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Inconsistent Terminology

This page now includes many ideas from Alan Regan:

Work to do / Notes

  • Before a JIRA can be created we need to be explicit about what needs doing, eg, "In Tool X change 'Close Date' to 'Due Date'" - this more or less needs doing for each row in the table
  • Jiras should be marked with "Internationalisation" tag / component
  • some of these tasks below will involve Java coding. They are denoted as such below.
AreaDescriptionProposed solution(s) / Comments



Groups / set / sectionsGroups are referred to as "Groups", "Sets" and "Sections"
  1. Change "Joinable Set" to "Joinable Group" - this seem to not be desirable (Adam 9/Sep/15)
  2. Leave Sections as is?

From SAK-29706:
The reason for the terminology of "set" was to mean a "group of groups". A group can be joinable and, therefore, a "joinable group". But how will we refer to a "group of joinable groups" where a student can join only one of those groups?
    -Shawn Foster

Due dateMixture of terminology such as "Due Date" / "Available Until"

Matthew Buckett: 'To me Due Date is when the user has to do something by (eg submit and assignment), whereas "Available Until" is often used as information for timed release but doesn't require any action from the user.'

Yes, my understanding is that "Accept Until" is used in the context of Assignments for late submissions. But I think any mention of "Close Date" could go away    -Brian Baillargeon

Date terminology in general is a mixed bag throughout Sakai, even when not related to due dates, per se.

  • Announcements has "Beginning" and "Ending" change to ?
  • Forums has "Open Date:" and "Close Date:"  change to ?
  • Syllabus has (kind of) "start date" and "end date" but I dont think students see this  change to ?
  • Sign Up has "Sign-up Begins" and "Sign-up Ends"  change to ?
  • Schedule has "Start Time" and "End Time"  change to ?
  • Assignments has "Open Date", "Due Date" and "Accept Until"  change to ?
  • Resources has "From" and "Until"  change to ?
  • Tests & Quizzes has "Available Date" "Due Date", "Retract Date" (and "Yes, until")  change to ?
  • Mneme (TT&s) has  "Open", "Due" and "Allow Until"  change to ?
  • Polls has "Opening" and "Closing"  change to ?
  • Others ???? TBC

Possible labels for starting something:

  • Start
  • Begin
  • Open
  • (From)
  • Starting

Possible labels for ending something

  • Stop
  • End
  • Close
  • (Until)
  • Ending

 -Alan Regan


There are a number of ways of saving progress such as Save, Update, Update Options Upload, Post, and Finish.

It is probably valid to have a couple of variants for different situations.

To Do:

  1. We need a tool by tool audit and a list of proposed changes
  2. The documentation AND instructions on the tool page will need updating
  3. Create a entry in "Style guide"
  4. Have other translations, eg, Spanish, already done some of the work?
Email notifications
  • Harmonise "From" addresses
  • Harmonise "subject"

To do:

  1. Tool-by-tool audit of all notifications with sender and subject
  2. A list of proposed changes for each affected tool
  3. The documentation AND instructions on the tool page will need updating
Deleting multiple items wordingSays "Remove Ticked", "Update", "Remove Selected" and others

To do:

  1. Tool by tool audit
  2. tool by tool description of changes so that the same terminology is used
  3. The documentation AND instructions on the tool page will need updating
  4. Have other translations, eg, Spanish, already done some of the work?
Deleting multiple items actionsSometimes a confirmation is asked for sometimes it is not

To Do:

  1. Tool by tool audit
  2. list of tools / actions where confirmation is not asked for
ReorderLabel for organizing content can be more consistent
  • Announcements: Reorder change to ?
  • Assignments: Reorder change to ?
  • Forums: Organize change to ?
  • Gradebook: Sorting (column header) change to ?
  • Lessons: Reorder change to ?
  • Resources: Reorder change to ?
  • Syllabus: Up icon and down icon without any column headers, just mouse-over notices change to ?
  • Reading list: <no labels just drag and drop> add ?
  • Evaluations: change to ?
  • Others?
Task completionWording for finishing a task
  • Announcements: Post Announcement change to ?

  • Assignments: Post change to ?

