Looking for collaborators on proposal for Index/Learning Center

I’ve been thinking a lot about the experience of newcomers to the monome ecosystem.

Although I’ve been a member of the community for a while, my skill set, available time and learning style make it challenging to make much progress in what are, by any standard, multiple complex topics.

Hardware, software, programming languages, synthesis, music, etc. While many of the excellent people here spend some of their precious time on documentation and other helpful resources, I’m finding myself wishing for a well designed one-stop resource where one can find “all” the links to “everything” one would need to know. This would allow for a single bookmark to visit from which to continue the learning journey.

I have been referring to this as the INDEX.

From PMs and posts, I am convinced that there are other folks here who share a similar desire.

I’m posting this in the hope of starting a focused conversation leading to a refined and collective proposal.

I’d be most grateful for any thoughts, insights, critique, engagement, etc…

I’ll be posting more soon, not from my iPhone!

Thanks!

Ed

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Great idea, and 'll be watching with interest (and hopefully contributing too). As an example, I think a wiki would be really helpful. The Library/Norns category/tag is one way of finding the Norns scripts, but doesn’t allow for an at a glance view of what’s available. A wiki page with a list of scripts, a one line summary, and a link to the thread would be a good improvement. Similarly, a page that we could gather up links to the various tutorials and video would smooth the new user experience.

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Thanks, great ideas!

One thing I’m hoping for is ideas for how to conduct this conversation in a way that makes capturing and organizing the ideas for the index proposal reasonably coherent and successful.

Maybe a shared Google doc or something?

What do folks who are doing distributed development use, or would that be overkill?

Any thoughts on that?

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Thanks for starting this conversation!

The format for conducting the conversation depends on the number of participants and the level of participation. If there’s just a small number of participants then a Google doc would probably work.

As far as organizing the content I think a wiki would probably work.

I work as a developer on a remote team and we use Slack for text communication and Zoom for video chat. If there needs to be more immediate conversation on a topic then those could work, but given that we’re located all over the world and there isn’t the same time constraint as work, I don’t know if those tools are as necessary.

One of my favorite tools for developer documentation is Dash (https://kapeli.com/dash) which organizes all the documentation that I use in a single place and makes it easy to search for information. I’m not sure how helpful that format is for beginners though.

One tricky thing with documentation is versioning if people are sharing scripts meant to run on a specific version of firmware.

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ed! fantastic initiative! what a positive way to engage a very cool problem.

this would be very helpful + I agree that community updates/involvement is essential to the success of new users.

though start-points need nailed down, it might help to surface an end-point: @tehn has been migrating monome.org to GitHub pages. this will allow anyone to submit a pull request to change documentation in realtime. huge improvement over the current model, which requires a script to be manually run to push updates.

all of this sounds very useful! I’m wondering if each branch of the ecosystem shouldn’t have its own INDEX as part of its subpages? for example, from monome.org/docs/crow (the main “product page”) we have:

to supplement these, @voidstar has proposed a “/resources” page to collect videos, reference material, tutorials, the Lua codebase, example scripts/point to script library, relevant community discussion threads, etc. I think that’s right in line with the proposed spirit of INDEX.

so, maybe that lends itself well to an INDEX for ansible and teletype and norns and and and?

this is v real. I’d suggest setting a goal to document the most recent versions and committing to consistently iterating over time – this will build a great historical repo without creating a mountain of starting hurdles.

happy to help however I can!

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if people are looking for a means to collaborate i’d suggest “github project”

https://help.github.com/en/articles/creating-a-project-board

stumbled on the feature a few months ago to while trying to migrate my to-do lists, links, references etc from misc scattered notebooks while prepping an album

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I LOVE these ideas that are already arising!

I also am humbled by the recognition that I am already out of my league!

This all sounds exactly like what I’ve been thinking about, only with more technical insight and precision than I have the skills to express…
Wonderful!

Thanks so much…

I’ve got some irl stuff to deal with this morning, so I’ll check back in a bit later. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds!

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I agree. I would love to have at least a centralized page outside of the forum (probably monome.org) where I can find all of the available norms scripts. Even if it was just links to the GitHub page and a direct link to the corresponding lines forum post, that would be amazing. Especially for people who are new and may not be familiar with the forum!

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there’s no leagues! just folks building things together. you started a fantastic fire, just bringing additional kindling :slight_smile:

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This is great, Ed. I’d love to help in any way I can.

One general thing I’ve been observing recently is a tension between types of information/knowledge sharing in regards to the broader monome ecosystem. On one level, we have nicely collated spaces like monome.org and the more curated threads/sections here on lines (think the i2c guide, the library, etc.). On another level, though, a ton of critically important stuff only gets surfaced in scattered posts across multiple threads here. The more that happens, the harder it is to then “convert” this dispersed knowledge into a more official form.

Of course, lines will (and should) always remain a vital component of knowledge sharing within the community. But if the barrier to entry in terms of publishing or editing documentation is lowered (as @Dan_Derks highlighted above with the migration to github pages), and if best practices can be established and held to, then we might see folks more readily commit their amazing resources to more centralized and accessible documentation hubs.

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The software that runs this forum has the capability to turn topics into wiki pages. This might serve just fine to do what you need from a logistics standpoint. Not sure how the Staff feels about enabling that etc but I would inquire about that.

Also, for any kind of knowledge aggregation effort like this many people will disagree about how to categorize and organize and so on. I encourage you to start and work on it and not get bogged down in too many of those discussions.

Make it in a way that makes sense to you, change it when someone suggests something that makes sense to you. The people who want to collaborate and help you will show up once they see your direction.

