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dhiraj Nov 10, 2009 08:36 PM
Tell us your Use Cases!
We would love to hear what you are using Cyn.in for.
Particularly:
1. What's your use case? Cyn.in can be used in several different ways, and we love to hear feedback. Constantly listening helps us help you by improving the product with every iteration.
2. What features / functionality / parts do you *really* like? What would you like to see more of, or where do you think we should go deeper?
Replies (43)
skorned Nov 14, 2009 09:46 PM
If I manage to get it working on my development server and like what I see, I'm going to be using it for a school of around 1000 students. It'll be used for classes to interact with each other, maintain blogs, teachers to make documents available to students at all time, maintaining shared calendars, and sending out notifications about school events.
dhiraj Nov 14, 2009 09:49 PM
Awesome, that sounds about perfect for a scenario. Do let us know how it goes. :)
offray Nov 16, 2009 04:07 AM
At this moment I'm using it for my classes. It's working like a charm. The idea is to blur the distinction between institutions and community as a places to learn and make bridges between them. We have 3.04 so you can not see the content unless you create an account and is for Spanish speaking communities mainly. But if you wan't to sign up, just let me know.
The Community here has been so responsive (there are some unaswered questions out there yet), but my plan is to migrate to 3.05 and migrate content from other sites to this place to make this interaction more plublic/open. Localization & plugins or custom dev is in the near/middle term future.
dhiraj Nov 16, 2009 06:27 AM
Awesome! :)

Yes, this idea is also being explored by a few other people as well - bridging multiple institutions and community, together - so you're definitely not alone in this. It's an excellent idea, do let us know how it goes.

Regarding localization - translation is possible, we're working on Spanish translation, this should become available soon.
offray Nov 16, 2009 03:48 PM
I can help with translation/localization. I just need to finish the semester and in a few weeks I will be totally free to help. Regarding other features I would like:

 * To be able to put Video & Audio resources as external references (not only uploaded to the cyn.in site) and also to have the Kupu editor accessing this multimedia resources more easily.
 * Blog post should have the description and other metadata upper in a column, so people could decide is if worth to read easily.
 * Short permalinks (like tinyurl or ur1.ca) would be nice and
  * if you see your first post, someone edited it and ask about the rights systems. In discussions, the original post should be only editable by the original poster by default and only available for edition by selected people.
dhiraj Nov 19, 2009 06:23 AM
Hmm... video from YouTube, for example. Yes, this would be nice. While the base feature is easily done, a better way is to cross-integrate a provider-based video handling model so that we can have as many online video providers as available. Another thing about this is that the "normal" way of adding Video should not get disrupted, but rather it should allow for both on-site as well as off-site video, in a common flow where the user can choose whether they want to "upload" a video or to "link" to an existing one.

Short permalinks -> Yes, the URL story needs an update for discussions and status messages. Will do soon.

Discussions -> We're already looking into fixing the Edit behavior -> http://odn.cynapse.com/issues/1168
huy0007 Nov 19, 2009 07:08 PM
In Cyn.in 2.x, we added the HelpCenter as an add-on product to allow IT users to write how-tos, tutorial, video tutorial (screencast). Some of the screencast tools (wink, Jing, etc..) that we use create .swf file and we are able upload the flash files (in .swf extension) directly to the HelpCenter. It is great that you now have audio and video content in 3.x version; however, it is restricted to .flv files only for video files. It'll be nice to be able to upload either .flv file or .swf file directly without going to a conversion process. Also, you may want to create some screencasts as tutorial for your products. The AD integration is a perfect example for doing that.
dhiraj Nov 19, 2009 08:55 PM
Yes, the HelpCenter addon product is quite impressive, unfortunately due to it's complex folder structuring it's very difficult to integrate into out-of-box Cyn.in Spaces.

