[Gllug] Gaining feedback

Andrew Farnsworth farnsaw at stonedoor.com
Tue Oct 4 13:00:04 UTC 2011

Three suggestions.  1 - Use adobe acrobat and their forms, though I am not
sure how restrictive you can be on them, they offer much functionality.  2 -
Create a stand alone web server and CGI that do all the validation for you
and then generate a known good import file which could be an excel
spreadsheet.  I have seen this work, though it usually entails targeting a
specific platform (i.e. windows vs macosx vs linux) as you have to supply a
simple web server for it. 3 - keep your current system, but write a piece of
code that validates the incoming data and immediately rejects it and returns
it to the author with instructions on what is wrong or broken.  This will,
hopefully, then further educate them and as long as you have regular
submitters they will be educated and resolve the issue.  This last is
probably the least useful method as it will often require going back and
forth with the comment supplier and can even encourage people to stop
supplying comments.

Let us know what your final solution is.


On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 5:23 AM, James Courtier-Dutton <
james.dutton at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> At work we have a system of sending out documents we have written to
> other 3rd parties.
> The job of the 3rd party is to review the document and feedback their
> comments.
> We then collect all the comments from all the 3rd parties and import
> them into a master list of comments, which we then use to improve the
> next document release.
> Currently this process uses Excel for people to enter their comments,
> and then we import the Excel comments into a database.
> The problem is that the Excel format does not seem to be restrictive
> enough. I.e. We wish to restrict some fields to specific range of
> values etc.
> The users invariably enter the data slightly differently, and this
> causes problems with the import.
> Does anyone know of an opensource package that we present a form to
> the user, with drop down boxes for values to put into the form, and
> one or two free text box.
> It must be possible for the user to enter as many records as they wish.
> We then need the form to be exportable to XML format, so that we can
> import it easily into our database.
> The solution must also be stand alone. I.e. Not web server or web
> service/clound based.
> I.e. A person with a laptop that is not connected to the network
> should be able to raise comments.
> Any ideas?
> Kind Regards
> James
> --
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