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the NEW Textkit - help out with the pre-soft launch

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

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the NEW Textkit - help out with the pre-soft launch

Postby Jeff Tirey » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:36 pm

We're rebuilding Textkit using Drupal. It's a social media application which will allow for a greater sense of community and group publishing across all parts of the site.

The URL to the new site is currently here : http://new.textkit.com

At this point, we're asking for help with the pre-soft launch. There's still a ton of work to do - including migrating the forum, but at this point it would help to see some profiles come on board and some posts and comments.

This activity will help us with the next step which is customizing the template. It's very hard to develop a template without content in place.

If you would like to help out please consider:

1. creating an account
2. writing a quality post to the Textkitters blog
3. participating with blog posts comments
4. rounding out your profile, including image
5. provide feedback/report bugs on your experience
6. subscriber to the email Feedburner feed

Again, this will give us some much needed content in order to develop the template design as well as test out the permissions on the tools.

Once this is behind us, we'll next tackle content migration and forum migration.
thanks!



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Postby edonnelly » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:51 pm

Rats -- I was hoping to get the user id 'annis' but it's already been taken! So I'm user #5, that's not too bad. Now I need to get some points...

All kidding aside, I think the change is pretty exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:55 pm

LOL..

hi ed,
thanks for creating the account. Please feel free to create a Textkit blog in the 'digital resources' category on your G'Oogle conent. I think the whole "G'Oogle" term is so funny! Only a Textkitter would probably get it, but I laugh every time I see it.

The changes are much needed and should inject a lot of life into the community. I still have not developed the template nor really customized all the modules, I'll do this once I see some content in there.

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Postby IreneY » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:29 am

I'd be happy to subscribe and post a comment here and there but I just can't think of anything else I can really contribute to the site. Nice idea though. :)

edit: I just subscribed by the way :)
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Re: the NEW Textkit - help out with the pre-soft launch

Postby Gonzalo » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:37 am

Hi,

It´s a really nice idea. I want to contribute in what my possibilities let and with my dreadful English, but we can also use Latin -as you like.
I have created an account.

Thanks and regards,
Gonzalo
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:36 pm

@IreneY - thanks for creating an account. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the community takes a few twists and turns concerning what's blogged. If there's one thing I have noticed, we all have a lot of broad interests and I think there could be quite a bit to share/talk about in the content of language/education

@Gonzalo - good to see you here too. Thanks for creating an account and feel free to post back here or create a blog post in the Textkitter Community section with feedback/ideas

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Postby thesaurus » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:31 pm

Looks exciting!

This may be a bad idea, but what about Latin and Ancient Greek versions of the whole website? It would make for an interesting project for each forum.
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Postby NuclearWarhead » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:10 pm

I've registered myself and subscribed as well (in my Google Reader). However, the title of the page is "Textlit" and not "Textkit", that should probably be fixed. :D

Anyhow, I think the forum should be migrated over as well, and as far as I know there exists good solutions for phpBB and Drupal integration.
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Postby Kyneto Valesio » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:57 pm

Hi Moderator

I don't understand the purpose of the transition to a new site. What's the difference between blogging and creating new forum topics?

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Postby thesaurus » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:06 pm

Is the new Textkit pictured as something like a clearinghouse for Latin and Greek learning, news, and information? I think that would greatly expand the value of this website. I've been thinking that there is a lot of great content written in these forums that would be better served in a more traditional article/blog.

One thing that would be useful would be to have a series of reviews of different textbooks and approaches. There are countless recommendations for Lingua Latina, Wheelock, etc., and lots of discussion of study habits and ways to combine these methods.
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Postby retypepassword » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:58 pm

I may be wrong, but...
Kyneto Valesio wrote:I don't understand the purpose of the transition to a new site. What's the difference between blogging and creating new forum topics?

Jeff is probably using Drupal to allow for more flexible content publishing:
At this point, we're asking for help with the pre-soft launch. There's still a ton of work to do - including migrating the forum, but at this point it would help to see some profiles come on board and some posts and comments.

Basically, Jeff probably isn't going to ditch the forum in favor of blogging. There'll be both, so that we all can post articles and such in a more organized fashion.

-Eric
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Postby Bert » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:17 am

retypepassword wrote:I may be wrong, but...
Kyneto Valesio wrote:I don't understand the purpose of the transition to a new site. What's the difference between blogging and creating new forum topics?

