Single user, multiple workflows

Clay Fenlason clay.fenlason at
Wed Sep 26 19:01:49 UTC 2007

This actually came under some focused discussion amidst the UX group
this morning, in a conjoined context of the old "saving tool state"
debate and a splitting-rejoining workflow component.  At some point
the Javicky phrase "threaded state" was used.  I think the feeling at
the end was that this was valuable "power user" activity.


2007/9/26, Ray Davis <ray at>:
> With wide-ranging, "sticky", multi-faced web spaces such as most
> Sakai and uPortal deployments (or Yahoo, Google, or, to a lesser
> extent, Amazon), words like "site" and "application" become
> ambiguous. This ambiguity should be taken advantage of rather than ignored.
> To put it another way, besides switching contexts in a single browser
> frame, I'd like to give Sakai users the ability to tear off a new
> window or browser-tab from any link that doesn't post updates to the
> DB, and then maintain parallel workflows complete with back-button
> support and reasonable page titles. Google doesn't keep me from
> monitoring my email while I'm paging through a search or drafting a
> post; similarly, I want to let university instructors work on more
> than one course site, monitor more than one discussion, compare the
> progress of different lab sections, experiment with various grade
> weightings, etc. This goes nicely with support for "maximized" views
> of complex screen-size-hungry applications, where portal decorations
> are trimmed to a minimum.
> Almost every time I see a discussion of how to make the Sakai
> portal's embedded tabbed panel less awkward, this goes through my
> head. I strongly agree we need to improve management of "tabbed"
> [i.e., switchable] contextual views within a single browser frame.
> But how would people feel about _explicitly_ stating support for
> multiple active contextual views? I ask now because this is something
> that some Java development approaches make harder.
> Ray
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Clay Fenlason
Director, Educational Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology
(404) 385-6644

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