Playable SWFs: This is actually the *third* aspect of embeddable flash that Cyn.in could benefit with, the first being directly playable video (FLV,MP4) which we already do, and the second being embeddable 3rd party players (youtube, et al). For each of the three aspects a different type of "Player" is required. In the first type, we have an internal player that will play compatible video files uploaded to Cyn.in. To have 3rd party embeddable video, we'd actually have to switch the player based on detected service - so for YouTube we'd use the YouTube player embed API, for MetaCafe something else, for each service a different strategy must be adopted. For directly playable SWFs, we'd probably need to create a 5th File based type (existing 4 are File, Image, Audio and Video), that would be called something like an "SWF Animation" and would perhaps even allow Creators to input desired width and height that they want to show it off in. Do note however that while this has immense benefit in things like Computer Based Training and Screencasts with interactive navigation and so on, this does also open up a whole new can of worms - Flash games. I fear that some of the Enterprise customers would be a bit apprehensive about this feature - it would make it too easy (almost like an invite) for users to upload games and other kinds of media that would detract from the whole experience by causing wasting of their users' precious time. Again, this is me hypothesizing a problem which possibly wouldn't happen at all - we're all responsible people with clear, open consciences here, right? :)

But these *are* the kind of decisions we are forced to take. Often.

There *does exist* a way that you can utilize SWF content directly in the current Cyn.in version - by using a Rich HTML container to host it - albeit with some required understanding of Flash Object embedding with OBJECT and EMBED tags. You upload the .SWF file as a regular plain old File first, and then open up a new Wiki Page or Blog post and use the External link (green globe) button in the WYSIWYG editor to paste the object tag into the Embed tab that is present. If you're using a tool to create the SWFs, then probably the same tool will also be generating a companion HTML file for the SWF, open it up, look for the OBJECT tag in it, copy paste it into a regular text editor so that you can change the SWF file url. Typically the HTML file will be referring to the SWF file without a path, you have to use the full URL to the SWF file that Cyn.in will show you once you upload it.

Tip 1: Remember to strip of the /view at the end of the file URL when you're pasting it into the object tag
Tip 2: There will typically always be 2 places to paste the SWF URL, one in the OBJECT tag, and one in the nested EMBED tag.

Screencasts: You know, they actually take way lesser time to initially draft, but then the post-processing that is manually required to be done gobbles up so much time it's literally astounding the amount of effort and time you realize you put in to making that 10 minute video, by the time you're done with the editing and tweaking and transitions and audio voiceover and so on. So (at least IMO) it's really easy to do a mediocre video that will at maximum give a rough understanding, moderately difficult to do a screencast that will successfully explain all the things that you wanted to, and the truly well done video that will keep *all* of the audience 100% engaged throughout the viewing, while at the same time getting all your points across is ...... impossible? :)

Plus, there are additional problems with doing *only* screencasts as documentation (a side effect of what happens when you spend that much time making the video perfect) - a lot of people, especially in the enterprise sector are not really comfortable with the Cyn.in solution without having the written and diagrammatic documentation filed and ready, in any case! The reasoning is this - written documentation can be incorporated into a process driven approach easily. So personnel can be given a printed manual that can be studied to know how to use the system. And there are many other compelling arguments for written documentation along similar lines of thought. Like it's easier to visually scroll / skim through the parts of written documentation while in a video it's always seek, see, seek back, see, seek forward, and so on.

All that said (I did ramble on a *lot* on this one, all apologies) screencasts *are* cool and can have the maximum impact when done properly. I do wish we did more of them too. ;-)
knylander Nov 20, 2010 03:40 AM
Thanks for the great info on using SWF files.

Any guidelines for integrating the Help Center? I really like the features it offers but have had a very difficult time getting it integrated.
apurva Nov 17, 2009 04:24 PM
* Blog post should have the description and other metadata upper in a column, so people could decide is if worth to read easily. - Good idea, i've thought of that myself too, but there is one caveat, this will make the content area narrower, and that could become a problem with embedded images / media, which would have much lesser width available in a blog post than a wiki page...

  * In discussions, the original post should be only editable by the original poster by default and only available for edition by selected people. - Hmm you are right about that, the edit allowed to everyone makes sense for Wiki pages but not for discussions. We need to design custom workflows for the discussion content type, and maybe even blog posts?
offray Nov 28, 2009 06:02 PM
Apurba, that metainformation could be in the upper place of the page in the same way that now appears in the bottom, so It should not change the content area. I imagine description and metadata as now, but with the right column with scroll or expandable with javascript or rounding the description, or may be description can ba as wide as the page and metadata also, with one just over the other. I mean that this caveat can be easily treated with the proper adjustment of metadada.
siclyundecided Nov 19, 2009 02:46 PM
Using cyn.in for my product script site. much more pleasant than trying to integrate a wiki with a fourm script and website plus, is alot easier. It's brillant!

i can now add screenshots and doc's not forgeting the scripts themselves for download, users can ask questions, comment, maon.

