Creating a class subdomain

"Hearthfire midbuild" by Elder Scrolls Wiki user Jimeee.  Screenshot from Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire by Bethesda Software

I’ve updated the Build a Homestead assignment page to include more detailed instructions for creating a subdomain. Expand the tab called “Adding a Main Hall” and there’s a detailed walkthrough for how to create the subdomain for this class.

I have a naming convention where I create subdomains with the course title and then a designation for semester and year, but I only use that convention because I teach classes with the same course number repeatedly and I need to distinguish them–you will only take ENG181 once, though, so it is probably perfectly reasonable for you to just call your course subdomain eng181.

Try to create the course subdomain by class Tuesday. We’ll spend that class period talking about podcasts and won’t address the subdomains, so if it takes you a little longer that’s okay.

Oops! Follow up post…

oops

I forgot to say one somewhat important thing in class today. As you go to fill out the information survey as part of your homework, you will notice that there’s a required question asking for your gmail address. Probably you all have a gmail account already, but if you don’t then you need to sign up for one for this class. We’ll do some collaborative writing in Google docs over the course of the semester and I’ll definitely be using shared Drive folders as a way to provide feedback for each of you.

If for any reason you are strongly opposed to having a gmail account, then let me know and we can come up with an alternate solution.

Welcome to Read | Write | Play

“Homework” by Flickr user Stephen Ransom

Your homework to complete before we meet again on Thursday:

  • Read over this website very carefully as it constitutes the syllabus for this course. Note that the Syllabus page includes a number of subpages, covering such topics as: how to contact me and course objectives; the texts you need to buy; attendance, participation, and other policies; how you will be graded; and how Domain of One’s Own will impact your experience in this class. There is also a calendar of reading and assignments; and pages describing the major and minor assignments this semester.
  • Add this site to your bookmarks. Make certain that you can find your way back here, because you’ll be spending a lot of time visiting these pages over the course of this semester.
  • Reply to this survey form, which both asks some basic information I’ll need in order to manage communications with you and also asks some questions that will help me get to know you a little bit better.

Once you’ve completed those tasks, begin to establish your home base for this class:

On Choosing a Domain Name

“No Name” by Flickr user Patrick

You are not purchasing a web site! You are registering a domain name and server space, upon which you can build many other web sites, amongst other things. Therefore, you need a domain name that will continue to work for you after this semester is finished, maybe even after you have graduated from Emory.

The preference is for your domain to be some version of your name (i.e., janestudent.net or davidmorgen.org or johndoe.com) but if you have a very common name you might have to be a little creative.

It is also perfectly acceptable for your domain name to be a short word or phrase that is easy to remember and spell, and which speaks to some interest of yours or an aspect of your character (i.e., my friend Audrey Watters publishes a site called hackeducation.com; Kin Lane spends his careers working with APIs and his domain is apievangelist.com; or Tanine Allison, a professor of Media Studies here at Emory who is finishing her first book entitled Destructive Sublime: World War II in American Media, uses destructivesublime.com as her domain name; or one of my favorite art and design blogs, which is called thisiscolossal.com). If you’re going to choose a title or phrase as your domain name, make sure you think about it very carefully so you don’t show up on one of those lists of the most unfortunate domain names ever, like the design firm called Speed of Art that ended up with a domain name that sounds like it’s about flatulence in a swimsuit.

Do not include the word “emory” in your domain name. The university brand management office is quite emphatic about trying to keep domains including “emory” only for official university sites.

Do not include my class name or something specific about a course, or even your major, in your domain name. You will add subdomains or pages of your sites that are specific to classes, but your primary domain name should be something that can grow with you.

Using Stella

"scooter named desire" by jennifer blakeslee

Here are a few tips on using Stella, the Atari 2600 emulator you need to install on your computer in order to play a few of the required games this semester, such as Combat.

  1. First you need to get Stella (it’s open-source and free). You can find Stella for Windows, Macs, or Linux operating systems from the project’s download page.
  2. Once the file is downloaded, open the installer just like you would to install any other program.
  3. Accept all the default settings.
  4. Once Stella is installed, you’ll need a game “ROM” — this is essentially a tiny piece of software code that mirrors the code on the original game cartridge. There are plenty of places online to find ROMs. Atari Age is the premier Atari site, and in addition to scans of the original packaging and instruction manuals of different games, you can find many ROMs there. Go to individual game pages and look for the “Download ROM” icon (it looks like a white Pac Man in a blue circle). Experiment with different games. You might especially try playing the following classic Atari games:Combat, Pac-Man, Air-Sea Battle, Yar’s Revenge, Asteroids, Demon Attack, Space Invaders, and Frogger
  5. The ROMs at Atariage are often compressed as .zip files to speed up downloading (even though they are already extremely small files). Once the game is downloaded, you’ll have to “unzip” the file to extract the .bin file inside. This .bin file is the actual ROM. Most Macs and PCs can uncompress the games without any problem. Remember where you’ve placed the unzipped .bin file that is the game ROM, and you’re ready to load it up in Stella.
  6. Run Stella. When you first open the program you’ll see a DOS-like directory. Navigate through here to find where you saved the various .bin files you’ve downloaded.
  7. You might have to experiment with the different controls and functions keys. In general, press F2 to begin the game.

Pages and/vs Posts

231

In this class, I make a clear distinction between blog posts and pages: all of your major, formal projects (“main quests“) will go onto your sites as pages. The side quest assignments and all of the other shorter, low-stakes, reflective writing that you do will go onto your sites as blog posts. Pages can be edited just as posts can be, but in general they are meant to serve as static, completed, more or less self-contained pieces of writing. Blogs are meant to go up onto the posts page in descending chronological order, so built into the function of a blog is that you write something and publish it, then if you have more to say on the subject or want to revise what you wrote in a major way, you do so by just writing a new blog post rather than going back to the original and restructuring it.

