Fall 2007 Fluid Summit

Where and When?

September 24-28, 2007
Usability Lab, Room 307, Bissel Building
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
140 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Please RSVP

More Information


The Fluid Summit is an opportunity for members of the community to get together in a face-to-face environment to discuss and make progress on core issues related to technical architecture and user experience. This summit is intended to be a working meeting, combining relevant presentations with focussed discussions and collaborative work. By the end of the summit, we plan to have built consensus and defined concrete directions in several key areas:

This meeting will also afford the rare opportunity for the design and architecture to discuss and work on issues together in the same room. A portion of the summit will likely be dedicated to discussion of component design/development plans with the whole group.

Summit Expectations

This meeting is the last opportunity we'll likely have to all get together in a face-to-face setting for at least year. As such, we want to make best use of our time by focussing on topics that will result in plans of action and delegation of tasks within the group. We're suggesting that all attendees bring with them a plan or proposal related to an area of personal expertise. This might just be a "straw man" draft, and will inevitably be a work in progress. Tell us about your ideas, and this will set the stage for focussed discussion, planning, and delegation.

On the other hand, the expectation is that the summit will be, above all, informal and social. Expect plenty of opportunities for dinner, drinks, and fun.

Planned Agenda

Please feel free to add your ideas and suggestions to the agenda.

Project Coordination and Vision

User Experience

1. UX Walk-throughs
By August, we intend to have completed a first round of user interface walk-throughs of at least Sakai and perhaps uPortal. The August summit will give us an opportunity to review the material gathered, refine our protocol and reporting process, and prioritize the issues collected to date.

2. Component Design Process
As we look towards designing new Fluid UI components, we need to plan a basic process and set of criteria for designing them in a fully usable and accessible way. We'll review Daphne Ogle's proposal for this process, and then share our recommendations for how best to design Fluid components.

3. Design Patterns
Allison will present ideas and facilitate a discussion on the use of Design Patterns in Fluid. We will discuss such questions as:

4. User Testing (1/2 Day)
As components like the Lightbox begin to mature, we need to ensure that our work is regularly tested for usability and accessibility by real users. Shaw-Han Liem will present his test plan for the Lightbox, and Mike Elledge and Daphne Ogle will present a proposal for long-term user testing strategies within Fluid.

5. Review UX Deliverables and Create a UX Release Plan
The community needs a stated release deliverables for the Designer's Toolkit and other user experience activities. The group will review our stated project deliverables, prioritize them, and draft a UX release plan for review by the Fluid community at large.

Technical Architecture

1. Client-side Toolkit Review
Members of the Fluid technical community have been gathering information and experiences with various client-side JavaScript toolkits. The group will discuss and decide upon options and criteria for selecting one or more supported toolkits.

2. Server-side Presentation Frameworks
The current plan for Fluid is to support two primary server-side presentation frameworks: RSF and Spring Web MVC. We'll discuss this plan and the potential for allowing developers to add bindings to other frameworks as needed.

3. Review of Architecture Plan
Colin Clark will articulate the latest refinements to the Fluid architecture plans, and the group will identify areas that need further refinement.

4. JavaScript Strategies for Portals
Portals represent a particularly complex environment for dynamic HTML and JavaScript. We'll discuss the best strategies for encapsulating and isolating JavaScript logic within portlets, Sakai tools, and in the portal frame itself.

5. Overview of uPortal Presentation Layer (DLM, etc.)

6. Fluid Project Security Policy
One of the early stated deliverables for the Fluid Project is a comprehensive security plan. Based on a proposal from the ATRC team, the group will discuss and draft a community security policy and testing strategies for UI security.

7. Unit testing strategies (Michelle)

8. JSR-170 and Content Management in Sakai and uPortal (Ian?)
Ian Boston has recently added JSR-170 (Content Repostiory) support to Sakai's ContentHosting APIs. Several portlets within uPortal have also started to work with 170 as a standard for working with content. Given Fluid's focus on content management-related, cross-cutting components, this will provide us with an opportunity to review the 170 technology and its implementations in our participating applications.

9. Coding Session
A day-long coding session will provide an opportunity to take the architectural issues we discussed during the week and apply them to real development problems and to prove our architecture's viability.