The structure of the Math Department website allows everyone to contribute to updating its contents. Here are several examples:
Every member of the Department can update own personal information, such as research interests, selected publications, link to personal page, etc. See here for details.
One can add news about conferences or seminar series being organized, and it will be displayed on the Department main page. See here for details.
The website contains lots of information that should be kept up-to-date, including undergraduate and graduate policies, etc. This can be updated by people in charge of these subjects. See here for details.
Dedicated static pages can be created within the website, for example, to host Collaborative Learning Center information, etc. In this case, person(s) in charge would need to keep the information up to date. This brings an advantage of uniform style of all official pages, and includes version control of the source as a bonus.
Surely one can think of more examples and reasons why multiple people should edit the content on the website. Below we discuss several ways one can interact with the website. All of them (except the number zero one) require signing up at GitHub - but the process is very simple and you need to only do this once.
This way of communication is by no means discouraged, as the head goal is that the website contains up-to-date and relevant information. However, the next three ways of updating the website involve various levels of automating the update process, and thus could potentially lead to the website being more up to date, and containing more of the relevant information.
Having a GitHub account, one can add an issue. Current issues for the website are
https://github.com/uva-math/uva-math-code/issues. There si also wiki page at
https://github.com/uva-math/uva-math-code/wiki/Issues-extended for issues with longer turnaround.
A new issue can be added by anyone. Issues are public (but after all we’re talking about editing a public website, right?).
The advantage of issues is that they can easily reference code, can be discussed and commented on, and ultimately be resolved and closed (though closed issues also stay public). To view the source code for any page click on the GitHub icon in the lower right corner. Then there is a link to issues on top of the resulting GitHub page.
A more automated way of editing the website is to suggest changes to a particular page via editing its source code and creating a so-called “pull-request” (so you ask the code owner to “pull”, or incorporate, your changes into the main code). This is done as follows.
Suppose you want to edit a simple piece of information, e.g. correct a typo, or add your new publication (for adding/changing the picture resort to way number 0 above, or create a local fork of the website code, make changes there, and create a pull-request). Here are the steps:
https://math.virginia.edu/people/lap5r/, and click on the GitHub icon in the lower right corner.
You will see the source of the page.
To edit the source, click on the pen icon in this panel on the right:
Make the necessary changes in browser. Hint: for formatting tips, check other webpages,
click on the GitHub icon, and click
Raw on the same panel as above to see the actual source code.
Click the green button
Propose file change on the bottom. Then click
Create pull request. You may describe your changes in more detail in these text fields,
or just leave this as is.
Create pull request on the bottom again after describing the nature of the changes.
The administrator(s) will be notified and can approve or decline (or edit and then approve) your pull request. You should then be notified of the outcome by email, and the changes will appear on the webpage.
Note: Pull requests are public, and existing open pull requests are seen on GitHub
Faculty members can receive full editing access from the administrators. This allows to edit any source file, on the web as explained above, or you can download a local copy of the source and then push changes to GitHub. Upon committing the changes to the GitHub the webpage will be automatically updated (this takes about 5 minutes). Any change can be reverted, and changes that break the website will not appear on the actual webpage. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask Leonid Petrov or Christian Gromoll
for full edit access and relevant training.
Note: Unfortunately, GitHub does not provide partial editing access (of only specific files). However, this restriction is natural because any file can in principle change name and/or location.
Note: Having full edit rights is nice but this can lead to edit conflicts (when the file is changed by at least two people at the same time). Pull requests does not lead to conflicts as easily, and allow numerous people edit the website at the same time, if needed.