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New e-learning modules about writing and editing – please help! Fabulous prizes to be won!

At Biotext, where I work, we are developing e-learning modules about writing, editing and presenting information, and we need your help.

To make sure we design modules that are as useful and accessible as possible, we’d love to hear about your preferences. Please complete our brief survey to tell us how you might use the modules and what topics you would like to see.

The modules will be part of the Australian manual of scientific style (AMOSS), which is being expanded to include general content and will be renamed the Australian manual of style (AMOS). The modules will include text, video, audio, images, interactive elements and quizzes.

By completing the survey you will have a chance to receive a free 1-year subscription to AMOSS/AMOS – 5 to be won!

 

Click here to go to the survey

Thanks!

Successful science writing and editing at Biotext

Click for event brite page

On 13 Nov 2019, we (that is to say Biotext, where I work) will be running our popular course about writing reports, thesis and other documents with technical and scientific content. It will take place in our Bruce offices (that is, in Canberra) from 0930 to 1430.

To register or just have a look, you can go to EventBrite.

Click for event brite page

To get a look at the course outline, click on this thumbnail.

Successful science writing course outline

(Main content repeated in text at end of posting.)

Contact me if it’s of any interest. This is a commercial product, and I would not normally post on such a topic, but we’re a small business and we get our message out how we can.

 

Training.

——————————————————————————————-

Course topics

Common problems – looks at examples of typical science writing from a range of sources.

Where to start – outlines a set of questions to ask when first working on a document.

Writing clearly and succinctly – looks at how to avoid pitfalls of scientific writing such as overuse of jargon, passive voice and weak verbs and nouns.

Improving documents through editing – explains where substantive editing fits in the process of producing a document; and covers the different aspects of this stage, such as overall structure, content and logical flow.

‘Bare bones approach’ – outlines how to use a simple checklist to determine what level of editing a document requires. The checklist is useful in assessing your own work or in giving feedback to others.

Successful science writing and editing at Biotext

On 13 Nov 2019, we (that is to say Biotext, where I work) will be running our popular course about writing reports, thesis and other documents with technical and scientific content. It will take place in our Bruce offices (that is, in Canberra) from 0930 to 1430.

To register or just have a look, you can go to EventBrite.

Click for event brite page

To get a look at the course outline, click on this thumbnail.

Successful science writing course outline

(Main content repeated in text at end of posting.)

Contact me if it’s of any interest. This is a commercial product, and I would not normally post on such a topic, but we’re a small business and we get our message out how we can.

 

Training.

——————————————————————————————-

Course topics

Common problems – looks at examples of typical science writing from a range of sources.

Where to start – outlines a set of questions to ask when first working on a document.

Writing clearly and succinctly – looks at how to avoid pitfalls of scientific writing such as overuse of jargon, passive voice and weak verbs and nouns.

Improving documents through editing – explains where substantive editing fits in the process of producing a document; and covers the different aspects of this stage, such as overall structure, content and logical flow.

‘Bare bones approach’ – outlines how to use a simple checklist to determine what level of editing a document requires. The checklist is useful in assessing your own work or in giving feedback to others.

Installing the Adapt authoring tool on Debian, Part 3: Adapt

Part 1. Part 2.

I wanted to install the Adapt authoring tool to do some eLearning development. System specs:

$ uname -a
Linux lauequad 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz with 8GB RAM. Not the latest hardware, but ample.

Main reference is here: https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring/wiki/Installing-the-Authoring-Tool, and, really, I am only recording the steps because it fills up a post. Or so I thought…

From the website:

Running the following command will create a folder named “adapt_authoring” that will contain the project source code. Using the command prompt, navigate to a folder where you want this to be created. Then run the following command.

git clone https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring.git

So let’s do that.

~/Adapt$ git clone https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring.git
Cloning into 'adapt_authoring'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 5, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (5/5), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (5/5), done.
remote: Total 33872 (delta 0), reused 4 (delta 0), pack-reused 33867
Receiving objects: 100% (33872/33872), 44.78 MiB | 559.00 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (21201/21201), done.
$ cd adapt_authoring/
~/Adapt/adapt_authoring$ npm install --production

$ node install

And I accepted all defaults.

$ node server

and we’re off!

Picture of the front page

Here it is –the authoring tool

node

Installing the Adapt authoring tool on Debian, Part 2: Grunt and MongoDB

Part 1 here.

I wanted to install the Adapt authoring tool to do some eLearning development. System specs:

$ uname -a
Linux lauequad 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz with 8GB RAM. Not the latest hardware, but ample.

