What is Guide on the Side?
The Guide on the Side software is a freely available tool that allows librarians to quickly and easily create online, interactive tutorials that are based on the principles of authentic and active learning. An example tutorial can be viewed here: http://www.library.arizona.edu/applications/quickHelp/tutorial/searching-the-ua-library-catalog.
What knowledge do I need to create tutorials?
All you need is the ability to use a Word-like (WYSIWYG) editor. No HTML or other coding is needed.
What do I need to know / have to install Guide on the Side?
Basically you need the sorts of access and knowledge that are common to installing web applications. Details are in the INSTALL.txt file included with the distribution, but here’s an overview:
- Access to a shell account on a Unix-like web server running Apache. (It may run on Windows with IIS. We haven’t tried it.)
- How to create, back up, and restore MySQL databases. (Again, it may run on other database platforms.)
- How to manipulate the web server’s PHP configuration.
- Access to run PHP from the command line (for installing and upgrading only).
- How to modify text files in a shell environment (for installing and upgrading only).
- How to modify permissions in a shell environment (for installing and upgrading only).
- To create your own theme, you’ll have to know some HTML and CSS.
What are the technical requirements?
We’ll tell you here what we know works, or at least what works today. You’re welcome to try other system configurations. You can’t exactly void the warranty!
- A Unix-like operating system. Ubuntu Linux 11.10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 are both known to work.
- MySQL 5.0+. Guide on the Side runs on top of the CakePHP framework, so other database systems supported by CakePHP may work as well. SQLite is known not to work with the installation process.
- PHP 5.3.x
- PHP modules for GD support, FreeType, and tidy.
- The PHP command-line interface
- PHP short tags must be off
- See the install documentation for more information.
How can I be a member of Guide on the Side open source community?
There are lots of ways to be involved!
- You can sign-up for our new community over on our Google Groups list. Anyone is welcome to join and discuss / give input on the Guide on the Side.
- You're also welcome to report bugs, etc. over on our GitHub issue queue.
- You can share your favorite tutorials and any best practices that you develop
- You can do usability testing and provide feedback on new Guide on the Side releases.