Where to find Guzdial and Ericson Web Resources post-Georgia Tech: Bookmark this post

March 22, 2019 at 7:00 am 3 comments

Georgia Tech has now shut down the web servers that Barbara Ericson and I have been using to share resources for the last umpteen years.  They warned us back in the Fall that they were going to, so we have been moving Web resources over to the University of Michigan.

Here are links to where to find some of our most often accessed resources (not all links and images will work, since some were hardcoded to Georgia Tech URLs):

We do not have everything moved over.  I believe that there were FERPA concerns about some of our websites (that we might be referencing student names), so we were not able to download those. We are recreating those resources best we can. Barbara has now set up a new blog for her AP CS A tracking data (see http://cs4all.home.blog), and I have uploaded my Computational Freakonomics slides and coursenotes to U-M.

Bookmark this post, and as I find more resources in the stash I downloaded, I’ll link them from here.


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Code Smells might suggest a different and better Notional Machine: Maybe students want more than one main() Task-specific programming languages: People aren’t dumb. Programming is hard.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  March 22, 2019 at 7:06 am

    What a colossal pain for you!

    Interesting that GT doesn’t seem to have gained a full understanding of how the Internet is supposed to work …

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  March 22, 2019 at 10:14 am

      It’s an interesting, bittersweet story about why they’re shutting down the servers.

      All our Swiki/CoWeb servers are being shut down because they run Squeak. Jeff Rick graduated in 2007. The servers have been running as-is with almost no patching for 12 years! (They had me fix a cross-site scripting vulnerability in like 2012.) It’s absolutely remarkable that this software has been so robust and usable for so many years without maintenance.

      But with my departure, there’s no one left on Georgia Tech campus who knows Squeak. There was a time when we taught hundreds of students a year about Smalltalk and Squeak. Today, I was the last Smalltalk programmer on campus.

      The administration decided that it’s a security vulnerability to have a system that they can’t maintain — it’s completely open source, but none of them can read the source. They shut the servers down in the Fall without warning. They brought them back up, apologized, and let us have Web access to the sites until a couple weeks ago.

      It’s a testimony to where we are with systems today. The engineering of our servers was remarkable. But the cybersecurity concerns and the challenge of learning new languages trumped the engineering.

      • 3. alanone1  |  March 22, 2019 at 10:59 am

        Ouch! But very like both funders and management today — they prefer the illusion of control over results.

        They would much rather feel completely in charge of mediocre processes than feel out of control with respect to superior processes.

        One enormous problem is that the mediocre processes are not nearly as amenable to control.


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