Xaraya DAD Daulton 
Request for Comments: 0031 Xaraya Development Group 
Category: Informational January 2002 

RFC-0031: xDeveloper Community Tools

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Xaraya community. It does not specify an Xaraya standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright © The Digital Development Foundation (2002). All Rights Reserved.


When time is a less scarcer good, someone might convert the plain text into structured XML so we can benefit from it.

Table of Contents

1. Original content

RFC 0031 xDeveloper Community Tools

xDeveloper :: Community Tools
 Previously Known as ...
     Xaraya Community Enhancements (RFC0009)

xDeveloper is a "super-module" or suite of modules which will
serve to strengthen the entire Xaraya Community - developers and
end-users alike. On many levels, xDeveloper serves as a replacement to
SourceForge.net built around the PN Core. While initially built to
serve the Xaraya Community, xDeveloper will also be an aggressive
first step towards a corporate "killer app".

Note: Our friends at Xoops have a similar initiative underway called
Xoopsforge. I'd advise anyone involved with the project to look there
for additional inspiration.


Many of the components listed below exist either as current PN or
PHPNuke modules or as other open-source projects. To build xDeveloper,
we need to bring the best elements of each of these apps together
under a common, tightly integrated platform. To accomplish this, we
will need to complete the following steps ...

01. Review & Select Best of Class Components

Review all relevant, pre-existing modules and or non-PN Apps (complete
list below). Where more than one candidate exists to fill a particular
component niche (ie. BugTracker), select one app to act as our core
component for that niche. From the remaining apps in that niche,
select the features we want to pull into the core component for that

02. Establish Standard Component Architecture

Clearly, xarAPI and xarModule API are the core standards. However, as
xDeveloper is a suite of inter-related components, we will also need
to architect the relationships across components. Perhaps this is more
simple than I anticipate. Erring on the side of caution, I think we
should at least discuss the common component framework before we dive
into building xDeveloper. It is likely to save us some headaches down
the line.

Initial core architecture considerations for non-PN apps (including
PHPNuke modules not-yet ported) include: Adapting user tables to use
the Xaraya user tables & permissions schema Adapting SQL to
Xaraya's ADODB standards and inclusion in Xaraya DB as opposed to an
independent DB instance.  Adapting code to xarModule API standards
(wrappers, function calls, theme calls, etc.)

03. Build Project Plan

Pretty straight-forward. Determine what are the most crucial
milestones from Release 0.01 through Release 1.0. Put resources and
timelines against each component.

04. Execute Plan

Build, test, tweak, release cycle.


The following list is by no means exhaustive. It is simply a "first
cut" at what might be the core components of the xDeveloper
platform. After the initial listing, descriptions of each component
are provided along with links to relevant OSS archives/websites for
apps under consideration as xDeveloper components.
01. xarCVS  
02. xarFunctions  
03. xarProject  
04. xarFeedback  
05. xarForums  
06. xarKnowledge  
07. xarDevelopers  
08. xarPortfolio  
09. xarLibrary  
10. xarJobBoards  
11. xarRatings  
12. xarPrinter  


Detailed descriptions of each proposed component. As available, I have
included links to OSS projects that may serve as the core component
once adapted to PN standards. Where more than app exists for a
component, the first app listed is the one I think is best suited for
the task at hand.

Note: Some of these apps have functionality that crosses over. Where
this occurs, we would ideally incorporate the best features of each

01. xarCVS

Pretty self-explanatory. 

Possible core component:
Chora CVS Viewer

02. xarFunctions

Think of the Function List available at PHP.NET. This tool would list
all PN functions complete with user supplied comments and examples.

Possible core component:
RFC 0019 from CHV 
PHP Autodoc

03. xarProject

Developers and project managers would use this tool. It would provide
a central task list complete with resource assignments, milestones,

Possible core components:

04. xarFeedback 

Bug Report/Feature Request/Documentation Requests ... Traditionally
managed by bug tracking software (eg, Bugzilla), each of the above
tools would be a form available to developers and end users. Each
would have specific attributes but could be simply reclassified as one
of the other types by admins as needed. Once confirmed by an admin,
each of these would be come a task in the project manager. Each report
type would have tracking reports associated with them for admin use.

Note: Documentation Requests are perhaps a little less obvious than
the other two types. Doc Requests would be calls for new FAQ, manual
additions, new inline help etc.

Possible core component:
Mantis Bug Tracker
Marcel von der Boom's SF Bug Tracker port to PN
PHP BugTracker

05. xarForums

Redeployment of existing support and development forums based on
Comments API. Key to success is tight integration with other
components to facilitate efficient project management and
documentation. The forums should be a place where the components below
can be easily fed as needed from forum posts by forum
moderators. Conceptually, this would be a series of
admin/moderator-only buttons along these lines ...

Make Bug Report
Make Feature Request
Make Doc Request

Clicking one of these buttons would be similar to "Post Reply", except
it would direct the admin/moderator to appropriate form within the
Feedback Component (see above). This would auto-populate the feedback
form and include an admin comment field OR just provide the admin
comment form and a link to the post in the forums.

Submitting the forum-fed feedback form would also somehow flag the
originating forum post as referred to the feedback component with a
link to the to Bug/Request in the queue. This would reduce repetitive
posts and reinforce the feeling among end-users that the forums are
monitored, used and therefore useful/valuable.

