Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: What is a Community in 5.0?

Posted by Don Baccus on
Well, when I type "subsite definition" at Google, this is the first item returned:

"Content or program areas on program sites that have their own set of unique, left navigation. Subsites must reside within one of the main program sections. However, when the user selects the subsite from the main section navigation, the section's left navigation is replaced with the subsite's left navigation."

Now ... where in this definition (or similar ones you'll find) is there anything that truly fits what our subsite package does?  Where does it capture the notion that every acs-subsite defines a new community?

I suppose you might try arguing that user and community management are minor things not worth emphasizing but ... if you believe that, why use OpenACS?  Why call it a *community* system?  Because user and (now that we're fixing the subsite package) community management are among the most important features of the toolkit.

Posted by Tilmann Singer on
Lars, I agree that 'community' has a meaning for almost everyone, whereas 'subsite' has not. However I think this is exactly the reason why we should not call it 'Create new community'. As Torben said, a 'community' sounds to most people like a non-web thing - a group of people. But the thing that is created with this link is not a community like that, it's something else, that cannot be easily described by a single word, so why name it in a way that suggests it can?

An openacs subsite is a url space, an associated group of members, a place where admin rights can be granted, a group of pages that can have a different layout ... This bunch of facts forms the understanding of the term 'Openacs Subsite' for those who have used the functionality on openacs. Those who haven't will think of 'It's some concept of openacs that I havent grasped yet.'. They will grasp it when using the functionality, reading bits about it in the docs and finding references to the word in the UI. E.g. in the group admin pages there's a blurb: "select an existing person from this subsite" - it's a horrible example because the group UI is horrible, but someone who just 'added a subsite' might get an idea what that means, whereas someone who just 'added a community' will propably not.