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Dot
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by Dot » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:25 am

Marten wrote:To me, Joomla (or any other "web content management system") is about aesthetics - how content is arranged for display. CMS lets you make your content look like a newspaper.

And to me, a Wiki is about making content community-editable; there is a hierarchy and organization to the content, but that is consistently in an outline form; your content looks more like a research paper.
Thanks, Marten, for clarifying the differences for me. It helps to explain why I prefer Joomla -- this editor LIKES aesthetics and ease of formatting.

So would you use the Wiki to get the content developed, then once that content is settled, pour it into the CMS? (I hope it's OK to ask such newbie-level questions here.)

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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:41 am

I'd like to see the answer to that from Marten and others. And I'll just give you my own thoughts on it as well. I consider the wiki as documentation, like a manual, or a research paper as Marten says. And I think of a CMS like Joomla as your client-facing website for marketing, product tours, multi-media story-telling, and all-around getting yourself out there in an interesting way.

David's Journey might document design processes, standards, or dry technical details and facts on the wiki during development and discussion without disclosing its story, visuals and puzzles (content). But then provide some story details and sample screenshots in Joomla to excite the public as they near completion. That kind of excitement and presentation is just not what a wiki and forums are known for.

And again as Marten said, anyone can edit the wiki. Only authorized members of the David's Journey team would be publishing to their pages of a CMS - like a website.

There is some duplication here with OpenURU.org's offer of subdomains for project websites, but I'd like to see if some unique purposes fall out of the ideas about what resources to offer. Offhand, I'd say one major difference is that, like the wiki and the forums, a CMS would be there for you, ready to use at any time. You don't have to install and manage it yourself. But you would be completely responsible for installing and maintaining your own website on an OpenURU.org subdomain (though if you wanted an instance of Joomla installed as your subdomain website, I could at least do that for you).
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:18 pm

Dot wrote:So would you use the Wiki to get the content developed, then once that content is settled, pour it into the CMS? (I hope it's OK to ask such newbie-level questions here.)
In my "other life" I work on technical committee which uses a wiki and what I call "static" webpages in a way similar to what Dot suggests (but not exactly):

The wiki allows collaborative development of documents (along with the background discussion on proposed amendments in the "talk" pages) in a way that most people can get to grips with fairly easily. There's flexibility to re-organise the content and adjust hierachy as the documents grow. But once we get to the "published" stage we also need to offer quick access, printable versions. In our case, we wouldn't port the wiki content over into HTML pages, we actually import into OO Writer, do some re-formatting to "pretty up" the document and output a PDF which we then put back on the website for download.

I don't think I'd actually ever want to move content off a wiki and into a CMS/HTML for a number of reasons. Firstly, unless you delete all the wiki content then you have the "same" material in two places - if the wiki continues to be updated then you confuse people by having different versions offered, depending on where you're looking. If do delete the wiki content, then you're implying that the documents are "frozen" and you're at least making more work to open them up again for any future updates. Wiki markup doesn't all port readily into HTML/XHTML/XML/whatever, so migrating to anything else probably will mean someone will need to do some "work", and I don't see there's earned value in that - in my example, having a printable document is a requirement, so the argument is slightly different. Anyway, my preference here would simply be that once you think a document is "complete" you lock down the editing: People can still add comment to the "talk" pages so don't really lose the opportunity for feedback, and it's simple to re-activate the document.

One of the benefits I find with the wiki, is that the comparatively limited formatting features mean that it is much easier to maintain a consistent "style" and layout, which ultimately aids readability, even though it can look a bit utilitarian at times. GIve a team of 6 people the task of editing sections of an MS Word or OO Writer document, then when you come to re-assemble the final document you'll have 6 different style lists to resolve!
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by rarified » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:42 am

I've added to the demo software set by making temporary installations of dotProject and ]ProjectOpen[ available for exploration.

These tools provide project management functions that would allow us to describe tasks to be done, dependencies between the tasks, what is produced by completing a task, and who is working on a task. Both of them are web-based so multiple people can use them at the same time on a single server.

dotProject is the simpler of the two, but I'm not sure I like the UI. ]ProjectOpen[ has much more functionality, but as a consequence is more complicated, even with the stripped down configuration I've put together.

