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Learning through cloud

March 8th, 2013

A large number of readers have endorsed the usefulness of our javascript and jQuery tutorial. One of the key reasons of its success is its ability to allow users to do coding right on the website while learning. It allows them to make changes in the code and then check the "what if" scenario.

Fortunately the solution is easy with the javascript, jQuery or the HTML, HTML5 , CSS and similar learning tutorial that primarily rely upon the browser's client interpretability. But if we wish to extend the same thing to other tutorials, like PHP, Python or C#, the solution is not easy, especially if we consider its security implications. For example, if we allow a user to run a PHP code, we are essentially allowing his code to travel to the server, and run the PHP code on the server itself. This means that the solution is not trivial.

Other tutorials have similar implications.

We are contemplating some of the open source codes that can run on server and provide results to the users. For example, we could install the Icarus software on Linux and, using PHP SSH2 extension, we could be running a shell command from PHP. So basically, user can visit our Verilog tutorial and enter the Verilog code in a text area. The content of the textarea will be saved in a temporary file on the server. Using PHP SSH2 this temporary file will be stored on the server. The Using PHP SSH2, we will issue the command to run Iracus on the server and then collect the output. The output is then stored on the Linux machine that has Icarus. We can then use PHP SSH2 to access the output, which will then travel back to the user's second textarea to display results.

Seems easy ?

We are not sure. In the coming weeks, this is something we will be trying. Stay tuned and, in the meantime look at our tutorials in general and Verilog Tutorial in particular.


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