Child pages
  • Template and Form Development for Template-Based Portfolios
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

HOW TO set up an OSP development environment using OxygenXML

OSP is a content management system based on XML technologies that transform raw XML data into attractive, readable outputs (often XHTML web pages). You will want to set up a desktop development environment that is able to transform the XML content of an assembled portfolio using your own XSL stylesheet.

OxygenXML is an XML IDE that is cross-platform (Java based), available as an Eclipse plugin (widely used throughout the Sakai developer community) and can perform XSL trasformations using Xalan (the same processor as OSP).

In order to get the XML content of a portfolio for use in OxygenXML, create an identical template to the one you are developing but replace the XSL stylesheet with the passthrough.xsl stylesheet. Create a portfolio using this new template and save its source XML code.

Setup a transformation scenario in OxygenXML that will transform that passthrough XML with the actual stylesheet you are developing. You can edit the stylesheet and repeatedly rerun the transformation until you get desired results.

Form Building Basics - The Form Builder Tool

The raw portfolio XML in an OSP portfolio contains XML content from completed student forms (among other things). The content that students author when they fill out the form must validate against that form's schema. As a rule, the more prescriptive and detailed your schema are, the more control you will have to transform the content to get just the look you want. However, since a portfolio is often a tool used to promote self-expression, you may need to compromise between creating forms with many fields and rules to describe "valid" content and allowing students to structure and format their content for themselves in a minimal number of open ended prompts.

The Form Builder tool (contrib documentation here) is not in the official release, but available as a contrib tool. It is an easy way to begin building a XML schema file that can be used as a part of a form definition. Keep in mind that each form does not require a new schema and that there is a cost to providing too much flexibility in the effort that will be required to create and maintain the templates that will need to transform the data.

It may seem odd to attempt to standardize data types in a system DESIGNED TO BE SO FLEXIBLE, but more than one institution reports that setting reasonable expectations for portfolio deployments across campus and managing your IT resources to leverage some amount of standardization will allow a small shop the ability to sustain a number of portfolio deployments.

  • No labels