Trifork Blog

Category ‘Education’

Pen and Paper Vs. Sketching Tools

November 18th, 2014 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2014/11/18/pen-and-paper-vs-sketching-tools/)

Quite a few people have asked me over the years why I, as an interaction designer, do not use some of all the sketching and prototyping software that is out there, and why I still draw by hand despite the availability of all of these really smart and practical tools. Here’s why:

 

Screenshot of Balsamic

Screenshot of Balsamic

When I sketch a first prototype of a piece of software for a customer, then despite having done my homework well exploring the customer’s wants, and researching the users’ needs, I usually never get it right the first time. Understanding a new domain of expertise is a process that takes time and effort, and I always learn new things about a domain when I present a first prototype sketch to the customer and/or the users. There were things they forgot to tell me the first time, things I did not fully grasp the importance of initially. These new pieces of information usually causes the interaction design to change, as it should. But….

 

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GOTO Night on Functional Thinking

November 14th, 2014 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2014/11/14/goto-night-on-functional-thinking/)

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Monday, the 17th of November GOTO organizes a new GOTO night in Amsterdam and what a session this will be!

The evening starts with a lot of pizza to satisfy the hunger. Beware though, food for thought might come from the other great minds you can share dinner with. It's all about meeting new people and sharing your passion!

After the pizza we have 2 speakers who are able to blow you away. First we have Eelco Visser who will explain the principles and techniques for designing and implementing software languages. He will show how Spoofax helps us in creating our own languages.

Our second speaker is Neal Ford. He will explain the paradigm shift to get from an imperative programmer to a functional programmer. He will give examples in Java, Clojure and Scala. Expect to be amazed.

Be quick!

Boarding is almost finished and the room is already packed. Who will fill the last few seats for a full house? Register now using this link and see you on monday!

 

Trainings at GOTO Academy - AngularJS, Spring, Axon, iBeacon

August 7th, 2014 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2014/08/07/trainings-at-goto-academy-angularjs-spring-axon-ibeacon/)

Vagrant Logo

Take a look at the upcoming trainings schedule at GOTO Academy.

We will also have FREE evening events on the topics iBeacon, AngularJS. Stay tuned!

FREE EVENTS

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Brightcenter, the multi-user classroom solution for educative app(lication)s

May 15th, 2014 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2014/05/15/brightcenter-the-multi-user-classroom-solution-for-educative-applications/)

Tablets inside the classroom

brightcenter_logo_xl

For years now, PC/Desktops have been present in the classroom providing children and students digital learning environments. These learning environments are helping the teachers by providing interactive learning aids where children and students can independently work and learn. In primary schools, classrooms are filled with just a couple of PCs in order to allow children to learn how to use a computer. Many of these PCs include special software written specifically for kids, where they can learn to practice basic mathematics, writing, language, etc. Most of the time these PCs are not even connected to the Internet, because of the nature of the applications and run on local machines. Read the rest of this entry »

GOTO AMSTERDAM NEWSLETTER

May 2nd, 2014 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2014/05/02/goto-amsterdam-newsletter-2/)

GOTO Logo

It's Time to Sign up!

We hope you can make it to our next GOTO Amsterdam (June 18th-20th).

90% of the conference schedule is now final and live. The next early discount to save €200 ends May 14th. Get your seat now!

We encourage you to take a look at the training courses, that take place on June 18th. Leading industry experts will provide a day of hands-on tutorials on a wide range of topics.

See the complete training overview here.

Sign up now

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Secure Digital Assessments with QTI - demo

December 12th, 2013 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2013/12/12/secure-digital-assessments-with-qti-demo/)

Over the last year we have been working very hard on our new and improved QTI Assessment Delivery Engine; version 3. With the previous versions we were more or less stuck to the QTI rendering and implemented a lot of custom developed code around it to get it working. Many of these features have been rewritten and implemented into the product's core of version 3, of course taking into account the IMS QTI conformance.

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Trifork implements Overstapservice Onderwijs (OSO)

December 4th, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/12/04/trifor-implements-overstapservice-onderwijs/)

Trifork is currently busy implementing the Overstapservice Onderwijs (OSO) Traffic Center, a system that mediates the transfer of student files between schools. The Traffic Center standardizes the exchange of student files between primary- and secondary schools. The OSO project is a continuation of the Electronisch Leerling Dossier (ELD) project. It enables the digital transfer of student related documents between the individual student administration systems (LAS) of schools, regional initiatives and other stakeholders. A major challenge for the Traffic Center is that by law it is not allowed to store the student files, but it is purely facilitating the exchange.

