stacks interacting over LAN? (newbie)
alex at tweedly.net
Wed Dec 1 18:52:50 CST 2004
At 07:47 02/12/2004 +0900, kweto wrote:
>Hello again All,
>I've begun learning and putting into effect everyone's kind advise about
>linking stacks thru sockets. Especially useful were the chat stacks. I think
>I have a strong sense now of how to make it all work. Thank you to all!
>Now, a related-but-OT question. If messages from several computers/stacks
>are sent out "simultaneously" to the one computer/stack which is intended
>for accepting messages, in what order are those in-coming messages likely to
>be handled? Of course, computers are fast so maybe there's nothing to worry
>about, but a group of young learners can surprise teachers in unpredicted
>ways, especially if they're clicking madly on the "I know the answer!"
>buzzer-like button of the LAN-based, interconnected stacks I'm now planning.
>I'm worried/scared that, even though given things being equal (such as
>computer make and operating system), either the central stack itself or
>perhaps even the router might re-shuffle "simultaneous" messages in some
>sort of order other than a real-time one, and thus one learner will seem to
>be winning all the time.
As Marl says, not a technical problem. Though it is a good reminder to
think about the potential load that a number of over-eager students might
impose on a central server. Probably also not a big issue, given how fast
computers are these days.
Nevertheless, I'd be inclined to treat this as an "educational opportunity".
1. Ensure that there is very clear visual feedback when a click has been
detected (and the message sent ....)
2. Tell the pupils that there is no benefit to be gained from pressing the
same button repeatedly.
(Of course, they've been telling us that for years about elevator call
buttons, or pedestrian crosswalk buttons, and it's not stopped all those
people you see pressing the same button over and over :-)
so, consider also,
3. Let it "leak out" that there might be a penalty for repeatedly pressing
the same button.
Hmmmm, in fact - why not impose a minor penalty for frantically pressing
the same button; indicates that someone is unwilling, or unable, to follow
Of course, you could simply disable the button after the first message has
been sent, until the teacher has asked the next question or reset the test,
or .... but seeing who won't listen when told there is no point in doing
something appeals to my sense of fun much more.
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