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The Project Overview Page

Figure 3: Start page of Cicero.

The overview page of a project can be reached from the main page of Cicero by using the links in the list of projects at the bottom of the main page (see Fig. 3). The project overview page has three main areas that are shown in Fig. 4:

  1. A short introductory text that should summarize the project objectives. From here, also further pages with more detailed information may be linked. It should enable new users to get familiar with the project. The text may be changed in the settings of the project (see the Subsection about Managing Project Properties).
  2. An overview box with the most important properties of the project, e. g. who created the project, how many issues are currently attached to the project etc. At the bottom of the overview box, all functions that are available to the current user are shown. Functions for which the user does not have the necessary access rights are not shown (see the Subsection about Managing Project Properties for a summary of the access rights model of Cicero).
  3. At the bottom of the page, two lists are available that contain the most recently modified issues and users participating in the project. For getting a list of all issues or users, the links in the yellow area have to be used. The project overview page is automatically generated and updated by Cicero and need not be changed by the user. The introductory text of the project can be changed in the project properties (see the Subsection about Managing Project Properties).


Figure 4: Overview page of a project in Cicero.

Creating a Project

In Cicero, all issues and their discussions are related to a project. Thus, at least one project has to be created before one can start with creating and discussing issues. There are two possibilities to create a new project (see Fig. 3):

  • Using the Create Project link in the sidebar of Cicero. This link is accessible on each page of Cicero.
  • Using the Create Project link next to the title of the project list on the start page of Cicero.

Only logged in users that have the Cicero administrator role can create projects (see the Section about Installing Cicero for instructions how to assign users the Cicero administrator role). If a user has the suficient rights for creating a project, he will see a form where the project can be configured. For more details on the configuration options of a project see the Subsection about Managing Project Properties.

Managing the Project Properties

The properties of a project can be divided into two different blocks: (1) The description of the project, the advanced project settings, the default issue settings and (2) the management of the access rights of different user roles and the assignment of specific roles to the different users. The page for managing the project properties can be accessed from overview box on the overview page of the project (area 2 in Fig. 4). The link is only visible to users with sufficient access rights (either an Cicero administrator or, in most cases, a Project Moderator ).

Figure 5: Editing the project description and the advanced settings.

Project Description, Advanced Project Settings and Default Issue Settings

In Fig. 5, one can see the part of the project properties dialog in which the description of the project (area 1), the advanced project settings (area 2) and the default issue settings (area 3) can be edited. The description of the project will be shown on the overview page of the project (area 1 in Fig. 4). It should give new participants in the project a short introduction to the project objectives etc. The text may contain Wiki markup for formatting, including links to subpages on which more details may be explained.

The advanced project settings contain the Self-registration option. If it is set to the value allowed then users that are currently not participating in the project may register himself for participation. Self-registered users are automatically assigned to the role Project Member (see below). This function is deactivated if the option is set to the value forbidden.

In the default issue settings, one may change the default values that are used if a new issue is created, i. e. which decision mode should be used, how many solution proposals may be selected during a decision and the values of the issue and the voting timer. The details about these settings are available in the Subsection about Managing the Issue Properties about managing the issue properties.

Managing Access Rights and User Roles

In Fig. 6, one can see the part of the project properties dialog in which the user roles in the project can be edited (area 1) and assigned to the different participating users (area 2). The access rights in the different projects hosted on a single Cicero installation are independent of each other. Besides the Cicero administrators of the Wiki, in each project exist four predefined roles, to which different access rights can be assigned: The Project Moderator, the Issue Moderator, the Project Member and the Anonymous User. User roles are ordered hierarchically. This means, a project moderator always has equivalent or more rights than an issue moderator and the issue moderator always has equivalent or more rights than a project member and so on. A Cicero administrator automatically has all access rights to a project and its related issues.

If a user can register himself for participating in a project, he is always assigned to the role of a project member (see the Subsection about Advanced Project Settings for instructions how to activate the self-registration of users). Alternatively, one can explicitly assign the roles to different users (see area 2 in Fig. 6).


Figure 6: Editing the access rights and user roles.

