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About this document
This wiki page goals are:
ISCB SC Web Portal Redesign Motivation
The Student Council of ISCB society actively uses web services for teamwork, communication of Council activities to its members and attracting new leaders. The main www.iscbsc.org website served for two years as a starting point to obtain information about the SC. It is linked from the main ISCB website www.iscb.org.
The SC identified redesign of web portal as one of its prime goals. Also there is an urgent need in setting up RSG web infrastructure.
Student Council represents the most active part of the ISCB community - students, who displayed interest in ISCB Portal redesign. In his talk at SC3 Symposium in Vienna Reinhard Schneider has shed some light on the process of development of "New Face of ISCB" -- new Web Portal. Please have a look at the related documents.
The requirements specifications were compiled by Kamalakar Rao Mettani, who did it as part of his Masters thesis in Schneider Group, EMBL, Heidelberg. The procedure follows general guidelines defined by IEEE SRS Standard 830-1998 and is very interactive. The starting point was Improvement of the ISCB Membership Benefits, compiled by ISCB BoD. This document defined the Web Portal as an important means to improve membership benefits and services. With necessary background covered it has provided the ground for High Level User Requirements Specification. It helped to define key questions that formed the online survey targeted ISCB Members. This feedback helped to elicit more detailed User Requirements Specification. Some more specific questions with regards to functionality, content, new member attraction, task prioritizing and long term goals were individually discussed with ISCB stakeholders (Executive Board, BoD and SC Leaders) in interviews during the ISMB conference. The draft version of the new portal built with Joomla 1.5 has been released recently. There is space reserved for the pages of the Student Council in this layout draft.
I stop the description of ISCB portal progress here, because this is its current state. Please update if you know more.
Web Coordination Team is now responsible for the compilation of Web Portal requirements and coordination of the Council's activities regarding the Portal.
Regarding the integration with ISCB Portal, the features and the release schedule, a few inquires has been sent to Kamalakar. Unfortunately these requests have not been responded so far. This will make it harder for us to make important decisions. Venkata and those guys who have been in contact with Kamal recently, please help the WCT to bridge this communicational gap with ISCB portal development team.
Web Coordination Team
On Sun, 7 Oct 2007 in a Student Council Leaders Teleconference Web Coordination Team (WCT) has been established.
Currently WCT members are:
The purpose of WCT is to analyze the needs of the Student Council, compile the requirements, perform and coordinate any activities related to SC Web Portal.
The project is tracked in Basecamp. Another purpose is to evaluate project management capabilities of the Basecamp software to decide whether it's a good choice to manage SC's internal projects.
Defining project plan and status
Roughly, the current action plan is:
Summary of sc-leader mailing list regarding SC and RSG websites
(please feel free to correct, I do not intend to follow the discussion here. just to summarize the main ideas. Alexander).
ISCB BoD was asked for funding in July to host a new SC Portal, extend it for RSGs and add more services, e.g. Moodle. Siteground.com hosting service (~$6/month) has been proposed. Budget for 2 years, as requested, will be provided.
Joshua, RSG Korea proposed its service to host SC Portal and RSGs. There were more proposals for hosting (Angela).
In July, during BoD meeting it was suggested that SC Portal becomes a part of new ISCB portal, which is currently under redesign. BJ wondered why SC should ask 3rd parties for hosting and initiate own SC portal redesign then.
The main idea is that there is an urgent need in an up-to-date portal for SC and RSGs (expressed by Amr, Abischek and Saraswathi). SC aims on integration with main ISCB portal, but since the ISCB portal is not ready yet, SC and RSG groups propose to elicit our own requirements and develop new portal now, so to merge it with ISCB portal later.
Amr Abu-zeid proposed requirements for RSG Canada website in his letter to ISCB BoD. Highlighted benefits: enable students to join RSG, monitor activities of other groups, communication tool. Requirements highlighted: general RSG biography page, RSG activities page, page for prospective RSG students, private link for job postings. Amr votes for an integrated international portal.
Manuel proposed that the RSG initiative should go from RSGs (e.g. Joshua), develop into fully functional portal and then be used as base for other RSG groups, but decentralized. Nils suggested (and Venkata supported) that the initiative should come from SC, with a central portal infrastructure designed by SC firstly and all RSGs -- tightly integrated. Pages of RSG India (Abhishek, Saraswathi) could serve as a sample template for other RSGs.
Abhishek stressed, that some current web links are published and should be working in new portal.
Parthi can not continue to serve as site manager, although he offered some support with the existing infrastructure.
Prash offered his help as webmaster.
Saraswathi can design web pages.
Abhishek, Alexander, Joshua(?) and Thomas are web developers.
Hosting options discussed: part of ISCB site; Siteground.com; RSG Korea; Angela.
In ISCB's documentation, there is no written statement whether Joomla 1.5 will fit the defined requirements or not, this looks more like an arbitrary choice. Some SC Leaders discourage the employment of Joomla and suggest Drupal. Parthi and Thomas have already set up trial Drupal installations for the purpose of evaluation. Abhishek has a judged opinion that Joomla fits because it's the choice of the ISCB.
Questions and Answers
The analysis of User Requirements Specification is intended to be a collaborative and interactive process. For this purpose all SC Leaders are recommended and members of the WCT are required to answer the questions on a separate Questions and Answers page and if necessary, submit new questions.
WCT will decide then on the consensus on each question.
It is recommended that we start the CMS software evaluation ASAP and comment with examples from CMS documentation or linking to sample sites we set up for this purpose (prototypes), so that everybody could have a better idea.
Use sketches or diagrams if you think it will illustrate and/or support your opinion better. Besides, it's not very convenient to handle attachments in the mail list.
User Requirements Specification
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