Sakai Newcomer: 10 easy questions not so easy
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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

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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Sakai newcomer 10 easy questions not so easy

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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