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Minutes: 120927

In attendance: Sylvia, Cecelia, Allyn, Luca, Jillian


  1. Review Joe's report from his summer workshop to gather any tickets (included below).  
  2. Luca will demo all the changes that went into release 0.9.7

************************* Joe's Comments **********************************

These comments are summarized from an earlier e-mail that I sent to Allyn and Ceceila regarding my experience using COG in an ad-hoc manner to help improve a workshop that I was involved in.  


Suggestions (some obvious) about using COG in a workshop:

  • A surprising number of students had experience editing a Wiki, so you will probably be able to find "wiki leads" among the students.  If the workshop involves sub-projects (whether formal COG sub projects, or informal work groups that will report out using the Wiki) having at least one student from each group  go through a short training about creating pages, uploading images, adding bookmarks, and using any services is useful.

Agreed.  There is already documentation that the users can view about using COG [] (Running the workshop)


  • Having the organizers set up the overall structure of the Wiki  -- particularly the first level or two of pages and bookmarks -- is probably a necessity to prevent chaos. 

Agreed.  Part of the responsibilities of being a project lead/organizer ought to be to come up with an organizational plan. (Running the workshop)


  • Have at least two main admins for the COG Project.

Why? No single point of failure, but it is a resource constraint. Multiple developers not just project admins. Luca and Allyn are in charge of data, but most of the CoG folks could administrate. Luca is a bottleneck if he is not there to fix/change things. Need multiple people there to handle things.

TICKET: Develop project admin task protocols. (Sylvia)


Be sure to mention the person to contact when introducing the tool. (Running the workshop)


  • Having a succinct terms of use would be helpful. 

Agreed.  I will make this a ticket. Agree to the terms of use before new projects are approved. Gives us the right to enforce the terms of use.

TICKET: Formalize terms of use for CoG and place in a public location.


  • If people haven't registered before the workshop, you can do the registration for COG and the project en-masse in real time.  It took maybe 5 minutes to get everyone registered and approved. 

Glad to hear. (Running the workshop)



  • The administration of the project membership is incredibly easy.  

Glad to hear.


  • Data sharing during the workshop. The need arose to share some large data files with the participants (~several hundred MB to GB size). There is no real way to do this within COG, and maybe this is not within the scope of COG. As a stopgap, I just put data on an FTP site at PSD that I had access to and put links to that site on the COG Wiki.  I gather that the DCMIP workshop had a streamlined way to upload data to an ESG server, so that might be an option.   

Every workshop will be different.  But those that use ESGF to archive their data can have access to and services on that data integrated into COG. No way for an individual to upload stuff to the datanode. There is already an existing ticket on this, that we are just modifying. Best practices for where files should reside, or the size limit of the uploaded files. No limit that Luca is aware of at the moment. We do not want users to be using the CoG site to publish data, so perhaps we should put a limit on the uploadable file size. Set at the size of a large presentation document (100M).


  • The uploading of presentations is a little difficult.  It is a two-step process to upload and create a nice set of links.  And you have to keep track of the URL that COG creates in order to create a link to the document.  Having some sort of agenda/presentation pages with an easy way for participants/presenters to upload presentations would be nice.  

We have discussed this since your email.  I think that a formal template (as in "templated content") for this information is overkill, but we are working to make linking to documents/working with the wiki easier. We spent an entire call on this one point and there is already a ticket associated with it.


  • The difference between "Add Document" and "Add Attachment" is not clear.   

Agreed.  I will ticket this. This is a problem of inconsistent nomenclature. The documents and attachments do not behave differently. Document can be limiting, although images are technically documents, the term is a little odd to apply to documents. Attachment is an odd term to use outside of the context of email. Change to “Add File”, which is more generic.

TICKET: change all instances of “add document/attachment” to “add file”.


  • When creating a link..clicking on  the "Link" icon should search not only images, but also documents and other resources uploaded to COG would be nice, and also being able to optionally restrict the search to project (or peer-project) resources only (now, a lot of other images are shown) would also be good.  

