PROD’s Progress

Apart from the previous post about the OpenID implementation it has been a while since I’ve written about PROD so here is the “vision” and some details of what’s happening with the project.

Before we go on I’ve written an FAQ on the PROD wiki which you are all advised to have a look at…

The PROD Vision:

PROD is a dynamic directory of JISC projects providing an easy-to-use way to locate projects and get a view of their current status and activity. Through integration with the Standards Catalogue and e-Framework it will also provide an overview of interoperability standards used by projects and their rationale for doing so.

PROD draws information on projects from a number of sources including the JISC website, individual project sites and project RSS feeds. We have also developed import mechanisms for legacy spreadsheets and catalogues.

The data in prod can be exported in standard formats (including RSS, ATOM, DOAP and CSV) to facilitate re-use in other catalogues.

Progress report

People oriented activities:

We are currently looking at how this data can facilitate integration with efforts at OSSwatch and with the JISC PIM system. We had a meeting in London to discuss how we can leverage doap across the different systems to exchange data and avoid duplication of effort. Present included Ross Gardler from OSSwatch with SIMAL, Yvonne Howard and Dave Millard from Southampton with their e-Framework Knowledge Base, Neil Chue Hong from OMII in Edinburgh, and Simone Spencer who is heading up the JISC PIM. It was pretty satisfying to feel we all agreed that with a bit of work on our respective DOAP implementations we would be able share core project data and thus concentrate on the more individual value-adding aspects of our projects.

Here in Bolton we are holding a workshop tomorrow on how we plan to use PROD internally to help us with the process of ”technical audits” of projects and how we can go about integrating PROD with the other JISC CETIS web offerings.

Ongoing development work:

DOAP, RSS & CSV export for collections of projects through the browse/query interface. We’re also thinking about making widgets to embed this in other places (like the main JISC CETIS site – or your own personal iGoogle or Dashboard if you like!)

OpenID associations for existing users – this is part of the general OpenID implementation across JISC CETIS sites. Currently it works to enable commenting.

Selectively elevated privileges for project staff and programme managers. This will happen automatically through existing data where available, we will also put in a “claim” button to users to assert a relationship to a project where a connection is not already held.

General review of data held, sanitisation particularly around people, organisations, themes. This will include a manual trawl for project sites, feeds etc where they haven’t been auto-discovered. Administrative interfaces may also see some improvement.

Integration with Standards Catalogue. Users (CETIS staff, projects, etc) will be able to associate projects with relevant standards and comment on the rationale for their use or implementation. The standards catalogue bit is working fine now.

Integration with main JISC CETIS sites – highlighting relevant projects within domain pages and other CETIS output (blogs, e-learning focus etc). This activity will be of particular relevance to ongoing comms work including the “technology & standards briefings”.

Highlights of completed development work to date:
(Roughly in order of implementation)

  • Core data model
  • Core interface
  • Old directory import
  • JISC spreadsheet import
  • DOAP export
  • Search interface
  • Funding status indicators
  • AJAX editing (administrators only at the moment)
  • JISC web-scraper
  • RSS feed-scraper
  • Data-sanitisation utilities (for admins)
  • Activity indicators
  • Comments
  • Browse & querying interface
  • OpenID authentication (for commenting)

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