Okay, here is the description of what I have been working towards ever since I joined this community in earnest about a year and a half ago. And I think we're finally at the point where we can simply do it ...
The plan is to make OpenACS a product, in *addition* to being a toolkit. To make OpenACS do something useful in a usable way out of the box.
This is what .LRN does for e-learning, but it's not very well integrated with the rest of OpenACS, and it has some UI and navigation problems which are hard to solve. That's why I'm attacking it in vanilla OpenACS and Subsite first, then we can integrate it into .LRN later.
The areas of functionality where I find OpenACS relevant are:
- Basic groupware: Discussions, calendar, etc. Basically .LRN.
- Blog/photo/personal site
- Project management: Basically groupware with ticket-tracker, logger, feature tracker, and other applications to show up under the .WRK umbrella.
The first area I'm attacking is groupware, because that's where we're the closest to being there.
In fact, I think we can realistically get this done by the 5.0 release in late August. Hence I've dubbed it 'The Fall Plan'. Hm.
Okay, then. I wouldn't be me if I hadn't put up a few pages under Collaboraid's For Developers section.
What you might notice is that the list of items is actually fairly short, and that a number of them are marked 'done'. Yes. I've completed a number of these things. Not fully tested, and not ported to Oracle, and nothing has been committed yet.
I'm posting here to get feedback on my thoughts and approach, before I finish up and commit anything.
Take a look here. Sign up for an account, as registered users have admin on the /my-group/ subsite.
(This is a dev server, so if you're reading this post a few weeks from now, go look in CVS instead of on our dev server.)
Take a look at the following items in particular:
- member list (including making people admins)
- administration -> applications (delete doesn't work, edit is missing, reordering is missing, deactivating, so the tab doesn't show up is missing, but it's a lot simpler than the site-map)
- administration -> permissions: This is actually an include-template, which can be included on any pgae to let you set permissions for a certain object. The current 'add user' page isn't scalable, but we can fix that.
- administration -> parameters: This is a special movable-type-style for the form builder. So this page is actually using ad_form.
- administration -> advanced is the old index page, which I'd like to get rid of entirely, although it still has some advanced rels-stuff that we might as well keep the UI for, as it's the only one we have and it actually works.
- your account page is cleaned up quite a bit, and now uses the ad_form to edit your settings. Your account, login and logout links link to the relevant pages in the local subsite, thus keeping in line with your subsite master template.
- community-member page is cleaned up. I basically got rid of all the useless listing of objects.
- I also added a link to site-wide admin to the permanent links if you're a site-wide admin, so it's easier to access.
Lots of things still to be done, and I just dicovered tonight that it renders kinda crappy on IE, but I hope you get the notion of where I'm headed.
So what do you all think?
Does this take OpenACS in the right direction?
Should I go ahead and finish up, document, and commit these things?