FTA:Development Methodology

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The original FTA manuals look fantastic and I believe the work was funded heavily by the EU. The problem as I see it is the tenancy to obsolete quite fast.

To get things started I propose that the FTA create a development manual with a number of stages.

  • Each project should have roles like:
    • contributor
    • reviewer
    • translator

Development Cycle

Scope phase

  • Decide on the contents of the project
  • Decide on the roles within the project

Early development phase

  • Sections to be managed using a standards based 'markdown' language like txt2tags.
    • Alternative options
      • booki
      • CNX/OpenStax (has its own XML standard (CNMXL, but also allows MathML and other XML standards to be im/exported from their online platform).
        • Note 1: Training will be needed when this is defined.
        • Note 2: (WT): Access Control: how do we handle permissions of users with different roles and projects?
  • Wiki template for the course development page
    • State the course title, objectives
    • Pre-requirements
    • Who's involved
    • Tasks to be done
      • It being part of certain curriculums or course programmes
    • Time line
    • Development state, etc

Material assembly phase

  • Two parts to each course:
    • A Learner Guide.
    • A Learner Workbook. [IMS QTI]] for compatibility with Moodle)
  • Optional parts, depending on the educational methodology:
    • Slideware
    • Video lectures

Beta release phase

  • Bi-annually the txt2tags are assembled as 'html' published Beta material that is accessible by those that sign on for such materials.
  • Beta testers to review and log suggestions/errata etc..
  • Ticketing system:
  • Tickets to be tracked and updates made as necessary with acknowledgements.
  • Review reported errara and omissions before moving to next phase.

Final release phase

  • Apply an "official" FTA template
    • Convert HTML manual to an Open Document Format (ODF) or whatever is decided.
      • A method to convert the markdown or HTML to the ODF and Portable Document Format (PDF) formats. And ebook formats like ePub.
    • Graphics to be standardised (specific volunteer help needed for this)