Forum .LRN Q&A: Response to what is the privilege structure of dotLRN?

This is actually a specific example of a more general usability problem for many complex apps--namely defining roles and assigning permissions to those roles. As we're seeing here, roles can vary pretty dramatically from one organization to the next, depending on staffing, laws, and other factors. You have the same problem, for example, with content management, where authors, editors, reviewers, publishers, multimedia creators, etc., can vary widely in their responsibilities from one organization to the next.

To solve this problem more generally, I think you need a couple of pieces:

  1. An intuitive interface that lets administrators define roles by assigning fairly granular permissions.
  2. One or more default role sets that organizations can use to start with and then edit as they get a clearer understanding of their needs.
  3. Some wizards to help administrators understand how their own situational needs translate into choices for role parameters.

dotLRN could be the prototypical application for OpenACS to work out these UI issues.