News Package Requirements

by Stefan Deusch

I. Introduction

This document outlines the requirements for the ArsDigita News application built on the ACS 4.0 platform.

II. Vision Statement

Communities are formed with the goal of disseminating information relevant to their members. Online communities have the advantage of an ideal mechanism for disseminating this information in a timely fashion. So it comes as no surprise that the dissemination of news items to other members is one of the ways in which online communities best realize this goal. The News application allows community members to do just this. Posted news items can be associated with community member comments as in a forum, however the primary intention of the News application is simply to give members access to community related news items. News items are listed by date, and when news items are no longer current, they are automatically archived after a administrator-specifiable number of days.

Since administrators may wish to give access to these news items by appeal to a variety of access schemes, the News application is built upon a hierarchy of administrative privileges which may be organized to reflect a variety of publication policies. In so doing, the News application allows for an open newsgroup approach as well as for a closely moderated corporate publication channel. News is also different from the Press application insofar as press items typically derive from sources external to the organization in question.

III. System/Application Overview

The News application shall make use of the content repository service. Each news item consists of an entry in cr_items and keeps track of revisions in cr_revisions. Additional attributes of a news item are stored in an extra table, namely, title, body, release date, archive date, templating info, and MIME type. The News application includes a simple templating system which allows it to appropriately render an individual news item embedded in customized HTML. An item is displayed only within the context of the subsite to which it belongs. The site-wide administrator should be able to publish an item into all instances of a site. Thus there should be four levels of user interface depending on the privileges of the viewer:

IV. Use-cases and User-scenarios

The different classes of users are of the following categories: administrators, submitters, and readers.
The administrative power is either site-wide or instance-wide. Typical user scenarios are as such: Suppose that is running an ACS 4.0 based site. On this site they have a Boston office subcommunity. Jane Administrator is the subsite admininstator for the Boston office subsite. Instead of spamming the employees in the office with Boston news, she decides to enable the News package for their subsite. First, she checks that the News package is installed and enabled for office subsites. If it's not, then Jane must ask Judy Sitewide Administrator to do this. Once the News package is installed and enabled for office subsites, Jane enables the News application specifically for the Boston Office subsite. Jane can also change the configuration of the News application for the Boston office subsite if she so chooses. Thus far, Jane has been using the Subsite Administration Tools. Now that the News package is ready, she can start adding news postings. Jane does this by going to the administration pages of the News package. Jane can also edit existing news items at these pages. If Joe User works in the Boston Office, then by visiting the Boston Office News site Joe can read up on any current Boston office related news that has been posted as such.

V. Related Links

VI. Requirements

VI.1 Data Model

10.10 The News application should use the ACS Content Repository and/or ACS Content as well as tie in with the ACS Interface service package.
10.10.10 cr_news: subtype cr_revisions to define news content type
10.10.20 news_templates: use file system for new templates, no extra table

10.30 Privilege
10.30.10 Provide a site-wide admin level privilege: admin
10.30.20 Provide an instance-wide admin level privilege: news_admin
10.30.30 Provide registered user level privileges: news_create
10.30.40 Provide a public level privilege: news_read
10.30.50 Specify the intended parent/child relations between these privileges.

10.40 Parameters
10.40.10 Provide a parameter 'MakeSearchable' which indicates whether news item content should be accessible through the ACS Content service package
10.40.20 Provide a 'MaxDisplay' parameter which indicates the maximum number of items to be displayed per site page
10.40.30 Provide a 'DaysUntilArchive' parameter indicating the default days until a news items is archived. This parameter should be able to be overridden on a per news item basis through the administration pages.
10.40.40 Provide an 'AllowCommentsP' parameter indicating general policy regarding whether or not news items should be able to be commented upon.
10.40.50 Provide a 'NotifyByEmailOnUploadP' if the news administrator should be notified via email upon news items submission

VI.2 General User Interface

20.10 Provide a list of the titles and dates of all currently published items
20.20 Provide a link to the archive of old news items
20.30 Provide a one-item view of each news item, displaying it in its associated template format together with a link for comments
20.40 Ensure that non 'text/html' news bodies are converted to HTML using Intermedia text filters

VI.3 Registered User Interface

30.10 Same requirements as under 20.x.
30.20 Provide a link to create a news item
30.30 Ensure that the news application allows registered users to either enter text/html in a text area or to upload a complete file.
30.40 Provide for various MIME types for uploaded items, including MS Word docs.
30.50 Provide a display of those MIME types which are admissible for upload.
30.60 Ensure that a news item shall be allowed to include an audio file (real player) for live reports.

VI.4 Administrator Interface

40.10 Same as under 30.x.
40.20 Provide a link to the administrative pages
40.30 Provide an administrative summary page of all news items
40.40 Provide a switch to view either archived, live, or all items
40.50 Provide a selection box with commands for collective administration
40.60 Provide various archive functions on multiple items, like 'archive next day|week|month' for a set of selected items.
40.70 Allow for the approve functions to operate on multiple items simultaneously
40.80 Allow functions to move item(s) into different scopes (e.g. from private to public news)
40.90 Provide an administrative page for each individual item with a list of revisions
40.100 Provide a link to add a revision
40.110 Ensure that clicking on a revision brings up the page as it would look to the public

40.120 Provide a view of unapproved items only.

VI.5 Template Administration

50.10 Provide a link to an administrative suite of templates
50.10.10 Allow for the viewing/testing of templates through provided sample news items
50.10.20 Upload template files
50.10.30 Associate templates to news items
50.10.40 Set default news template

VI.6 Additional Requirements

60.10 Provide a subscriber link to sign up for notifications for when a new news item is posted. Ensure that notifications can be had at user-specifiable frequency: immediately, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
60.20 Provide a counter of how many times an item has been viewed
60.30 Provide a display of the ranking of most seen items
60.40 Provide a Yahoo-like 'Mail this news article to a Friend' link

Last modified: Tue Dec 12 14:15:00 2000 --------------5759157623D344C3E04E6F78--