  • Forums: Save / Save Settings & Add Topic Post change to ?

  • Gradebook: Add Item(s) / Save Changes / Save change to ?

  • Home: Update Options change to ?

  • Lessons: Save change to ?

  • Polls: Save and add options change to ?

  • Resources: Upload Files Now / Create Folders Now / Add Web Links Now change to ?

  • Resources Picker: Continue change to ?
  • Site Info: 

    • Edit Tools: Finish change to ?
    • Page Order: Save change to ?
    • Add Participants: Finish change to ?
    • Manage Groups: Add change to ?
    • Manage Access: Update change to ?
  • Syllabus: Post change to ?

  • Tests & Quizzes: Save / Submit for Grading change to ?

  • Mneme: ????? change to ?

  • Others?

Worksite setup in My WorkspacePoorly named tool (see below) which displays sub-optimal information
  • Does a student need to know the site type?
  • Why display the "creator" as plain text? This is of very little use
  • Display "Site Contact" plus "Site Contact Email" instead. Note that this could be combined to make the contact name a clickable "mailto:" hyperlink
  • The "Published" column is only of interest to staff so why clutter the student interface? I would propose removing this column and putting "(unpublished)" after the site title as part of the hyperlink, or greying out the hyperlink (cf access view of Resources) although this approach isnt very accessible unless there's some text (in "title" attribute??) to indicate that the site is unpublished
  • The "Creation date" is also of no use to students. "Last updated" would be far more useful to them. There is a case for displaying creation date to staff so maybe both columns should be displayed

Tool Names

ToolDescriptionProposed Solution(s)



Site Info

"Site Info" serves two purposes

  • for students it really is site information, or some of it at any rate, students can also sign up for "joinable groups" or join / leave a site
  • for staff it allows site and group management

Staff are finding it confusing

  1. Change name to (something like) "Info / Settings" or "Info & settings"
  2. Display different names to different roles
  3. split the tool into at least 2 parts, one for staff and one for students (but why would students visit "Site Information" to join or leave the site of a group?)
  4. "Site & Group Management". Instructors use it to manage their sites. Students use it to find group information and/or join groups. "Info & Settings" don¹t convey that quite as well
  5. something else!
  SAK-29400 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Email ArchiveName belies the fact that the site's email address lies therein
  1. put site's email address in Site Info (along with other useful things like announcements RSS URL, public calendar URL, webDAV URL)
  2. rename the tool to be "Site Email"
ScheduleThis is a Calendar why not call it one! Especially since the synoptic tool is called "Calendar"
  1. Change the tool name to "Calendar" and within the tool make sure there's no occurrences of "Schedule"
  2. Change other tools, eg, Sign Up, Assignments, ?what others? to refer to Calendar not Schedule
  3. Change Site Stats aka Statistics
  4. Change Help info
  SAK-29733 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Page OrderAlan Regan: "Page Order" is another name that needs to be updated.  This name feels like a holdover from a much earlier version of Sakai when "tools" were known as "pages."  The button doesn't make it obvious to instructors what it does.  At minimum, please rename to "Tool Order." However, to follow the naming pattern for all of the other tools, I recommend "Customize Tools."  The tool offers reordering, renaming, hiding, and disabling of tools (and other features, too)..

  1. "Tool Order" has been suggested
  2. "Customize Tools"
  3. Combine Edit Tools and Page Order into one new page - this would require coding.
  SAK-29892 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Edit Tools

Alan Regan:  it would be nice if "Edit Tools" was changed to "Add / Remove Tools."  

Shawn Foster: How about changing the name to "Manage Tools" to match some of the other Site Info pages' terminology?


From Shawn's comment in SAK-29876:

How about changing the name to "Manage Tools" to match some of the other Site Info pages' terminology?

This would transition nicely into the Sakai 12 Strawperson item when I hope that the Page Order functionality can be merged into the Manage Tools page, so that tools can be managed from one spot.

  SAK-29876 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Edit Class Rosters (in Roster tool) 
  1. Change to Add / Remove Rosters
  2. Manage Rosters
Worksite Setup (My Workspace)

"Worksite setup" is meaningless. To start with "Worksite" is a term that is rarely used, "Site" is what is used. Secondly, most of our users (ie, students) dont set up sites, they visit sites.

