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Custom terminal tools for Princeton University to manage codePost.

Project description

codePost Princeton Tools

The tools in this repository were written to provide convenient access to the codePost platform from Princeton University's Department of Computer Science. They make a set of assumptions to simplify to workflow of uploading assignments to codePost from submissions made by students to TigerFile, the submission platform provided by the department's IT staff (including @jcrouth).

Quick Setup

  1. Install the codePost Princeton Tools to your path using pip:

    pip install --upgrade codePost-princeton-tools

    If you do not have sufficient privileges to install the tools globally, you can install them in your home directory:

    pip install --user --upgrade codePost-princeton-tools

    Note: If after a --user install you cannot run the codePost tools such as export-codePost-grades, check that ~/.local/bin is in your $PATH, or contact CS staff.

  2. Retrieve your codePost API key from codePost's settings at Note that as of March 2019, you can only retrieve a codePost API key if you are an administrator for a course on codePost.

  3. Create a configuration file in your home directory, either called codepost-config.yaml or .codepost-config.yaml, and complete the following template for the information relevant to your course. You should at most have to add the codePost API key, and set the proper course name and period.

    api_key: "<API KEY HERE>" # <-- obtain your codePost API key from
    # Course specific settings
    course_name: COS126
    course_period: S2019
    # TigerFile specific settings (do not change)
    tigerfile_path: /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/{course_name}_{course_period}/{assignment_name}
    tigerfile_path_space: "_"
    user_pattern: "{}"
    partners_path: "{pwd}/partners.txt"
    group_separator: "-"
    notdone_file: "NOTDONE"
    # RunScript specific settings (for COS 126, 226, ..., comment out if not using)
    tests_path: "{pwd}/../.output/{submission}.output.txt"
    # LMS column formatting (optional, for convenient CSV grade export, comment out if not using)
    lms_format: "{name} |{id}"
    # For each assignment, add an entry "Assignment name": <Blackboard column ID>
    # You can locate the correct Blackboard column ID as indicated in:
      "Hello": 38213
      "Loops": 38235

Command Line Syntax

Upload tool

usage: push-to-codePost [-h] [-a A] [-s S [S ...]] [--netid] [--groupname]
                        [--extend] [--overwrite] [--verbose] [--without-tests]
                        [--skip-notdone] [--override-group-detection]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -a A                  The name of the assignment to upload to (e.g. Loops)
  -s S [S ...]          The list of folders, one folder per submission to
  --netid               Assume each folder name is a different NetID instead
                        of submission hashes, and resolve partners. [NOT
  --groupname           Assume each folder name contains all NetIDs of a
                        group, of submission hashes.
  --extend              If submission already exists, add new files to it and
                        replace old files if the code has changed.
  --overwrite           If submission already exists, overwrite it.
  --verbose             Display informational messages.
  --without-tests       Allow upload assignments that do not have compiled
  --skip-notdone        Skip not done submissions (as reported by TigerFile).
                        Bypasses the group detection mechanism (intended for
                        small manual operations for which there is no need for
                        the automated group detection).

Grade export tool

$ export-codePost-grades --help
usage: export-codePost-grades [-h] [-a [A [A ...]]] [-n [N [N ...]]]
                              [--blackboard] [--pretty] [--json]
                              [--include-inactive] [--include-empty]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help          show this help message and exit
  -a [A [A ...]]      Name(s) of the assignment(s) for which to export grades
                      (by default, all available).
  -n [N [N ...]]      Usernames of students to export (by default, everybody).
  --blackboard        Insert Blackboard column IDs when available (in
                      configuration file, the "lms_ids" option).
  --pretty            Pretty print output.
  --json              Export as JSON (by default, the export is CSV).
  --with-empty        Include columns for assignments even when the column is
  --with-inactive     Include the grades of students who are inactive.
  --with-unfinalized  Include the grades of submissions which have not been
  --verbose           Display informational messages.

Usage Examples

In both the following examples, we asssume there is a configuration file ~/.codepost-config.yaml which is properly configured for the course "COS126" and period "S2019". We assume TigerFile has been configured to collect submissions for this coruse. We assume that the autograding scripts can be invoked by calling ~/assignments/guitar/run-script * from the course's shell account, and that, after running, they produce at most one output file per {submission} at the location ../.output/{submission}.output.txt. (This location is configurable in the codepost-config.yaml file setting tests_path.)

Upload a single submission

When uploading a single submission, it is more convenient to copy from the by_netid folder and to use the --netid upload mode.

