Electronic distribution of texts in class

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2015, 09:38:00 PM »
Boom, files uploaded. That was easy. As I recall, it went: Open QQ > go to groups window > Open the group > open Group Sharing (toolbar icon) > some other stuff which is sort of obvious once you see it. I'm using QQ International  2.11, and the whole interface is in English.

One of the first messages back was "do we need to print this?"  bibibibibi

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2015, 12:50:05 AM »
So I've been going at this a bit ad hoc. I downloaded QQ on Saturday. Signed up on Sunday. Got a group created around the same time. And so far 87 of the 98 have joined. Which is lucky, and probably a sign of how popular QQ is and how well organized classes are already at using it together, because I didn't explain this to anyone before yesterday. I literally just now sent a message saying what the uploaded files are....

Anyway. So QQ allows Temporary or Permanent uploads. Temporary turns out to mean they expire after ten days. Also, it's occurred to me there's a relatively simple way to handle the html. or any file the students download. If the files don't open automagically, or if the receivers can't find the file after it downloaded, then there's always the Downloads app. The Downloads app is part of Android, and likely has an obvious equivalent on an iphone too. Literally just open it, and the last thing you downloaded should be the first thing in the list. Tap to view.

So I've uploaded the same text in three version - doc, pdf, and html - and also uploaded an image file that goes with the html - and I've just now sent a group message telling everyone what they are and that we'll be looking at the article in class tomorrow. Day 2 of Operation Communicapocalypse - "Files To The Ether!" - appears to have been successful.

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old34

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2015, 03:18:12 AM »
Good to hear that it seems to be working out for you, and that it was easier than you thought it would be.  bfbfbfbfbf bfbfbfbfbf bfbfbfbfbf

Now about Macs and Mac OS X...... :wtf:
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2015, 05:20:49 PM »
Yup - QQ, while worm ridden and festering, is a widely adopted program amongst the younger populace. Super easy to share documents.

Now how your computer will run after installing it  :wtf:
The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
- Jung

Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2015, 06:07:29 PM »
I have the QQ on the number 2 machine, the Windows 10 test laptop. And curiously, every time I log in it requires I input a verification code. It says verification codes are required when "Unusual sign-in location is detected" or "Suspicious network condition is detected". Wild guess: it's doing that because I'm using QQ International and the sign-in location is China.

Don't know if this is a pro-tip or not, but I signed up for a QQ number with an ancient email address I use kind of as a last resort for everything, and by default QQ displayed it in my contact info. That is, when I do any messaging in QQ or someone looks at my QQ name, there is that email address, plain as day. That's relatively easy to change, via "Change the display ID", but since that routes you through id.qq.com, you're looking at a website in Chinese. Easy enough to guess what to do, but there it is.

Currently running a full Windows Defender scan of laptop #2, and not expecting anything to pop up, but you never know...

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2015, 06:27:35 PM »
I'll be having class in a couple of hours and I'll find out then which format works for these students, but what I discovered just now is you can convert the html to epub and edit it in Calibre! Too late to try it this week, but I reckon I might offer an epub format next week and see how that goes too.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2015, 06:53:18 PM »
Or, as also seems to work, and which is technically easier, they can view the html in their ebook reader. It worked on mine. I use Moon+ Reader Pro.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2015, 01:10:41 AM »
Operation Communicapocalypse - Day 3 - "Files! Files Everywhere!'

The triumphal march continues. Class was had and all teams appeared to have availed themselves of copies of the text. The two sessions looked and seemed to function just as any previous year's classes with paper would have. A straw poll of all four classes indicates doc is the default acceptable format. Actual use backs this up. I saw exactly one person using the pdf form, and another said she wanted to try the html but didn't know how. Everyone else was using doc. Really, really tiny doc. I had to tell the classes about Page View and Reading View.

For most any and probably all document viewers, Page View and Reading View exist. Page View shows you the doc as it would appear in print. More or less everyone in class was using this. On a phone screen that means tiny, tiny letters. Which you can zoom, of course, but which you then have to do a lot of horizontal swiping to read. Reading View, which everyone switched to once they discovered, is, well, it's reading view - the text is resized to be readable on a small screen, and the document is made to render vertically, no horizontal swiping required.

Why I've been going on about html is, that's how html renders in the first place. It appears on the screen just like doc format files in Reading View, but with better image options and more authorial control over the format. Also, you can jazz up your text with links. For next week I believe I shall skip the pdf offering and try educating the downloaders on how to handle downloaded html. I'll also provide doc format. Maybe also take a shot at epub too and see how that works out.

In short, no one complained and the lessons went without a hitch. The method is simple and workable and worth keep up for the semester. 

