Finally. It's done.

CampusExchange is now *done.* Alex helped me test out some key bugs tonight, and I pulled off a marathon 6 hour session of programming by cleaning up some of the messy UI and broken links.

I still have to write up the tutorials/help section, but the site is ready for registrations.

So what's new with CampusExchange this year?

Extended textbook transaction features
We learned a lot of lessons during the first few semesters of CE ... namely that people will _NOT_ check the site for updates to their postings. So we've taken things to another level and actually have a lot of built-in notifications; you basically get e-mailed anytime someone responds to one of your textbook ads. This means that you don't have to check the site ever; you'll get a nice message in your mailbox when you get a message.

I've also expanded the renegotiation and user messages features; it's tied in nicely to a single control panel interface (all your site actions are on one page) so a quick one-click will be all that's necessary.

Each textbook listing also has a quick link to the Amazon page so that you can check quickly the used/new prices of the book.

Grade Distribution Data
I'm trying to expand CE's offerings to beyond simply textbook exchange. I want it to be used whenever people are registering for classes. To that end, I imported (with the help of some programs I wrote) the Spring 2004 class list, Student Store's book listing for Spring 2004 classes, AND grade distribution data from Spring 2003 (I have the previous semester's but haven't had a chance to import them).

So now when you search for a class on our site, you get the list of professors (with a link to their grade distribution data) as well as the books that are being used ... Check out this page to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. If you click "Martin W. Doyle," you're directed to his professor page, which shows the classes he's teaching in the upcoming Spring as well as the grade distribution for his classes (he seems to be a nice teacher).

On this page, you also can see comments that are left for this teacher from registered users; I've also added the ability for users to add their own rating (out of 5) ... hopefully this will serve as a good tool for those people looking for good teachers.

It's obvious I'm trying to break PickAProf's stranglehold on the Carolina campus; hopefully this site remaining free will be a good incentive to register.

Automatic Notifications
I've planted the seeds for a complete schedule manager; I haven't yet developed that wonderful schedule feature for Pickaprof ... but you *can* input the classes you'll be taking in the upcoming semester. Whenever someone posts a book to the site that is being used in your class, you will be e-mailed with a link to that listing.

I don't know if this site is going to scale ... at all. My servers are already crowded with Tabulas nearing its 10,000 users (yay me!) ... and this site was *not* designed to limit CPU consumption; it was designed to offer the maximum ease for the end user (which came
at a cost of added scripting complexity).

There's no scheduling feature. I'll have to work on that.

Professor names are inconsistent. This is UNC's fault.

Book listing isn't complete. This is Student Store's fault.

Thanks to Borst for helping me test the site late tonight ... thanks to Dodo for letting me steal (well, I never really asked =/) her BlogMatch navbar CSS (hope you don't mind, I had to fix up the UI last minute and I was too lazy to make my own =/) ... and finally ...

I must thank the original developer's of CampusExchange. Ben, Tatsu and Phil. You guys laid the groundwork for the site. Seriously, long live Tensize!

(I gave Tensize and you guys some props on the about page of CE.)


Currently listening to: Tupac's One Day At A Time
Posted by roy on December 7, 2003 at 01:31 AM in | 1 Comments

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Anonymous (guest)

Comment posted on December 10th, 2003 at 12:49 AM
thanks for the props roy! the site looks good, keep up the good work