[Its.an.education.project] Cleaning up the activities page
mel at melchua.com
Tue May 6 17:06:57 CEST 2008
Greg speaketh wisdom. The best tool/system/procedure/infrastructure is
one that people actually use.
I've heard that strawman artifact-examples to play with helps groups
move forward (also known as "I can has working code?") so here's an
experimental attempt to do so - please hold me to this, and holler if I
don't report back in 24 hours.
(the below is culled from an IRC convo with Bernie)
what would you think of something like http://trac-hacks.org/ but for
.xo and .xol files only? (In other words, Activity and library bundle
development, compartmentalized and separated from "core" Sugar code,
user docs, etc. - a developers' center.) Let's call this xo-get.org for
now, in homage to Chris Hager's awesome Activity.
The current structure for Activity development, as best as I can tell,
is "code in git, (sometimes) tickets in trac, (sometimes) user/teacher
docs on the wiki, (rarely) devel documentation on the wiki." This is
scattered, unclear, involves lots of manual work... it doesn't seem to
be functioning well, or to be a system that people enjoy using.
xo-get.org would have "code in git, (always) tickets in trac, (always)
devel documentation in trac, (hopefully) user docs on the wiki." The
goal would be to make life as easy for Activity developers as humanly
possible. Some helpful features...
(1) more-easily-sortable "Activities" page - "show me all bundles that
work with Sugar's current version," etc.
(2) for both people (users) and code (things like the xo-get activity),
it will hopefully be easier to find/pull/script/contribute-to things in
a more structured resource.
(3) the grassroots-people structure might find it easier to tweak this
tech-tool structure for Activity development facilitation, since the
manual work will never end (when something's marked "please test!"
someone still has to go find testers, someone has to test it...) Tools
that are pleasant to tweak tend to become tools that are pleasant to
use, which tend to become tools that are used.
(4) We'll find out more when we play around with it, I'm sure.
Right now this is a lot of hypothetical "wouldn't this be nice" talk, so
to turn this into action... I'm going to try to set up a strawman/demo
trac-hacks like installation late tonight after I get back from 1cc.
Advance warning: it will be slow as molasses because my personal
webspace is on a shared server. I'll fill it with a few sample uploads
of Activity code to give people an idea of what could be done with it.
So here's what I'll ask this list to hold me to: within 24 hours, I will
holler out the URL to the strawman on this list so people can play
around and decide whether to tweak/keep/toss, or what might work better.
If the general consensus is that this isn't useful but we have a good
discussion on why it isn't and what might be, I'll be ecstatic, because
we'll be moving forward and getting more concreteness into the mix.
If you want to help/keep-company, I'll be on #sugar late tonight
(probably starting ~9ish, EST) chugging away. Help is always welcome;
I'm concerned about the job getting done, I don't care who does it - if
someone else wants to do 100% of it, yay! But even if not, I'll be here.
Thoughts and comments, feedback, etc. super-welcome.
Off to put my money where my mouth is,
--Mel (who's been lurking for a while; I'm usually shy to speak up on
lists, but Bernie's been trying to convince me to get over that. ;-)
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