Jeff is probably using Drupal to allow for more flexible content publishing:

I don't understand the difference either but that may be due to not knowing what Drupal does that this site can't do.
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Postby retypepassword » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:34 am

Think of Drupal as an easy way to have a wiki, forum, collaborative blog, and more (there are add-ons)... all wrapped conveniently in one package. Obviously, most of this has not yet been set up...

Quoting thesaurus: "I've been thinking that there is a lot of great content written in these forums that would be better served in a more traditional article/blog." With Drupal, we're able to take some of this content, rewrite it as articles, and easily post them to the site in their appropriate sections.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:41 am

hi everyone

to follow up on the blog / drupal / forum comments.

with the new site, we'll still have the textkit forum. Drupal has a tool to convert phpbb forums into drupal forums.

Drupal is pretty dang amazing! what it allows sites to do is create content types (pages, blogs, forums, articles whatever) then associate those content types with a category system, then create roles (user groups) and assign different permissions. There's a lot more to it, but that's the core.

So because you can define content types/categories/roles you can come up with endless variations of access control for group publishing.

As an example, Will's setting up Pharr. So he''ll create a content type called book, give the book the category Pharr, create a role and with permissions and assign users to the role. In this way group publishing/moderation/access can be done quite nicely.

Drupal is not an easy project to customize, so it's coming a bit slow - but we'll get there.

For me, what I like about it best is that you will see Textitter particpation across the entire site and not just here in the forum.

For example, I plan to allow textkitters with a set level of points to post comments to the Textkit downloadable PDFs.

Drupal is also known for being a group blogging tool. Every user account is given it's own blog. I'm actually trying to disable a bit of that and guide all blogs through the Textkitter blog because it could get out of control.

I think Drupal is a perfect choice for education/schools/department websites.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:43 am

thesaurus wrote:Looks exciting!

This may be a bad idea, but what about Latin and Ancient Greek versions of the whole website? It would make for an interesting project for each forum.


pretty neat idea! I'll install the multiple language support module and if someone wants to translate instructions - it would be fun to navigate the site in Latin or Greek
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:47 am

retypepassword wrote:Think of Drupal as an easy way to have a wiki, forum, collaborative blog, and more (there are add-ons)... all wrapped conveniently in one package. Obviously, most of this has not yet been set up...

Quoting thesaurus: "I've been thinking that there is a lot of great content written in these forums that would be better served in a more traditional article/blog." With Drupal, we're able to take some of this content, rewrite it as articles, and easily post them to the site in their appropriate sections.


a big goal i have is to use social voting to classify the best of breed forum topics and information. There are over 62K textkit posts but only about 3K of this is indexed in Google.

With social promotion, the best of breed content could be given indexing priority by featuring on pages outside of the normal forum constuct which isn't the best for SEO.

------
I experimenting with a digg style module called drigg. this could be one way to socially promote good threads.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:53 am

retypepassword wrote:Think of Drupal as an easy way to have a wiki, forum, collaborative blog, and more (there are add-ons)... all wrapped conveniently in one package. Obviously, most of this has not yet been set up...

Quoting thesaurus: "I've been thinking that there is a lot of great content written in these forums that would be better served in a more traditional article/blog." With Drupal, we're able to take some of this content, rewrite it as articles, and easily post them to the site in their appropriate sections.


well said retypedpassword - exactly.

-- off topic - --
i see you're in Silicon Valley, I was just there 2 weeks ago in Santa Clara - a nice break from Ohio winters!
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:56 am

NuclearWarhead wrote:I've registered myself and subscribed as well (in my Google Reader). However, the title of the page is "Textlit" and not "Textkit", that should probably be fixed. :D

Anyhow, I think the forum should be migrated over as well, and as far as I know there exists good solutions for phpBB and Drupal integration.


hahah good catch. The migration has got me a bit nervous, but I'll get through it if I make lots of backup and go slow. I need to do it last once the site is ready to go live to avoid lost threads or down time.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:08 am

thesaurus wrote:Is the new Textkit pictured as something like a clearinghouse for Latin and Greek learning, news, and information? I think that would greatly expand the value of this website. I've been thinking that there is a lot of great content written in these forums that would be better served in a more traditional article/blog.


Yes, I hope so. That's ultimately up to Textkitters to decide since its a group effort. I would like to see the topics greatly expanded. In the past, it was a lot harder for sites to take on a wide range of topics without spiraling into a free for all that turns everyone off. but with drupal's social media tools for burying bad posts and giving a wide range of user permissions to help promote and demote content - i think we can take on a lot of different things while still keeping a common core identity and voice.

