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RE: [grouper-users] feedback on grouper documentation

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  • From: Richard James <>
  • To: "'Tom Barton'" <>, "" <>
  • Cc: Ann Kitalong-Will <>
  • Subject: RE: [grouper-users] feedback on grouper documentation
  • Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 14:13:18 +0100
  • Accept-language: en-US, en-GB
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US, en-GB


Below are a few pieces of feedback with regards to the documentation for

From a technical perspective, the documentation is in the main very good,
documenting the required commands in a clear and structured manner and
providing an example of how to implement the functionality. In particular I
believe the documentation for the initial installation and configuration of
Grouper is very simple to follow and allows you to start getting to grasp
with Grouper very quickly.

For the different functionality, from looking at the documentation that is
available it can sometimes be quite difficult to immediately put into context
what the functionality can achieve, i.e. what you can achieve with the use of
the attribute framework. It can sometimes take a bit of searching around the
site, including mailing lists, to build up a picture of what the
functionality can provide. Therefore I think it would be beneficial to link
through to use cases from the "technical pages", to either "implemented" or
"what it could achieve" use cases, which would hopefully provide the form of
context that is required.

There are certain areas where this is already well done, for example with the
Grouper Loader it documents the technical perspectives of the loader, but
then goes that step further and shows how it can be used to loader an
organisational structure into Grouper.

From a finding things perspective on the wiki, sometimes the documentation
for functionality can be quite difficult to come across unless you have a
good idea of what you're looking for. I tend to just use the search function
to find what I'm looking for now rather than using the links on the landing
page. The contributions made by other institutions are also a very useful
feature to have, yet they aren't predominately displayed when you first
arrive on the documentation page. I think with a little tinkering of the
navigation of the wiki this could easily be fixed.

One of the most useful features of the Grouper website is most definitely the
mailing list, and I think it could be beneficial to link this into the Wiki
in some capacity. There could be some kind of feedback channel to the wiki,
sometimes a resolution to a common query/issue is documented within the
mailing list, but the wiki sometimes has no reference to the fact this has
been resolved. Possibly having a troubleshooting area which documents some of
the discussions and resolutions/approaches on the wiki could be quite useful.

At Newcastle University we would be very happy to contribute towards
providing use cases for the wiki, as part of our current project the creation
of use cases is one of the main project outcomes, and we would be more than
happy to feed these into the Grouper community. Also as part of the project
we will be producing a series of videos/screen captures will show how Grouper
can be used to in different use cases. We would be more than willing to share
these with the community, and from a personal perspective find the use of
these kind of videos very useful (in particular the series of videos Chris
Hyzer has provided for certain areas of Grouper).

Mainly I have had positive experiences of the grouper documentation and have
been able to find what I was looking for through a combination of the wiki
and the mailing list, I think with a few adjustments it could be even more
useful. I hope the above is of some help, and we would be happy to contribute
with use cases or provide further feedback through the redevelopment of the


Richie James
ISS Middleware Team
Newcastle University UK

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Tom Barton
>Sent: 26 May 2010 21:15
>Cc: Ann Kitalong-Will
>Subject: [grouper-users] feedback on grouper documentation
>Have you had a recent experience with needing to rely on grouper's
>documentation for some purpose, and either couldn't find something you
>needed or wish it would have been much easier to learn?
>We will take an initial step to rework the grouper documentation wiki
>over the next 3 months, and we'd very much like your feedback, positive
>and negative, to help us identify the documentation needs we should
>focus on. Our motivation is to make it easier for implementers and
>others to find the information they need to help them with specific
>tasks, such as installing, upgrading, or troubleshooting.
>Ann Kitalong-Will, who supports some of the other Internet2 working
>groups, will guide this effort. AnnKW will engage with the grouper
>community on this list for this project.
>So please do share your experience with us. We'd also be extremely
>grateful if one or two of you would be willing to work more closely with
>us as "documentation use case experts" to help us ensure that the
>reworked documentation is effective for your use case. Please contact
>AnnKW if you'd like to inquire about working with us in this capacity.
>Tom Barton
>on behalf of the grouper team

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