[LON-CAPA-users] New Content/Problem Editor - Input needed NOW

Damien Guillaume damieng at msu.edu
Thu Oct 9 17:29:00 EDT 2014

Hi all,

Just to clarify a few things: I have started work on the new graphical 
editor (as opposed to the text editor that you call XML editor even 
though it is not XML), although I have mostly been busy defining the new 
XML language and writing a conversion (the language will evolve a little 
bit, by becoming real XML, with some elements removed, and some 
structural changes).

Some important points about the new editor:
- the text editor will not be removed, it will be improved (hopefully 
based on what Stefan demoed at the conference)
- the colorful editor will probably be removed, because keeping it even 
as an easter egg would require a lot of changes (because of the 
evolution of the language and because of other changes in LON-CAPA)
- the new graphical editor will not require constant save&edit, changes 
in the document structure will be immediate and saving the document will 
be independant.
- as the colorful editor, it will help create better markup (even 
cleaner, hopefully), and will provide lots of contextual help (even more)
- it will be more WYSIWYG, especially with HTML. But we are still 
wondering how we could do better than WYSIWYG HTML + LON-CAPA elements 
with boxes as in the colorful editor. If you have any idea on that...
- the main goal is to make it easier for new users to start creating 
resources in LON-CAPA
- I could say more but I should probably not at this point, because we 
are curious to see what you would really like.

Several people are going back and forth between the colorful editor and 
the text editor: what would make you stay in the graphical editor ?
Some people find even the colorful editor hard to learn. Some are even 
scared by the boxes (I heard a "this looks like a database" comment 
once). What could we do about it ?

> For example the colors, borders, separation and layout chosen for outlining certain blocks or options might not be distinctive enough.
> (<part></part> comes to mind.)

The borders are currently very visible in the colorful editor. Do you 
mean that we should add some blinking :-) or that some borders should be 
*less* visible, so that the important ones stand out ?

> The text there perhaps could provide more guidance -- if I'm using the
> colorful editor, I don't need to know that I'm adding a "Block for After
> Solved" -- I need, perhaps under the Advanced tab, an option to add
> messages before the problem has been attempted, when it's been attempted
> but wrong, when it's been answered correctly, any time before the due date
> and after the due date. Maybe that's all grouped in a Messages category
> where I click a checkbox for which type of message or messages I want to
> add, a text box appears beneath, and I type in my message for each type
> I'm adding.  Things like that I think would make it more user-friendly for
> those who want that type of interface.

But the block specifies where these message will appear: if we don't 
insert something in the document, how would we specify where it should 
appear ? Or is that position unimportant ?


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