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Welcome to AContent

Use the Search field to find learning content in the AContent Repository, or choose from the Categories to browse the list of lessons available in each category. In the lessons that appear in Search Results or by browsing, click on a lesson title to view the lesson, or click on the download icon to export the lesson as a standard IMS Content Package.

Unzip Content Packages then click on the index.html file to view the content on your local computer.

Content packages, in their zipped state, can be imported into systems that support the IMS Content Packaging standard.



Register

In order for a user to login to AContent and create content, manage translations, or administer the system, a unique account needs to be created. Use the Register link to access the registration form. If email-confirmation has been enabled by the system administrator, a message will be sent to the email address entered containing a link that must be followed to confirm the new account. Once this has been done, the login name or email address, and the password entered during registration can be used to Login.

In addition to searching, downloading, and viewing content, available to non-registered users, a basic account allows users to add lessons to their account, and store them as bookmarks for future reference.

When registering, you can also request authoring privileges by choosing I would like to author content. Additional personal information is required when registering as an author, so content is properly attributed to an author. When the system's administrator has approved your author request, the Create Lesson tab will appear, which leads to the AContent authoring tools.



Login

A user may login to AContent with their Login Name or Email address, and the Password created during registration. Logging in gives users access to the bookmark feature for Regular users, and to the authoring tools for Author users.



Password Reminder

If you have forgotten your password, follow the Forgot your password? link on the Login screen. The form will email the login name to you, along with a link you must follow to change your password.



Profile

Once you have registered an account on the system, a Profile is created. You may modify the information associated with your profile, though you may not change your Login name, or the generated Web Service ID. If you are requesting a content authoring account, you must provide additional information about who you are so content is properly attributed to an author.

Web Service ID

The Web Service ID is a unique identifier that can be used to link other systems with AContent through its Web Services. This ID will be useful for developers creating systems that access AContent Web Services, or to administrators of learning management systems who wish to link AContent into their LMS. ATutor administrators can enter the Web Service ID of any user in the AContent system, into the AContent Setup screen to link the repository into their ATutor system. See the Web Service API, linked from the footer area of AContent for more about developing an interface to the system.



Change Password

This page allows users to change passwords. The form authenticates users by checking their old password first, and then setting a new password and typing it again.



Change Email

This page allows users to change email addresses.



User Management

This section allows administrators to manage all user accounts. Each user belongs to a user group to which privileges are assigned.

There are three types of default user groups that are created when AContent is installed. These are described below along with the default privileges associated with each groups.

Administrator
Administrators have privileges to use the Home, manage users, languages and manage their own profile.
Regular User
Regular users have privileges to use the Home and manage their own profile.
Translator
Translators have privileges to use the Home, translate AContent terms from English to other languages, and to manage their own profile. The languages that can be used in the system are defined by users who have "Language Management" privileges.

Creating User Accounts

The users who belong to a group that has "User Management" privileges can manually add users to the system by using Create User.

User accounts can also be created by individuals using the Registration form available through the public pages of AContent. The accounts created via the Registration form are automatically set to user group "Regular User".

User Group

User Group is used to create new user groups and edit existing user groups.



Create/Edit User

All fields on "Create User" and "Edit User" forms are required. Most fields are self-explanatory. When the "Account Status" field is set to disabled, the user is not able to login.

User accounts can also be created by individuals using the Registration form available through the public pages of AContent. The accounts created via the Registration form are automatically set to user group "Regular User".



Change Password

All fields are required and self-explanatory. Once the new password is set successfully, an email notification is sent to the user.



User Group

The User Group section allows administrators to manage user groups. User groups define the privileges that are granted to the users who are members of a group. Note that "Administrator" and "Regular User" groups can not be deleted. They must exist for proper operation of the system. All other groups are optional.

There are three default user groups. Below is a description of the default privileges that are granted to each group. The privileges in user groups are editable by users who are a member of a group that has the "User Management" privilege.

Administrator
Administrators have privileges to use the Home, manage users, languages and manage their own profile.
Regular User
Regular users have privileges to use the Home and manage their own profile.
Translator
Translators have privileges to use the Home, translate AContent terms from English to other languages, and to manage their own profile. The languages that can be used in the system are defined by users who have "Language Management" privileges.


Create/Edit User Group

All fields are relatively self-explanatory.

There are six privileges provided by AContent. Privileges are fixed and not changeable.

