WebCT in Mathematics & Computer Science at Drexel University

Basic Disclaimer

This page, and all software contained within, is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

*getsub* homepage: The Bulk Submission Downloader for WebCT


getsub.pl v2.110/10/2001Some necessary bug fixes from the 2.0 version.
getsub.pl v2.010/6/2001A plethora of new additions, now works with QUIZZES and WINDOWS too. Also hides your password even in verbose mode. Its now very easy to trace all system calls using the verbose option.
getsub.pl v1.55/x/2001fixed another <xmp> issue.
getsub.pl v1.45/7/2001fixed <xmp> issue with word documents.
getsub.pl v1.34/20/2001new usage again, and now it prompts for password
getsub.pl v1.2 4/12/2001new usage
getsub.pl v1.14/8/2001yuck


NOTE: The rest information contained in this page is somewhat outdated. The usage and output listed here is not up to date. If you are a unix or perl hacker, then you should be able to figure out this program very easily. (-- Chris Cera 10/10/2001)

For a given course, assignment or quiz number, and list of userid's this program will create subdirectories for every student, and place all the files of their submitted work into their respective directory. It was designed to alleviate the pain of individually downloading each file a student submits. It can save your institution HOURS of time.

Works on...
EVERYTHING, Unix/Windows ... you name it. For windows, you'll need to download cygwin at http://www.cygwin.com/setup.exe.

Sample usage and output is...
here. This is for version 1.1 and is now depracated. Just typing $ getsub.pl with no arguments will print the usage. This should be self-explanatory given that you've read the old sample usage and everything else. Any questions just email me.

You need to change the first line of this program to execute the perl interpreter on your system. Mine is /usr/bin/perl, on queen they have it in /usr/local/bin/perl. If you are on queen, and you have no idea what I'm talking about, then replace the first line with #!/usr/local/bin/perl

Given that you have TA permissions to a course, you can download all of the submissions to an assignment in one fell swoop. You must enter information necessary to get the web submissions.

What is the submission_number?

This is a randomly generated nine digit which is given to every registered assignment or quiz. You can get it by looking at the URL's that are given which link to an assignment, there will typically be something that begins with a + or ++ followed by a number. I've written a program called prssub.pl which grabs these magic numbers, but I may not have made it general enough yet for posting. If you harrass me about this, I'll probably do it for you.

I can't figure it out, can't somebody else do this for me?

YES, I could make a web application that does this in the background and emails you when an all powerful *.zip file is completed with all the assignments generously packed in, but I don't have a server at my disposal on campus. If you want to donate one, please email me immediately. This would also require similar authentication that webct has, which I can't provide b/c I'm not an official IRT employee. If you think you can make this possible b/c you know somebody I don't, AND you have a server to donate, then please contact me immediately.

What if I only want to download those marked Not Graded?

You'll have to change a part of the script which grabs that line. Its a matter of changing one line, but I didn't feel like putting that in just yet.

Possible security issue:
This program will allow you to enter your password at the command line, which may be archived in a ~/.bash_history file, or similiar depending upon your version of unix and/or shell. People connected to your system might be able to see your password if they have access to a list of running processes like ps or top on a unix system. If you don't have a multi-user system, or use the this command line option ... then you have NOTHING to worry about.

It isn't an issue if you just leave the password portion blank at the command line, you will then be prompted for the password and this will not be "echo'ed" back to your tty. The password at the command line is a feature in case you wanted to write scripts that download your information at some specified interval.


Thats not possible. If you find a bug in this program, I'll be happy to dispurse $0.00 for each bug found. This amount will double every year until all the bugs have been found, I heard this method is pretty effective.

Please send your bug reports to Chris Cera at cera@drexel.edu.


10/10/2001created this page

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Everything on this page was written by Chris Cera in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Drexel University

since 10/10/2001: