| TR automation
This document describes the current paper trail of the TR publication process, that is the different steps, actors and approvals a document must go through before being published on the TR page and then analyzes the ways it could be automated and the potential benefits of this automation.
It's part of the TR automation project, developed more or less in the SWAD framework. It's not the result of any consensus except the editor with himself.
As a results of the Process Document and the Pubrules, a document ready to be published in TR space goes (or should go) through the following steps:
To make sure every step is followed as required, but also and mostly to allow a faster and more direct publication process, I describe below some way to automate this process. This automation should obviously use Semantic Web mechanisms as much as possible.
One of the frequent bottlenecks in the publication process, especially for the new documents, is the need to get Director's approval. Automating this would probably allow to get a better reaction time for this.
Ideally, the alert system would both send an email and update a TODO list for the concerned person. That way, for instance, Tim could get over his publications requests list and approves them once a day.
Another factor of delay and source of email traffic is the need for a publication date. Since pubrules require that the published document is dated, that this date influence many parameters in the document, and that the Webmaster is reluctant to publish a document whose date is too far in the past, and forbidden to publish on whose date is in the future, some automation in the date picking process could prove to be useful.
Note that to the list of data could be added a set of rules, e.g. if the date is today, it's always inconvenient. Another cool feature would be that the machine accepts input from the Team contact: he could then pick a date in the Calendar; if it's not said as being inconvenient, the Team contact automatically gets a publication slot (the Webmaster and the Comm Team are alerted accordingly); if it is inconvenient, it then needs Webmaster and Comm Team approvals.
Combining both of the above remarks, a rule could say "any date where 3 publications are already schedulded is inconvenient".
Once a document has gone through all this, the Webmaster asserts that the document is pubrules compliant and publishes it in TR space following a predefined process [Team only], which is cumbersome and leads sometimes to human errors.
All of this should be automated to the point where the Webmaster should only have to push a "Publish this document" button, and then have the Machine miraculously creates the link between latest and dated URIs, updates the TR page and as a side bonus, create the different views of this page.
We already have the basis for the different views: