Thursday, February 5, 2009

Project Search

Thinking about searching through projects (as asked by Greg), I think that it would make the most sense to allow users to search through all the projects that they have access to. So if they were searching for a ticket assigned to them from different projects, they could see them in the search. Then in the advanced search, there should be an option, that allows the user to select which projects they would like to search in. This list should change from user to user obviously. The regular search should default to the current project or have a small like like "advanced" but instead "all projects" just underneath the search bar. I'll sketch this up soon.

** Edit **
If a project gives anonymous users read access, then clearly the project is allowing other people to look at it. So I think that it is okay to allow searching over all projects in that way. It could be useful if you're looking for one project in particular. We could always add that extra option in the advanced search to allow users to search only within their projects or all projects. Then by default, the search bar should look only within the user's direct projects that they have write permissions to and to search all projects, the option would have to be selected in an advanced search.

One thing I noticed about Dr Project when I was using it last semester was that I wasn't able to access different projects from one account log in. (Not sure if that statement makes sense). See, I had 2 different courses that used Dr Project, and I would have assumed that I could log in and see both projects. That was not the case. I definitely think that it would be useful if that was possible. So to relate this to Basie, this is definitely a feature that should be implemented somehow. Then again, perhaps the functionality was there, I just didn't know how to use it properly.

** Edit **
With Dr Project, perhaps there could be some way to allow the students or users to merge two projects in some sort of separate interface specific to them. obviously we can't allow all the instructors access to other instructors' pages, but some way to merge project pages, or some place where users can "manage" their projects would be nice.

4 comments:

Liz said...

That's an interesting observation to make - that DrP's multiple projects really only makes administration easier, not so much on the user side of academic projects. We'd either need cross-installation authentication (I don't know, but I doubt that's feasible) or intend to have only one installation per university. hmm... We'd have to think about the information architecture a little differently for the latter.

gvwilson said...

So what happens if projects have given the anonymous (not-logged-in) user 'read' access? Are they included in a cross-project search? If so, then on a site like SourceForge, "search all my projects" would hit *all* projects...

W.r.t. multiple accounts, we set up a separate instance of DrProject for each course. If we had one for all undergrad teaching, we'd have to give every instructor admin access, which would mean every instructor could mess up every other instructor's courses :-)

james leung said...

Well given that the search is in the context of assigned tickets, I think we can simply not conduct searches of projects where the highest level of access of 'anonymous'. I think it's a good assumption that there won't be any tickets assigned to the general public.

pongers said...

There won't be any tickets assigned to the general public, but perhaps the general public wants to find a ticket pertaining to a certain topic. So if I was interested in developing an events page for instance, I could search tickets for all projects to see if there are any projects that are developing an events page. However, we could disallow anonymous users to search on tickets that have been assigned to somebody.

Taking this back into the context of student projects, it may be useful to be able to search all projects to see what other students are working on, or if the user can get "inspired" by another student's idea.