One neat thing would be all the gray topic areas which in the past were very difficult to moderate - such as summer workshops. It's hard to write a script to tell the difference between a quality summer language workshop and an affiliate spam post. But with humans in control, i think we can talk about things like that, and that will be good because there's so much going on. not just w/ Greek/Latin but in the larger content of language, classics, education, books, travel etc.

So drupal can really flatten the moderation process by distributing it to a larger group of people, it'll be sweet.
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Postby thesaurus » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:41 pm

Can you explain what 'points' are, and how and why one acquires them?
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Postby Didymus » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:59 pm

I have signed up. The most valuable part of Textkit is clearly the people, not the texts themselves, especially nowadays with the success of GoogleBooks. Anything to build up the community is a good thing.

I don't know how much time I'll have, but I think a desideratum for Classics on the internet these days is a solid explanation of Latin meter. Perhaps I can make some contribution in that direction.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:22 pm

Didymus wrote:I have signed up. The most valuable part of Textkit is clearly the people, not the texts themselves, especially nowadays with the success of GoogleBooks. Anything to build up the community is a good thing.


100% the books anymore serve as a content hook to introduce people to the community, but I can't really compete with GoogleBooks. Also too in their blended search results, they'll rank that result first - so a bit locked out there. I would too if I were Google because our books are actually hidden from the search engines behind the download prompt.

I am planning to post the full raw files of our books full and free. It would be fun to see what others can do with images.

But your point about the community is very true - that's the value.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:39 pm

thesaurus wrote:Can you explain what 'points' are, and how and why one acquires them?


with the help of a few installed drupal modules we have a user point system. It's not 100% yet in functionality or display, but how it works is like this:

For common actions such as posting a new blog entry, posting comments, moderating, a Texkitter can earn points. Points are both a fun way to show others who's active in the community but they can also be used to automate the granting of additional rights.

The modules are working pretty good except in one area. I want us to be able to Thumbs Up and Thumbs down posts and comments. If you get a Thumbs down it will subtract 1 point. Thumbs up/down is really effective at ensuring quality posts and comments.

I plan to use points to allow Textkitters self moderate posts. There's a couple dozen or so forum members here now who I feel are very capable of zapping a spammy post, so taking advantage of point system is a way to enable those rights - plus show that you're a big time Textkitter.

I plan to someone convert forum participation to points. Not sure of the exact formula but it'll be a combination of forum posts and account history.
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Postby thesaurus » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:03 pm

I don't know if it's supposed to be this way, but it looks like the entire "textkitters' blog" page is showing up with <cite>.

Also, is there a way to determine what text of your blog posts displays before something clicks 'read more'?
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Postby edonnelly » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:13 pm

thesaurus wrote:Also, is there a way to determine what text of your blog posts displays before something clicks 'read more'?


You add the code:

Code: Select all
<!--break-->


at the point you want it to stop and give the 'read more' link.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:45 pm

thesaurus wrote:I don't know if it's supposed to be this way, but it looks like the entire "textkitters' blog" page is showing up with <cite>.

Also, is there a way to determine what text of your blog posts displays before something clicks 'read more'?


all of the layout issues are still left undone. I plan to begin work on this over the weekend when it's quite. It's so difficult to do design and layout work without content, so the posts have been very helpful for me.

There's an option to pull in the teaser text I believe. I just didn't know if anyone wanted to full around with that. I like the post just cutting off with " ..." after so many words. But the field is there. Let me see about permissios on it.
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Postby edonnelly » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:25 pm

jeff wrote:Please feel free to create a Textkit blog in the 'digital resources' category on your G'Oogle conent. I think the whole "G'Oogle" term is so funny! Only a Textkitter would probably get it, but I laugh every time I see it.


Done! I'm thrilled to get this stuff onto textkit, since that's where it all started anyway. I separated the Latin and Greek into separate posts, and I actually have the ones with keys as separate as well (posted a few days ago), but the lists are still really long as is. The lists look great, despite their long size though. I decided to call the ancient Greek list "Pharrchive," which I think is a nice companion to G'Oogle.

If you don't find the long lists to be too obnoxious, I can add a few more, including the definitive list of loebs that can be downloaded (the "downLOEBables") but right now my fingers are tired from all that typing!
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DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:27 pm

Hi edonnelly,

You have a really great collection of PDFs going up under the new site. I would like to hear your thoughts and others about blending outside PDFS and Textkit's PDFs within the navigational structure.

