Code features vs lims features


#1

I have senaite lims installed and running and get feed updates from the gitter site.
I’m impressed with the pace of and the quantity of improvements i see on the gitter forum. I guess my question concerns senaite features vs senaite code. For instance, I have been seeing a lot about sync and lately some sort of reporting module. Most of the posts will provide links to GitHub, so i assume those features require coding from the end user? If so, will they eventually be part of a release and be part of the senaite lims?
We are excited to be part of the senaite lims community, but as users not coders.


#2

Hi @mgarner1980 and welcome!

Indeed, Senaite is improving fast and more modules are to come!

I am not sure to understand what you mean by “Most of the posts (in Gitter) will provide links to GitHub”. If you talk about our conversations, this is usual since we talk a lot about our work (code) and GitHub is the tool we use.

Senaite is a corporative software that needs to be installed in a server, so you will need (technical) skills to set up and configure the system properly. This includes Senaite modules, for instance, if you want to add senaite.publisher module, you’ll need basic tech knowledge. But, once the system is set up and running, no further tech skills are needed.

It is very important for the community to have actual users and not only coders! Through their suggestions and experience they can guide coders to offer a better product for the real world.

It is common for open source products to become not-user-frieldy, complex or poor attractive because the community is formed mainly by coders. Senaite community wants to avoid this situation at all cost, we want a system for the real world, where users are clerks, lab analysts and people outside the IT environment. And we want all of them to feel comfortable with Senaite.

So, no, you don’t need coding skills to use Senaite modules and all your suggestions and experience are more than welcome! :slight_smile:

I hope to have answered your questions


#3

thank you for the response.
I am aware that the gitter chat is for coders. That is why I posted here.
Let’s say I wanted to use senaite sync or the reporting add-on.
Where would I go to learn how to configure/install it and where to go to learn what it is and how to take advantage of it’s features?
I just want to make sure that I was in no way criticizing the senaite developer community.
With the developer communities help i was able to install senaite lims and update it. It’s just a little short on user documentation (unless I don’t know where to look). The bikalims docs are still there, but I’m not sure they’re totally relevant anymore.

Mark


#4

Yes, you are right, Senaite is short on user documentation, but creating documentation for a software of this complexity is not an easy task (I know, it is not an excuse, we are working on that, little by little :wink:). You can take advantage of BikaLIMS documentation for now, it will work for most cases.

While I was writing this answer I realized that you are right again, there is no document specifically explaining how to add an addon :sweat_smile:. We must work on that, but user documentation is more important, from my point of view.

For now, you can read installation steps from https://github.com/senaite/senaite.health#installation in order to install other addons. You can search in Plone about add-on installation.

Senaite addons should have a readme file with information about the system and a basic “tutorial” to configure it, this is an example: https://github.com/senaite/senaite.publisher/blob/master/README.md

So, to answer you: there are ideas to create and manage user documentation, but we haven’t had time to work on that so far. We know the importance of this.

About technical documentation: for now, we try to document our code as well as possible and edit “readme”files in order to explain how an addon works. But, I think this documentation is not as urgent as user documentation.

I really appreciate your interest and feedback.:+1:


#5

high @mgarner1980, I started a new user manual at https://www.bikalims.org/manual. Creative Commons with the hope the pages could form the basis for dynamic manual texts in the code. Please post suggestions or questions re particular issue to any of the Bika or Senaite user lists. I find that in answering these, we get to harvest texts and screen shots to refine and add to the manual

In the medium term I am going to give trusted editors access in the manual folders using standard Plone review and publish workflow. See https://sourceforge.net/p/bika/mailman/message/36287487/