Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Sven Laux - Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 1:09 PM

Hi Clark,

thanks for feeding back - it's very much appreciated. And thanks also to Nicola and Paul for responding.

It's good to reflect upon you saying you're not quite sure how to get involved. I imagine this is probably true for many people in the community, especially for those new to open source. I wanted to offer my thoughts below:

Using Adapt / following what's going on

This is the foundation stone to us thinking of the project as successful. The more people use Adapt, the happier we are. Our aim is to make the Adapt Framework a global, industry standard for producing responsive e-learning.

As Paul said, we're aiming at non-technical end users who have an interest in Learning & Development and this audience will be engaged more and more, especially when we're making our first authoring tool release this year. The current tools are relatively easy to use but we're being careful about managing expectations and until the authoring tool is out. The framework is mainly aimed at developers / semi-technical people.

Telling others about us

If you feel in any way supportive of our efforts, please tell others and share the link to this community site. It's really helpful to us and we're committed to supporting anyone who arrives here and wants to use Adapt.

We know that supporting the end users in the community is hugely important and the entire core team as well as experienced community members are on the case to help quickly and in a friendly way. 

We consider anyone who tells the world about Adapt an 'ambassador' for the project and we really love those of you who spread the word.

Telling us about what you're doing / what you like and what could be better

As you are working with Adapt, you might have questions, ideas, improvement suggestions, find bugs/issues etc. Please tell us either via this community forum or - if you already know it's a software bug - via our bug tracker in Github.

We also love hearing about the projects people are doing with Adapt. I think it's fair to say that for the entire community. The more examples we see, the better our own work gets and the more we can feed ideas and enhancements into the core product. We also really appreciate small notes of encouragement - thank you for yours!!

Help answer other community members' questions

You might know an answer or have some thoughts to add to the posts here. We really appreciate when community members help other members and do so in a friendly way.

Help us test

Every now and then, we ask the community for pre-release testing. While we have thorough development processes (peer review and professional testing e.g. by the collaborators test departments) in place, community testing really helps according the the open source mantra which goes something like 'the more eyes, the shallower the bugs'.

Feed back on the user interface design work

Granted we're a little overdue in sharing our interface latest design work but we're due to publish it before the end of this month and we're keen to get feedback for you. We want to produce an easy to use tool with great functionality. The functional requirements are written down in this document and will be delivered as time goes on. The UI design work is trying to translate this into a great and intuitive interface.

Help with the documentation effort

This starts with pointing out what's missing or unclear and goes all the way to writing documentation yourself. If you feel this is something you can do please just get in touch and the core team will support you in getting it right etc.

Contribute code

This is really only for developers - the Adapt Framework has a plug-in architecture and it should be very easy to add functionality. Any plug-ins can be registered with the Adapt registry, which makes it really easy for anyone to install and use these plug-ins. Most of this is currently done via the command line and we're working on a web UI for this, too, to make it easier to browse.

Help us shape the roadmap

As Paul says, this will become much more active in terms of discussion and visibility. We've only just put up the roadmap page and it's in flux as you might expect. We're really keen to hear what features and functions the community would like to see and would love a discussion about priorities.

Join the team and become a collaborator

As and when you feel you really believe in the project vision and would like to join the team and become and official part of the project, please let us know. There are some definitions on our governance page.

The big difference between contributors and collaborators is that collaborators make time available and work under the guidance / direction of the project leadership, as opposed to 'doing their own thing and sharing it'.

Unlike many other 'young' open source projects, the core team work in a very structured way and we prioritise and assign tasks to team members in order to progress towards the vision.

Anyone can become an official collaborator, whether they are organisations or individuals. Please just get in touch if this is of interest. We have an onboarding process to help new members to get up to speed.

Help us shape the project 

There are a number of factors, which shape the project. These are (in no particular order):

  • The vision 
  • The community (we really do listen)
  • The people on the steering group (see governance structure page)

This project is set up as a meritocracy and that means that anyone who commits a significant level of time and energy on an ongoing basis, achieves good results on behalf of the project and helps the project progress can be invited into the steering group and help shape the project, the strategy etc. 


There is probably lots more to say about how you can get involved. I hope this gives everyone a general idea and encouragement. 




Picture of Clark Starr
Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Clark Starr - Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 2:03 PM

Paul and Sven,

Thanks for you responses. Totally makes sense. Nicola, thanks for your response. Actually, I think--with some help from more "technical" resources at our organization--I'm going to dive in to the framework as it stands now. It'll be good for me too!


Picture of Tim Cliffe
Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Tim Cliffe - Friday, 12 September 2014, 9:45 PM

Dear Sven;


I have just 'joined the community'

I have been involved with Linux and the OS community for 14 years. Currently using Mac. I have played with OS LMS platforms and elearning tools. A big problem for me has been the combination of accessibility and device commutative output. It's really great to find a community that is commited to both accessibility re W3C and device use.

Glad to be here, and good luck.

Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Sven Laux - Monday, 15 September 2014, 12:52 PM

Hi Tim,

on behalf of the team, thank you very much for the feedback and encouragement and welcome to the community!


Picture of Kevin Jones
Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Kevin Jones - Friday, 12 September 2014, 11:16 PM

[Disclaimer : This would of been an easier topic to have over a pint, next time, or if you end up in Manchester! This reply got so big its silly. So any and all questions are rheotoric, answer any if you want to by i'm not expecting answers, just food for thought stuff]

I can honestly say i know Adapt is heading in the right direction! I work for in and around Pharma, while not the 'sexiest' of content matters, a majority share of my workload has been e-learning and every year for at least three years, we've been having the same roundabout conversation. 

"Remember when our e-learning was great and sexy, you know, when it was in Flash and we didn't have to think about 5-6 screen sizes [at least], and when it was mostly all about the content, the animations! Man i miss Flash..." this discussion always digresses into "we need a responsive e-learning solution... and i want it to be as cool looking as we used to create, with high-end interactives and video's.... but we want it to be responsive... oh and we want you to do it for about the same budget as before...make it modern looking...but don't spend more than 2 weeks converting modules.."

Technical and Verbose

I've recently converted a module into Adapt and i've documented here before about how even as a technical person i found the json object very difficult to maintain once you got to anything more than a few sections (too many id's to consider), which is why i forked and extended the framework to ' create content from a folder structure' - see the post and details here . Some of you less technical people might prefer managing component instances as folders while we wait for the authoring tool to mature. I've found it very useful to create folders in a 'copy paste bin' and then build my content from these prefabs and the framework will put it together for you. Oh and it will also let you !inject seperated .html partials into the body tags, to avoid those long single line html strings you can't edit very easily by hand.

Selling it in-house (Good Feedback)

Initial review by upper management was excellent. I think i heard the word 'Wow' the most out those who saw it. Others included :

"This is exactly what we've been looking for" 

"Why didn't you show us before we started <Project name here>? They would of bought into it easily"

"Can we see an example of one of our old interactives working it - like a drag and drop excercise?"

That latter remark was why i made todays component (which i'll add was a bit of a bitch to write -  i won't be underestimating responsive interactive elements again) :)

Thats the good. People love what they see, they want more variety of course (time will solve that) and they want an authoring tool , which you're solving for us!..

So what is the Bad [Subjective Bad]?

The harder sell for the 'comfortable' one's is this idea of responsive costing a little more. A common trend in our place is to always think of 'something new' for the next project. New components are going to be mini projects, i think 2 days projects will become 4-5 day ones just to get a first version of a component working.  Creating them is not as easy as i thought it was going to be, but then again, we're tackling some pretty trickly things, so don't feel bad, the component structure is great! 

So why is creating components bad? There are some general helper documents i could of done with in your 'creating your own component'. Less outline and more 'how to think like us' documents are needed. For example, I can always roll up sleeves and read the code to see how Question views work and you have some pretty good examples to learn from, but a little more guidance on 'things you need to think about when designing a component' such as (linking from that section in the wiki too - so its easy to find) , e.g. how is it going work with responsive layouts, and what does our LESS framework have in core right now you can leverage to help you do that. I guess a little more interlinking between core and components would of made the learning curve shorter for me at least.

Generators are gooooood

In the same vein, you have one vanilla component type right now, but perhaps a good intermediate step to help people get going might be to develop some generators (yeoman style) to get you going. So that you can hit the ground running... i made stuff like this for in-house tools.

1. What is your component called?

2. What does it base itself on (multiple options, e/g component,  QuestionView... insert others here) 

etc etc

Then out pops a starter pack with lots of helpful comments about what certain functions do and in the CSS what is available to add as a mixin so you don't reinvent the wheel. Also this skips the annoying part where you're looking through code to Find&Replace 'vanilla' everywhere :)

Single Page layouts were good .. :(

Another subjective bad - Its harder sell to justify the single page layouts, but i honestly think thats just a question of time. Plus there's always the block slider option like you said in your docs if they can't get their head past the idea. I see merit in both ways... its good the option is still there.

