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enCore v5 Documentation Project

April 7, 2006

Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program
Department of English
Texas Tech University
P.O. Box 43091
Lubbock, Texas 79409-3091

To the faculty of the Technical Communication Program:

The enCore Consortium would like to invite the Technical Communication and Rhetoric program
at Texas Tech University to become a partner with the Consortium in developing the enCore
Program. Specifically, the Consortium would like you to join with them in the enCore version 5
Documentation Project.

The enCore Learning Environment began in 1998 as an outgrowth of the Lingua MOO project at
the University of Texas at Dallas. One of the first institutions to adopt enCore was the University
of Bergen, Norway (UiB) where it has institutional support as the online platform for its LINGO
Project, a set of six internet-based educational environments focusing mainly on language-studies
( enCore, as an Open Source Program, is now used by universities and
schools around the globe, including Texas Tech University. (See the resource section at the end of
the proposal.)

In Fall 2006, the programmers at UiB will release a new version (v5) of the enCore Learning
Environment that will represent a substantial upgrade in usability and functionality for the
program. Because this new version represents an extensive change from the previous version 4,
new documentation for the program is needed.

Summary of the Project
The enCore v5 Documentation Project will create a single-source documentation solution for the
enCore Program. Help text will be created once and then distributed to different publishing
formats and contexts (pdf, web, in-program). In addition, the project proposes to host the help
documentation on a "documentation server," so all enCore documentation after this project will be
hosted in a single location. With the implementation of this help system, updating documentation
for all enCore v5 users will be much easier and efficient, and users will be able to access up-to-
date help from within the program whenever they need it. The following graphic produced by
Trond Pettersen of UiB summarizes the goal of this project:

enCore v5 Documentation Project

UiB and its chief programmers—Daniel Jung and Trond Pettersen—will do the needed
programming for the single-source documentation configuration illustrated above, including
implementing the appropriate DTDs and XSLT transformations from DocBook.

TTU's Proposed Role
The enCore Consortium requests that the TCR program at Texas Tech lead the initial production
of the English help text for this single-source documentation solution to the new version of
enCore. TTU would coordinate, supervise, and support the creation of this help. To perform
these functions, TTU would form a team of graduate student technical writers and a faculty
advisor. The Consortium's role would be to establish the direction and guidelines for the
documentation project, to evaluate the results, to provide funds for these twin anchors
(programming at UiB and content creation at TTU), and to solicit donors for the remaining costs.
The graphic below illustrates the partnership between TTU, the enCore Consortium, and the
University of Bergen in this project:

enCore v5 Documentation Project

Matching of Interests between TTU and the enCore Consortium

I believe that the proposed partnership between TTU and the enCore Consortium touches on
important mutual interests that make this project beneficial to both entities:

Benefits to TTU of the Documentation Project
• TTU has a deep stake in making their online TCR graduate program successful.
One part of making that effort successful is having an online learning environment
that promotes teaching and learning. Since enCore is the platform for all graduate
TCR classes, an improved version of enCore with useful and efficient help
documentation will benefit the educational experience of all those involved in the
online graduate program
• This project would offer an opportunity to engage TTU graduate students in an
excellent learning and potential research experience in technical communication,
especially since it involves single-source documentation in an XML format—a
form of documentation used more and more by industry.
• Continued involvement in the single-source Documentation Project for enCore
could be an on-going service project for the TCR program, providing a real-world
learning and research opportunity for graduate students.
• Establishing a partnership with the enCore Consortium will encourage TTU's
specific input on enCore program development so that features desired by TTU
might be included in the program.
• This enCore Documentation Project could be the beginning of a website collection
of documentation created by TCR students, perhaps by students from the 5376
Online Publishing classes (similar to the collection of documentation created by the
Professional Writing Program at Purdue

Benefits to the enCore Consortium of TTU's partnership on the Documentation Project
• Engaging TTU in this project fulfills the Consortium's main mission to "coordinate
and promote the open source development and distribution of the enCore Program."
• Having TTU lead the creation of help documentation content will lend credibility
to the overall Documentation Project as the Consortium petitions other potential
sponsors for financial support.
• Establishing this relationship with TTU will fulfill one of the main goals of the
Consortium: to establish a symbiotic relationship between the enCore Consortium
and enCore users whereby each helps the other. In this case, supporting this project
helps TTU gain a better platform for its online classes and a valuable real-world
learning experience for its students. The enCore Consortium gains help
documentation that it can then provide to all enCore users.

enCore v5 Documentation Project

Budget and Avenues for Support
Below is a summary of the budget for this project:
(See Task Summary and Budget Chart at the end of the proposal for more detail.)

