Sasan Salari's blog
The integration between Elgg 0.6 and WebCT is now available on our download site. The WebCT Powerlink is identical, so anyone migrating from Elgg 0.4 does not need to update anything on the WebCT side.
The integration itself remains the same functionally - the Elgg-portion of the code has just been updated to take advantage of the database abstraction layer that was added for Elgg 0.6.
A few users of the Elgg PowerLink have suggested that it would be nice for their students to be able to log into Elgg directly, without first having to pass through WebCT.
We have just completed an Elgg authentication plug-in which addresses this request. When users access Elgg's login page and enter their username and password, Elgg's internal authentication is bypassed, and a web-services connection is made to the WebCT server instead.
If the username and password match those stored in the WebCT database, the user is logged into Elgg and is presented with their Elgg homepage.
For more information and download instructions, please see seo marketing.
As with the Elgg PowerLink, this authentication plug-in is provided free of charge. If you have suggestions on how it could be improved, please let us know.
Curverider, the company founded by the creators of Elgg, have just launched a turn-key hosted solution for Elgg at http://elggspaces.com.
This is a much-needed option for those institutions who don't have the technical expertise or the staffing resources to host Elgg for themselves.
Since the service is being run by Elgg's developers, users can expect all of the latest bug-fixes and features to be available as they become available.
We made some small changes for the MediaWiki-Elgg integration to support Elgg version 0.6. The original version was coded against Elgg 0.4.
Specifically, Elgg 0.6 supports a database table prefix for the Elgg tables, which is now a configuration option for the integration.
I am back in Vancouver after an eventful week at the Annual WebCT Users Conference, held in Chicago this year. It was a bittersweet event for me, since it was the last official WebCT-only conference -- all future ones will be joint Blackboard/WebCT events. I was able to reminisce with a few old-timers about the past 8 annual conferences, and the great energy and enthusiasm the attendees and the staff have brought to these events.
Ok - enough of that. Let's get to some the major take-aways for me:
Hello WebCT-clients - I am currently attending the WebCT User Conference in Chicago. If you are interested in having a chat about Elgg and the WebCT PowerLink integration in person, please feel free to send an email, with potential times that work for you.
I will also be demonstrating the integration as part of the following conference activities:
I am looking forward to catching up with you all in Chicago.
Over the past few weeks, I have been involved in a project using Elgg in a non-academic environment.
Vancouver is currently hosting the World Urban Forum, an international event on global urban sustainability. Working with teams from UBC and Opn Design, Aperto helped set up two sites to support activities related to the event:
Earthblog.ca is a site to promote dialogue around social, environmental, cultural and economic issues facing the Greater Vancouver region.
Elgg's main homepage was branded with logos, and the entry page of Elgg pulls in the most recent postings of four key bloggers, as well as a 'hot comment' (as designated by one of the site admins periodically), and the most recent comment to the site.
Most of the Elgg functionality was disabled for visitors, except for the profile tool. The official bloggers have access to all of the Elgg functionality.
Another key part to this site was the single-sign-on integration between Elgg and MediaWiki. All login is handled by Elgg, and the session is transferred to MediaWiki if a user wants to edit a particular Wiki page.
We will be releasing the Elgg-MediaWiki integration to the community shortly, as a number of other Elgg users are looking for this functionality. More on that in a future post.
The second site Aperto worked on is GUSSE, a social site to collectively discuss, review and apply the best ideas for sustainable cities.
The integration here involved a customization to the Elgg entry page again. Registration and log in is being handled by the social tagging system opntag. Elgg reads the opntag session information and creates users in the Elgg system. GUSSE maintains all Elgg core functionality.
It has been interesting applying Elgg to a non-academic environment, and I hope that these examples help showcase the flexibiliity of Elgg, and the ability to customize the look and feel of the application.
After getting a number of follow-up requests from the WebCT European Conference in Edinburgh, I decided to create a short Flash-movie which demonstrates the WebCT-Elgg integration.
The file can be found at:
The demo is best viewed on a 1024x768 or larger display, to minimize any scrolling.
For those interested, a PDF version of my presentation slides are also available for download from the conference site at:
The talk was based on a paper which is due to appear in the Journal of Information Science.
Scott first gave background information on issues encountered when tags are defined by a community (ie. folksonomy vs. taxonomy):
In the analysis of the tags used to describe the bookmarks on del.icio.us, Scott found that they fell into 7 categories:
From this list, it can be seen that some tags are general, whereas others are very personal to the tagger and their experience. From an analysis of tag order, it appears to people use generally meaningful tags first (and these have the highest freqency across bookmarks), and more personal tags later. Therefore, analysis of the first few tags of a bookmark should give a good idea of the general topic of that link.
Scott also found that users' tag-lists varied greatly, and were not related to the number of bookmarks a particular user had. In one case, a user's number of tags increased steadily as their number of bookmarks increased, while another user's number of tags stayed level. This points to definite personal styles for tagging.
Another of his points related to usage of new tags. For example, I may have been doing some research on Africa, so I have tagged all of my bookmarks with that tag. However, a few months later, I decide that I need to be more specific, and add a country tag as well. This additional level of classification poses the following problems:
Finally, he found that tag proportions over time tend to be stable for a particular bookmark. This means that, after approx. 100 bookmarks for a particular URL, each tag's frequency is nearly a fixed proportion of the total frequency of all tags used. So for example, a particular URL may have the tag 'dog', which will have a frequency of 30% of all tags used for that bookmark, regardless of how many bookmarks are added and tagged for the URL.
The implication from this result is that "after a relatively small number of bookmarks, a nascent consensus seems to form, one that is not affected by the addition of further tags."
Some of the questions I am asking myself after the session are:
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