Well done guys
dhiraj Nov 19, 2009 02:49 PM
Awesome, sounds cool! :)

Would love to *see* it though. Is the site publicly available yet? Please share the link if you can, thanks.
hexbin Nov 29, 2009 06:16 PM
We are planing to use it for exchanging documentation between departments. If you consired that we have operators, and seperate departments, each department will have 3 work spaces:
1) Their privat workspace... department related documentation
2) Workspace that other departments may read, but not add content, for documentation that should be shared between departments, but maintained by one department only
3) Workspace that all loged in users can read, but only that department can contribute.

We will also have a common firm section, with overall info for workers, and we are gona setup a small "Playground" space for photo albums, our video and audio works, and so on....

The fact of "Contributor published" and "Viewers published" abillaty helps us alot in our scenario. But for some stuff there should be more accassible information / help... like Advanced Collections... How? What?
dhiraj Nov 30, 2009 09:47 AM
Sounds just about perfect! :)

And... you found the Advanced Collections portal type. That one was originally for internal use only - it's a direct portal_catalog query, you have to pass a python dict of query parameters and if you know what you're doing, you'll get results straight from the catalog.
hexbin Nov 30, 2009 11:23 AM
No I don't know :D
I found an option that I didn't know what does it do :D ... And it's not like it wasn't out there straight in the open :)
hexbin Dec 02, 2009 10:11 AM
Functionality idea:
We had this implemented in one of our custom made previous systems. While interlinking wikis is a great idea, nesting of them is also a fantastic feature. Mabey 1 or 2 levels deep nesting. So for acutaly wikis that have a same part, and should change in all wikis if changed in one, you only update a nested wiki...

Just an idea :)
apurva Dec 02, 2009 02:31 PM
We have been implementing some complex and large nested wikis using spaces to nest them, but i don't quite understand what you mean by changing one wiki to change many ... could you explain ?
hexbin Dec 02, 2009 03:25 PM
Well, in this system we used something like this...
We would create a header wiki and a footer wiki for several documents... The wikis that needed this headers and footers would have a text in edit mode like:

"[wiki:header_wiki]
 SOME WIKI TEXT
[wiki:footer_wiki]"

And when that wiki was viewed it head somehing like:

" TEXT FROM A WIKI header_wiki
SOME WIKI TEXT
TEXT FROM A WIKI footer_wiki"

so, several documents using this headers and footers could be changed at the same time simply by editing only 2 wikis...

I hope this makes it clear :)
dhiraj Dec 03, 2009 11:36 PM
Hmm... I've seen this being asked before.... something similar to the Wiki Start page that we do (on a Space in the Wiki - Application View), but instead some way to make a Wiki page block (or a portlet) can be visible on all Wiki pages in that Space would be very cool indeed for thins like navigation/ common links / tips /etc.

You have my +1. Which also means it gets added as a feature request wish in ODN. ;)
Here, tell me what you think: http://odn.cynapse.com/issues/1194
hexbin Dec 04, 2009 12:16 PM
Well, nice but... not what I was aming at :D... even though in a right direction a bit :)
You are tieing wikis to space insted to other wikis... what I mentioned was mabey a bad sample...
Consider this 2 wikis then:

"[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_1]
[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_2]
SOME REGULAR WIKI TEXT
[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_3]
"

" A REGULAR WIKI TEXT FOR THIS WIKI
[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_3]
[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_1]
[wiki:INSERT_WIKI_2]
SOME MORE REGULAR WIKI TEXT"

get my point? :D
dhiraj Dec 13, 2009 01:29 PM
Hmm... more wiki macros. Yes, that would be nice as well. Like what you're looking for is really a macro to insert 1 wiki page inside another. Would need to overhaul the wiki functionality to do this, but this is much needed anyway - wiki linking is coming from a product called "wicked" - it's not really that comprehensive. One of the things we want to do in this is provide more deeper wiki syntax like the common "Creole" markup format that is more detailed than just our [[ link ]] format. There is a plone product that will allow us to do this markup: http://www.wikicreole.org/wiki/CheatSheet and then with some more work we could perhaps add more macros like your desired insert wiki page functionality.

