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Submit is a computer program that allows you to submit your homework exercises over the Internet to the Grade Grinder , a grading server that checks your homework and returns reports to you and, if you ask, your instructor. In this chapter we describe how to use Submit.

Figure 2.1: Main window of Submit.

2.1 Getting started

The computer you use to submit homework to the Grade Grinder must be connected to the Internet. Submit uses the same form of communication used by web browsers, so if you can access the Internet with your web browser, you should be able to submit files to the Grade Grinder .

To submit files to the Grade Grinder , you need to have all of the following ahead of time:

  1. The solution files you want to submit. You might want to collect together all the files you want to submit in a single folder. Remember that the files must be named exactly the way you are asked to name them in the book. Submit will only send files whose names begin with World , Sentences , Proof , Table , or Solution and that are of the appropriate type (Tarski’s World, Fitch, Boole, or text files). If you try to submit a file with an incorrect name, it will give you a chance to correct the name. If you try to submit a file with an incorrect exercise number (e.g., World 1.1 rather than World 10.1 ), then Submit will send it but the Grade Grinder will tell you that it doesn’t know how to grade it or grade it as the wrong exercise. Be careful when naming your solution files!
  2. Your Book ID number. This is a unique ID number that is included in the LPL package. It is of the form L21-1234567, that is, a letter, followed by two digits, a dash, then seven more digits. Do not let anyone else use your ID number, since the number is how the Grade Grinder associates your homework exercises with you.
  3. Your name and full email address. The name you enter should be sufficient for your instructor to identify you. It is important that you enter your full email address, for example , not just claire or claire@cs or claire@cs.nevada-state —since the Grade Grinder will need the full address to send its response back to you. You must use the same email address throughout the course, so make sure you choose the right one and enter it correctly. If you don’t have an email address, or don’t know your full Internet email address, contact one of the computer folks at your school.
  4. Your instructor’s name and full email address. If you want your results to be sent to an instructor as well as to you, you will need his or her name and full email address. The instructor’s email address must match one of the instructors in the Grade Grinder ’s database, so make sure you find out what it is. If you do not want results sent to an instructor, you won’t need this information.

Launching Submit

To launch Submit double-click on the application. Its icon shows a cogged wheel with a gold G in the middle. 1 After a moment, Submit’s main window will appear on your screen. You’ll know it by the spinning cog.

Your goal is simply to fill in the various parts of this window by typing in the information requested and specifying the list of files to be submitted. Once that is done, you will simply press the Submit Files button in the lower right of the window.

Start by filling in the information requested ( Book ID, your name, etc.). Read about this information above if you haven’t already. Remember to use your full email address and to spell it correctly. Once you have submitted files, your Book ID will be associated with the email address you type in, so that no one can use your Book ID to submit bogus homework in your name. In later submissions, you will have to use the exact same email address with your Book ID, so if you have more than one email address, remember which one you used.

2.2 Choosing files to submit

There are several ways to choose the files you want to submit. The most common is to click on the button Choose Files to Submit in the lower left corner of the main Submit window. This will open another window showing two file lists. The list on the left shows all the files in the current folder (directory). The list on the right will be built by you as you choose files to submit. The goal is to find the names of your solution files on the lefthand list and move them to the righthand list.

To find your solution files, you will have to navigate around the folder structure of your computer in the lefthand list. To move to “higher” folders, those containing the folder whose contents is currently shown in the list, click on the folder name that appears above the list. A menu will pop up and show all the folders (and volume) that contain this folder. Choose the folder whose contents you want to view. To move to “lower” folders, those contained inside the folder whose contents you are viewing, choose those folder names from the list and click Open, or simply double-click on the folder names. Using these two techniques, you will be able to find any file located on your computer’s hard disk or on any disk inserted into one of the computer’s drives.

Once you have found the file(s) you want to submit, select the file name in the lefthand list and click the Add >>> button to add the name to the righthand list. If you want to add all files in a folder, just select the folder and use the Add >>> button. Keep doing this until the righthand list contains all the files you want to submit. If any of the files are of the wrong type or have names of the wrong form, Submit will let you know before putting them on the list. It will give you a chance to correct the names of files that are of the right type, but not named correctly. (This does not change the names of the files on your computer, only the name sent to the Grade Grinder .) You will also be able to skip files that are not appropriate for submission. When you are finished choosing files, click the Done button under the righthand file list.

Another way to specify files to submit is by choosing Choose File to Submit   from the File menu while you are at the main Submit window. This gives you the standard file open dialog box. If you choose a file of an appropriate type (e.g., a Fitch file), it will be added directly to the list of files to submit. This takes longer if you have more than one file to submit.

The fastest way to specify the files to submit is to drag the files (or a folder containing them) to the Submit application icon. This will launch Submit (if it is not already running) and put the file names directly onto the list of files to submit.

Submitting the files

Once you have entered all the information on the main Submit window and have constructed the list of files to submit, click the Submit Files button under the list of files. Submit will ask you to confirm that you want to submit the files on your list, and whether you want to send the results just to you or also to your instructor. When you are submitting finished homework exercises, you should select Instructor Too, but if you just want to check to see if you’ve done the problems right, select Just Me. One of these boxes must be chosen before you click the click the Proceed button, which sends your submission.

