Sakai newcomer 10 easy questions not so easy

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  • 1. Sakai Newcomer: 10 easy questions not so easy Daniel Merino Echeverría (daniel.merino@unavarra.es) Centro Superior de Innovación Educativa - Universidad Pública de Navarra
  • 2. A brief presentation about us
      • Universidad Pública de Navarra
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 3. A brief presentation about us
    • Universidad Pública de Navarra
    • A small university created in 1987.
        • 8669 students.
        • 911 teachers.
        • 26 degrees.
    • Located in Pamplona (Navarra)
        • About 200000 citizens.
        • Maybe you have heard about the Sanfermines.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 4. A brief presentation about us
    • WebCT 4.1 since 2001/02.
    • June of 2007: 66,43% average of use.
      • 3000 courses, 800 teachers, 8000 students.
      • “ Aulario virtual” fully integrated in academic activity.
    • Migration to Sakai.
      • 2008/09: Pilot of Sakai 2.5.3. Migration of contents.
      • 2009/10: Sakai & WebCT in production at the same time.
      • 2010/11: End of WebCT.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 5. Disclaimer
    • This conference is about our experience.
      • We only have worked with Sakai 2.5.
      • Some things could have been fixed in newer versions.
    • This document is for newcomers.
      • Lost in the beginnings with Sakai.
      • With non too technical profile.
    • Corrections & contributions are welcome.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 6. 1- Where can I find documentation?
    • Is the first question a newcomer will do.
    • Not an easy question.
      • Open source documentation is contributive.
      • Every version of software can change things.
      • The most boring thing in the development process.
    • Sakai official page is a good starting point.
      • http://sakaiproject.org --> Support --> Documentation
      • 2.5 and 2.6 guides, linking scattered resources.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 7. 1- Where can I find documentation?
    • But Sakai documentation is not perfect.
      • Some docs in the source code are a bit obsoletes.
      • The wiki (Confluence) is huge, but..
        • The pages are not classified about relevance.
        • The old obsolete info is not always deleted.
        • Is hard to know what is useful and what is not.
      • The JIRA title descriptions are sometimes confusing.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 8. 1- Where can I find documentation?
    • Some advices.
      • Read the Sakai book.
        • Good non-technical reference.
        • Many links to extend the information.
      • Look the previous conferences programs.
        • There are great documents out there.
        • All the programs are in Confluence.
      • Look the blogs (planetsakai.org).
        • Some blogs go in depth with concrete themes.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 9. 1- Where can I find documentation?
    • End-user documentation.
      • Few oficial documents.
      • It seems that each university makes its own documents.
    • Two awesome public resources.
      • Delaware:
        • http://www.udel.edu/sakai/training/gettingstarted/index.html
      • Oxford:
        • https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/info/page/browse_hel
  • 10. 2- How can I migrate contents?
    • A critical matter if you come from other platform.
      • Users want their old contents.
      • Starting from scratch can discourage them.
    • Two different problems here.
      • The contents organization structure.
      • The contents themselves.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 11. 2- How can I migrate contents?
    • The usual import schema.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 12. 2- How can I migrate contents?
    • Problems about this schema.
      • IMS CP partially supported.
        • Only Melete imports it (AFAWK).
        • Melete has its own resources folders.
      • Each platform has its own IMS standard
        • So each platform needs its own IMS parser.
        • There are several solutions already availables.
        • But probably you will have to touch some code.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 13. 2- How can I migrate contents?
    • Another distinct simpler schema.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 14. 2 -How can I migrate contents?
    • A simple WebDAV script can upload the contents
      • To a site's Resources.
      • To an user's MyWorkspace Resources.
    • You can optionally create HTML pages.
      • Linking the files and showing them in WebContent tool.
      • Flexible visual design with CSS files.
    • Our experience.
      • Our teachers love Resources
      • But they hardly use the WebContent pages.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 15. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • Realms, Roles, Permissions.
    • One of the most dangerous things in Sakai.
      • Very complex configuration.
      • Little documentation.
      • Disastrous consequences of a bad use.
    • Once settled, hard to change in existing sites.
    • We explain three examples that happened to us.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 16. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • First real example: site.visit
    • Every maintain & access role has it checked.
      • We gave it to the realm !user.template.
      • We thought that they could only visit their sites.
      • But !user.template sets global permissions.
    • Result: URL direct access to every site.
