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uploading encyclopedia articles and editing/updating text

Topic Type: 

This forum it to discuss the process of first transferring all of the text from the original document and then the process of editing and updating the text and adding new articles.

Original digitized text can be found at -

https://archive.org/details/Farm1 - The files are large so they will take a while to open on most computers. The text formatting is also not always accurate due to the text recognition software.

I have structured this tool so that the table of contents is the primary menu - each additional article is entered as a sandboxed tool so that they do not show up in the main FarmHack tool menu. The advantage of this over a floating wiki entry is that the sandboxed tools can be linked to associated forums to facilitate discussion about articles.

To start a new article first select "Add Tool" at the top of the Farm Hack page. This option shows up once you are logged in. At the top of the "create a tool" page there is a check box that says "Exclude from the Tools list. This is "sandboxed"." Check this box. Then proceed to create the tool with the title of the article and a short description (often there is an introductory paragraph in the copied text).

The process for adding an article is to first locate the text in the word document available from Archive.org
then copy the text to an editing tool and save the associated figures and pictures so that they can be uploaded to the wiki.
the text can then be pasted and edited into the body area of the sandboxed tool and images uploaded
I think a link at the top of the article back to the main menu is also a good idea.
Other formatting ideas?

A link can then be added to the main menu to the new article

I think that substantive edits to the wiki/tool./article should probably be discussed in the associated forums

A method for commenting and displaying data or information that contradicts or improves on the original text needs to be developed

-Some options might be in-line comments, or new associated articles that are linked to the original article

dorn's picture

After copying several articles from sections of scanned text that had some strange formatting - I found a couple techniques that help. If the test is oddly spaced - whole sections can be pasted into the subject line of an e-mail to remove the formatting. It can then be pasted and edited more easily. Other ways of doing this?

I also found that if there are two columns that are not in a separate text box that if they are pasted into word, highlighted and a table inserted that the columns will separate and the text from each can be copied and pasted properly.

R.J. Steinert's picture

Hehe, those are some clever techniques. I hear that copying and pasting into "notepad.exe" is a handy way for Windows users to accomplish this. For plain text editors on Mac, I use Sublime2 for writing code and iAwriter for writing blog posts, both of which have syntax highlighting for Markdown format which is cool.

It looks like Archive.org has choked on that Doc format, there isn't the usual many-formats-to-choose-from :(. I'm downloading the big 500mb doc right now. I'm going to experiment with transferring it to plain text files with Markdown syntax which would work well on GitHub. Also, it will be a good chance to try out some of the other tools on GitHub for collaboration.

R.J. Steinert's picture

No real documentation yet but I added the repo to Farm Hack's Git Hub account. It will be a while until that big file download (I'm on Ghana speed).

See it here->


Or here ->


R.J. Steinert's picture

I got that DOC file downloaded but I haven't had a chance to start converting it to Markdown yet. I do however now have a good example of how to structure documentation on Github! Check out the Video Book Manual on GitHub. I've been working on that for Open Learning Exchange here in Ghana and I just made it public! :)