Make This Better

Make This Better

We’re hoping you’ll join our experiment with this website.

We’ll be posting good documentation, instructions, videos, etc. to this website, but we need your help to make it really good.

We need you to comment on each and every thing we post (or don’t post). Tell us what we got wrong, tell us what we left out, let us know how we can make it better, or even what we got right.

How to Comment

To comment, you must log in using your CCIS credentials (no anonymous comments allowed so we can have a discussion). You can log in using either the Log in link on pages with sidebars or using the WordPress Admin link at the bottom of every page. Once logged in, you can start to leave comments on any page with a comment form.

If you have a comment that doesn’t fit on a form, please send us mail at systems@ccs.neu.edu.

What Happens After I Comment?

Every comment left here will first go into a moderation queue. We are moderating comments because this is the official public documentation site for the College.

For each comment we get, we’ll either post it as is at the bottom of the page (e.g. if you add information that wasn’t in the original page) or fix the page and give you credit for the change right on the page without posting your comment. In the latter case, we’re deleting the original comment because the goal is to make the page better vs. collect a set of “hey, you made a typo” comments after each page.

Can I Submit Whole Pages?

Absolutely. We’d love it if the community could contribute documentation. There’s at least one example on the site right now of documentation we received from a CCIS community member.

Been There, Done That?

Very likely. This idea comes from the MySQL documentation which has both the official documentation and a place for user comments on every page.

Um, I Still Don’t Get It?

Happy to talk to you more about in person. Please get in touch with us at systems@ccs.neu.edu so we can chat some more.

{ 10 comments }

Jeffrey Blanchette August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I very much like that you’ve choose a few simple categories to lump everything in. But I feel that there are a lot of crossover topics which don’t exactly fall under any of those.

Maybe consider adding a “Tools/Software” category which has information on setting up many popular things like IRC, mail clients, FTP clients, ect… in relation to our college of course

Also, in personal opinion I feel the sub-menus are a nice touch but maybe it would be better to have a small cross section of example topics under each category on the home page?

for example, instead of creating a menu structure on the top links, just post a few of the topics under its category so you can get a feel to which types of issues are resolved in which category

Thanks for your time and effort,
Jeff Blanchette 2012 CS

David Blank-Edelman September 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Hi Jeff. These are great ideas that we’ll definitely try to handle in the next redesign of the site.

Marsette Vona September 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

more pages should have comment forms, including the front page of the howto. That would be useful for general comments.

David Blank-Edelman September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

We thought a more appropriate place for general comments might be in this section (i.e. “make it better”). The concern is it isn’t possible to add general comments to the front page without cluttering it and making it hard for people who have never been to the page to be able to find things without too much text to wade through. As it says on this page, general comments that don’t fit any place can also be sent to us via email.

Marsette Vona September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

does this system implicitly connect to google analytics? it might be better if it did not. connectivity right now to google seems down (on my workstation, typing this from my laptop), which made it hard to get to the howto (I was trying to find your phone number, which was not listed anyway…)

David Blank-Edelman September 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

It does indeed call out to google analytics so we know which howto pages are read the most. I will switch the system over to the asynchronous method of calling ga so you don’t see a delay in connecting to this site.

Tim Mccormack October 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

Please add all the information that was lost when ccs/howto was converted to howto.ccs: http://web.archive.org/web/20080115173343rn_1/www.ccs.neu.edu/howto/

It was very useful, and is now hard to get to.

David Blank-Edelman October 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

When we moved from those static HTML files to this Wordpress system, we did our best to keep the docs that were still current and correct and jettison all of the rest. If there is anything from those files you think we overlooked and should be added here, please drop us a note to systems@ and we’ll take care of it.

William Furr May 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

There’s nothing in the howto or on the CCS website that I can find about creating accounts. There used to be a short page explaining accounts and with a text file for the account form. Here’s what I could find from the wayback machine: http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20070822222552/www.ccs.neu.edu/help/accounts.html

Even better would be an online form for applying for accounts.

Christopher Allison June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Hi William,

Instructions for getting a CCIS account (including a printable version of the account form) are available at http://www.ccs.neu.edu/welcome/ but you are correct: we should do a better job of making that information available here on HOWTO they are not easy to find. As such, I have added instructions to HOWTO at https://howto.ccs.neu.edu/howto/accounts-homedirs/how-to-sign-up-for-a-ccis-account/, with a credit to you for bringing this to our attention. Thanks!

As for going to a completely online account application & management system: That is definitely on our to-do list. We’ve had a few student employees do some groundwork on this already, but unfortunately we don’t yet have a complete system in place. As soon as we do (hopefully some time in the next year or so – there are a few higher priority projects we’re working on right now), we’ll post access instructions on this site.

-Christopher Allison
UNIX Systems Administrator

Edited: 2011-06-13 ~14:04 EDT to reflect addition of new “How to sign up for a CCIS account” page.

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