      • Every user can visit every site, pasting its URL.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 17. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • Second real example: site.upd.site.member
    • We assigned it to the realm !user.template
      • We thought that it affects only to user's MyWorkspace.
      • We wanted that users could unsubscribe of their sites (this is configurable in the site's xml file).
      • But MyWorkspace is ruled by !site.user.
      • !user.template sets user's global permissions.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 18. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • Second real example: site.upd.site.member
    • User permissions prevail over site permissions.
      • The sites access role hasn't site.upd.site.member.
      • But the global !user.template permission wins.
    • Result: Any user can add users to their sites.
      • It doesn't matter if he is access or maintain.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 19. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • Third real example: realm.add/del/upd
    • We thought that realms are a matter of admins.
    • Problems with public resources.
      • Users can't make public resources.
      • Other users can't revert to private contents.
    • Any public resource has its own realm.
      • Users must have permissions over realms in their sites.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 20. 3- How do the permissions work?
    • Some advices.
      • Read carefully the permissions document deployed with Sakai. http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/download/attachments/37290420/sakai_permissions_2-1-2.pdf
      • Then read carefully “Configuring Sakai Boston 09”: http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/CONF10/Wednesday+-+Configuring+Sakai
      • Make a collaborative wiki to document your permissions.
        • So you can see other's changes and others can see yours.
      • Don't touch permissions without being sure about what they do.
        • Specially the !user.template permissions, which are global.
      • If you need to propagate a role to existing sites, look here: http://steve-on-sakai.blogspot.com/2009/05/roles-in-sakai-sites.html
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 21. 4- How can I configure sites?
    • Enter as admin.
    • In MyWorkspace/Sites, you have templates.
      • !user: Configure MyWorkspace's template.
        • !user.guest
        • !user.registered
      • !admin: Configure admin's MyWorkspace template.
      • !gateway: Configure the portal's gateway template.
    • These templates have pages with tools.
    • All sites inherit their corresponding templates.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 22. 4- How can I configure sites?
    • Worksites are different.
    • Configure them in sakai. sitesetup.xml.
      • Categories (project, course, etc).
      • Tools of each category.
      • There is a !worksite too in sites, but is overriden.
    • More useful information about configuration:
      • Configuring Sakai Boston 09
      • (http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/CONF10/Wednesday+-+Configuring+Sakai)
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 23. 4- How can I configure sites?
    • Some advices.
      • It's hard to change existing sites.
        • Changes in templates don't propagate to existing sites.
        • You'll need webservices to do this.
      • We had about 800 bad MyWorkspaces...
        • Home: Announcement's limit set to 3.
        • Home: Without Messagecenter synoptic tool.
        • Home: Iframe with a height value too big.
      • Just be sure about the tools you want!
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 24. 5- Which tools should I use?
    • Many tools to choose.
      • http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/DOC/Tool+List+%282.x%29
    • Several tools for similar things.
      • 2 blogs (Blogwow & Blogger)
      • 3 forums. (Forums, JForum & Yaft)
      • 2 testing tools (Samigo & Mneme)
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 25. 5- Which tools should I use?
    • There is an official (deprecated?) classification.
      • Core tools.
        • Included in the release. Tested and following best practices.
      • Provisional tools.
        • Mature enough to be included in the release.
        • Not fully tested in production, not enabled by default.
      • Contrib tools.
        • Not formally QA'ed, neither included in releases.
    • Is being replaced by the Scorecard Working Group.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 26. 5- Which tools should I use?
    • Some advices.
      • Some contrib tools might look better than core tools.
        • Nicer user interfaces.
        • Some better and extra functionalities.
      • But several core functionalities aren't obvious.
        • Integrations with other tools (e.g. Section Info or Resources)
        • i18n.
        • More deeply tested and more community support.
      • Always check that somebody is using the tool in production.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 27. 6- How can I patch my Sakai?
    • JIRA is not too intuitive.
      • The principal page has attachments of tested patches.
      • Users can think that these attachments are the real patches.
      • But usually they are only temporary tests.
    • The true patches are obtained with Subversion.
      • You must get them from the official source code.
      • Search for your Sakai version's patch, if available.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 28. 6- How can I patch my Sakai?
    • We must look in the tab “Subversion commits”.
      • Search for our Sakai version's patch, if there is any.
      • If there isn't, we can try the trunk patch revision.
      • Generate the revision of the patch with Subversion.
          • svn diff -r 45235:45236 https://source.sakaiproject.org/svn/dav/branches/ sakai_2-5-x/ > parche.patch
      • Apply the patch with the command “patch” (in Unix).
