Chris Pollett > Students > Pinapala

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    [CS 297 Proposal]

    [Deliverable 1]

       [Madcap Flare Configuration]

       [Madcap Flare Demo]

       [AdobeRobohelp Configuration]

       [Adobe Robohelp Demo 1]

       [Adobe Robohelp Demo 2]



    [Research on Wiki systems]

    [Deliverable 3 :A Basic Wiki editor]

    [Deliverable 4: Feature set for CSH Wiki]

    [CS297 Report - PDF]

    [CS 298 Proposal]

    [Deliverable 1: Design Document]

    [Deliverable 2: UI mocks for Help panes]

       [Left Aligned]


       [Right Aligned]

    [Deliverable 3: Help Display From web service & Wiki Parser]

       [Wiki Parser]

       [Help Display & WebService sample]

    [Deliverable 4: Integrating CSH into Yioop.]

    [CS298 Presentation - PDF]

    [CS298 Report - PDF]

    [Graduation Pic with Dr.Pollett]


CS298 Proposal

Context-Sensitive Wiki Help System for Yioop

Eswara Rajesh Pinapala (

Advisor: Dr. Chris Pollett

Committee Members: Dr. Chris Tseng, Dr. Suneuy Kim


A Context-sensitive Online Help system provides targeted information to users based on their context (i.e., where they are, what they are doing, or what the current state is) with respect to the application. Context-sensitive help is usually displayed as a widget, overlay page, or as a hyperlink to a completely different page or window. The user need not move out of context to get application help for his current task. Each help topic is intended apply to the given context exclusively.

A Wiki-based Help System allows users to collaborate on help content. Most wiki-based help systems are used as portals, centralized sites where users can get help and/or contribute to help content. One problem with a wiki-based help system is that the user has to move out of context and search for help from a large pool of help articles.

A Context-Sensitive Wiki Help System combines the aspects of context-sensitive help with the collaborative nature of a wiki. Users get the targeted help based on their context, but they also have ability to edit and contribute to the help content.

The beginning of this thesis was a study of popular context-sensitive help systems and wiki systems. Using the information acquired from the study, we built a feature set that will be used in the development of the context-sensitive wiki help system for web applications. We will be using Yioop!, an open-source search engine application developed by Dr. Chris Pollett, as a platform to integrate with our context-sensitive wiki based help system.

CS297 Results

  • I researched on Context-sensitive help content generation and Context- sensitive help system usage. Results from this result helped me understand how to generate and integrate context sensitive help articles and organizing context-sensitive help. With my findings from researching different context-sensitive help systems, I was also able to understand what kind of context-sensitive help is required for Yioop.
  • I researched on wiki engines like MediaWiki, TikiWiki and Fossil to understand how the wiki organization, revision control and markup work in the same. After thorough research and discussions, Dr. Pollett and I have agreed to use MediaWiki markup for Yioop context-sensitive help wiki. I will also develop the other features of the wiki, like revision control, diff management engine and back end storage following the footsteps of MediaWiki.
  • With the findings and agreement from Result 2, I have started to design a JavaScript framework that will support the front end part of the Wiki interface. I have started by building a Wiki editor prototype from scratch, also making it compatible across several old and new web browsers. The Wiki editor is now successfully deployed on and is merged into the codebase of Yioop.
  • For the final Result, I have come up with a design and feature set that my context- sensitive help system will include. I will use the specs defined in the feature set to start building my context-sensitive help system in CS 298. In CS 298, I will implement the context-sensitive help system including, but not limited to the features specified the feature set.

