Thursday, November 12, 2015

Content Management for Oracle Database Developers - what do you need?

Yes, yes, I know: another post with little or nothing to do with PL/SQL. My apologies. But remember, I do offer
So please don't say "But what have you done for me lately?" :-)

'Cause then I would feel bad that this post is about me asking you for something.

I am involved here at Oracle with both content generation (see above) and working on community-oriented apps that make it easier for you to access expertise and resources on Oracle Database developer-related topics, including:
As many of you are probably aware, content is great stuff ("Content is King"), but and especially for technology-related content, it can get "stale" - what is accurate today is misleading tomorrow; what is good advice today is a dead end tomorrow. 

In addition, you need to have really good metadata about your content to make it easy for users to find what they need quickly (you say "Google", I say "Well, maybe, sometimes that's good enough...").

So I am working on a project to strengthen our content metadata and (eventually) engage our community to help us ensure that resources available to that community are as accurate and useful as possible.

To that end, I thought I would ask you
  • What metadata should we keep track of?
  • What features could we, should we add to our community content applications/sites to improve their quality?
Current Ideas on Content Metadata
  • Author: who produced the content
  • URL of content
  • Related to which product(s)?
  • Which specific feature(s) within a product?
  • Minimum version to which it applies
  • Maximum version after which it no longer applies
  • Expertise level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Link to product documentation
What else can you think of?

Additional Features?

What features could we, should we add to our community content applications/sites to improve their quality?

Thanks in advance for any spare brain cells you devote to this!

Steven

8 comments:

  1. Just a few more ideas for content metadata:
    1) estimated time required to read/listen/make-practice
    2) rating system (e.g. 1-5 stars)
    Cheers
    A.

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  2. Thinking of Oracle online documentation:
    - a link to the same information but for the current version (or all versions)

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  3. @A, yes great points, thanks!
    @Sabine: yes, multiple versions are important.

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  4. Perhaps categorizing content in terms of things like "Performance", "Style Guide", "Instrumentation", "Change of Behaviour" (e.g. NO_DATA_NEEDED and how it's treated differently between 11.2.0.3 and 11.2.0.4),... I know, you might need an Ontology expert to put all these and similar phrases under one "category" but I believe having such metadata would help.

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  5. Thanks, Babak. These categorizations are critical - and tough to get right. I like your "Change of Behavior" idea.

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  6. To be honest, I think the makers of StackOverflow have the right idea here: making sure that all content is Google-friendly is the most scaleable way of ensuring content is easily discoverable.

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  7. Great point, Jeff, and a non-trivial issue in the world of APEX, from what I understand.

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  8. I would step back from the idea of Oracle content to that of a content repository. There's a decent Java spec https://jcp.org/aboutJava/communityprocess/final/jsr170/index.html. Things to consider include: content-type/mime-type, namespace, versioning, full-text search, hierarchical (directory-like) storage, hierarchical search (xpath?), fine-grained access, authorship and collaboration, listening-to/observation-of content with change notification.

    I don't mean to include everything in version 1.0 (or 0.3?), but rather to aim for a general-purpose content repository, implementing relevant features as needed/useful.

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