All posts by Konrad M. Lawson

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Wish List for a Powerful Collaborative Writing Platform

Wish list

In my last posting, I imagined what it might look like to fork the academy, that is, to create a space within the world of academic writing and publishing where we could directly reuse, adapt, and expand each other’s work. I also discussed some of the most significant obstacles that stand in the way, both at the disciplinary level and the kinds of personal concerns I have seen raised from friends and colleagues I have discussed the idea with.

In an earlier posting I looked at some of the reason…

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Fork the Academy

I recently wrapped up a series on GitHub. Throughout the series I highlighted what I thought were some of the most powerful innovations that software developers and writers can take advantage of in GitHub. In particular I looked at two of its collaborative features, the ability to "fork" repositories of text that retain a connection to the original and the issuing of "pull requests" as a way to enable outside contributions in an decentralized environment which leaves everyone with full control o…

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The Limitations of GitHub for Writers

constructocat2

This posting is the last in a series introducing the text hosting and version control service GitHub (See parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and “>5). Up until this posting I have talked about some of the great features of working with repositories of text in GitHub and the ways in which it facilitates collaboration even without direct collaboration. It is, in its own motto, a "social coding" environment that allows anyone to "fork" code, issue "pull requests" to propose improvements on someone else’s work, as …

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Resources for Learning Git and GitHub

Professortocat_v2Over the past few weeks I have been taking a closer look at how to use the text hosting and version control service at GitHub: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. I have suggested that, in addition to being the most important hub of open source and free software on the net, its innovations also have powerful applications for any kind of collaborative authorship thanks to its distributed version control features, the process of "forking" repositories, and the social power of issuing "pull request…

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File and Repository History in GitHub

inspectocatThis post continues a series here at ProfHacker on GitHub. The series began with the suggestion that this service, primarily used to host code repositories and facilitate collaboration between programmers, is also home to many innovations that offer powerful ways forward across the realm of academic scholarship.

As we saw in the last post, and several earlier posts by fellow ProfHackers, GitHub has a “social” element that ties a community of shared and replicated groups of text together through …

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Forks and Pull Requests in GitHub

Today we’ll continue our series of postings on GitHub. In the first posting I introduced GitHub, pointed to some of the previous postings here at ProfHacker that have talked about it, and went through the steps of setting up a basic repository. Last week, we looked at the most common workflow for working with GitHub as a version control platform for text, and showed how you could directly edit text files through the GitHub website, instead of in your offline copy of a repository.

From what we ha…

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Direct Editing and Zen Mode in GitHub

Calligraphy by Vaya B

In my last posting I went through the simple steps of starting a brand new repository on GitHub, the leading online service for hosting code and text based projects backed with the version control system git. At the end of the last posting our new repository had only a single file saved in the repository’s folder. Using the GitHub client software, we published the repository to our free online GitHub account. In this posting I’ll describe the most basic workflow of modifying or adding files in …

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Getting Started With a GitHub Repository

skitchtocat

If we look across the landscape of collaborative writing on the web, there are a few clearly discernible hubs of activity. Wikipedia and Google Docs might be identified as two of them, but one the most remarkable and unique is GitHub. This is the first of a new series of postings on GitHub, its limits, and some emerging alternatives for scholarship. GitHub is the leading hosting service for code that runs the powerful distributed version control software git (see Julie’s introduction for more o…

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The Wizards of Vim

I met a Vim wizard for the first time in 1994. Two of them actually, a married couple. They really were wizards, at least in that mysterious internet gaming environment known as a MUD. That meant they had powers to build and transform the online world that the rest of us plodded through, one “north” or “south” command at a time. They had the power to bring objects into being and banish players from the realm. They told me that someday 3D graphics would allow us to wander through digital worlds w…

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Markdown Slideshow Example: Pandoc

In my last two postings, I introduced a way to create slide presentations by writing them in a simple text file, with Markdown formatting, and add some of the “infinite canvas” features of Impress.js. The resulting presentation (simple example) can be viewed in modern browsers without any special software.

If you want a markdown text based slideshow without any need for the flexible pan/scale/rotate features of Impress.js there are a number of far better alternatives. In theory, one of several a…