This document will help you get familiar with the basic concepts in PACT. After reading this you should be able to edit a course and pattern repositories. Bear in mind that the details of how to use PACT are changing rapidly and that the software is still in an early beta state. PACT is not known for crashing randomly, but other oddities will arise from time to time. Please try to bear with them and let me know about the problem: acarle at cs dot berkeley dot edu
Below are screen shots from PACT with labels on various components.
Unit: A cohesive series of related days worth of material.
Day/Collection: A set of material intended to be used in one sitting (more or less) by the student.
Activity: A logical subset of a Day's material, usually delineated by topic or student modality.
Details/Steps: An Activity may have any number of Activities nested within it. This is indicated by staggered shadows behind the Activity's icon. The inner-Activities may have child Activities of their own.
Pattern Source: A set of patterns from the same source. Often these represent one paper or one author's perspective.
Pattern Group: A set of pattern descriptions grouped by a common theme.
Activity Category: A classification for an activity. These are grouped with Pattern Sources because the relevant categories are often defined by the perspective taken by the pattern source.
Course View: The editor view in which course objects appear.
Pattern View: The editor view in which pattern details and sources appear.
Select: To left-click (on most systems) an item on the canvas to indicate that you wish to work with it. A green box highlights the current selection.
Context Menu: A small menu of options brought up by alternate-clicking (right-click on most Windows and Linux systems, control-click on most Macintosh systems).
Sidebar: A shortcut menu that appears in a separate window from the main PACT window.
Hold down the space bar. You should see the mouse cursor turn into a hand. You can now click and drag to move around.
Bring up the context menu by right-clicking. Then move your mouse (while holding down the mouse button) in the direction of the menu item you want to choose. You need not remain within the circle drawn by the menu -- your selection gesture may end anywhere within the PACT window.
Double-left-clicking on a object will generally zoom the view to that object. There are some exceptions -- for instance, most lowest-level items (such as Activities) have different behavior on double-click as there is little value in zooming all the way in on something that small. The left/west selection on most items' context menus is "Zoom Out" select this on an object to zoom to its container.
The View menu will let you change to Pattern View or Course View. In addition, the up/north item on most context menus will let you switch.
Left-clicking and dragging on most objects will allow you to move them. This lets you re-sequence items within a container or move items from one container to another. For example, Days may be moved from Unit to Unit or reordered within the same Unit. As of this writing, Units and most objects in Pattern View can not be re-sequenced.
To delete an object, select it then hit the backspace or delete keys. It is worth noting that PACT currently does not have an undo feature, so use this ability carefully.
To expand an Activity that has details to work with its children Activities double-left-click it. To re-collapse it double-left-click it again. Activity Details are much like any other Day and can have Activities moved into and out of them.
In general, the right/east selection on context menus will let you add a new child object to the object that brought up the menu. So, for instance, selecting right/east on a Day's context menu will let let you add a new activity. The same holds for most objects in Pattern View.
There are two ways to add pattern references to the Sidebar. The easiest is to select the "Search" tab of the sidebar and enter a search term in the text box. Hitting enter or clicking the "Find" button will populate the Sidebar with a list of pattern references related to your keyword. A second option is to navigate into Pattern View. While in Pattern view, you can select a pattern and then hit a number from 0 to 9 on your keyboard. This will add the selected pattern to the appropriate slot on the "Favorites" tab of the Sidebar.
The easiest way (and soon to be the only way) to add a pattern reference to an object is using the sidebar. First select an object that can have patterns added to it (momentarily only Days and Details, soon to be expanded). Then click a pattern reference -- this will add a copy of this pattern reference into the collection you have selected.
Patterns can be linked to Activities by selecting a pattern reference then left-clicking an Activity within the same collection. This will draw a line connecting the two. The link can be broken by clicking the Activity again with the Pattern still selected.
The File menu works as one would expect for saving and loading courses and pattern sources. Note that currently the "New" menu item doesn't do anything, you have to open an existing course. This will be remedied in a shortly upcoming version.