I think for the visitor, it's not important where the PDF is or who created it. If we bring outside PDFS in, we could then give them book descriptions and open them up for textkitter commentary.

I have elevated your publishing rights, you are now in a new group I created last night called, Textkit PDF blog. Go to the create blog >> then at the bottom >> create Textkit book. This content type will allow you to publish to a special format. The pages you create won't yet be visible anywhere. Create one or two, if you want, and play around with it.

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Postby thesaurus » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:21 pm

How long is the turn around on blogs usually? I posted one last night, but it doesn't seem to be there yet.
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Postby annis » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:36 pm

thesaurus wrote:How long is the turn around on blogs usually? I posted one last night, but it doesn't seem to be there yet.


Someone with suitable administrative rights has to notice a waiting post. I've just set your blog post free. :)
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Postby Adelheid » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:39 am

Small issue: after updating my profile on the new textkit, the site complained about the URL I specified (although it was accepted at the time I created my account and although it is a valid URL):

"The value provided for URL is not a valid URL."

I just checked, and my site is up and running.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:30 pm

Adelheid wrote:Small issue: after updating my profile on the new textkit, the site complained about the URL I specified (although it was accepted at the time I created my account and although it is a valid URL):

"The value provided for URL is not a valid URL."

I just checked, and my site is up and running.


thanks - i'll check this out.
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Postby edonnelly » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:50 am

jeff wrote:Hi edonnelly,

You have a really great collection of PDFs going up under the new site. I would like to hear your thoughts and others about blending outside PDFS and Textkit's PDFs within the navigational structure.

I think for the visitor, it's not important where the PDF is or who created it. If we bring outside PDFS in, we could then give them book descriptions and open them up for textkitter commentary.

I have elevated your publishing rights, you are now in a new group I created last night called, Textkit PDF blog. Go to the create blog >> then at the bottom >> create Textkit book. This content type will allow you to publish to a special format. The pages you create won't yet be visible anywhere. Create one or two, if you want, and play around with it.

thanks,
jeff


Sounds great. I just got back from Disney (ugh!) so it will be a day or two before I'm back caught up in my life, but I'll definitely get it going.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby Bert » Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:15 am

edonnelly wrote: I just got back from Disney (ugh!)
:D
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Postby thesaurus » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:18 pm

Any news on the new textkit?
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Postby mingshey » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:42 am

I've registered. I have little idea what you can do with Drupal, but I could just have some time to see what I can contribute.
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Postby annis » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:22 am

One treat for the Greekists...

In addition to transferring the Pharr grammar over to the Drupal book format, every few days I add a chapter from the Alexander Romance (Pseudo-Callisthenes). The chapters are generally pretty small, so the work is already broken into neat little sections for transcription.

The Greek is easier than most classical works we deal with, though there are some strange bits of vocab from time to time.
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Postby Gonzalo » Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:08 pm

Many thanks and nice work, Annis.

Regards
Gonzalo

P.S.: I was wondering if you might convert these plain text files into a single PDF file and upload it to the book section. I was considering doing it by myself but I have not your permission nor I think it would be good, since it´s your own work. For me, it´s easier reading from a single -printed- piece. I have been trying to learn to type faster Polytonic Greek and I am incapable, so let me know if there is a good manual or a sort of keyboard converter and I´ll surely help. Thanks again.
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Postby annis » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:03 pm

Gonzalo wrote:P.S.: I was wondering if you might convert these plain text files into a single PDF file and upload it to the book section. I was considering doing it by myself but I have not your permission nor I think it would be good, since it´s your own work.


Hmm. By default, everything I do is under some open license (well, ignoring contract work :)), but perhaps I should add some note clarifying that.

I do intend to make a PDF of this, but only after I've finished the transcription. I'm sure there are typos in the text now, and I'm hoping if people read the thing they'll notice some of them and let me know.
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Postby Gonzalo » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:23 pm

annis wrote:
Gonzalo wrote:P.S.: I was wondering if you might convert these plain text files into a single PDF file and upload it to the book section. I was considering doing it by myself but I have not your permission nor I think it would be good, since it´s your own work.


Hmm. By default, everything I do is under some open license (well, ignoring contract work :)), but perhaps I should add some note clarifying that.

I do intend to make a PDF of this, but only after I've finished the transcription. I'm sure there are typos in the text now, and I'm hoping if people read the thing they'll notice some of them and let me know.

Thanks for your response.

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Gonzalo
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Location: España

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