The first time you make a submission, you are registered as a user of the Grade Grinder system. This registration associates your book ID number with your email address. Because it is so important to enter the email address correctly, you will be asked to confirm your email address the first time you make a submission. On subsequent submissions, you will only have to enter your address once.

If you wish, you can use the Add Text Message button to send a text message with your submission. This message will appear in the text of the grade report. It is useful for complaining to your instructor about how long you spent on the exercises.

After a moment, you will get a notice back from the Grade Grinder telling you which files it received and which of them it knows how to grade. (If you misnumbered a solution, it won’t know how to grade it.) You can save this notice as a receipt to prove that the files got to the Grade Grinder .

What Submit sends

When you submit files to the Grade Grinder , Submit sends a copy of the files. The original files are still on the disk where you originally saved them. If you saved them on a public computer, it is best not to leave them lying around. You should put them on a floppy disk that you can take with you, and delete any copies from the public computer’s hard disk.

2.3 How you know your files were

If you receive the notice back from the Grade Grinder described above, then you know your files were received. If you receive an error message, or if nothing at all happens when you try to submit your files, then the Grade Grinder has not received them. If your submission does not get through, it is probably a problem with your Internet connection. You should try submitting them again, perhaps from another computer. There are presently two Grade Grinder servers (one in California and one in Illinois), and if Submit cannot find one, it looks for the other. If it fails both times it is probably because your computer or local network cannot access the Internet. If you are certain that you are connected to the Internet, you may be able to solve this problem by modifying the proxy server settings in the preferences dialog (see section  2.4.1 .)

A second confirmation that your submission was received is the email message that the Grade Grinder will send you with the results of its grading. This will arrive a while after you make the submission, depending on how large the submission was, how many other submissions the Grade Grinder is checking, and how long it takes email to reach you. Generally, you will receive the email message within minutes of submitting your files.

You can check on a submission by clicking on the GG Status button at the bottom of the Submit window. If the Grade Grinder was unable to grade your submission, it will tell you which of your submissions have been delayed and for what reasons.

2.4 Preferences and User Data

The information that you enter into the main Submit window, other than the files to submit, is known as the user data. All of this information except the Book ID is saved on your behalf, so that you can avoid typing your name, email address, etc., each time you run Submit, This information will automatically be entered into the appropriate fields when you launch the program.

Submit also has preference settings which may be changed from the Preferences window, which is obtained by using the Preferences command from the Application menu (Macintosh) or Edit menu (Windows). If you use this command, a window similar to that shown in below will appear. You can change a number of aspects of the way in which Submit behaves using the controls in this window.

Figure 2.2: Submit Preferences Window

2.4.1 Proxy Server Settings

In some cases, you may not be able to connect directly to the Internet to make web connections, usually because your machine is located behind a firewall. In such a situation, there will be a computer that you are allowed to access, and this machine makes connections to the Internet on your behalf, returning the results to your machine. A computer configured in this way is called a “proxy server”. If you need to use a proxy server, you should check the box marked Use Proxy Server and enter the name of the server, and the port to connect to, in the text fields below. You will be able to obtain the correct information from the corresponding proxy settings in your web browser, or from a local computer expert.

The default setting is not to use a proxy server, and unless it is necessary to use one, these settings should normally be left unchanged.

2.4.2 Preferred Host Settings

The Grade Grinder is implemented by multiple computers called grade servers. There are currently two grade servers, one located at Stanford University and the other at the University of Chicago. By default, when you make a submission, Submit will determine which server is least busy, and send your submission to that server. This is called “load balancing”. However, if you wish you can ask Submit to prefer one of the servers over the other. To do this, check the radio button marked “Use Preferred Server”, and then the radio button that corresponds to your choice of server.

The default setting is to use load balancing, and we do not recommend changing from the default, since you run the risk of unnecessarily delaying your own submissions. The only situation in which selecting a preferred server might be beneficial is if problems with one of the Grade Grinder servers, causes it to accept submissions but be delayed in grading them. If this happens, then preferring to send submissions to the other server would be appropriate.

It is important to know that selecting a preferred server does not guarantee that your submissions will always go to that server. It is a preference, not a guarantee. Submit will try to send your submission to your preferred server first, but if that server is unavailable then the other server(s) will be used instead.

2.4.3 Timeout settings

Submit waits a period of time called the “timeout” when connecting to a grade server. If the server does not respond within this time, the next server is tried, until either one accepts the submission or all have been unsuccessfully tried, in which case you will be notified of the problem. You can modify the length of the timeout value using the timeout choice menu. If you are routinely having difficulty connecting to a grade server within the timeout period, perhaps because you are connecting over a slow dialup line, or sending very large submissions, then you may wish to change the setting to Patient or Very Patient in order to instruct Submit to wait longer for a response. You might like to experiment with the (Very) Impatient settings if you think that you will routinely get very fast responses from the server (perhaps because your connection is very fast due to being on the Internet backbone.)

2.4.4 Personality

The Grade Grinder generates congratulatory messages in the grade report when you get an exercise completely correct. By default, the “classic” behavior, these are randomly selected. You can control the exclamations that are generated by using the Personality setting, or switching all exclamations off using the setting “None” if you prefer.

2.4.5 Check for Updates

There is a global preference which controls whether all of the applications check for updates when they are launched. If this box is checked, the application will determine if an update is available, and ask if you want to download and install it.