The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Discuss technical problems and features here
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emk
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The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby emk » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:06 am

We've got the blog back online! You can find it at http://www.language-learners.org/.

The original blog was running WordPress, which is popular high-end blogging software. But WordPress needs lots of security updates, and it was a copy of WordPress that got hacked on the old server. So we've switched over GitHub Pages, which "pre-renders" all the pages to static HTML, so they're ultra-fast and there's no software to break into! Even better, GitHub Pages is completely free, and it uses the open source Jekyll blogging system, so we're not tied to GitHub.

But the new blog needs some love:

  • We need people who want to write posts and language profiles!
  • Some of the existing posts have formatting issues. I've starting tidying up some of the language profiles, but there's definitely more to do. Take a look at Chung's excellent and detailed Hungarian and Finnish profiles. The content is great, but the formatting could definitely be improved!
  • The current "theme" of the site is simple, clean and fast. But it doesn't look much like the forum, and it could use some elegant visual touches. This work, however, requires some talent in both visual design and CSS.
For new posts, you can just write them on the forum as usual, and we can work together to get them onto the blog. But for spelling and formatting fixes, it's probably easier to just go ahead and use GitHub directly.

How to edit the blog directly if you want to fix spelling, formatting or other errors

Happily, GitHub makes it easy for anybody to contribute. You can sign up for a GitHub account, and then go to the page for the Finnish profile. From there, look for the pencil icon and click on it:

llo-blog-01-edit-button.png
llo-blog-01-edit-button.png (3.38 KiB) Viewed 654 times

This will allow you to fix the formatting on the page:

llo-blog-02-editing.png
llo-blog-02-editing.png (22.76 KiB) Viewed 654 times

The text is formatted using Markdown, a very basic formatting language intended for writers. It's a bit like the BBCode we use to edit posts here, but even more simple in some ways.

You can click on "Preview" to see what your Markdown look like on the site:

llo-blog-03-preview.png
llo-blog-03-preview.png (47.34 KiB) Viewed 654 times

Once you're done, scroll down and submit your proposed fix:

llo-blog-04-submit-pr.png
llo-blog-04-submit-pr.png (20.23 KiB) Viewed 654 times

For historical reasons, a proposed change is called a "Pull Request" or "PR". If you submit a PR, GitHub will email me and rdearman. We can quickly scan your change and merge it by hitting a single button.

If you want to submit a new language profile or post, you can just go to whatever directory is approprite, and click Create New File.

If all this seems like too much work, you can always go ahead and propose new posts and language profiles here. (But for proofreading and fine-grained editing, it's probably easier to figure out GitHub. Still, it's up to you.)

Note that this is the same system we use for everything on the back end: The forum source code, the Super Challenge bot, even the scripts we use to manage the site. Basically the only things we keep secret are the passwords and the database (because it contains private user data)!
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby neofight78 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:20 am

Good stuff! :D The Language Profiles link doesn't seem to work though? (it points to the FAQ). Could there be some kind of "edit" link on the site to take us to the right place on github?

This is more of a feature request, but is there any plan to move the wiki?

Thanks again for all the hard work you put in.
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby emk » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:46 am

neofight78 wrote:Good stuff! :D The Language Profiles link doesn't seem to work though? (it points to the FAQ).

Found my mistake. Thank you.

neofight78 wrote:Could there be some kind of "edit" link on the site to take us to the right place on github?

That's a good idea. If you can figure out these technical details, I'll happily accept a pull request. :-)

neofight78 wrote:This is more of a feature request, but is there any plan to move the wiki?

Not at the moment. The next item on our agenda is getting the Super Challenge bot back online, so everyone can get their stats again!
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby neofight78 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:08 am

emk wrote:
neofight78 wrote:Could there be some kind of "edit" link on the site to take us to the right place on github?

That's a good idea. If you can figure out these technical details, I'll happily accept a pull request. :-)


I see what you did there ;) I'll take a look...
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby neofight78 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:19 am

Ok, think I've sussed it. I've sent a pull request.
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby emk » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:27 am

neofight78 wrote:
emk wrote:That's a good idea. If you can figure out these technical details, I'll happily accept a pull request. :-)

I see what you did there ;) I'll take a look...

Yes, this is all part of my evil master plan to encourage other people to do the hard work, while I sit in the French Antilles and drink fruity drinks. I do get fruity drinks out of this, right? ;-)

neofight78 wrote:Ok, think I've sussed it. I've sent a pull request.

Looks great!

Hey, everybody, thanks to the awesomeness of neofight, you can scroll to the bottom of any blog page and click on the "You can edit this page!" link! Here's what I looked like when I added two links to the front page:

llo-blog-05-editing-home.png
llo-blog-05-editing-home.png (81.93 KiB) Viewed 580 times

llo-blog-06-previewing-home.png
llo-blog-06-previewing-home.png (67.88 KiB) Viewed 580 times

Notice how GitHub highlights my changes in the "Preview." This is what rdearman and I see when you propose a change, too. The formatting syntax is Markdown, documented here.

Hey everybody, neofight rules! Feel free to come join the fun. I definitely want to convert a couple of my more upvoted posts into blog articles, and everybody else is encouraged to do the same. If we have a more active blog, we can probably eventually get more visitors to the forum.

For example, our own galaxyrocker is one of the moderators over on the r/languagelearning reddit, and if we had some awsome posts on a regular basis, maybe one or two of them would get posted by the users over there and get us some traffic. 8-)
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby neofight78 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:04 am

emk wrote:I do get fruity drinks out of this, right? ;-)


Yes, yes you do. I think you earned your free fruity drinks some time ago.
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby rdearman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:43 am

neofight78 wrote:
emk wrote:I do get fruity drinks out of this, right? ;-)


Yes, yes you do. I think you earned your free fruity drinks some time ago.

Not fair! I had to learn Finnish just to get some cookies. :lol:
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:02 pm

rdearman wrote:
neofight78 wrote:
emk wrote:I do get fruity drinks out of this, right? ;-)


Yes, yes you do. I think you earned your free fruity drinks some time ago.

Not fair! I had to learn Finnish just to get some cookies. :lol:

You're getting a beer from me for trying to help me with LWT, even though I had to figure it out myself in the end.
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Re: The blog is back, too (but it needs love!)

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:46 pm

And I've forgotten most of the Finnish I learned, so no cookies for me.
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