Master slides in Libreoffice reminders

Some quick reminders for my own use about master slides in Office

Turn on default sections

Impress master slides come with some sections built in (e.g. slide count, date, etc.). But by default these sections don’t appear unless you turn them on.

To turn them on:

  • Insert > Header/Footer > make sure the relevant section is checked in the dialogue that opens.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to open the container folder for a Google Doc

I quite like using Google Docs. I’m less crazy about Google Drive.

One of the common issues I have with the relationship between the two comes when I am given the direct link to a Google Doc or Sheet as part of a project. I often want to access (or start) other documents in that same folder. But until now I never knew how to find that folder (everything I learned comes from this page).

It turns out that all you need to do is click on the little folder icon beside the file name (highlighted in yellow in the following image):

When you do this, a dialogue opens up with a “Move” button. Read the rest of this entry »

Using normalize-space to fix Oxygen “pretty print” spacing problems

This is a straightforward thing for people who know what they are doing. It is only a reminder to me, who didn’t.

The journals I publish using TEI XML use the tei:figDesc element to populate the alt and title attributes of html:img.

Until today, these results in very odd looking tool tips, where the text was spread all over the place, e.g.

The problem was being caused by the OxygenXML editor’s pretty-print feature and how that was being transformed to the title and alt attributes. Read the rest of this entry »

Two tips that will improve the lives of all students and researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences


A recent question on Linked-in asked how important the formatting guides for journals are in preparing submissions.

Although this question was about submitting to journals, its context is relevant to all students and researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities (although the problem also exists in the sciences, the solutions there are in some cases different). Humanities and Social Science study in University is largely about the collection of bibliography and the presentation of findings in written form. And that invariably involves questions of formatting: different disciplines and even different journals (or for students, instructors) within a discipline can require work to be submitted in quite different styles.

How to do a table of contents in text pattern

My teaching pages are served out using Textpattern, a relatively light CMS that uses textile wiki-like markup.

Because adding an excerpt by hand wrecks the syndication of this site through Wordpress to my other blog, I don’t usually add a text summary. Instead, I do something similar to the Wikipedia or Wordpress: I begin articles with an abstract like first paragraph, then include a table of contents, then have the rest of the body.

I used to make up these tables of content by hand, cursing all the time that Textile wasn’t XML. Then I discovered soo_toc, a Textpattern plugin that builds tables of contents dynamically. Joy!

Of course, now I need to remember to add the template that calls the TOC to each page (as I type this, I wonder if there might not be a simple variable I could develop that does this, but that’s for later). Read the rest of this entry »

Mounting University of Lethbridge “P” and “W” drives under Linux

Here’s how to find the “P” and “W” drives at the University of Lethbridge.

“P” drives

Your “P” drive is the windows share that represents your standard network desktop (i.e. the thing you see if you log into a classroom or other computer on campus).

Read the rest of this entry »

Blogs, Wikis, and LMSs. Some notes on my practice

Ryan Cordell and I had been exchanging tweets on the use of blogs, wikis, and the like in class. Since 140 characters is good for many things, but not this, I promised him I’d write up a quick description of the practice I’ve developed over the last few years.

The context for this is the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS), which I’ve been using in its 1.x and 2.x versions. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do this with loose wiki, blogging, and microblogging systems. But I’m still reluctant to require students to release their school work publicly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Going LoC(o) with Zotero: Scratching the inner librarian

Photo of my home office in 2005 (used for my Pseudo Society talk at Kalamazoo, “Using Computers to Improve Efficiency in Research and Teaching”)

I have always been a very messy person, especially in my work area. Here for example, is a not unrepresentative photo of my home office in 2005 (since one normally doesn’t take pictures of messy rooms, this is the only one I have: I took it to use as a slide in my 2005 Pseudo Society talk at the Kalamazoo Congress on Medieval Studies, “Using computers to improve efficiency in research and teaching”).

Perhaps oddly, however, this same messiness has never extended to my bibliography. Ever since I began university as an undergraduate in 1985, I have kept very careful bibliographic records. Read the rest of this entry »

Fixing a problem with broken stylesheets in OJS 2.3.6

In recent days, we have encountered a problem at Digital Studies/Le champ numérique that has resulted in problems with the display of a number of our articles.