Proposed Schedule

Week 1: Aug 27-Sep 2 Discuss the project in detail with the advisor.
Week 2,3: Sep 3-16 Identification of Pages to integrate help and in-turn the help points on each page where the users will be able to invoke help. Implement User interface for invoking Context-Sensitive Wiki help.
Week 4,5: Sept17- Sep30 Deliverable 1: Implement a Design document and mocks for building user interface for displaying procedural and contextual help.
Week 6: Oct01-Oct07: Deliverable 2: Leveraging the current user permissions and user groups features in Yioop, develop Back end PHP code for Wiki web service to retrieve wiki content. Also implement the UI to read content from web-service using Ajax calls.
Week 7: Oct 08-14: Deliverable 3:  Develop Wiki mark up to HTML conversion modules in the front end JS code. 
Week 08 : Oct 15-21 Work on other Fixes as specified by the professor. Create a patch and send to professor.
Week 09 : Oct 22-28 Deliverable 4: Work enabling the Wiki editor integration for New installations as well as migrating existing installations seamlessly.
Week 10,11: Oct 29- Nov11 Deliverable 5: Perform User assisted testing to understand Which pages and areas require help points. After analyzing the results, reiterate the UAT to improve the help system for Yioop.
Week 12: Nov 12-18 Deliverable 6: Work on PhantomJS tests for Context-sensitive Wiki help UI.
Week 13: Nov 19-25 Work on CS298 Report.
Week 14: Nov 26 - Dec2 Work on Draft of CS298 Report - Submit to Advisor and Committee.
Week 15: Dec 3-9 CS298 Report final document- Submit to Advisor and Committee.
Week 16: Dec 11 Defend at 1.30 pm in MH225.

Key Deliverables:

  • Software
    • Develop Design documents which demonstrate the pages to integrate help and in turn the help points on each page where the users will be able to invoke help. Implement User interface for invoking Context-Sensitive Wiki help.
    • Implement User interface for displaying Context sensitive help. Implement the help articles with integration to Current Wiki System in Yioop.
    • Wiki editor will be used for enabling the users to edit help content. Develop Wiki Editor & Wiki mark up to HTML conversion and preview on the client-side using JavaScript.
    • Enable seamless upgrade for Existing and New users to the new Context Sensitive Wiki help without any issues
  • Report
    • CS298 Project Report
    • Project Code documentation.
    • Project UI Tests.

Innovations and Challenges

  • Implementing Wiki Editor and Wiki Parser with all Wiki features form scratch.
  • Setup PHP scripts for seamless upgrade to Wiki Help in yioop.
  • Identify the Help points and places to integrate Wiki help by conducting actual User assisted testing.


[1] [Johnston2002] Context-Sensitive help for Multimodal Dailogue. Helen Wright Hastie, Michael Johnston, Patrick Ehlen. ICMI '02 Proceedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces. 2002.

[2] [Ellison2009] User-centred Design of Context-sensitive Help. AODC. 2009. .

[3] [Chilana2011] Using Crowdsourcing in the Design of Context-Sensitive Help for Web Applications. Chilana, P., Ko, A.J., and Wobbrock, J.O. CHI '11 Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Human Computation- Systems, Studies, and Platforms, Vancouver, BC, May 2011.

[4] [Chilana2012] LemonAid: Selection-Based Crowdsourced Contextual Help for Web Applications. Chilana, P., Ko, A.J., and Wobbrock, J.O. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012). New York: ACM Press, pp. 1549-1558.

[5][Stevens2006] Stevens, G. and Wiedenhofer, T. CHIC - a pluggable solution for community help in context. Proc ACM NordiCHI (2006), 212-221.

[6] [Barrett2008]. MediaWiki - Wikipedia and Beyond. Daniel J. Barrett. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-51979-7. 2008.

[7] Tiki for Smarties. Rick Sapir. Publisher: (January 23, 2013).

[8] Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja. John Resig and Bear Bibeault. Manning Publications. 2012.

[9] High Performance JavaScript. Nicholas C. Zakas . O'Reilly Media, Inc. 2010.

[10] [Capobianco2003] Questioning the effectiveness of contextual online help: Some alternative propositions. Antonio Capobianco. Published by IOS Press, (c) IFIP, 2003.

[11] [Porter2013] WIKI - Grow your own for fun and profit. Alan J. Porter. XMl Press. Apr 11, 2013.