Will look into this soon, hopefully.
laughingmind Dec 24, 2009 12:59 AM
UseCase: NGO who work in the field of supporting Mental Health Carers require a collaboration community with some security nuances: 1. Mask email on public profile 2. Mask real name to preserve anonymity by use of an alias/avatar
dhiraj Dec 24, 2009 10:28 AM
Hmm.... interesting.

This is possible with simple modification of UI templates, there's no configuration UI for changing these, at present. So you're basically looking at not having identity disclosure? What about avatar photos? Or is that okay?
laughingmind Dec 26, 2009 12:05 PM
Yes, got it in one. Prevention of identity is key for many mental health carers, so this is a core consideration. Avatar photos are fine, its the identifying details that are the problem. The ability to have an alias - ie screenname - is a fairly routine consideration, offered by many bb's already
dhiraj Feb 06, 2010 01:35 AM
Hmm... missed your follow up, laughingmind.
Yes, well we did consciously take that decision to show the full name of the person where it made sense. It usually fits decently in the closed group collaboration area that a large portion of Cyn.in's audience lies in.

Good point though, perhaps we should offer such an option as well, to hide identification revealing details of users. Will try to get this looked into, in the (hopefully) near future.
everythingability Mar 09, 2010 09:02 PM
I'm currently involved in the Collaborative Tools Project at the University of York.. our use cases (gathered over quite a while, from lots of people) can be put briefly as...

1. Collaborative Document Editing (Adobe Acrobat or Wikis?) for research bid writing, documentation
2. Project workgroup (private wiki, some blogging, file sharing, forums)
3. Departmental Showcase ( public blogging, some wiki stuff all with design polish) <-- it's a shame cyn.in is weak here with no "open access/no login required" spaces. Perhaps this can be achieved by "presenting" an RSS feed from a space somewhere else...

... all with added social media "fluff" and increased people discoverability

So far we've trialled (quite extensively) SocialText (commercial), LifeRay, Jive (commercial) Confluence, Elgg... and looked at many, many others including omCollab (a blend of WordPress, MediaWiki, phpBB etc) and fosWiki...

For some reason, I hadn't come across cyn.in... so far it looks FANTASTIC!!!!!









viraf Mar 10, 2010 08:13 AM
Follow this guide to setup Cyn.in to publish content for Anonymous access a.k.a (no login required) http://www.cynapse.com/[…]/setup-cyn-in-for-anonymous-access
dhiraj Mar 10, 2010 09:57 PM
Using Cyn.in for authoring and then dedicating a Space + User to accomplish RSS feed publishing is also possible. You could use a Space as a publishing area root and then consume the RSS2 or ATOM feeds of the Space (pick up the feeds from the Activity Stream (which auto-updates with whatever search parameters you set)) and use the URLed authentication for HTTP BASIC Auth trick (http://username:password@cyninsitedomain.com/FEEDURLPath) to consume and publish the feed into any system.

Most PHP / curl based CMSes (and many other) systems will work with the URLed authentication way above, and you can directly consume+aggregate+publish. Files, Images, Audio and Video are available as enclosure items in the feeds. It's safe enough for server to server communication, and besides, the idea is that you dedicate a separate "public user" that can only see that Space and all the content that you want to pull is on that Space. Drupal's feed modules, for example, are particularly potent when you look at re-purposing them this way.
idotter Mar 10, 2010 03:23 PM
I'd like to use it for a knowledgemanagment platform for a small (10 -20) team and some collaborators ... what i'd like to see (and for me thie is very important) is the possibility to integrate web 2.0-content (e.g. twitter, xing, google reader starred/recomended entries, google docs, delicious).

What i could offer is a proper german localization ... the demo doesn't look very well translatet and does not support ä ö ü.

zend Mar 10, 2010 05:05 PM
Interesting requirements towards external web 2.0 content. As for the German localization, you should be having a better one in the next version.
jweldy Jun 15, 2010 02:37 AM
I've installed Cyn.in at my full time job, Burke Equipment Company. I've moved all of our shared company excel, word and powerpoint presentations into it along with every program we use. This includes our internal phone directory and our Sales Reps proprietary sales programs. We just finished a data dump from our business system of all our customers and they have been migrated into a spread sheet on Cyn.in that includes all emails, addresses, etc.
We have 75 users on the system right now and each has a private (not visible to other users) space and I've taken all the files each user has on their work-stations and have migrated them into Cyn.in where they are now quickly searchable from the desktop client. My philosophy with this move is that I can now just backup the Cyn.in virtual appliance instead of 75 work-stations, relieving a huge IT burden.
Cyn.in has really excelled at using it for our extensive training videos which again, now can be watched from the desktop client.
I migrated our users from another fine program "MindTouch" and since Cyn.in is such a more sophisticated user interface I was worried that my sometimes hesitant users would have a hard time. The first day I was live I received a call from one of our remote locations saying, and I do quote: " This is amazing, I click on a file and it's here in seconds. Really amazing!".
Less than two months into production my users are maintaining all their new documentation on the Cyn.in server, regularly watching the training videos and posting discussions in Cyn.in and the desktop client to find equipment and implements (We are a Bobcat, Toro & Kubota Dealership) at other locations.
We can easily post video and photos of equipment and copy the links to customers to see instead of moving equipment around.
I can't say enough good about this application that has been offered to the open source community.
dhiraj Jun 16, 2010 12:55 PM
That's awesome feedback, really amazing how you're successfully "centralizing" everything in your company with Cyn.in. :)
pac22 Jun 15, 2010 09:20 PM
I am launching a Pilot Test for intranet porpouses in Facultad Regional Delta, Campana, Buenos Aires-Argentina.
dhiraj Jun 16, 2010 12:56 PM
Sounds good. Do let us know if we can help out in any way. :)
ybizeul Nov 24, 2010 01:12 PM
We use it as our corporate knowledge base.
People are currently mainly working with discussions, blog articles to publish knowledge, and links object to post public references on the net.

The problem is the product looks pretty dead, not updated for a while, and I'm getting very concerned, as people are using it more and more in my company, migration would be long and painful.

I'm not looking for features for now, just for a working product where discussion titles are actually displayed in lists, where date and time are displayed on items, basic things like this. I think Cynapse really need to consolidate foundation before moving on, I mean if the product is still under development.
timeu Dec 01, 2010 11:27 AM
As a sidenote. There is a workaround for the missing titles of discussions. If you rename the discussion and provide a specific title, the title of the discussion will be displayed in the lists.
viraf Dec 01, 2010 05:20 PM
The fix for the missing discussion title is already in SVN for quite sometime. you can get the source from the last tag in SVN and do a buildout to fix the same.
ybizeul Dec 08, 2010 10:38 AM
This got to be some kind of joke. Migrated to 3.2.1, and now comments comes with visible escaped HTML entities in recent portlet and URL... "Mise &agrave; jour du site web<br /><br />La KB a &eacute;t&eacute; mise"

Is this really 2011 soon ?
chuxuzoeto Apr 27, 2012 05:46 PM
I am only able to deploy this in a virtual env dedicated to a system by itself .. I cannot add it to any existing server because the opensource version is just archaic in the options provided for deployment, and OS support. None of the deployment options suit my most common needs for custiomers that need to look thoroughly before taking up a solution commercially. You need to address ..
miteshpc May 08, 2012 11:43 AM
This list has been silent for a long time. Looks like localscape product is getting more priorities. I see a huge potential for use of Cyn.in enterprises, but there isn't a lot added to talk about this product since 2009.

I work in project driven company and would like if there is an extension of cyn.in for project collaboration. I miss the cyn.in like activity stream in lot of project management systems. Damn even Sharepoint doesn't have it out of the box!
miteshpc May 08, 2012 11:43 AM
This list has been silent for a long time. Looks like localscape product is getting more priorities. I see a huge potential for use of Cyn.in enterprises, but there isn't a lot added to talk about this product since 2009.

I work in project driven company and would like if there is an extension of cyn.in for project collaboration. I miss the cyn.in like activity stream in lot of project management systems. Damn even Sharepoint doesn't have it out of the box!
ybizeul May 08, 2012 09:05 PM
Well, it is getting pretty clear cyn.in is a dead product. I made that bad choice when creating my company's knowledge base. I regret it and today I wish I chose Drupal, but life is made of good and bad choices !
 
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