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Restricting choice of forms and documents to worksite

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OSP Portfolio


Charles Hedrick (Rutgers)



Demo Status and Date(s):

Status: Suggested
Date: (Date(s) enhancement demoed)

Part 1: Functional Description

Restricting choice of forms and document to worksite

Summary and Rationale

When creating a portfolio, on page 2 of 3, the user is presented with lists of items to choose from. These may include completed wizards, matrices, forms and files.

For forms, the current code searches the system for all forms, and checks which the user can read.

For files, the current code searches the user's worksite and all other sites to which he has access, and checks for all files which the user can read. This is despite a method that claims to look only for objects which the user owns.

This causes several problems:

  • It causes slowdowns. In the case of forms the amount of time is proportional to the number of users with either forms or forms of the specified type, because all forms (independent of site) are checked for read access. In the case of files the amount of time is proportional to the number of sites to which the user has access. These can lead to substantial delays.
  • It causes the portfolio to be brittle. If the user chooses objects from sites not under their control, then the portfolio will break without warning if the sites or files are removed or changed. We expect portfolios to last for a student's entire academic lifetime, possibly several years beyond graduation. We expect sites to be changed more quickly.
  • The widget used to present the options is not well suited to presenting large numbers of files in multiple sites.

There are several options, some of which can be done in the short run and some which will require varying levels of redesign.

  • For Sept 2008 we need some change, as we expect to have portfolio sites with thousands of users. The best short-run change is probably to restrict both files and forms to those housed in the user's worksite. We will advise users that if they want to include material from other sites, they should copy it into their worksite.
  • The best long-term solution is probably to present a full file picker, starting with the user's worksite, and presenting "show other sites" as an option. If they use an item from another site, it should be copied to their worksite.

I propose the first solution for 2.5.x, and the second for 2.6. If desired, we can use a variable in to control the behavior. However there are issues making the current behavior perform acceptably in large sites.

I have implemented the restriction to the current worksite in SAK-14165. It is not currently controlled by, but I will add that if it is desired to move the change into trunk. My code is based on earlier code than is in trunk. If you are willing to accept it in trunk, I'll need to change the way it is implemented somewhat, in order to coexist with the current trunk code. I'm willing to do that.

Here is a screenshot before and after the change. Note that nothing actually changes in a screenshot. THe list of files shown is simply shorter. However people seem to demand screen shots so I'm giving you one. THe actual changes in the screen shot are due primarily to improved formatting from SAK-14222.

The changes are localized, and would have no effect on database design or other parts of the system.



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