In this blog entry I provide some insights into how the exchange is eventually facilitated and some of the challenges we had with it.

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University of Amsterdam website goes live

September 11th, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/09/11/university-of-amsterdam-website-goes-live/)

Congratulations to our client the University of Amsterdam who today launched their new website. With a new look & feel and a complete update of all the existing content it's a showcase of how educational institutions can really provide relevant information to varied target audiences. The site built by us, Orange11, with the use of Hippo CMS now makes it not only easier and simpler for individual departments to update web content, it also enables the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to increasingly engage, inform and empower its students and teachers.

The CMS is not only the foundation for the main UvA website, it also supports around 100 other subsites within the university. These can be sites for different faculties but also for initiatives like Spui 25, which is a project website that is affiliated to the UvA. The total repository contains around 25.000 documents. Each is a different document type and now with this solution in place these documents can be in the shared as not only part of the repository but also in a sub-site specific section. This makes the content model very flexible especially for the numerous content editors.

Furthermore, the content in the repository is not only generated by editors, but also from content from LDAP and SAP. Besides importing content it can now also export content. This large amount of content it is all kept in sync with our advanced Solr based search solution. Solr is also what we have integrated within the site for searching the content. The search database also shows content from other sources like the StudieGids for example.

A blog on the complete search solution will hopefully follow sometime soon...but for now, take a look around the new UvA website for yourself and let us know if you have any questions.

JVM memory management and performance tuning

June 22nd, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/06/22/jvm-memory-management-and-performance-tuning/)

Performance and scalability are important topics for most enterprise applications that we build. Oftentimes we mostly consider connections to external systems (databases, message brokers, external web services) when we think about performance bottlenecks or performance and scalability optimization. This makes sense, as most enterprise applications spend a lot of their time performing (typically blocking) I/O. However, when you start to dig deeper and use tools like profilers and do thread dump and garbage collection analysis you'll find that the actual code running in the Java VM can be the primary cause of severe performance and/or scalability issues under load.
Memory allocation can play a big role here: although garbage collection performance has increased a lot with every new version of the JVM, applications -- esp. those with large heap sizes -- can still suffer from full GC sweeps that always seem to happen at the worst possible moment and stop the world for several seconds.

To ensure that your application makes the most efficient use of the VM it's running on it's important to understand the interaction between your app and the VM, and also to understand the various tuning options that are available in the JVM that you happen to be using.

Tech Meeting with Azul Systems

During our next tech meeting we will have a speaker from Azul Systems as our guest to deliver a workshop seminar on JVM performance. As you may know, Azul Systems is a company that provides a custom Hotspot compatible JVM called Zing for systems that require very high and predictable performance. However, this workshop will not be a product sales pitch: instead, it will help you to understand the way JVMs perform memory management in general and garbage collection in particular, and how you can inspect the runtime behavior of your VMs in this respect. You'll learn about how to properly measure statistics and avoid common pitfalls, and how to use the results for tuning purposes.
Obviously you'll see how Zing compares to the standard JVMs used by most people in this respect, but even when you are not planning on migrating to a new JVM you'll leave this session with a deeper understanding of Java memory management, how it affects your applications and how you make it work to your advantage.

So, when you're interested, make sure to sign up for the meeting! It takes place on Thursday 5th July at our office in Amsterdam and will start at 4 PM. Attending is free and we'll make sure that there's pizza and beer to accompany the workshop.

Digital assessments with the QTI delivery engine

May 23rd, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/05/23/qti/)

For many of our customers in the Education domain we have spent a lot of time looking and exploring the impact of technology; in this particularly case especially with regards to digital assessments. Developing good digital assessment techniques is very important in order to measure and examine what students are actually learning.

We are proud and excited to share with you a short presentation on Digital assessments using the QTI delivery engine. This presentation will give you some insight on the capabilities of our Assessment Delivery Engine with use of the latest QTI standards. QTI is an Open Standard determined by the IMS Global organization and provides a solid basis to support interoperability for delivering assessments.

Just click here and you can experience an assessment for yourself. Our demo is a fun quiz all about The Netherlands using different questions types based on the QTI spec, some more advanced than others. The assessment engine will deliver these questions through any browser type, making it possible to assess on virtually any platform.

If you are not familiar with digital assessments with the use of the QTI delivery engine, here is a what we can offer:

  • Multi-platform assessments
  • Use in any existing Web Application
  • Customization and extension
  • High performance and scalable environments
  • Security and a robust solution

To discuss possibilities on how to tailor to your specific requirements and for more information just drop us a note. For now good luck with your assessment!