Forum .LRN Q&A: Bug 961 - Potential Test Case for UAB process

I wanted to call people's attention to <a href=>bug 961</a>.

The followin is the comment I just placed on it.
I've been asked to look into this bug.  There is something to think about on 2 levels - first, the bug itself and then second, how do we handle making changes in light that we will be having lots of institutions using and making contributions to the platform.

Historically, both the personal and the group portals had "Control Panel".  Somehow, that changed to the personal saying "Control Panel" and the groups saying "Administer".  Deidre from Sloan reported some concerns with this.

- First, there is set of documentation that Sloan has (and perhaps some others since we pass it to others) that says Control Panel.  So this change has a ripple effect on other things
- Second, it seems confusing that we use different words in different places.

Those are the specifics with this bug.  The broader picture is "how do issues like this get decided".

The steps, I propose, would be the following:
1. Find out the facts and the history of why the wording changed
2. From the facts, see if there is a quick solution
3. If there is not a quick solution, pass the issue to the UAB to work out between the institutions.  If we reach "3" on this issue, it will be an initial test case of how the consortium works.

Posted by Matthias Melcher on
Since Joel's approach to such a terminology question was very helpful, I'd like to try the same.

Confusing words:

Control Panel
My Account
Your Account

Possible Concepts that one can play at matching the words to:

Concept1: A page that contains information about a user, similar to the "community page" that Carl calls a key piece of the system

Concept2: A page that contains and allows changing of personal settings, including settings for the Concept1 page

Concept3: A page that allows changing of group resources

Concept4: A page that can be personalized for oneself through Concept2

Concept5: A page that is customized for individuals or/and target audiences

Concept6: A page like Concept5, including functions of Concept3 if  sufficient permissions apply

Concept7: A hyperonym for Concept2 and Concept3

Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
Following the steps above:

1. History - I complained after seeing the confusion in new users (while looking over their shoulder) with a link that has the same name leading to two different places:

Click on Control Panel when in the personal portal area (a.k.a. My Space) and you got a page where you can change your account settings.

Click on Control Panel when in a class or community and you got a page where you administer the respective class or community.

This was then changed to "My Account" in "My Space" and "Administer" in a class or community, which made sense (although I do understand that the ripple effect of this partial change is upsetting when there has been an investment in documentation and explanations).

2. Quick solution (that is now possible after i18n) - Turn acs-lang on and change the English version on a local install to whatever the heck you want. Pick the terms that makes the most sense for a new user in the official version (e.g. "Administer" and "My Account")

3. UAB - not sure this is an ideal test case, but it does underline two problems that we really need to work on:

A. Making documentation part of the interface so it is not hidden away and can be changed as easily as a term in the interface can be changed

B. Resisting the "ripple effect" Tracy mentions above.

Proposal for A: Help package that is integrated into the interface, can be turned on and off, and shows up in the acs-lang translation tool so it can easily changed.

Proposal for B: A way of marking dependencies in acs-lang (e.g. when this term changes these terms are effected) and a way of notifying people when it happens on the official translation server (change a term in the English version and there are at least 20 translators that have no idea that it changed in the original version so that the ripple becomes a wave of asynchronism)

Clearly the acs-lang package needs a sponsor. Creating interesting proposal based on some of the problems we have experienced so far should not be hard.

Posted by Matthias Melcher on
Addressing the terminology problems, in my opinion, does not necessarily mean waiting for an integrated help package or an acs-lang sponsor. As Carl said, documentation must not be "hidden away", but all texts including end-user docs and message catalogs must be more integrated with developers' work.

Minor changes in the administration of translateable messages would help a lot, not only for foreign languages but also for the en_US locale, because inconsistencies and sloppy tech speak are often discovered only after trying to translate them into usable texts. (One might even desire that all messages have to be translated from en_Develop to en_US before turning a beta into a release...).

Carls Propsal B splits in two parts:

B1 Tracking of changes within en_US: in the message listings "Translated" and "Untranslated", changed English originals should be listed in, e.g., "Untranslated mesages and unacknowledged changes", and in the translator's UI, the red and yellow markers should apply to them again.

B2 "A way of marking dependencies in acs-lang (e.g. when this term changes these terms are effected)": this is essentially the context problem translators have been addressing for long (see threads on context as this )

For B2 and for avoiding problems like #961, a simple terminology database would IMO solve the most important problems: every time when a developer must check if a new message key is needed, he could look up all similar terms in the database, provided that fellow developers provide for finding the respective contexts. For major concept changes, forum discussion is of course still necessary. For new packages, such i18n should be a requirement, anyway. For legacy packages this context annotation (and merging of keys as discussed in ) needs to be done at the next possible occasion and could be a requirement for being included in dotLRN distribution.

Posted by Matthias Melcher on
For now, "Control panel" should apply to concept7 above. Later on,
if functionality is added or changed, it might be better to distinguish
more concepts, one of which might be something similar to
"Administrative Tasks on Windows servers that differs from
"control panel" on Windows clients, but actually it's more complicated
on an elearning system because, in addition to (end-) users
and (sys-) admins, we have this third kind of class-admins in between.

For properly targeting them, something like Concept6 would be fine.
Depending on what developers regard as possible, a future change
could be envisioned leading to something like
- either "administer" for all sorts of admins (Concept 3)
- or "customized page" > "control panel" (Concept 5, > 6)