I think that we are at the mercy of third-party tools here, but I will check with Luca.  I do know that restricting search to project resources has been done. We have changed the wiki-tool being used here and that has changed the link search interface. We have also added the ability to restrict the search to the project.

TICKET: make sure this process is more user friendly


  • The same with loading images.   If there were an easier way of loading images into a page -- or at least making it clear that you are building an image library for the project -- then that would go smoother.  Also putting the logo image in the image library would be a good idea.  

In progress.

TICKET: add the project logo to the shared image library for that project.


  • Finally, I am not sure whether there is a way to blast an e-mail to everyone on the project, (probably there is) but that would be a nice feature for urgent announcements (such as impromptu shopping runs, or changes in plans for the field trip, etc.)  

There is a news feature.  I believe that this is already ticketed, but I will double-check. This would be a nice feature, not sure if there is an existing ticket.

TICKET: News widget – enable email notification when news posted.

TICKET: News widget – enable tweeting when news posted.

TICKET: News widget – enable facebook pushes, where the user has the ability to post news items to facebook.

TICKET: News widget – enable google+ pushes, where the user has the ability to post news items to google+.


  • As for bookmarks.. a minor quibble... it is a little unclear that the "add folder" is a subset of the "bookmarks" .... It is grouped with "Add page" etc...  I think that having the option to add a folder when you click the Bookmarks... Say a "New Folder" button on the Bookmarks page. Also, moving a bunch of bookmarks at one time is a bit tedious.  Not sure if there is a package that allows a more "drag and drop" way of managing the bookmarks like in Firefox. Would be nice, but not essential.

I think that this functionality already exists, but I will double-check.  As for "drag and drop," I think that's very unlikely. We could make a topic called bookmarks in the left nav bar. Drag and drop is technically possible, but probably not worth our time/resources to implement. It is possible to change the parent of a subfolder.

TICKET: When adding a new bookmark, provide the ability to add a new folder.

TICKET: Remove the +add folder from the left nav.

TICKET: drag and drop functionality for bookmarks in the folders.


On facilitating group dynamics.

This is tricky, and the ideas here are a lot less thought-out.  We (NCPP/Downscaling workshop) want to create workgroups that exist before the workshop and outlast the workshop.  The groups would have potentially overlapping membership. On the other hand, I think it is unrealistic to expect the social cohesion and investment of time on the part of participants if the social network exists only for the duration of the workshop.   

I am still impressed with what EarthCube did with their Ning site along these lines -- although I understand it had a lot of deficiencies for managing the larger EarthCube project.   It was pretty basic and standard social-network stuff, but probably too much to add to COG.  I think the essential parts of this is to have some sort of basic public COG profile information,  picture/avatar, short bio, contact information.   That can be (with opt-in) associated with many sub-projects.  Having a way to spread email announcements to the sub-project.  Having a more graphical way to display and navigate the sub-projects on the parent project site.   I think that taking cues from existing social network sites and making the COG experience more intuitive for  those who use these other sites would be a step in the right direction.   

I don't know how much of this can be implemented within COG - you're asking a lot.  But I will ticket it just so we have the request documented.


************* Luca will demo all the changes that went into release 0.9.7 *****************

  • New wiki environment – better supported with frequent updates, fits better in CoG
    • Behaves similarly – WYSIWYG
    • Uploading an image required 8 clicks, new system only requires 4
      • When adding an image there is a tab that allows upload of a new image (sending it to the server)
      • Better than before!
      • All images are uploaded to a project library
      • Browse server – why not “browse project folder” or “upload file” for “send it to server”?
        • Having trouble changing the terminology in the source code
    • File list for a project interface has been changed
      • File list has 100 items, and can be reduced based on file extension
        • Problem with false positives and negatives
          • Presentations in pdf
          • Text in pdf
        • The user is not given the option to set the type of file
      • Documents can be made private at the point of upload, default is public
        • Process is different after the file has been uploaded
Last Update: Nov. 5, 2014, 2:48 p.m. by deleted user
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