Main reference is here: https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring/wiki/Installing-the-Authoring-Tool, and, really, I am only recording the steps because it fills up a post. Or so I thought…

First, it needs some dependencies:

  • Git
  • Node.js (and npm)
  • Grunt
  • MongoDB
  • FFmpeg

OK, Grunt

Opened a terminal and

cd /home/username/Adapt
$ sudo npm install -g grunt-cl

All seems well.

MongoDB

Took a look at https://docs.mongodb.com/manual/tutorial/install-mongodb-on-debian/. I do not have any version of MongoDB installed, and based on recent experience it is probably a good idea to use the one sanctioned by the developers, rather than one from the Debian repositories.

First, import the public GPG key and add the required repository — I always mess this up, so I’ll see how I go.

Mindlessly follow the instructions on the website, even though they mention Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv 9DA31620334BD75D9DCB49F368818C72E52529D4

$ echo "deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/debian stretch/mongodb-org/4.0 main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list
deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/debian stretch/mongodb-org/4.0 main
$ ls -ltrh /etc/apt/sources.list.d
total 8.0K
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 112 Apr 1 21:56 nodesource.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 68 Apr 16 16:34 mongodb-org-4.0.list


OK, that adds the repo, so now I need to update and then install.

$ sudo apt-get update

....
Get:10 http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/debian stretch/mongodb-org/4.0 Release.gpg [801 B]
Get:11 http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/debian stretch/mongodb-org/4.0/main amd64 Packages [7,715 B]
....

Seems to be there.

$ sudo apt-get install mongodb-org

Say yes and away it goes.

Start MongoDB.

Issue the following command to start mongod:

sudo service mongod start

Verify that MongoDB has started successfully

Verify that the mongod process has started successfully by checking the contents of the log file at /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log for a line reading

[initandlisten] waiting for connections on port 27017

27017 is the default port the standalone mongod listens on.

$ sudo grep 27017 /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log
2019-04-16T17:34:11.091+1000 I CONTROL [initandlisten] MongoDB starting : pid=5687 port=27017 dbpath=/var/lib/mongodb 64-bit host=lauequad
2019-04-16T17:34:11.091+1000 I CONTROL [initandlisten] options: { config: "/etc/mongod.conf", net: { bindIp: "127.0.0.1", port: 27017 }, processManagement: { timeZoneInfo: "/usr/share/zoneinfo" }, storage: { dbPath: "/var/lib/mongodb", journal: { enabled: true } }, systemLog: { destination: "file", logAppend: true, path: "/var/log/mongodb/mongod.log" } }
2019-04-16T17:34:12.903+1000 I NETWORK [initandlisten] waiting for connections on port 27017

All good.

Stop MongoDB.

As needed, you can stop the mongod process by issuing the following command:

sudo service mongod stop

Restart MongoDB.

Issue the following command to restart mongod:

sudo service mongod restart

node

 

Targus PAUM35

Remote mouse / clicker for walking around while PowerPointing is useful. Modern ones are quite sleek and neat. This is an old device, but that has some advantages, especially in the Linux world where a lot of manufacturers don’t provide drivers. It has a built-in mouse that lets you drive the pointer remotely, and mode switch that lets you click in and out of a PowerPoint presentation if you want to go to a website (though needs some practice).  Also has laser pointer. Is relatively bulky — 4cm wide and 2cm thick. Not sleek.

Compatibility report

  • Works automagically with Windows 10 (64 bit) (may have downloaded a driver without telling me — it is Windows 10, after all).
  • Works on Windows 7 (64 bit) but it needed to download a driver from Windows Update.
  • Works automagically on Windows xp (that box was not even on the ‘net).
  • Works automagically on Debian GNU/Linux 9.8.

Linux version information:

$ uname -a
Linux lauequad 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux
$ cat /etc/debian_version
9.8

Tail of dmesg

[ 1543.657284] usb 2-1.1: new low-speed USB device number 4 using ehci-pci
[ 1543.772132] usb 2-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=05af, idProduct=216a
[ 1543.772136] usb 2-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[ 1543.772138] usb 2-1.1: Product: USB RF Keyboard
[ 1543.772149] usb 2-1.1: Manufacturer: Innovace
[ 1543.775850] input: Innovace USB RF Keyboard as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.1/2-1.1:1.0/0003:05AF:216A.0002/input/input10
[ 1543.833657] hid-generic 0003:05AF:216A.0002: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.10 Keyboard [Innovace USB RF Keyboard] on usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.1/input0
[ 1543.839829] input: Innovace USB RF Keyboard as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.1/2-1.1:1.1/0003:05AF:216A.0003/input/input11
[ 1543.897730] hid-generic 0003:05AF:216A.0003: input,hidraw2: USB HID v1.10 Mouse [Innovace USB RF Keyboard] on usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.1/input1

Manual for very similar PAUM30 is at http://cdn.targus.com/web/us/downloads/paum30_ug.pdf.

