Forum OpenACS Development: New User Experience
I've evaluated several other toolkits, and worked for clients that have selected OpenACS from hundreds of others. And the biggest of these wrote a PhD thesis on Internet Communities.
How can we improve the new user experience of OpenACS/.LRN?
My priorities include:
- improved educational resources (wikis,presentations,guides)
- better publicity to reduce FUD
- better communication between OpenACS experts and novices.
- enhanced documentation
- an opportunity to practice using the API
- multi-user (non-root) and postgres access to a development server
I have a background in computer education of children and teenagers, and enjoyed developing several install guides for the project. Now I'd like to expand my efforts to welcome new blood along with anyone else who is interested.
I am willing to donate a good VPS from openhosting.com to this project.
What do people think?
Is it possible you could give a little more background on your proposals. I don't mind that they are hosted off site, but someting to give me an idea what I will see when I click on the link would be helpful.
In general I use search as my memory, so a paragraph explaining where that link goes would be great!
(Sometimes I used openacs.org search, which generally gets me what I want, but not always. Also I get openacs.org email in gmail, so I use that to search forums posts sometimes as well.)
By leveraging the experience of key developers in a way that will not be too onerous, I think we can enhance the new user experience to not only create renewed interest in the toolkit, but also to actually get some useful code put back into the community. Students will learn, but so will mentors.
With your feedback I will post my ideas on curriculum in the coming days.
As these mentorships get rolling, I would like to start developing a curriculum for new developers. What do mentors, students and the community think students need to know to start learning OpenACS? Should we demand prerequisites?
I've also posted to the Wiki a description of the program and its status.
suggest? definitely (and this would include trying to support everything aduni.org did)
provide (or try to)? absolutely. each aduni course can have a wiki page and a q&a forum.
I think the main issue is no real "projects" occuring anymore. Much smaller pieces of development driven by whoever notices a need.
I originally got interested in OpenACS 3.x and became fully involved as a volunteer when the porting of ACS 4 to postgresql was done. Don was one of the people in charge back then, and I asked for an assignment. Given that I had to learn alot about OpenACS to complete the task, and I hope I asked intelligent questions to learn what I needed :)
So, if someone is willing to keep track of what type of things need to be done, and assign these to volunteers, that is great. From there, I don't think we need a speicifc relationship. If someone is willing to learn OpenACS and make some effort to understand the toolkit, and ask questions in the forums, they will get the help they need to contribute.
Mentors would suggest and guide new users in their projects according to their interests, supported by a developing body of helpful documentation, hints, suggestions, wikis, and examples.
I'd also like to create more documentation aimed at the novice user (and client site admin). There is a very good presentation program called Wink that makes it easy to create flash presentations out of screenshots.
I'll be developing the program, with input, in the coming weeks.
Please post here or e-mail me if you are interested.
I'd be interested in offering what little mentorship I can offer :)
Read more about the OpenACS Mentorship Program
I'm aiming for a June 5th start date.
Thanks to all five mentors who have volunteered their time and expertise.
I'm very interested on it. I'm in!!
Does anyone have a working version of the myfirstpackage developer tutorial ( https://openacs.org/doc/tutorial.html ) using the tcl API?
If so, please post to storage or something, so we can update the tutorial. Also maybe notify here and/or here: