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  • Personal file manager available from anywhere in application.  Main home is probably within My Workspace.
  • The file manager allows users to view their files in a navigation or spatial view; with details and without
  • User can drag and drop into, out of and within.  
  • Tagging for files allows users to find files via their tags and others tags.  They can search or browse by previous tags (a.k.a. tag cloud).  Standard known metadata could be auto-tagged.  System knows the difference between my tag and others tags.
  • Robust search that not only searches meta-data tags but also document content.  It should be simple by default (think Google) but allow users define searches at a fairly granular level.
  • Allow users to upload files directly into their file manager and in the context of other activities or working in other tools.  While creating a wiki page, allow the user to upload a file.  The file should then be accessible from within that same context and from their file manager.



Possible Components / More specific problem spaces

Getting Content In *

Allow users to get content into the application.   The system should actively understand the content and be able to add some context (ex. auto-tagging and/or organizing based on file type -- iphoto puts pics into several categories automatically when new images are added).  Users may be able to add their own context to the files (ex. tagging).   The thinking about this space should include how users may utilize  the content in multiple places in the application (ex. include a particular article in more than one site, attach an assignment to an announcement).  Where should the content live?  We need to also think about how this relates to file explorer view.

May include:

  • Tagging
  • Attachment Manager
  • Conditional release

File Management Views *

a.k.a Mac Finder or Windows Explorer

Allow users to have several views on their files.  Sometimes a hieararchical tree and folder structure will work best and others user will want to see the items spatially.  Allow users to "drag and drop" files around for organization (reorganizer component).

Tag Cloud *

Give users a way to browse their tags (their folksonomy) to find files, content, etc. in their site (perhaps across sites).  The tag cloud should give users indication of how often tags have been used (ex. font size indicates relative frequency).

File Manager

Rather than views described above is there a component that includes more robust functionality like search,  add & delete files, etc?

"Smart" Page Navigator

Sakai has page navigation now.  The default for how many items to show on a page varies.  How many makes sense depends on context, how many total items, what type of items, etc.  The idea here is to make this navigator remember the users last setting (across sessions).  That way they set if for what makes sense given the current situation and it is persistent.  As things change for them they simply change the setting to meet current needs and again it's persistent until they need to change it again.  Currently this is a "one size fits all" default and many users have to change it every time the visit a particular page.


Allow users to create their own folksonomy of files, content, etc.  The component should be smart about remembering and suggesting previously used tags to help users build up their own folksonomy.

The value of tagging for users is in searching and browsing by tags later so this functionality would need to go hand and hand.

Description to come...

Attachment Manager

Allow users to attach files to other content.  Files could come from user's personal computer, websites and apps, other sites and/or portlets.

Conditional Release 

Description to come...

Link manager 

Description to come...

Content Previewer 

Preview content as the user is creating it within the application. 


Next Steps 

  • Review content management contextual inquiry worksheet and iterate
  • Create overall project plan including short & long term
    • Sakai 2.6
    • Sakai conference meet-up with file management & navigation