Core component:

Comments API derived forum (includes threaded & flat views at user

06. xarKnowledge

Knowledge Management/Knowledgebase/Help Desk Tools ... Fed in large
part by the Feedback: Documentation Requests, the xarKnowledgebase is
an extension and possible next generation of Documentation
Central. The objective is to make life easier for the Docs Team by
giving them strong online tools. Doc Requests would help queue and
prioritize documentation needs both for FAQs and more expansive docs
like User Guides.

Ideal features would include an updated, sitewide search engine; feeds
from the knowledge base to PHPLive and or IRC.xar.com to help live
support staff push repetitive answers to end-users; and context
sensitive help driven by an Autolinks style module.

Possible core components:
WIKI Module (xarCore)
FAQ Module (xarCore)
Autolinks Module (xarCore)
Cerebrus HelpDesk
OWL Intranet Engine
Google/DMOZ Search Modules
Drupal KMS

07. xarDevelopers 

A directory of PN Developers that serves several purposes. First, it
provides the developer community with a central list of developer
profiles which includes their skills, interests, etc.. Think of the
dev profiles on www.sourceforge.net. Second, this directory provides
end-users the same directory so they can direct their inquiries to the
appropriate developer. Finally, when tied to Xaraya Portfolio, it
provides developers a place to "hang their shingle" for potential
clients who may want to hire them to install/manage a PN site and/or
create custom themes, content or modules.

Possible core components:
X-User Module
Developer's Module
Dynamic User Data

08. xarPortfolio

YAPNS/Weblinks/Gallery combo ... similar to many of the themes
galleries available online now. This is YAPNS on steroids. It provides
a small thumbnail of the site (or not ... user decided). A brief
description of the site which might include a list of the modules
installed, custom work done on the site and other credit
information. Also applies categories to YAPNS so they are simpler to
surf for those looking for ideas and or devs for their site.

Finally, once a YAPNS addition is added to the PN Portfolio ... it
automatically creates a brief news story (abstract) on the site where
the "Read More..." link points to the Portfolio Entry.

Possible core components:
Weblinks (xarCore)
My eGallery

09. xarLibrary

This idea comes from Module Submissions
(http://mods.Xaraya.com/mod-submit.php) at mods.xar.com. Rather than
providing an HTML template for a Module Release news item, we provide
a form which captures all the same information, uploads the file to
the PN site (if allowed - security issues to be fleshed out) or
verifies link out to the source site. Adds submission to the Downloads
Library and, like pnPortfolio, automatically creates a brief news
story (abstract) on the site where the "Read More..." link points to
the Download Library Entry.

If the module was developed by some one in the Developer Directory, it
would automatically provide a link to the developer's profile(s). If
it is in use at a site found in xarPortfolio, links could be
autogenerated to Portfolio sites.

Possible core components:
Downloads (xarCore)
Comet File Manager
Weeble File Manager

10. xarJobBoards

Human Resources Management ... As an adjunct to the Developer
Directory and xarPortfolio, the PN Job Boards would be a place where
folks could post Xaraya-related jobs for developers to review and
apply or bid on. This tool would also be key for PN Project Managers
who need to assemble a team to address an issue on the core product.

In a "Monster.com" sort of twist, it would be cool if the person
posting the job could rate the desired level of skill for the job
(eg. PHP - Advanced) and run a query which would return a list of PN
developers who meet the minimum requirements. In addition, developers
could set up an agent/bot that pinged them with an email, IM or PM
when new jobs went on the board that matched their skills.

Possible core components:
XML Resume Library

11. xarRatings 

Uses existing PN Ratings API to apply ratings to everything from
Project Tasks (priority rating), Developer Profiles (Skills Rating),
Module Submissions (Quality Ratings), etc.

12. xarPrinter

Printer-Friendly Tools Online resources (particularly documentation)
will be made readily available in a printer-friendly format generated
via a print-friendly XML/XLST and or PHP's built in PDF functions. The
end-user would realize this through a ubiquitous "Print This Page"
button which would reformat pages as needed for optimal printing.

Possible core component:


As with components, this is not an exhaustive list. Many developers
will be required to make xDeveloper happen. The more, the merrier. The
names listed below have either already committed to the project or
have been recommended based on a current work in progress that may
dovetail nicely into xDeveloper.
Gregor Rothfuss (Gregor)  Project Sponsor 
Doug Daulton (Apakuni)  Project Manager 
John Robeson (Johnny)  Lead Dev - Developer Directory 
Chad Kraeft (St. Ego)  Lead Dev - Project Management 
Carl Corliss (Rabbitt)  Lead Dev - Comments API 
Frithjof Pfannstiel (BlackVArt)  Lead Dev - Function Library 
Jan Schrage (Jan)  Lead Dev - CVS Tools 
Veres Ferenc  Lead Dev - Xaraya Library (Downloads) 
Volodymyr Metenchuk (Voll)  Lead Dev- MantisBT Conversion 
Vladimir Shundalov(CHV)  Lead Dev - Documentation Module 

Note: Johnny, Gregor, Rabbitt and I will be the project council that
makes key personnel decisions for xDeveloper. Please do not take that
to mean we are on a power trip . It is simply a matter of someone
needng to lead the project. All point's ove view will be considered
and factored into our decisions.


Additional information (complete with comments) regarding the drivers
behind xDeveloper may be found at Xaraya Documentation Central: RFC9 -
Xaraya Community Enhancements.

Document: xDeveloper Vision Document
Release: 06/03/2002
Author: Doug Daulton - Xaraya Marketing Lead
© 2002 (GPL) - Doug Daulton/Xaraya Team