Washed out gray is the new black

I was working on Sakai help yesterday and decided that using CouchDB might be the way to go if I ever got some time to try to replace Sakai’s default help system.  Why replace?  The biggest problem I ran into is that changing the help contents seems to require a server reload.  And Sakai is a monster to reload (well, more than a minute is pretty darn slow for a reload).  A better help system would be to do as it currently does (parse loaded jar files for help contents) but then create or update existing help in a couchdb database, with versioning and what not so that reloads of old data don’t obliterate more recent changes.

That way, you can hop on the site and edit the help contents, rather than having to edit the help when you write the java code and load the help when you do the “mvn install sakai:deploy &&  /etc/init.d/tomcat-5.5 restart” incantation.

BUT I’d rather spend time working on a transportation glossary app for the site, rather than updating the help system.  The two can eventually be the same, with some backend tweaks, but the glossary is more immediately useful to us.

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