Berg, Botimer, Buckett, Jones, Kirschner, May, Ottenhoff, Severance, Swinsburg, Theriault, Whyte
Abstain or did not vote (0)
Bush*, Horwitz, Zeckoski*, Lévêque
Note: both Bush and Zeckoski voted +1 in favor of the proposal but did so after the close of voting.
From: Anthony Whyte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: December 5, 2013 4:01:04 PM EST
Subject: VOTE: Sakai 10 help file screensteps proposal
PMC vote called
On 5 November 2013 Sam Ottenhoff proposed that we create/edit Sakai 10 help content using the screensteps.com collaborative authoring environment.  ScreenSteps is a commercial service offering a Plus plan at $99.00/month.  No material objections were raised to Sam's proposal, a copy of which is appended below. However, since the ScreenSteps proposal requires a cash outlay, a formal request for funding will need to be made to the Apereo Foundation Executive Director. Given this requirement, PMC members will be polled publicly in order to ensure that clear support exists for the proposal.
Voting is now open and will conclude no later than Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 16:00 UTC.
As a reminder, a "+1" vote signifies approval. A -1 vote constitutes a material objection that must be accompanied by a detailed explanation. A single -1 vote will block action. Blocking votes can be overridden by a 2/3 majority roll call vote of active PMC members.
Proposal for Sakai 10 help files
Author: Sam Ottenhoff
Date: 5 November 2013
Proposal: For Sakai 10, we should replace much of our help content with role-focused, image-heavy content. Our existing help content displays the same content for instructors and students and includes few images. I propose that we delete the existing help files that are contained within the individual Sakai tools, author new content in a documentation-friendly system, and export that image-heavy new content into Sakai's existing help tool.
Proposal for Authoring: I propose that Apereo pay for a community account in the commercial system called ScreenSteps Live (http://www.screensteps.com/). ScreenSteps would allow ten of our trusted community members to collaborate and edit documents in the shared system for $99/month. ScreenSteps would be used as a collaborative editing system; the content would be exported and held within Sakai's existing SVN repository.
Why ScreenSteps and not a basic HTML editing system? These are the primary reasons I can find:
a) ScreenSteps makes adding and annotating images incredibly easy.
b) ScreenSteps allows exports into PDF guides and HTML (that we would use to import into Sakai's existing help system).
c) ScreenSteps could allow institutions to easily export into an existing campus system like Wordpress or ZenDesk.
d) Institutions that want to heavily customize their own help could pay for their own ScreenSteps account.
Proposal for Sakai changes: I believe the changes in Sakai would be relatively minor. Here are the changes I would look to make:
a) Delete all existing help files in individual tools.
b) Develop a script that could easily import a ScreenSteps HTML ZIP export into appropriate help directories.
c) Add functionality to help tool that will differentiate content based on role (Student vs Instructor/teacher vs learner)
If there are other developers interested in re-doing help, we could consider replacing the existing help with a simplified version that depended on simple HTML files, ElasticSearch (already in for Sakai 10), and a more streamlined appearance.
Who is going to edit this new content? Longsight has staff dedicated to rewriting help files between now and Sakai 10's release. We also believe there are existing community members who are eager to work on restructured help files.
What about multi-lingual content? Sakai's existing help tool supports multi-lingual content. ScreenSteps allows multiple sets of content to be created, or the static HTML could be translated manually or using a tool like Crowdin.
How is the content licensed? The content would be exported and licensed as ECL 2.0 content held within our SVN repository. Contributors to the collaborative editing should sign CLAs similarly to developers.
What if ScreenSteps goes away? Then we are in the same boat we are in now. We would need a new system for collaboratively editing HTML-based help documents besides manually editing HTML inside an SVN repository. If we consolidate help files and remove them from within each individual tool, this should become much easier.
Other possibilities that have been discussed: The Edia Knowledgebase tool would be a nice replacement for the existing help tool, but it does not currently support multilingual content like our existing help tool. I also built a Drupal-based proof of concept for editing existing help files (http://sakaihelp.longsight.com). I view ScreenSteps as a refined version of that POC that has much better image editing capabilities and much better export possibilities. Also, a ScreenSteps account should be controlled by the Sakai community where the Drupal-based proof of concept is tied to Longsight.
Sample of a ScreenSteps guide used by Canvas: http://guides.instructure.com/m/8470
Canvas has a document about how to contribute to their ScreenSteps documentation: http://guides.instructure.com/s/2204/m/4151/l/41924-how-do-i-contribute-my-training-materials-to-canvas-guides
Thoughts, comments, or realistic alternatives for Sakai 10 help files? If I hear no objections, I'd like to get started on some of the technical work in early December.