Depending on the access and participation policies that should be implemented in a project, one can assign different access rights to the four roles. The following access rights exist in Cicero:

  • Read Discussion: Allows access to the subpages of a project as well as to the overview pages of an issue and its discussions. Without this access right, a user can only see the start page of a project with the general information. Note that the title of issues are also shown to users which don't have the Read Discussion-right within a project.
  • Participate in Discussion: Allows for actively participating in discussions of an issue, i. e. to provide solution proposals and arguments.
  • Vote: Allows for participating in the decision taking process of an issue, i. e. to either participate in a voting or to select a solution proposal for implementation (see the Subsection about Managing Issue Properties for more details on the decision taking process).
  • Change Project Properties: Allows for managing the project properties as they are described in this section, including the access rights and user roles. Thus, this right should usually only be given to a very small and trusted group of users.
  • Create Issue: Allows for raising new issues, i. e. creating a new issue overview page (see the Subsection about Creating an Issue).
  • Change Issue Properties: Allows for accessing the issue properties as they are described in the Subsection about Managing Issue Properties).

Note that for the Anonymous User only the Read Discussion-right can be activated or deactivated. All other rights are not selectable in the interface and are automatically set to deactivated. There exists two predefined configurations of the access rights that can be selected with the drop-down list in the upper-left corner of the role configuration panel (area 1 in Fig. 6):

  • Public: In a public project, all registered users are allowed for actively participating in discussions and the decision taking procedure as well as in raising new issues. Managing the project and issue properties are restricted to users that have assigned the role project moderator or issue moderator, respectively.
  • Private: In a private project, the plain project members only have read access to the whole project and the related issues. Only issue moderators are allowed for participating in discussions and decision taking procedures as well as in raising new issues.

It is possible to use one of the pre-configured role configurations as the basis for a customized role configuration. Just select one of the pre-configurations and adapt it by adding or removing the marks in the checkboxes. Note that during checking or unchecking a box also the inherited access rights are automatically set for the more and less capable user groups (see above for details about the hierarchy of user groups). So if a right for a user group is activated, it will automatically be activated for all more capable user groups. Analogously, if a right for a user group is deactivated, it will automatically be deactivated for the less capable user groups.

In area 2 in Fig. 6, the panel for assigning roles to the users of a project is shown. To assign a role to a user, one has to first search for his account in the database of the Wiki. A user can be searched by either his Wiki account name, his real name or his e-mail address. The latter two are only optional information that need not to be given by all users during their registration.

The search results are then shown in the user search list where one ore more users can be selected and then assigned to one of the three predefined roles by clicking on e. g. the Add as Project Member button. Users can also be removed from the different lists by clicking on the Remove User button under the respective list.

Note that the interface in the current version doesn't avoid that a user is added to more than one user group. You could for example add a user McSuarez to the project moderator - and the issue moderator -group at the same time. But the Cicero will only store the highest group membership, which means that for the user McSuarez only the project moderator-membership is considered, because a project moderator always has the same or more rights than an issue moderator.

In order to avoid the administrative overhead of manually adding all users that are plain Project Members, it is possible to enable the self-registration of users in a project (see the Subsection about Predefined Rights of User Groups). They are then automatically added as project members. By default, the self-registration is deactivated.

Deleting (deactivating) a Project

To delete a project, just click on the delete-button on the top of a project-page (see area 1 in Fig. 7).


Figure 7: The delete-button.

You will be redirected to the page shown in Fig. 8. Here you need to click on the Delete page-button (see area 1 in Fig. 8) to finally delete the current project page.


Figure 8: The Delete page-interface.

The deletion (deactivation) of projects is only allowed for users who have a CiceroAdmin-account.

(Re-)Activating a Project

In MediaWiki the deletion of a project-page is equivalent to the deactivation of a project-page. That means that you are able to undelete (reactivate) a project-page.

To do so, just enter the URL of a deleted (deactivated) project page. For the example in Fig. 9, you need to click on the link in area 1 to enter the interface shown in Fig. 10.


Figure 9: Reactivating a project.

To finally reactivate a project, click on the Restore-button shown in area 1 of Fig. 10.


Figure 10: Interface for reactivation.

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