mt courseware project nears completion

| 7 Comments

Well, of course, completion is a relative term. It will soon be "done enough," I think, for use this fall.

Today's changes:

  • Dropped the "topical archives" for now--I decided they didn't add much, since most materials will be available in the appropriate daily archives.
  • Added a "course outline" item that includes the date and title of each day's topic, and links to the daily archive for that class (much like the calendar, but with the addition of the topic so you can scan for a topic of interest and look at that day's materials).
  • Entered the class topic post and the readings post for the first four class meetings (two weeks' worth of classes), and things seem to be working the way I'd like.

I'm realizing as I do this that I probably shouldn't have used the date format for individual archives, since when I create the entry MT automatically saves it for the current day. I can then edit the date and time, and the entry is then saved in the "right" location...but the original "wrong" file is not deleted automatically. And if I've got trackback pings being sent (to a weblog reading, for example), readers following the trackback will be directed to either the "wrong" file (thus missing up to date comments), or to a 404 (if I've deleted it). I suppose I could leave redirects behind, but that would be a serious pain to do by hand each time. If I'd left the individual archives in their standard non-date-delimited locations, I wouldn't have had this problem. :( (Another solution would be to have MT let me enter the publication date when I first create the entry, but I don't know if that's doable. Is there a plug-in to facilitate that?)

By the weekend I'll post templates and instructions on how to replicate the structure, as well as some caveats on what doesn't work smoothly, and where I had to cut corners because I couldn't wrestle MT into doing what I wanted. (One big one was the fact that I couldn't specify multiple categories for selection in the calendar, and so had to add an extra category to items that needed to be displayed in the sidebar calendar.)

Update, 9pm
Since the site wasn't "in production" yet, I decided not to worry about broken permalinks. So I changed the individual entry archives to non-date-delimited structures. Now they're all stored in the archives directory (archives/file_name.php), rather than in archives/year/mo/day/file_name.php.

Daily and monthly archives are still in the year/mo/day directories, however.

7 Comments

I saw a nifty hack on a blog just yesterday that might address your category problem. I'll try to find it again and send you the URL, but in essence: all your categories consist of main-category-colon-subcategory (e.g. Syllabus: Exam Dates) and the MT regex plugin does the sorting.

Somebody who's seen this and knows where it is, please set me straight!

I'm not sure the regex plugin would work with the calendar tag, though...it's pretty picky. :(

Definitely willing to give it a try.

I'm interested in why you're dumping the topical archives.... too much hassle to integrate with everything else you're doing?

Almost all my material is served up online, and needs to be organized topically, so I'm trying to figure out if it's at all practical to move stuff into TypePad or have my course sites straddling two servers.

Lisa-

Mostly the hassle factor. :)

For this quarter, at least, items related to a given topic (html, etc) can be linked to the date they're being talked about in class, creating a de facto topical organization. Clicking on a topic in the course outline will go to the daily archive for that topic.

Longer term, the categories would probably help as well, but I'm not going to try to implement it all for this quarter.

I can't find that hack again, Liz. Still looking...

Oh, and as soon as I say that I find it. Sheesh.

http://www.pixelcharmer.com/fieldnotes/archives/process_designing/2003/000348.html

Thanks, Dorothea.

The hack I've got (an extra "calendar" category) is working for now, so I'm going to leave well enough alone.

However, there will definitely be a "rev 2" of this project, and I'll return to this suggestion when I start on that.

 

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on August 20, 2003 7:41 PM.

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