[Using Sakai] Home Page Components [and Templates] + WebDAV
marsh at uri.edu
Thu Jun 25 06:07:51 PDT 2009
Thanks for your reply, Jeff. I've interspersed some responses.
> Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 14:49:43 -0400
> From: Jeff Ziegler <ziegler at umich.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Using Sakai] Home Page Components [and Templates]
> To: Marshall Feldman <marsh at uri.edu>
> Cc: "sakai-user at collab.sakaiproject.org"
> <sakai-user at collab.sakaiproject.org>
> Message-ID: <BD81B2C3-E93A-4F0E-B5D9-5FCAD3CC9333 at umich.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> On Jun 24, 2009, at 2:49 PM, Jeff Ziegler wrote:
> The bad news is that it is not possible at this time for end-users to
> customize the layout of their site's Home page. The good news is
> that it is fairly simple for a Sakai admin to remove the synoptic
> tools (Recent Announcements, Recent Chat Messages, etc.) through the
> Sites admin tool. This is something I routinely do for our faculty.
> Do you have any people who support your Sakai, instance? I would
> contact them and ask if they would re-arrange the layout of your Home
> page. They should know how to do this. If not, I will be glad to
> send them quick instructions.
Thanks for the tip and offer. The documentation Zhen quoted seemed to
imply that home-page templates can be customized on a per-user basis.
Can they be customized on a per-course basis so that an individual can
have different home-page formats for different courses?
The problem I face is that our admin group is understaffed in terms of
both numbers of bodies and qualifications. They did not bring up the
Sakai system for next fall until late May, giving faculty members (most
of whom do not work for the university from late May to late August) the
choice of either migrating to Sakai in the space of about two weeks or
giving up their other summer plans. On top of that, I originally posted
my questions on one of the forums they put up for such purposes but was
told that they were too tied up with Freshman Orientation, which lasts
the entire month of June, to answer them now. Out of frustration, I
posted to this list. I am therefore very reluctant to put more on their
plates. At best, it would only cause me more delay, and at worst they
would botch things or I would have to spend lots of time with them until
we a format that works well. In terms of both technical details and the
overall gestalt of using Sakai, this is really the blind leading the blind.
Now that I understand the landscape better, I'll have to decide what to
page than to ask the staff to customize it. Eric Shulman
turn a browser page into a windowed desktop, including the ability to
open windows and drag them off the page. Something like this triggered
by an onload() call might do the trick and be portable to other courses.
> BTW, in regard to another question you posted - WebDAV has been
> notoriously problematic since the inception of Sakai but, to be fair,
> the Sakai app is not always the culprit. I've pretty much given up
> trying to get it to work for my users. Instead, we have them downoad
> a 3rd-party WebDAV client to use with Sakai. To the best of my
> knowledge we've never had a user report of these failing to work
> (although less technical people sometimes need a tip or two to
> understand exactly how to connect).
> For Windows, try AnyClient - (http://www.anyclient.com/).
> For Mac OSX, try CyberDuck - (http://cyberduck.ch/).
Thanks for the tip. I already use CyberDuck on my Mac, and AnyClient
Fixing WebDAV is, however, only part of the issue. The other part is
that WebDAV offers different functionality than FTP. WebDAV essentially
makes a remote directory structure look like a local one. Using it
should therefore be as easy as using the local file system. FTP treats
the remote system separately from the local one, so some implementations
have features that take this into account. For Sakai, the two most
important features are file synchronization and integration into local
web-authoring tools (like KompoZer). For quickly moving files between
machines, or for someone who's technically unsophisticated, WebDAV is
the tool of choice. For maintaining a complex web site, FTP works much
better. Ideally, I'd like to see both in any CMS.
> Feel free to email off-list if you have additional questions and I'll
> help if I can.
Thanks for the offer. I may take you up on it. I decided to reply to the
list for now because both points above have implications for Sakai's
future development and because I'm still hoping someone out there has
come up with a way around Sakai's present limitations.
Dr. Marshall Feldman, PhD
Director of Research and Academic Affairs
Center for Urban Studies and Research
The University of Rhode Island
email: marsh @ uri .edu (remove spaces)
202 Hart House
Charles T. Schmidt Labor Research Center
The University of Rhode Island
36 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0815
tel. (401) 874-5953:
fax: (401) 874-5511
206E Shepard Building
URI Feinstein Providence Campus
80 Washington Street
Providence, RI 02903-1819
tel. (401) 277-5218
fax: (401) 277-5464
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