Authoring tool wise - i tried to install that get going but i got stuck on the password screen :) and it was late/early so i didn't revisit. You might want to extend that documentation and give it the 'idiots guide' level on consideration :) 


Tin Can Support

Final thoughts which relate to questions asked today actually - does it have Tin Can (xAPI) support? This i didn't know and plan on looking in the forums, but its worth mentioning that it showed me that its something it should definitely support if it doesn't already.

Contributing vs Collaborating -

I think for me, collaborating is a natural fit right now. Adapt is not the official in house framework, i work on components and learning the framework in between other stuff. We're still using something inhouse i wrote about 4 years ago =/ and it won't die. I'm trying to use Adapt to kill it :) WHEN that happens. I'll be having a serious talk with my peers about joining the project properly and looking at how I can contribute properly. Once they have a vested interested in its success. I see the rate of updates you guys do on the Authoring tool :) i'm not sure i could free enough time to keep up right now! :)


All in all, i look forward to seeing how Adapt grows and i want to help it do so. Its not about money, i just genuinely think its the way to do responsive e-learning well! 



Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Sven Laux - Monday, 15 September 2014, 1:25 PM

Hi Kevin,

thanks first of all for the detailed post and the positive and constructive feedback. This is superb for us to hear and consider and we're doing that this week. It's great to get an insight into your position and challenges, especially seeing as you're at the frontline in terms of solving your organisation's learning technology needs.

The feedback items, which particularly resonated were:

  • Guidance docs to help you (the community) think like us
    This acknowledges that Adapt is different, has to be learnt and there is a degree of 'if you use it in a particular way, it works best'. Having worked with it for almost three years now, we sometimes forget how difficult it may be to switch to this way of thinking. During the Adapt week (this week), we're reviewing our documentation and will put in place a plan as to what needs to be on the task list of items to be done. It would be great if we could talk on the phone for a few minutes this week to see if we can come up with a list of specific examples.
  • Responsive design code might cost more to implement
    One of the arguments to explain (and sell) this is that it also has to 'do' more. Flash solved this issue for us in the past but now, it's down to us to implement this functionality ourselves as part of the framework. A natural challenge there is whether we really have to do something new in terms of functionality for new projects. With the community codebase now picking up the pace (we now have 45 plug-ins, 17 of which have come from the ever growing community; and there are 20 new ones on the roadmap as per Paul's post) - maybe the 'new' thing in our projects could be using something someone else has made. Having said that, I totally understand the desire to create the 'new' ourselves...
  • Single page layouts
    Not to be underestimated how much of a change this is to the more regular, page-based design and navigation. I agree that this is a matter of time for those that really engage with it. It's good to see how many regular websites do this now and undoubtedly it will become the norm and what people expect over time.
  • Authoring tool installation
    Agree we need documentation. This is on the task list already (but will trail behind the coding work). We're confident we will get the authoring tool out (as a functional pilot) this year.

You made several other points, all of which we have heard. Some of these we may manage to tackle sooner rather than later and others we may never get around to doing. Our focus at the moment is to get the first pilot / skeleton release out so that we can start serving and talking to the non-technical L&D audience.

We will then take that as the basis to work directly with its users to hep develop it further. We have a good idea of the direction we are headed in but are keen to be challenged and persuaded by the community wherever we need to depart. The key thing is we will do this together (starting from v0.1) rather than us producing a product and saying here it is...

I wanted to say thank you for your contributions and for being such an active member of the community. Please let me know when you're in Brighton next and it would be my honour to buy you a pint and have a chat in person.

Finally, please consider this a personal invite to our Adapt hackfest in Derry. This will take place on Wednesday and we pretty much have the full core team here working together face to face this week. If you can get Weds free, there is even a bursary to help with travel and accommodation costs.

I look forward to meeting you in person, whenever that might be

Picture of Kevin Jones
Re: Call for feedback on the Adapt Project
by Kevin Jones - Monday, 15 September 2014, 2:24 PM

Hey Sven,

Thanks for the kind words and equally lengthy response. 

Re:Hackfest - thankyou so very much for the kind offer! Unfortunately its just a little short notice for me to move life and work around and get myself there this time! Shame! Is there somewhere live i can keep track of it intermittently during the day? I'd love to see what's going on and perhaps i could make the next one if i plan a little around it :)