"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Friday, April 4, 2008

Web-based File Sharing, Wikis, and CMS

I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a colleague. Along with many topics concerning IT infrastructure opportunities in the world of nuclear nonproliferation, we discussed SharePoint and wikis. SharePoint, even with the release of a recent upgrade, seems to be limited to just a web-based file sharing tool. In the last six months an extranet with SharePoint instances has become available, but its not able to be as flexible and extensible as our Plone portals.

Meanwhile, Plone as a full-blown CMS is sometimes has too heavy a footprint. A neighboring department is using T-Wiki and Media Wiki for tracking some of their lessons learned and in-country activities. They have nice integration with some Flash GIS pieces, too.

I think my colleague, who supports three Plone portals in his work, will set up a wiki for tracking company-wide activities in northeast Asia. The idea is that the left hand often doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Nothing more embarrassing than having staff from a sister department show up in, say, Taipei the same week as you do and no one knew the other was in town.

Today I'm working on a minor extension to PloneSurvey, setting it up to allow results to display suggested interpretations if certain questions are answered a particular way. This will allow us to deploy surveys as assessment tools that provide useful feedback on the results page. If anyone out there has any assessment-related use cases that might fit into a minor PloneSurvey enhancement, kindly toss them my way.

And finally, a tip of the hat to all the hard workers who are working on Plone for Educators. The College of Santa Fe, where I teach evening classes, is a WebCT shop. I have found WebCT to be slow, ponderous, not particularly intuitive, and its useability is low. Wish I could get the sys admin to set up a Plone instance. Maybe next term....


Tess said...

You may want to check out this add on ECQuiz http://plone.org/products/ecquiz/ I believe it's compatible for 2.5+, I'm not sure about their plans to update for later Plone versions.

I'm just assessing it so I cannot vouch for its usage but may be certainly worth taking a look at.

Schlepp said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a look-see. We're mostly after an expert system sort of thing, so I'm guessing that a modified PloneSurvey will do the trick.