Good luck!

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I am more than willing to support said initiative in whatever way would be helpful, so count me in.

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I wanted to share this in this thread, to give some insight into the inspiration behind this idea… From a chat with Alanza maybe a week ago:

Lines learning thoughts

Newbs are technically customers but that is not a particularly helpful role concept…
More useful to be students or apprentices or Starfleet Academy incoming class…

The future of the community depends on bringing new members along so that they can in turn become the teachers of tomorrow…

Need better organized on-ramp with simple concepts explained and helpful links in a centralized location…

This could be viewed as customer service or guidance for dummies or whatever, but clearly there is a real need being expressed…

It makes no sense to tell a newb to find the answers in a 500 post thread, that is just cruel. Yes, one opts into this experience and a part of that includes putting in the hard work, but that doesn’t negate the value of accessible learning resources…

Benefits entire community to have well designed basics easy to access…

No doubt monome is fundamentally about not prescribing use cases, but without a meaningful level of already acquired skills and knowledge, it can feel nearly impossible to even start to scale the mountain! How can we build more helpful resources?

Classes?
Webinars?
Hangouts?
Mentoring?

There must be folks with a teaching orientation who would be willing to collaborate in this direction…

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i’m not sure to what capacity i could be of assistance, here. i haven’t coded since BASIC (+ a bit of html that i’ve long since forgotten), am new to the monome ecosystem (& don’t currently have a piece, yet. but working on it), and still feel very new to making electronic music, despite tinkering for more than a decade.

however, i sense…solid growth in the direction hinted at by this topic, and think it would be very helpful to me (& i’m guessing others, too). and i’d like to contribute, even if just by providing support in brainstorming & clarifying direction (which, my soft skill set leans heavily along these lines).

my cognitive load is high AF right now, but i’ll make efforts to return to this topic as i clear space.

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Lines INDEX straw man

THEORY: This is based in part on the monome docs at https://monome.org/docs/.

The monome docs are a great resource, but below are a few enhancements I propose based on my own challenges (and input from others) in getting a handle on the large amount of fairly esoteric knowledge needed to progress in this path (“path” in the Jananese “-do” sense):

I. Locate the INDEX on Lines, assuming that Lines is where the user base gathers and communicates, and it is less of a “company” or “sales” related site than monome.org.

II. Include links to a wide range of related learning resources directly into the INDEX for enhanced accessibility and a single point of research organization. This could be a great place to aggregate links to relevant threads, and could inspire folks to contribute to maintaining updated and reasonably well organized topical wikis in which useful information from threads can be distilled, thereby helping to avoid a “read the 1000 entry thread to get the answer” syndrome.

III. Assume the learner is starting from just about zero prior knowledge.

IV. Each link in the INDEX could link to its own aggregation page, where relevant info could be further linked to. This would help with cross-indexing issues.

V. Links in the INDEX would need to include resources outside the monome ecosystem to be truly useful.

Here is a straw man to start with, please feel free to beat on it. Comments, questions, offers to help, guidance from the “staff,” it’s all good. Thanks for listening.

+hardware

  • norns
  • crow
  • grid
  • arc
  • aleph

+modular

  • teletype
  • ansible
  • white whale
  • meadowphysics
  • earthsea
  • walk

+studies

+mannequins modular

  • Mangrove
  • Just Friends
  • Three Sisters
  • Cold Mac
  • W/
  • RIP (discontinued)

+software

+programming languages {is there a difference between software and programming languges?}

  • lua
  • supercollider

+videos (instructional)

+videos (artistic)

+podcasts

+user groups

+classes

+mentoring

+other websites with helpful resources

  • ???
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this seems solid to me.

i’m not sure about an INDEX page, per se, b/c i don’t know what the discourse capabilities are for pages outside the FAQ/forum (as opposed to hosting the pages elsewhere) but i could easily see this being a new category, with a link to the category from the FAQ.

doing that could also reduce workload re: organizing the INDEX, as folks could add resources they’ve found to the wiki, much like in this thread:

the main work would be starting the category, starting relevant topics (things like “CROW: basics”, “NORNS: tutorials”, “LUA: mentoring”, etc). probably include an “About The INDEX Category” and an “INDEX Category requests” topic.

i think chunking everything down this finely would help cut the 1k+ post wade issue. and it’s really…kind of a crystallization of many of the resources floating around here already. i would definitely be able to help sift and sort, in this format.

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That seems like a good suggestion. I’l mull over it in more detail, but just wanted to re-enforce the point that the intro pages need to assume no prior knowledge. See by way of example the Grid page. Even from the setup & intro page, it’s not obvious what the grid is (or rather what it’s not).

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addendum/clarification:

after further reading in other topics, it seems that creation of new categories on lines is (understandably) somewhat antithetical to our hosts’ aesthetic. and i recognize that many of the above commentary is re: additional pages on the monome site, instead.

my…suggestion? proposal? re: an INDEX category here comes mainly from an intention of more evenly distributing the labor involved in creating/collecting these resources, since a prevalent theme around these parts is “how to balance job/art/life/etc”.

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I. i think this makes sense (since we’re expecting community content rather than just the Monome view), but, ideally there should be links from monome.org.
II. Yep. Linking directly to posts within the threads will solving the current problem of finding the needles in the 1000+ post haystacks.
IV. Can you expand on what you mean by this?
V. Definitely agree.

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I think that’s certainly one aspect, but I think the other issue is that there’s a lot fo very useful content in the threads here, but it’s very hard to find. There also exist threads that start out as ways of capturing some of that information, but because its also a discussion, the aggregated content again gets lost. IMHO. YMMV.

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