Actually it’s just switches, like things to turn on and off. When I wrote the title, “switches” by itself sounded like things were changing. So imagine the gizmos.

As it likely has been written before, the best things about seeing SPLOTs get used are the ways people use it that I would have never anticipated, often how new features get rolled in. This happened from Daniel Villar at Coventry University where now the TRU Collector has a rich text editor option and all media-focused SPLOTs have ways to view content by types of open license applied (maybe the last is a gizmo, I recently changed this so it ignores the license options lacking any usage; see http://splot.ca/box/licensed/).

Paul Bond recently emailed with an idea he was brewing for a creative SPLOT:

I did a little mutant skull-head giveaway experiment at Open Ed and blogged about it the other day (http://blog.raptnrent.me/2018/10/12/check-your-head/). Talky Tina suggested giving the finders an opportunity to write the stories of the skulls they find. I thought this was a job for TRU writer. So I’m working on a site (http://bingobones.com) but I think I’d like to edit the Write form to remove boxes for Kinds of Writing, Tags, and Footer Information, mainly to simplify it. Is that something that can be easily done? I don’t see a way to do it, but maybe I’m not looking in the right place.

Yes, there should be a way to hide these form fields if they are not used. My first hunch was to see if some Custom CSS could do it, but because I had not put CC IDs on the fieldset elements, it was hard to impossible (bonus, this is now in the mix). Then I figured it would not be too much effort to add a few more check boxes to the TRU Writer theme options to allow these form fields to be hidden (the default is not, as I believe all new settings should leave previous sites unaffected).

Paul also added:

Also, I like the look of Coventry’s Compendium of Bothersome Beasties. Am I correct in thinking that that is not something that can be easily done? It looks like a different parent adopted the TRU Writer child theme, which I’m guessing is an involved process.

He’s talking about the wonderful work by Samantha Clarke (also at Coventry, they seem to have SPLOT in the water there!). I let him know that was a different theme, but I could add the same features.

It was a day before I got around to it, and it really was about an hour per site with adding code and testing on my local server (I forget how tedious code tweaking and testing was done before using Varying Varying Vagrants).

By the time I told him of the updates, Paul had already gone down the code tunnel a bit:

I had a hard time figuring out how to hack the Collector templates, so I enlisted the aid of my Systems Librarian and got it done. She warned me that the changes would be lost the next time the theme updates, so using an unhacked version would probably be better.

And that is how ye olde forking works. His colleague is correct, as a forked/changed version he’d lose out on any new features I add to the theme. But if his site worked for him, that really does not matter.

To me though, these were worthy features to put in there- maybe tags are not relevant to your project? Or maybe you just want a simpler creation form interface?

So check out Paul’s Bingobones site, the newest (I know of) site using the TRU Collector theme

If you notice the Collect form, you can see that Paul has hidden the tags and category input fields, but chose to leave the extra notes one. That’s because he has a few switches he can turn on and off:

TRU Collector options theme with boxes around new features to show/hide tag, category, and extra notes input fields

Maybe you can’t get everything you want at SPLOT’s Restaurant, but we try.

Modified from “Alice’s Restaurant” flickr photo by dok1 https://flickr.com/photos/dok1/6853048635 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license


Featured Image: Added the SPLOT logo (made by me) to 2007.06.17 – 115 Gdynia G?ówna, ET22-681 cockpit flickr photo by faxepl shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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