Sunday, 19 September 2004

CSS and Learning Objects

I wrote about an intermediate layer for SCORM - a display layer based on non-customised HTML tags (see here and here). However, for Fablusi v2, the output from the platform is a complex set of attributes (id and class). Am I contradicting myself?

SCORM is about enabling different compatible LMS to display the same content without any modification. The basic delivery mechanism is based on packaging up the complete course and install the course onto a LMS. In order to ensure compatible, we have to use the lowest common standard.

Current repository efforts (e.g. content management system) can store the content and through mechanism such as SCO-fetcher, LMS can deliver any courses from CMS across any domain. While the underlying SCO-fetcher solution works like web services, but fundamentally, SCORM-courses are still served like a web site. The diverse nature of the underlying semantic mark-up of the SCOs will not be standardised anytime soon.

Fablusi is a propriatory, specific solution to a specific requirement. In order to deliver the maximum flexibility, we have separated from underlying data from the presentation. Again, there is a wide range of semantic mark-up being used:
1. Different interaction spaces may be rendered differently depending on the type of interaction space it is. For example, a news agency may have an online news portal look for one sub-space and a threaded discussion for its office sub-space.
2. Sim-mail may be rendered as mail using personal stationary or as mail using official stationary.
3. Different simulation creator may prefer to display the navigation in different area of the screen.

Such diverse demands require a fairly complex underlying semantic model. For Fablusi v2, I have even included 6 extra spans (I stole this idea from CSS Zen Garden - well, they said such copying is welcome at least!). These extra spans can be used to add eye candies to Fablusi v2 relatively easily.

Again, I judge myself by my motto of "quality as measure of fitness of use". I can just live by. Any comment?

ps If you have not seen CSS Zen Garden, do youself a favour, go there. It is stunningly beautiful and all done by different style sheets applied to the SAME HTML mark-up.

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