Staff members who are site maintainers must use "Worksite Setup" so there is a case for having facilities to support them such as the ability to edit and so on.

If you opt to edit a site via Worksite Setup, the link on the Site Info page says "Back to Sites list"

  1. "Browse Sites"
  2. "Find Sites"
  3. "Sites List"
  4. "Site Setup"
  5. "Sites" - this would require the "Sites" tool to be renamed
  6. "My Sites"
  SAK-153 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Drop BoxThe name of this tool is extremely confusing due to its similarity to the popular commercial product DropBox (, with which it has no interaction and little in common.
  1. "My Files"
  2. "Documents"
  3. "Instructor Share"
  4. "File/Document Exchange"
  5. "File Drop"
  6. "File Exchange" - used by NYU Classes
  SAK-32259 - Getting issue details... STATUS
  • No labels


  1. Hi Adam Marshall, quite a while back when I was involved in translating Sakai I also noted the inconsistencies. We tried to come up with consistent translations for the most common terms. Perhaps you find it useful still: Terminology

  2. In 2012, I compiled a "wish list" in the Sakai 2.9 days (before the name leap to Sakai 10). The top item was consistency in naming:

  3. Shawn Foster - I like your suggestion of "Manage Tools" for a future version (Sakai 12?) where there is only one button, not two.  Right now, "Edit Tools" only allows you to add or remove tools.  The word "Manage" suggests other functionality... which isn't there.  Since functionality is split between the current "Edit Tools" and "Page Order," my recommendation:

    Edit Tools > Add/Remove Tools

    Page Order > Customize Tools

    One you add a tool, then you can customize it, etc.

    In version 2.0, a new "Manage Tools" feature combines the functionality of "Edit Tools" and "Page Order" into one tool.  This single feature would also enable a simple "+" or pencil icon below the left navigation to appear for instructor/maintain users to quickly edit the menu, etc.  In this new-and-improved "Manage Tools" feature, I also recommend including SAK-29821 - Getting issue details... STATUS while the work is being done to make the tool even more efficient/effective.

    My $0.02.

  4. Found some issues for new users during Calendar tool regression testing. As a first time user, the tab and page titles don't communicate the actual function of the page they direct to, particularly the 'Merge Internal Calendars' and 'Publish (Private)' tabs. Below are the issues found and suggestions from testing that could make the tool easier to navigate in future versions of Sakai.

    1. 'Merge Internal Calendars' - in course sites, this title accurately suggests merging events from other sites to the site selected. In My Workspace, all site calendars are shown by default. When users enter My Workspace > Calendar > Merge Internal Calendars, the page is titled "Show Events from Another Site" and all sites are selected. So the user isn't merging calendars in My Workspace, but choosing which to show or hide. As a new user clicking Save in this page, I expected to see duplicate events displayed (merging events into a calendar with those events already shown)
      1. If possible, changing the title from 'Merge Internal Calendars' to 'Show/Hide Calendars' or 'Add/Remove Calendars' in My Workspace only would resolve the issue. If not, changing all instances of the title to 'Show/Hide Calendars' or 'Add/Remove Calendars' would be more accurate than leaving all at 'Merge Internal Calendars
      2. In the tab, the page title contains 'Show Events...', the instructions contain 'Select what calendars...', and the table has a checkbox to 'Show Calendar'. Consistency between the tab title/page title/instructions/table would also simplify for users.
    2. 'Publish (Private)' - as a new user to the calendar tool, this title does not communicate the actual function of the page. Using the links provided, Google Calendar and iCalendar import the calendar, so 'Share Calendar' or 'Export Calendar' would be more accurate.
      1. The page titles ('Generate a Link to this Calendar for Personal Use' and 'Subscribe to this Calendar') both suggest different functions from each other and the 'Publish (Private)' tab title.
      2. Clicking the copy and paste link does not copy link to clipboard as suggested by instructions (instead, it downloads schedule.ics file which can be imported into desktop or web-based calendar clients).