          • patch -p0 < parche.patch (with --dry-run for testing the patch without applying).
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 29. 6- How can I patch my Sakai?
    • A JIRA page example.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 30. 7- How can I modify the help pages?
    • Sakai brings a bunch of help pages.
    • There are several properties included.
      • help.button: Showing the help button.
      • help.location: External location for help.
      • help.url: URL to use instead of built-in help.
      • display.help.menu: Showing/hiding the help's link.
    • But we can change the built-in help easily.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 31. 7- How can I modify the help pages?
    • Each tool has (should have) a folder with:
      • A help.xml file.
      • A bunch of html files linked from help.xml.
      • For example, sam/samigo-help/src/sakai_samigo/
      • You can edit these files to change whatever you want.
      • You must redeploy and restart to see changes.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 32. 7- How can I modify the help pages?
    • These changes can include i18n.
    • You can translate the help to your language.
    • You just must create:
      • A translated help_xx_XX.xml file (e.g. “help_es_ES.xml”)
      • The translated html pages linked from it.
    • Redeploy, restart and it's done.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 33. 7- How can I modify the help pages? March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 34. 8- How can I change the Sakai appearance?
    • Skin (portal's visual design)
      • Well documented in sakai_skin.doc (https://source.sakaiproject.org/svn/reference/trunk/docs/architecture/sakai_skin.doc)
    • Static content
      • Several pages are static, without i18n.
      • At {sakai_root}/reference/library/src/webapp/content/
        • myworkspace_info.html : Initial info in the user's My Workspace.
        • webcontent_instructions.html: Template for Web Content Tool.
        • webdav_instructions.html: Webdav tutorial at Resources tool.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 35. 8- How can I change the Sakai appearance?
    • Tools names.
      • {sakai_root}/tool/tool-impl/impl/src/bundle/tools.properties
      • These are the tools names in the database.
      • Can be i18n'ed too (e.g. tools_es_ES.properties).
    • Properties
      • Each tool has its own properties files.
      • The texts of Sakai can be modified or i18n'ed.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 36. 8- How can I change the Sakai appearance?
    • An useful shell script to locate properties (Unix).
      • find . -name &quot;*.properties&quot; -print -exec grep &quot;Text to locate&quot; {} ; |more
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 37. 8- How can I change the Sakai appearance?
    • Our advice:
    • If you change this and you are more than one person...
    • ...make common collaborative environments.
      • Repositories.
        • For files (e.g. properties and static html content)
      • Wiki pages.
        • For text (e.g. tools names).
    • Individual local copies can be a living hell.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 38. 9- How can I change the Wiki's pages?
    • Wiki's default pages are based on templates.
      • Default page: used in all new pages.
      • Help pages: normal help and macros help.
      • Etcetera.
    • These templates are created from a properties file.
      • ./rwiki-tool/tool/src/bundle/uk/ac/cam/caret/sakai/rwiki/tool/bundle/PrepopulatePages.properties
    • These templates:
      • support i18n partially (they use the tomcat's language).
      • are used one only time for site (when the wiki is created).
      • the pages created from them are stored in the database.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 39. 9- How can I change the Wiki's pages?
    • Any maintain can change the templates in his site.
      • Just use the macro {index} before creating content.
    • More awesome documentation at http://udel.edu/~mathieu/wiki/
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 40. 9- How can I change the Wiki's pages?
    • More advices, of course.
    • Changing globally the created pages is hard.
      • Raw database sentences.
      • The user's changes in these pages will be lost.
    • We changed all our wiki's help pages.
      • We changed the prepopulate_pages_es_ES.properties.
        • So all the new help pages are OK.
      • We changed the database tables.
        • update rwikicurrentcontent set content='Wiki Help Page's Formatted Content'
      • where rwikiid = any (select distinct id from rwikiobject where name like '%edit_right%')
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..
  • 41. 10- How can I change things without restarting Tomcat?
    • An annoying matter.
      • You change a tool and deploy it with mvn.
      • Theorically, Tomcat should notice the changes.
      • But it's needed (we, at least) to restart Tomcat to see them.
    • A non general solution.
      • touch <TOMCAT-ROOT>/webapps/<TOOL>/WEB-INF/web.xml
      • It restarts only that tool.
      • Only possible with “light” tools.
      • “ Heavy” tools (e.g. portal, site, etc) still need the restart.
    March 2010 European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..