This week I had a great time exploring the DataONE GitHub repository and starting on the technical tutorial. To reiterate, the main goal for Project 1 is to create a tutorial which shows how to contribute educational materials to DataONE’s Data Management Skillbuilding Hub. The tutorial would ideally be easy to follow and easily understood by people unfamiliar with coding and GitHub.
In a discussion with my mentors and myself, we agreed that the first issue to tackle would be to define the “primary steps”. These are the steps that all contributors need to complete in order to submit to the Skillbuilding Hub, regardless of what format their submission takes on. For example, the type of materials currently hosted by DataONE include markdown files, PDF’s, and videos.
In order to submit any of these things, the contributor must be able to:
(1) Fork DataONE’s Education Repository to their own online GitHub account,
(2) Commit a new markdown ( .md ) file which includes frontmatter written in YAML (“Yet Another Markup Language”),
(3) Submit educational materials on data management, and
(4) Submit a pull request to the DataONE master repository to accept the new material
It seems like a lot to ask of someone who has never used GitHub before!
On the contrary, it was actually very easy to learn. I, myself, have never used GitHub to work on a project before, and with some basic guidance, the learning curve was far less daunting. The goal of my tutorial is to provide that guidance!
Creating the Tutorial in Markdown
I was very grateful to find that Markdown is extremely easy to write in! Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting that makes your code easy to read, and easy to write. Markdown is used heavily by GitHub.
Here’s a preliminary look at my tutorial. I was able to learn fairly quickly how to format text, create dropdowns, and embed images.
It’s pretty amazing what you can do using GitHub. GitHub acts as a repository but it also allows you to host your own website based on your repository in GitHub for free.
Next week, I’ll discuss GitHub more and have a more solidified version of the tutorial.