Thanks, Professor Old34.

 bfbfbfbfbf

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old34

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2015, 02:05:53 AM »
......
Thanks, Professor Old34.

 bfbfbfbfbf

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Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2015, 02:34:34 AM »
For those wondering, and I know you are, actual screenshots:



They all have slightly different origins, with the pdf being obviously different (and also in Page View), but that's what they look like.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2015, 01:28:41 AM »
Does anyone know what app is popular for documents in China on Android? The official Microsoft "Office" app exists for Android but seems to require a cloud login to work, so screw that. Beyond that, and in English, there's a wide-ish range. Personally, I still use Quick Office, which I like, but which technically has been deprecated (Google bought it, and the most recent "update" they issued would replace it with Google Docs). I don't know what the students use.

Thing with doc or docx is, whatever fancy typesetting you do on your computer, it's all going to turn into the same left-justified script the Reader view makes of everything. And your images become either tiny or too big for the screen. Offends my presentation senses.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2015, 02:31:56 PM »
New basic html template:

Code: [Select]
<html>
    <head>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<script language="JavaScript">
  function ImageLoadFailed() {
            window.event.srcElement.style.display = "None";
    }
    </script>
    </head>
    <body>
<font face="Calibri" size=3>
<h1>Your heading here</h1>
    <center>
<img
      src="YourImageHere.jpg" width="90%"
      OnError="ImageLoadFailed()">
</center>
<p>
Your text here
<p>
<b>Your question here?</b>
<p>
</font>
    </body>
</html>

Includes:

(1) font size is "3", which is the html default anyway

(2) "viewport" is set automatically according to your device screen - ie. text wraps at the edge of the screen

(3) "ImageLoadFailed" is a javascript function for when your image file is not available - for instance, not downloaded with the html by the students, or lost somehow. The function removes the big empty square that would otherwise appear in your document. (Caveat: see the NB below.)

(4) If your image is present and does load, it will appear centered, and taking up 90% of the screen - good for phones in portrait mode, a bit huge in other cases.

NB: that javascript function ImageLoadFailed works in Chrome and IE but does NOT work in Firefox nor in the default HTML Viewer on Android. There is some better html jiggery pokery that can be done, but I have no friggen idea how to understand and implement it. If someone could change the weird words in that link to some particular instance of less weird words that would work just like ImageLoadFailed, that would be super duper.



Why HTML?

Relative to a doc file, it's tiny. Also, even with the merely modest typesetting and display capabilities, the screen result is potentially more attractive than a doc in a doc viewer. Also, every phone has a browser.

Why not HTML?

Add in an image and the total file size might be bigger than a doc with the same image included. Also, the image file is a separate download, so the student-side procedure is automatically more complex than finding a single doc. Also, not all doc viewers are shit, sluggish, and ugly.

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2015, 08:17:25 PM »
Simplified

Code: [Select]
<html>
    <head>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
    </head>
    <body>
<font face="Calibri" size=3>
<h1>Your Heading Here</h1>
    <center>
<object data="YourImageHere.jpg" width="90%" type="image/jpg">
   <img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAD/ACwAAAAAAQABAAACADs=" width="0" height="0"/>
</object>
</center>
<p>
Your text here
<p>
<b>Your question here?</b>
<p>
</font>
    </body>
</html>

The effect of that weird line:

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAD/ACwAAAAAAQABAAACADs=" width="0" height="0"/>

Is if the image src - "YourImageHere.jpg" - from the line above  is not found, then the weird line creates in its place a transparent gif of zero height and width. Or so I am told.

In any case, it works. Works in Chrome, IE, Firefox, and the Android HTML Viewer. It does leave a noticeable gap - like two blank lines - between your heading and the beginning of your text. But two blank lines is no gigantic blank square of missing image, so pfft.

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old34

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2015, 05:34:40 AM »
I've been playing/experimenting?learning to use Ulysses III for creating content. It seems useable for both short-form content (blog posts, 1-2 page things like quizzes, handouts, etc.) and long-form stuff (like novels, journal articles, research papers). I like the organizing functions it offers, especially for the long-form stuff where you can create short bits of a longer piece and then re-arrange them from within the app without having to cut-and-paste. Too you can group related pieces together (they call them Sheets) and these too can be moved around. The app keeps track of everything as each are contained in separate files. You can add images and such to each piece and it will be inserted into the file.

Finally, when you've written all you want, you can view it all and then add the formatting you prefer. Ulysses promotes the idea of get it all down first, then worry about the formatting. When you're happy with the content, you can export it to the following formats:

Text
HTML
ePub,
PDF
DOCX

I don't know if there's a Windows version. I got it on the Mac App Store for 283 RMB.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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old34

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Re: Electronic distribution of texts in class
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2015, 05:40:39 AM »
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.