A. Programming the single-source configuration (done by UiB) --- $12,000
This represents 3 months of programming/work at $4,000/month

B. Writing the help text content (requested done by TTU) --- $9,000
This represents 3 months of work at $3,000/month
(This could fund a team of three writers or other configurations.)
Total Projected cost of project: $21,000

Funds Already Contributed to the Project:
UiB $6,000 toward programming
enCore Consortium $3,000 toward programming
Total Current Contributions to the project: $9,000

Matching Funds Available:
enCore Consortium $2,000 for creation of content (to TTU)

Total remaining funds needed for the entire project: $10,000

Remaining funds needed just for documentation creation: $7,000

Avenues of Support for TTU's Production of the Documentation Content

Internal Support from TTU:
--In-kind support that could be in the form of stipends to graduate students or
faculty to work on the project.
--Finding talented TC students to take on this project as an English 5378 Internship
in Technical Communication course.
--Potential funds allocated from the department
--other sources?
External Support from the enCore Consortium:
--$2,000 matching funds available to TTU for joining and contributing to the
--Funds from individual associates of the Consortium, institutions using enCore,
and targeted foundations and corporations. Solicitation of these potential sponsors
begins April 11th.

Project Timeline: Feb. Mar. April May June July Aug.
Beta v5 Release XXXX
Usability Testing v5 XXXX
Help text team formation XXXXXXXXXX
Help text composition XXXXXXXXXXXX
Release enCore v5 XXXXX

enCore v5 Documentation Project

Final Appeal

I believe that TTU is well-positioned to benefit from participating in this project and to offer a real
service to the enCore community of users at large. Your participation in this Documentation
Project aligns itself with your chief institutional goals because using this single-source
documentation projects as a learning project for graduate students and faculty could help you do
research, give teaching opportunities, and provide a service project that could extend beyond the
summer into classes or other projects such as Online Publishing, Publication Management, and
Usability Testing. Participation in the project may even have a positive influence on recruitment
since TTU's partnership with the enCore Consortium and the University of Bergen will gain it
national as well as international prominence as the new version 5 of enCore becomes more
popular and continues to improve.

I appreciate your consideration of this project. My goal is for the project to be not only one which
you want to do, but one that you see as do-able. Please contact me with questions about the
project, or suggestions you have to make this project more feasible for you.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lennie Irvin

President, enCore Consortium
San Antonio College
Dept. of English
1300 San Pedro Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 804-0485 –

Resources and Additional Information:
• Single Source Documentation for enCore Xpress --proposal prepared by Trond Pettersen
that outlines the programming aspect of the project
• enCore Consortium Home Page (includes information on the Board of Directors)
• enCore Consortium Associates
• enCore Portfolio of MOOs
• enCore Open Source MOO Project Home Page
• LINGO Project Home Page
• enCore v5 Information Site

enCore v5 Documentation Project

enCore Documentation Task Summary and Budget Chart
Goal—To make the new release of enCore v5 easy to use by creating clear, efficient documentation, enabling students
and teachers to interact and learn online in powerful ways.
Task Start/
ID Objective or Task Name End Resources Needed
dates Personnel Costs Non-Personnel Costs
Objective 1: 3/06 Trond Pettersen,
Create the programming and XML – Univ. of Bergen $4,000 per/mo.
formatting necessary to establish 6/06 (UiB) -- three months
single-source documentation for full time work
enCore v5 in various formats.
1-A Establish documentation database, Portion of Web Unknown
PHP interface, XML parameters server -covered by
1-B Customize DTD and XSLT from Open Source free
1-C Set up means for inputting text in
XML format into documentation
1-D Program enCore to display help Trond Pettersen, Covered by
from documentation server Daniel Jung UiB
1-E Iterative evaluation of pro-
gramming throughout project.
Subtotals for Objective #1 $12,000
Objective 2: 6/06
Create the help text content to be -
delivered via the single-source 8/06
documentation in various formats.
2-A Project planning, preparation 4/06- Lennie Irvin,
--establish Table of Contents 6/06 Daniel Jung, -0-
--test help content input to doc Trond Pettersen,
dabase (also TTU
--XML learning curve personnel
--enCore learning curve involved)
2-B Help Content creation 6/06 TTU personnel
--written in XML following - ??? 600 hours Text editor for -0-
parameters and DTDs established 8/1/06 --faculty advisor @ $15/ho writing in XML
by Objective #1 --paid internship (perhaps XML
--Approximately 300 help --stipend = $9,000 editor)
"subjects" to be written Consortium
2-C Evaluation/Usability Testing TTU Personnel --part of above --discount; no -0-
--early developmental --6/06 task usability lab
--mid-project --7/06 Consortium needed (though it
--post project (pre-v5 release) --8/06 is feasible)
Subtotals for Objective #2 $9,000
Total Project Cost $21,000

Objective 1 Cost $12,000 Objective 2 Cost $9,000
Less funds already committed $6,000--UiB Less funds promised to TTU -$2,000
to the project $3,000--Consort from Consortium
Total Amount Needed from $3,000 Total Amount Needed to Fund $7,000
Other Sponsors to UiB Help Content Creation—from
TTU or other sponsors

enCore v5 Documentation Project