The symptom is that the article breadcrumb and menu bar appear below rather than beside the right navigation bar, as illustrated below.

Screen shot showing layout problem in OJS

Screen shot showing layout problem. Article on left shows the broken style; article on the right has had the problem corrected.

After some investigation, we narrowed the problem down to an issue with how OJS handles HTML-encoded articles. Read the rest of this entry »

How to draw a circle in GIMP. Seriously.

I use GIMP, the free graphics software package, all the time. But boy it can be awkward at times. Here’s how to draw a circle or elipse (like the one in the photo below):

Ellipse select tool > Start selecting > Hold down shift > Click on the circle to select it > Edit (Menu) > Stroke Selection – Voila!
Alternative method: Select a circle again > Fill it > Select (menu) > Shrink few pixels > Delete

CP photo of Bill C38 protest, modified to highlight protest sign.


Yii Basic Steps [1]

This is just a reminder to myself about setting up a Yii install. There are much more detailed examples on the web.

tags: , , , , ,

Adding an attribute for title to a yii widget

The Yii file view.php by default uses the [zii.widgets.CDetailView] to display all examples of a given model. In the standard scaffolding produced by the gii utility, this widget consists of references to attributes of the model without any further information (e.g. attribute names and the like):
<?php $this->widget('zii.widgets.CDetailView', array( 'data'=>$model, 'attributes'=>array( 'editorialInstance_id', 'journal.shortTitle', // a reference to a relational attribute 'type', 'LastNamesFirstName', // a reference to a compound attribute ), 
In this minimalist form, yii will calculate an appropriate label for the attribute on the basis of the attribute name: so, for example, in this case, editorialInstance_id will be appear in the view labelled “Editorial Instance” because Yii understands camelCase naming conventions and knows to strip off _id (it’s that good!). A problem with this, however, is that we also provide customised label names as part of the attributeLabels() method in our Model controller. Since that method allows arbitrary names, and since CDetailView attempts to calculate labels on the basis of the attribute name, it is highly likely that the labels for different attributes will get out of synch in different places in your site. To give an example: in this particular case, the model for editorialInstance might have defined the label for editorialInstance_id as “ID” rather than “Editorial Instance”: since CDetailView doesn’t check to see what you had on attributeLabels() in the model class, switching from an edit view to an index will mean that the label of the attribute switches. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding Relation Models in Yii

The core of any database driven website is its ability to handle table relations (if that sentence didn’t mean anything to you, you should first do some reading about relational databases, database design, and normalising data: an introduction aimed at textual editors can be found in my article “What digital editors can learn from print editorial practice.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 24 (2009): 113-125) One of the really useful things about the Yii MVC framework is the extent to which it allows you to systematise and automate the process of establishing these relations. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating compound attributes in Yii

Let’s say you have a database table called persons with separate attributes (fields) for lastName and firstNames. Elsewhere in your website, you want to refer to the underlying record in this table using the person’s whole name as a single entity (e.g. to provide a link, for example: <a href="">Jane Q. Public</a>. Sometimes, you might be able to refer to the two attributes separately. For example, if you simply wanted to echo the content in a view somewhere you could use code like this:
<?php echo CHtml::encode($data->person->firstNames) . ' ' . CHtml::encode($data->person->lastName); ?> 
This is a little inefficient if you are doing it a lot throughout your site, because you need to keep re-entering the same code correctly over and over again (and avoiding this is a main reason for going with an MVC framework like Yii in the first place). But the real trouble comes if you want to use the attributes in a context where the method you are invoking expects a single attribute—as is the case, for example, with the yii linking method CHtml::link. The way round this is to create a new compound attribute in your model. This means taking the two underlying attributes in your table and combining them into a single attribute already arranged the way you want that you can then invoke in other methods. Read the rest of this entry »

Yii Ensuring that key terms are always linked

As we are building our workflow manager, we are discovering that we develop a more intuitive interface if some terms are always hyperlinked and point to a standard presentation of the relational information. One example of this might be names of people associated with the workflow (editors, authors, copyeditors, production assistants). An intuitive internal navigation method seems to be to have the names of these people always hyperlinked with the hyperlink always pointing to the person’s profile page. Read the rest of this entry »

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: