Emma

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<emma> is an online literary application useful for creating, editing, and submitting documents in an open format.

For leaving useful feedback on Emma, including important suggestions from one of Emma's lead developers, please see the Talk Page. This page is for factual description of <emma>'s layout and features.

Link to Emma: <emma>

Layout

ExampleEmma.png
When first accessing <emma>, the user is presented with a list of classes that he or she can currently access through <emma>. To the right of that is shown the events coming up for the next several days, as well as notifications that might have been posted during the user's absence. A sidebar on the left-hand side allows the user to return to this home page, enroll in new classes, change password or skin (page color theme), and access an archive of past classes. A bar at the top contains the Help and Logout buttons.

Users access their current classes by clicking the name of the class on the home page. This brings the user to a new page that looks very similar to the previous page, but with more class-specific materials. Announcements, notifications, and an agenda are listed in the right column, while materials and resources are listed in the left column. Instructors can add to and take away from both of these lists in order to keep the main page updated, and the agenda automatically updates based on a calendar made by the instructor. Class time, instructor name, and semester are listed across the top of the page. A sidebar on the left side gives access to the course roll and resources. Clicking the course roll button loads a JavaScript pane within the window with a list of the students in the class and their emails. Rather oddly, the course materials column and announcements column both get pushed down on the page when this happens, and then return to the top of the page when the course roll is closed via an "X" button in the top right-hand corner.

The resources page opens and closes slightly differently due to it's large and complex nature. When working on the resources page, the user is presented with a single column of materials that are divided into categories at the top of the page. This odd format of presenting materials has generated greatly mixed feelings towards this section of the page.

Along the top of the page are a row of choices: "Calendar", "Projects", "Notes", "Journal", "Portfolio", "Help", and "Logout". Each of these leads to a new page.

The "Calendar" tab displays all events for the month, which can be switched to a daily agenda view. Permanent events only editable by the Instructor are shown on all calendars, but each user may add their own events to their private calendars. These calendars may also be exported to iCal, and the Resources page can be accessed from the left sidebar.

The "Projects" tab displays a listing of all documents created or uploaded by the user.

eDoc

One of <emma>'s main features is the way it allows for the .odt file format to be viewed online, rather than using .doc or .txt (one of which is proprietary and the other just boring). This integration of FLOSS into the website gives it an advantage in allowing anyone to post files to be viewed and edited online. While the site can accept any type of file as upload, only .odt files can be created on the website. Both .odt and .pdf may be viewed on the website as Adobe's PDF reader is also free software, though it is not open source.

As a quick note, if you make your text into plain text before copying it into the eDoc editor, it transfers extremely easily, with very little hassle. I know it's really easy to do this on a Mac by opening TextEdit, pasting in your current text, then clicking "Make Plain Text" under "Format." I don't know the exact steps for Linux or Windows but it probably includes a bare-bones text editor (not MS Word).

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