$ cd $(mktemp -d)
$ cp -pr /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/COS126_S2019/Guitar/by_netid/jstudent ./
$ ~/assignment/guitar/run-script *
$ push-to-codePost --netid -a 'Guitar' -s jstudent

Upload many submissions

When uploading a batch of submissions, it is better to copy submissions from the submissions folder.

$ cd $(mktemp -d)
$ cp -pr /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/COS126_S2019/Guitar/submissions/* ./
$ ~/assignment/guitar/run-script *
$ push-to-codePost -a 'Guitar' -s *

Export grades to CSV to import in Blackboard

It is possible to export all grades associated with the current course (as defined by the configuration file) using the export-codePost-grades tool. If the configuration has been properly configured, such that the lms_ids section contains the column identifiers of the Blackboard Gradecenter, then it is possible to produce a CSV that can be directly imported by Blackboard using the --blackboard flag:

$ export-codePost-grades -a Hello Loops --blackboard > course_grades.csv
$ head -3 course_grades.csv
"Username","Hello |38213","Loops |38235"

For the Blackboard export to work, you need to complete the section lms_ids of the configuration file:

  "Hello": 38213
  "Loops": 38235

where, for each assignment name, you provide the column identifier of the corresponding column in Blackboard. You can obtain a column's identifier in Blackboard's Gradecenter by using the grade column menus.

To give you an example of the content of the course_grades.csv file, consider the following output:

$ export-codePost-grades --pretty | head -3
"Username","Loops","Sierpinski","Programming Exam 1","NBody","Hello"
"student1",   20.0,            ,                11.0,   20.0,   20.0
"student2",   20.0,        20.0,                15.0,   20.0,   20.0

By default, only grades for submissions that are finalized and have been claimed by a grader, will be displayed. This can be adjusted using the command-line flags: For instance, using the flag --with-unfinalized will also include the grades of submission which have not yet been finalized.


About partnerships...

  • If you are not using TigerFile, or running this tool outside of the Princeton CS infrastructure, you will lose partnerships detection. One way to circumvent this, is to use the --groupname mode, and to include all the student usernames of a partnerships in the directory name, separated by dashes, such as partner1-partner2.

    $ cd $(mktemp -d)
    $ cp -pr /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/COS126_S2019/Guitar/submission/8357fc747f79039564fc936c61445d65 ./partner1-partner2
    $ ~/assignment/guitar/run-script *
    $ push-to-codePost --netid -a 'Guitar' -s partner1-partner2

    This submission will be assigned to the students and

  • Another mechanism to specify partnerships, which also does not depend on TigerFile, is to include the student usernames, one by line, in a file partners.txt included in each submission folder, in addition to the other files. When this file is detected, the upload tool will use this information. (This filename is configurable in the codepost-config.yaml file setting partners_path.)

    $ cd $(mktemp -d)
    $ cp -pr /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/COS126_S2019/Guitar/submission/8357fc747f79039564fc936c61445d65 ./nameDoesNotMatter
    $ echo "partner1" > ./nameDoesNotMatter/partners.txt
    $ echo "partner2" >> ./nameDoesNotMatter/partners.txt
    $ ~/assignment/guitar/run-script *
    $ push-to-codePost --netid -a 'Guitar' -s *

    This submission will also be assigned to the students and

About TigerFile...

  • The root tree of TigerFile submissions is located on the CS department's NFS at: /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/.

  • When creating a course, use the same naming conventions used throughout Princeton, both for the course name "COSxxx" and the course period "S2019", for Spring 2019, (in both cases with no spaces). This is important to properly resolve the path associated with your course in TigerFile's tree.

  • If you have an assignment that contains a space in its name, such as "My Assignment", the associated TigerFile will substitute the space " " by an underscore "_"; you must be sure to use quotes when specifying the assignment name in the command line call.

  • The directory tree for the submissions to "My Assignment" in course "COS101" taught during "S2019" would be /n/fs/tigerfile/Files/COS101_S2019/My_Assignment/. There are two subdirectories: submissions contains a folder per submission; by_netid contains a folder per student (and so some submissions are duplicated as they appear for each student).

  • You can find more general information about TigerFile in the CS guide.

About RunScript...

  • The autograders used in Princeton CS' intro courses typically outputs the result of processing a submission in the hidden folder .output, such that the result of submission XXXXXX would be available as .output/XXXXXX.output.txt. This can be changed in this part of the configuration file (or commented out if not using these autograders):

    # Run-script specific settings (for COS 126, 226, etc., comment out if not using)
    tests_path: "{pwd}/../.output/{submission}.output.txt"
  • You can find more general information about RunScript in the CS guide.

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