[Ux] PCP and PMT separation

Colin Clark colinbdclark at gmail.com
Thu Feb 7 11:26:43 EST 2013

Hi Chris,

On 2013-02-07, at 3:44 AM, Chris Petsos <cpetsos at certh.gr> wrote:

> I'm Chris Petsos, colleague of Kostas, from CERTH. Just subscribed to UX list and saw Evgeni's mail sent on "Sun Feb 3 09:03:26 EST 2013" "Persolnal Control Panel Demo".
> I am trying to understand the boundaries where PCP stops and PMT starts. At a point in his mail he mentions,
> "...because we are waiting,for the server-side rendering fluid component to be finished"
> Does this refer to the PMT?

From a technical perspective, the Personal Control Panel (PCP) and the Preferences Management Tool (PMT) will be separate applications, but they're being designed as a unified experience by the design team. From an architectural perspective, I expect that they should share a substantial amount of code and infrastructure.

This is part of the motivation for using Infusion's UI Options component in both tools--consistency and reuse. UIO will provide us with a shared "framework" for rendering preferences and persisting them in the preferences server. 

There's still a lot of work to be done on this, however. We're currently in the process of refactoring UI Options to make it much easier to plug in new preferences views, embed it in different contexts, etc. But now is a good time to get involved, get to know UI Options, and help out with the generalization effort.

As for server-side rendering, Yura and Michelle here at the IDRC are working on extending the GPII/Cloud4all Node.js-based infrastructure to support rendering HTML markup on the server using Infusion. This is intended, first and foremost, to support the creation of Views and editable forms for the Registry and Preferences Server. It may also be useful for the PCP and PMT, but is not a requirement.

> Because we saw that Evgeni has sent a draft test application and the screenshot presents UI Options. We are trying to understand what is the difference between PCP and PMT. Is UI Options going to be used/extended as a front-end for PCP? If yes, what is its difference with PMT? Will PCP be the back-end and PMT the front-end? Will PMT be a component/tool for PCP (for preferences setting)? Does PCP deal with preference set creating/editing/assigning to device?

Yes, the floating panel version of UI Options will be used as the core of the Personal Control Panel. Similarly, the PMT should use UI Options for a consistent preferences editing experience. Indeed, you can see the visual and interaction similarities if you compare the draft wireframes of the PMT with our floating panel UI Options wireframes (which will serve as the basis for the PCP design):

Floating panel UIO: http://wiki.fluidproject.org/display/fluid/User+Interface+Options+design+high+fidelity%2C+C.1
PMT: http://wiki.fluidproject.org/download/attachments/34570516/c4a-pmt-mockup.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1360096555304

So, in summary:

1. The PMT and PCP are two different user-facing tools, but they will share significant code and interaction design conventions.

2. Both tools provide users with the ability to edit their preferences, but, as Christophe said, will be optimized for different use cases. The PCP provides the ability to edit and refine select preferences on the fly, while the PMT is a more in-depth experience for editing whole preference sets.

I hope this helps,


Colin Clark

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