on the meaning of "the uPortal Layout Manager"

Andrew Petro apetro at unicon.net
Thu Feb 14 01:09:05 UTC 2008

Shaw-Han's recent email on fluid-work was entitled:

"User Testing the uPortal Layout Manager"

While I'm thrilled with the technical progress, in the interest of 
shared domain language between all involved in the uPortal project, I'd 
like to raise a small issue:

I'm a little worried about calling the UI-layer user preferences 
facilities, the Fluid component, etc. "the uPortal Layout Manager".

The Layout Manager in uPortal is a specific API and an implementation of 
that API, in the form of DLM.  That, the layout manager module, isn't 
what's being tested here.  Rather, what's being tested is the "user 
layout preferences UI".

Now I do want to emphasize that I may be *just wrong* about this -- that 
thinking of this as "user testing of the layout manager" is a perfectly 
reasonable way to think about it.  What else would user testing of the 
layout manager possibly mean, after all, but exercising the layout 
preferences UI? (Well, defining fragment owners and rules for who gets 
what, creating new managed fragments, managing the meta-permissions 
associated with fragment portions...)

But if there's a thing that isn't the uPortal Layout Manager that's 
being user tested here, it may be worthwhile to have a good clear noun 
to name that thing, to enable better communication among project 
developers and participants...


Shaw-Han Liem wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> We are about to go into our second round of user tests for the uPortal 
> Layout Manager. If you aren't familiar with this component, it is an 
> implementation of the Re-orderer that will allow fully 
> keyboard-accessible and drag-and-drop re-ordering of portlets in uPortal.
> The design team is working on refining the designs based on our user 
> tests while the development team is working on uPortal integration.
> The current design we are testing (based on Gary Thompson's great new 
> uPortal skin) can be found here:
> http://tinyurl.com/2r89b2
> (caution: the mockups have only been tested in firefox)
> In particular we'll be testing the placement and design of the "locked" 
> icon, as well as some of the behaviours for mouse drag and drop.
> We thought we'd send these out to the community as a progress report and 
> invite any comments regarding the design and the testing activities. If 
> you are interested in our user testing results so far, they can be found 
> in the wiki at this url:
> http://wiki.fluidproject.org/x/kIAk
> Thanks,
> Shaw-Han

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