Here’s another clear distinction between posts and pages: posts syndicate but pages do not (because syndication is predicated on the idea of a frequently updating and changing posts page–static pages don’t need to syndicate because, well, they are more or less static). We are relying on syndication to the course site as the means of collecting all of the work that you do on your sites into a central location, but if your major projects go onto pages and pages don’t syndicate then how will they be included? When you complete one of the major assignments, you will write a blog post, linking to the landing page for the assignment. I’ll generally ask you to write something reflective about the work that you’ve done in those blog posts. Sometimes I might ask that you provide a summary or abstract of the argument, perhaps framing the post as an announcement meant to entice readers to check out what you’ve done akin to a teaser in journalism.

One last point: for the purposes of this class, at least, all blog posts and all pages should be multimodal and should include multiple media. You should not publish a page or a post that is composed entirely of text.

faq

What’s the difference between URLs and links?

unclickable link

URLs are for computers.

They are specific addresses that tell the web browser where to go to fetch data and show it to you in one form or another. The URL for the FAQ page on this site is http://eng181s16.davidmorgen.org/resources-and-glossary/. The URL for the oldest post on the course blog is http://eng181s16.davidmorgen.org/davids-posts/how-do-i-use-html-to-format-comments-on-this-site-others/. With a little awareness of the syntax, you can decode that information. If you wanted to read the page or post that I just referenced, you could copy that code and paste it into your browser to get there.

Sometimes people just paste URLs into emails or pages that they’re writing, and some applications will convert those URLs into links so that you at least don’t have to go to the trouble of copying and pasting the code as separate steps to get to the pages referenced. For example, one way to show you Gavin Aung Than’s comic adaptation of a quote by Jim Henson would be to just do this: http://zenpencils.com/comic/150-jim-henson-a-puppeteers-advice/. However, most of the time readers will find URLs confusing and uninviting, and it’s difficult for you to effectively contextualize that information smoothly.

Links are for humans.

Links use HTML code to turn URLs into something that is readable and clear for humans. One way to create a link is manually by inserting some HTML code around text, making that text into a link, so

Check out Gavin Aung Than’s <a href=”http://zenpencils.com/comic/150-jim-henson-a-puppeteers-advice/”>brilliant comic adaptation</a> of a quote by Jim Henson.

looks like this in your browser

Check out Gavin Aung Than’s brilliant comic adaptation of a quote by Jim Henson.

Most of the time, though, you don’t need insert links manually. When you’re in your WordPress post editor, you can create a link by highlighting the text or image that you want to become a link and selecting the button that looks like the links of a chain, then pasting the URL into the dialog box. (The general rule of thumb, by the way, is that when you are linking to another page or post on your own site, you should have your link open in the same tab but when you are linking to something outside of your own site, have the link open in a new tab.)

This distinction between URLs and links is important for our class because our learning outcomes state that over the course of the semester, you will “demonstrate understanding of audience” and learn to “use and adapt generic conventions, including organization, development, and style” and using links instead of URLs is an important first step in understanding the reading needs of your audience and is an important stylistic and generic convention of writing for the web.

This distinction is also important because using links opens up a whole range of more interesting options for you that are unavailable when you merely drop URLs into your work. Jokes can be goofy commentaries or can offer useful insight on the topic at hand.

How do I use HTML to format comments on this site (& others)?

html

Different themes handle commenting differently, but many themes allow users to create links and other formatting while leaving comments, but only if they know how to do so manually with HTML code. There’s often no visual editor that lets you use HTML at the push of a button, the way there is when you’re in the dashboard composing posts and pages.

When you’re leaving a comment on a post on this site, there’s a line at the bottom that lists the most frequent types of HTML and formatting that you might want to use:

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=”” title=””> <abbr title=””> <acronym title=””> <blockquote cite=””> <cite> <code> <del datetime=””> <em> <i> <q cite=””> <strike> <strong>

For each of those codes, you just surround some text with the applicable HTML tags (i.e., you have an opening tag <em> (which adds emphasis), then the text you want to be emphasized, then you close the tag so that the browser knows when to stop emphasizing </em>).

Code Examples

Here are examples of how each of those codes work:

<a href=”http://eng101s15.davidmorgen.org”>course homepage</a>

<abbr title=”Hypertext Markup Language”>HTML</abbr>

<acronym title=”EWP”>Emory Writing Program</acronym>

<blockquote cite=”<cite><a href=”http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/ludwig_wittgenstein.html “> </cite> “>If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
Ludwig Wittgenstein<blockquote>

<cite><a href=”http://eng101s15.davidmorgen.org/”></cite>

<code><a href=” “>course homepage</a></code>

<del datetime=”YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssTZD”>This text has been deleted from the comment and there’s a time stamp to indicate when, which is not visible but is available to screen readers.</del>

<em>Emphatic!</em>

<i>Italics!</i>

<q cite=”http://eng101s15.davidmorgen.org/ “>The q cite tag allows you to provide a citation that does not show up visibly, but is available to screen readers behind the scene.</q>

<strike>This text has been struck through</strike>

<strong>Guiness for strength!</strong>

Outputs

And here’s how each of those different effects will look on this site when the comment is published:

course homepage

HTML

Emory Writing Program

If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

http://eng101s15.davidmorgen.org/

<a href=" "> </a>

This text has been deleted from the comment and there’s a time stamp to indicate when, which is not visible but is available to screen readers.

Emphatic!

Italics!

The q cite tag allows you to provide a citation that does not show up visibly, but is available to screen readers behind the scene.

This text has been struck through

Guiness for strength!

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