Home
This is where user implements own functions.
User Management
Create, edit, delete users.
Language Management
Create, edit, delete, enable, disable languages.
Translation
Translate all AContent terms into languages other than English, or edit existing English text.
Profile Management
Edit profile, change password or email.


Language Management

AContent can be displayed in many different languages! Through the Language Manager language packs can be selected and imported.

Managing Existing Languages

Installed languages can be edited, deleted, or exported as an AContent language pack for redistribution. When exporting a language, a download prompt will appear asking to download a zip file of the language pack.

Note that the English language (language code: eng) cannot be deleted. This is the base language pack that ensures AContent runs properly. When other languages are installed, users can disable it if they don't want AContent to be displayed in English.

Importing Languages

Language packs can be imported by retrieving the package and then importing it into AContent.

  1. Visit AContent Language Packs to download one of the available language packs for your version.
  2. Use the Browse... button to find the downloaded language pack.
  3. Use the Import button to import the language.

You can contribute to the AContent community by exporting a language pack from your AContent installation, and attaching it to a message in the atutor.ca Translation Forum. Also see the Translator Documentation for further details about translating AContent.



Add/Edit Language

Adding and Editing the language properties allows users to change the following:

When "Status" is set to enabled, the language is displayed in the selector at the bottom of AContent pages, which allows users to switch to this language.



Translation

All fields are self-explanatory. Note that the language drop down box lists all the languages defined in the current installation of AContent, no regardless of the language status (enabled or disabled). If you are translating a new language for AContent, first define the language using the Language management tool's Add Language feature. If you do not have access to the Language management tools, ask your AContent administrator to add the language.

You can contribute to the AContent community by exporting a language pack from your AContent installation, and attaching it to a message in the atutor.ca Translation Forum. Also see the Translator Documentation for further details about translating AContent.



Updater

The Updater was introduce in AContent 1.2 to allow administrators to update their systems with feature adjustments, security fixes, and other AContent code changes in between AContent releases. The Updater is included as a standard module with AContent 1.2+

The Update List
On the opening screen of the Updater will appear a list of updates available for the version of AContent you are using, along with a description of each update. This list is retrieved from update.atutor.ca, as are the updates themselves, so you must be connected to the Internet. Updates are retrieved from update.atutor.ca by AContent and applied as necessary.
File Permissions
In most cases you will be asked to temporarily grant write permission to the files that need to be updated or replaced, then once the update has been applied, you will be asked to change the permissions back to read only. It is important that you follow the instructions after updates have been applied, otherwise you run the risk of opening a security hole.
Types of Updates
Updates come in various forms. Some updates replace code in a file with new code. Others replace a file with a new file. Others may do both on multiple files and multiple code changes. Other updates delete files that are no longer required.
Required and Non-Required Updates
In most cases you will want to install updates in the order they appear in the update list, but not all updates are required updates. Some feature updates can be ignored if you do not need the features they would add or modify on your system. Other updates will have dependencies, requiring the administrator to install earlier updates before installing a later one. You will be prompted to install previous updates if there are dependencies.
Checks and File Backups
If you have made changes to a file the Updater wishes to change, you will be prompted to continue or not. The updater compares your local file with the same file in the AContent code repository, and if they differ the prompt will display. In many cases the Updater can apply updates without changing the code you have modified, but if the code to be replaced was modified, the update will fail, or if the update replaces a file, your changes will be lost. In all cases the updater will create a backup of the files that were modified, identified by the filename plus the update number added as a suffix. Rename the file to its original name to restore that file back to its original state. You can list these files by clicking the view messages button next to the update listing after the update is installed. After you have confirmed that the updates were applied and are working properly, it is safe to delete the backup files, though it does not hurt to keep them around.
Private Updates
In some cases private updates can be applied by uploading a update file through the upload form below the update list. Private updates are often those used to apply changes that are not being applied to the AContent default source code, or to apply custom features, or to share updates between users, etc. When uploading a update, be sure the update id, defined in the patch.xml file, is unique .


Creating Update

If you happen to come across a bug you can fix, or have a new feature you would like added to the AContent public distribution, you can use Create Update to put your changes into a form that can be easily added to the AContent public code. Or, if you have a feature you are adding to one AContent installation that you would like to have added to another, Create Update is ideal for reproducing your feature across installations. If you are creating new features that are not going to become part of the AContent public source code, you can build them into a update so they can be reapplied from version to version as you upgrade your AContent system. Creating updates does require knowledge of PHP, and of SQL if you plan on creating a update that changes the AContent database. Please refer to the appropriate documentation for information on PHP and SQL.

AContent Update ID
The update id you give to your update must be different from all updates available for the particular version of AContent it applies to. It is suggested you prefix your updates with a special identifier that represents the author or the authoring organization. If for example the University of Toronto is creating the update, a update ID might look like "uoft_0002."
AContent Version to Apply
This needs to be the exact version number of the AContent version the update applies to (e.g 1.2). including any minor version numbers (e.g 1.2.1.1) The exact version number can be found on the Administrator open screen under "Statistics and Information." In most cases when applying a update created for an older version of AContent, the "AContent version to Apply" will need to be adjusted. Or, this can be adjusted manually in the patch.xml file included with the source code of the update.
Description
This should be a detailed description of what the update does. Example might include "fixes problem uploading files to filemanager" for a bug fix, or "added a timer function to tests" for an added feature, or "removes registration tab" for a feature adjustment, etc. Include enough detail so those applying the update understand exactly what it will do..
SQL Statement
This optional field can be used to insert SQL commands which modify the AContent database. It might be used to write an SQL statement to modify and existing table, such as changing a data type, or a field size, or to add or remove an field. It can also be used to insert SQL that generates a new table for a new feature created by a update, or it can be used to insert data into a table used by a feature created by the update. Any SQL can be included in this field. Be careful when running SQL, that that SQL is not going to interfere with upgrade SQL. If you are changing table structures and those same tables are being altered during an upgrade, the upgrade may fail.
Dependant Updates
It is common for later updates to require changes from earlier updates before they can be installed. If this is the case for the update you are creating, enter the update IDs into the Dependant Update ID field. Click on Add Dependent Update if additional dependencies are required. Be sure to check the updates on the opening screen of the Updater to see if the file you are modifying with your update is being modified by an update.AContent.ca update. If they are modifying the same files, you may need to include the ID numbers for those updates in the Dependant Updates for the update your are creating.
Files
This area is where most AContent updates are created. Click on Add File to generate a update block. A update block can include one of four actions on the file being modified, as described below. As many update blocks as required can be added to a update.
Add File
The Add action can be used to add a new file to AContent. This action is often used in conjuction with other update blocks that alter or delete files, to add a replacement file for one deleted, or to perhaps add a required or include file needed by a modified section in the file being changed. In the File Name field enter the file name to be assigned to the file when it is installed. In the Directory field enter the relative path from the AContent root directory in which the modified file is or will exist. Select from Upload File using the Browse button to locate the file in your local computer's file system. Note that the upload file can have any name. It will be renamed to the file name listed in the File Name field when it is installed.
Alter File
This option is used when you wish to make changes to a piece of code within an existing source code file. In the File Name field enter the name of the file in the AContent source code that will be altered. In the Directory field enter the relative path to the directory in which the to be alter file exists, relative to the AContent root directory. In the Code To Replace From field copy the code from the original file the will be replaced, or appended to, and in the Code To Replace To field enter to code that will replace the code above in the From field. Or, if you are adding code instead of replacing code, include the code from the field above so it gets added back if you are only using that code as a way of identifying a location in the file where new code is being added.
Delete File
This option will remove files from AContent. In the File Name field enter the name of the file to be deleted. In the Directory field enter the path to the directory in which the to be delete file exists, relative to the root directory of the AContent installation.
Overwrite File
This option is used to replace an existing file in AContent with a new one. In the File Name field enter the name of the file to be replaced. In the Directory field enter the path to the directory in which the to be replaced file exists, relative to the root directory of the AContent installation. In the Upload File field use the Browse button to choose a file from your local computer to replace the specified file. The upload file may be named anything. It will be renamed to the file it is replacing when the update is installed.
Create Update
Click on this button to build the update into a downloadable zip file. This zip file can then be uploaded in the Upload field on the main Updater screen to apply a update to a system.
Save Update
Click on this button to save the developing update to the AContent database for future reference. Though it is not required, you should save a copy of the update in this way, so it can be retrieved and edited if necessary. Or, if a update takes more than a single sitting to build, you can save it, then retrieve it later to continue.
Cancel
Press this button to ignore the latest changes to the update, and return to My Own Updates Screen.