI migration tool but it can be used independently as a support module for your own Python applications.

Full documentation is hosted at http://pyslet.readthedocs.org

Pyslet currently supports Python 2.6 and 2.7, see docs for details.

Distribution

Pyslet is developed on GitHub: https://github.com/swl10/pyslet but it can be downloaded and installed from the popular PyPi package distribution site: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyslet using pip.

While Pyslet is being actively developed the version on PyPi may lag a few months behind the master branch on GitHub. The unittests are fairly comprehensive and are automatically run against the master branch using TravisCI:

Build Status

Users of older Python builds (e.g., the current Python 2.6 installed on OS X as of August 2014) should be aware that pip may well fail to install itself or other modules due to a failure to connect to the PyPi repository. Fixing this is hard and installing from source is recommended instead if you are afflicted by this issue.

Installing from Source

The Pyslet package contains a setup.py script so you can install it by downloading the compressed archive, uncompressing it and then running the following command inside the package:

python setup.py install

Windows users should note that when downloading a zipped archive of the distribution some unittests may fail due to the ambiguity in character encoding file names in zip archives. This is not an issue with Pyslet itself but an issue with some of the test data in the unittests folder. If you use Git (or GitHub desktop) to checkout the master instead then the unittests should work, please report any errors as the continuous build system does not catch Windows-specific bugs.

Current Status & Road Map

Pyslet is going through a transition process at the moment as the QTI migration tool that drives its development is gradually moving towards being distributed as an LTI tool rather than a desktop application.

The OData support is fairly robust, it is used to run the Cambridge Weather OData service which can be found at http://odata.pyslet.org/weather

What’s next?

  • Python 3 support (70% complete)
  • MySQL shim for the OData SQL storage model (90% complete and functional)
  • Improved support for LTI to take it beyond ‘basic’ (60% complete)

I’m also slowly transforming the code for better PEP-8 compliance as reported by the fantastic flake8. For important information about how this affects existing Pyslet users see the What’s New? section of the documentation or the CHANGES.rst file in the distribution package.

Once Pyslet works under Python 3 I will start work on updating the existing OData package to support OData versions 3 and 4.

I also write about Pyslet on my blog: http://swl10.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Pyslet

Feedback

The best way to get something changed is to create an issue or Pull request on GitHub, however, my contact details are available there on my profile page if you just want to drop me an email with a suggestion or question.

License

Pyslet is distributed under the ‘New’ BSD license: http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause, this decision was inherited from the early days of the code. Although Copyright to much of the source is owned by the author personally earlier parts are owned by the University of Cambridge and are marked as such.

Pyslet is written and maintained by the main author on a spare time basis and is not connected to my current employer.

Acknowledgements

Some historical information is available on the QTI Migration tool’s Google Code project: https://code.google.com/p/qtimigration/

Some of the code was written in the 1990s and it owes a lot to the University of Cambridge and, in particular, to the team I worked with at UCLES (aka Cambridge Assessment) who were instrumental in getting this project started.

Format of the Documentation

The documentation has been written using ReStructuredText, a simple format created as part of the docutils package on SourceForge. The documentation files you are most likely reading have been generated using Sphinx. Parts of the documentation are auto-generated from the Python source files to make it easier to automatically discover the documentation using other tools capable of reading Python docstrings. However, this requires that the docstrings be written using ReStructuredText too, which means there is some additional markup for python-cross referencing in the code that may not be interpretable by other system (see below for details).