To access them, in dotProject sign in with user user and password user. For ]ProjectOpen[ sign in with user user@openuru.org and password user. Both demo users have administrative and management capabilities so be careful. (I've taken snapshots of the databases, but don't want to restore them frequently ;) )

One nice attribute of ]ProjectOpen[ is the ability to export and import many of the items (project data, task list, etc) through the browser. For example, the open GanttProject stand-alone Gantt chart editor can exchange project scheduling information with ProjectOpen.

[Perhaps this should start a new topic or project about tools, but for now this thread seems the most appropriate place.]
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by T_S_Kimball » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:17 am

The ProjectOpen link is not working for me. *shrug*

I am poking about with the other site (dotProject), and the only suggestion I have so far would be to swap the task and project columns on the overview (if possible).

Don't mind the UI of it too much; To me, most of it is relatively self-explaining. Then again, I spend quite a bit of my time dealing with other people's UIs (like in SharePoint, Helios, Remedy, etc) so I may be somewhat numb in that perspective. ;)

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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by Mac_Fife » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:18 pm

Thanks for setting up these demos, rarified.

Yeah, ]po[ is a lot more attractive but having things like the Finance, Timesheet and Absences tabs across the top of the page as soon as you log in shows that there's a lot of functionality present that I couldn't see us ever using.

dotProject looks a bit more "utilitarian" I guess, but there doesn't seem to be much wrong with the functionality, and I could find my way round the UI possibly a little better than I could with ]po[ :? On the other hand, I use SAP at work so anything else is easy to navigate (ever seen the SAP "Easy Access Menu" ? :shock: :lol: ). I'm not sure whether the built-in ticketing in dotProject is useful or not.

On the basis of a very quick scout round, I'd say I prefer dotProject: I'm sure ]po[ is a great tool, but I just think it looks a bit too scary for many people.
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by Dot » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:02 pm

Eek! :? I logged on to ]po[ and was greeted with:
You have so far logged only 0 hours worktime of the required 32 hours in the last 7 days. Please log you hours now or contact your manager.
Do people really have to work with this intrusive sort of software, that logs your time plugged in? I'd hate it. Glad I'm freelance. (And 'you hours'?)

On topic, speaking as a 'typical explorer', I find the clean interface of dotProject easier and less daunting -- a bit like Mantis vs. Bugzilla.

Thanks for all these demos, rarified. They are very helpful.

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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by rarified » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:32 pm

Dot wrote:Eek! :? I logged on to ]po[ and was greeted with:
You have so far logged only 0 hours worktime of the required 32 hours in the last 7 days. Please log you hours now or contact your manager.
Gentle Dot, I apologize :oops: Didn't mean to scare you.

I had actually scrubbed a lot of that nonsense from ]po[ earlier in the day, and somehow configured my way into a non-functioning system. I had to revert back to the "default" configuration to leave something running before I retired for the night. That's why dotProject has more sample tasks entered than the ]po[ installation.

There are ways to simplify ]po['s presentation, but administration of it (at least the initial setup) seems a little touchy. Another checkmark in dotProject's column.

[TSK, I found a problem early on with not having punched the right hole in my firewall for ]po[. If you encountered a timeout accessing it, it should be fixed now]
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by Mac_Fife » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:11 pm

Dot wrote:Do people really have to work with this intrusive sort of software, that logs your time plugged in?
You better believe it!

Image

Sorry. Back to topic...
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Re: OpenURU.org Tools

Post by JWPlatt » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:58 pm

You folks are awesome, thanks!

This is a great discussion, and thanks for the demo, rarified.

I should point out, though I have not yet checked out dotProject in depth after my first look at it, that Marten gave it a thumbs down earlier in the thread after I brought it up:
viewtopic.php?p=859#p859

I'm still very open to it, especially if it fits the requirements where nothing else does. But because Marten used dotProject at work, and he's a very reasoned person anyway, I put some stock into what he says. But also because he worked with dotProject, he's at the top of the nomination list for dotProject admin once we railroad him into it. ;) Just kidding. I'm more impartial on this one than Mantis.
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