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Sakai Newcomer: 10 easy questions not so easy. Daniel Merino Echeverría Centro Superior de Innovación Educativa - Universidad Pública de Navarra. A brief presentation about us. Universidad Pública de Navarra. March 2010. European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain. 2.

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Sakai Newcomer: 10 easy questions not so easy

Daniel Merino Echeverría

Centro Superior de Innovación Educativa - Universidad Pública de Navarra

a brief presentation about us
A brief presentation about us

Universidad Pública de Navarra

March 2010

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

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a brief presentation about us1
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.

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a brief presentation about us2
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.

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disclaimer
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.

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1 where can i find documentation
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.

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1 where can i find documentation1
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.

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1 where can i find documentation2
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.

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1 where can i find documentation3
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
2 how can i migrate contents
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.

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2 how can i migrate contents1
2- How can I migrate contents?
  • The usual import schema.

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2 how can i migrate contents2
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.

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2 how can i migrate contents3
2- How can I migrate contents?
  • Another distinct simpler schema.

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2 how can i migrate contents4
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.

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3 how do the permissions work
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.

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3 how do the permissions work1
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.

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3 how do the permissions work2
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.

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3 how do the permissions work3
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.

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3 how do the permissions work4
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.

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3 how do the permissions work5
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

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4 how can i configure sites
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.

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4 how can i configure sites1
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)‏

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4 how can i configure sites2
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!

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5 which tools should i use
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)‏

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5 which tools should i use1
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.

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5 which tools should i use2
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.

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6 how can i patch my sakai
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.

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6 how can i patch my sakai1
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).

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6 how can i patch my sakai2
6- How can I patch my Sakai?
  • A JIRA page example.

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7 how can i modify the help pages
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.

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7 how can i modify the help pages1
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.

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7 how can i modify the help pages2
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.

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7- How can I modify the help pages?

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8 how can i change the sakai appearance
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.

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8 how can i change the sakai appearance1
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.

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8 how can i change the sakai appearance2
8- How can I change the Sakai appearance?
  • An useful shell script to locate properties (Unix).

find . -name "*.properties" -print -exec grep "Text to locate" {} \; |more

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8 how can i change the sakai appearance3
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.

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9 how can i change the wiki s pages
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.

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9 how can i change the wiki s pages1
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/

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9 how can i change the wiki s pages2
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%\')‏

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10 how can i change things without restarting tomcat
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.

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