 

Just FYI.

Installing the Adapt authoring tool on Debian, Part 1: node.js and weird warnings with Debian gpg keys

I wanted to install the Adapt authoring tool to do some eLearning development. System specs:

$ uname -a
Linux lauequad 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz with 8GB RAM. Not the latest hardware, but ample.

Main reference is here: https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring/wiki/Installing-the-Authoring-Tool, and, really, I am only recording the steps because it fills up a post. Or so I thought…

First, it needs some dependencies:

  • Git
  • Node.js (and npm)
  • Grunt
  • MongoDB
  • FFmpeg

Git is fine, just installed from Debian repositories. FFmpeg also. But there’s a problem — the old ‘old Debian’ problem. For example

$ nodejs --version
v4.8.2

This is just too old — the current version is 11.12 or something, and even the LTS version is 10.15.3, so remove node.js and install from their own repository.

$ sudo apt-get remove node.js
$ sudo apt-get autoremove

This is essential because the Debian build of node.js lacks npm, and Adapt absolutely relies on it.

The necessary magic is outlined at https://github.com/nodesource/distributions#debinstall; basically, we add a new repository to our Debian install and then install from that. But it’s apparently best to let the script do it.

$ wget https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_11.x
$ sudo bash ./setup_11.x

Except for me it seemed to create errors. Maybe I did something wrong, but I cannot see what. Here is some of the output:

+ curl -s https://deb.nodesource.com/gpgkey/nodesource.gpg.key | apt-key add -
gpg: WARNING: nothing exported
gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found.
gpg: Total number processed: 0
Error executing command, exiting

Now whenever I run apt-get update I am getting nasty warnings I’ve never seen before — like

W: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stretch/Release.gpg: The key(s) in the keyring
 /etc/apt/trusted.gpg are ignored as the file is not readable by user '_apt' executing 
apt-key.

Now, this is not just the node.js repo being affected. I note that

/etc/apt$ ls -l trusted.gpg
-rw------- 1 root root 32 Mar 27 20:04 trusted.gpg

The date and time on the trusted.gpg file is that from when I tried to install node.js, and the errors date from then. So it looks like the file was messed up — if it was not already. Since I’m no guru, I thought maybe Debian could fix it sort of automagically if I installed enough stuff.

$ sudo aptitude install debian-keyring debian-archive-keyring

Nope

<$ wget -O - https://ftp-master.debian.org/keys/archive-key-9.asc

$ sudo apt-key add archive-key-9.asc
gpg: WARNING: nothing exported
gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found.
gpg: Total number processed: 0

Nope. What if I just get rid of the problem file? Renaming it will do:

$ sudo mv /etc/apt/trusted.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.old
$ wget -O - https://ftp-master.debian.org/keys/archive-key-9.asc
$ wget -O - https://ftp-master.debian.org/keys/archive-key-9-security.asc
$ sudo apt-key add archive-key-9.asc
$ sudo apt-key add archive-key-9-security.asc

Now it all seems OK. Problem was a messed up /etc/apt/trusted.gpg, presumably messed up by the attempted install of node.js, or maybe that install just caused a problem to manifest.

I then found all the node.js-related files (/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d, /etc/apt/sources.d) and deleted them.

Since I reckon I understand what happened, I thought I’d try the install again. It’s possible that node.js was interacting with a corrupt file that was already there. So, after cleaning things up, as above:

$ wget https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_11.x
$ sudo bash ./setup_11.x
$ sudo apt-get install nodejs

Seems to be working.

$ npm --version
6.7.0
$ nodejs --version
v11.13.0

All good. Next is Grunt and MongoDB.

node

 

Installing Adapt eLearning authoring tool locally on Windows 10

Note that this process needs administrator privileges. I think.

Step 1: Prerequisites

Can it be done on Windows? While it recommends a unixy environment, and that would probably be easier given that tools like apt-get could be used, that may not be absolutely necessary. There are Windows command prompt screenshots in the help pages. Clearly, a Windows install can be done.

OK, the prerequisites are given as:
• Git
• Node.js
• Grunt
• MongoDB
• FFmpeg

I have heard of some of these … But none should be too much of a problem. Went to https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring/wiki/Installing-the-Authoring-Tool and got started.

FFmpeg

Went to: https://www.wikihow.com/Install-FFmpeg-on-Windows. Then went to https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/ and got the Windows 64 bit static download.

Clicked Open when the Browser (Edge) asked me, and the zip file opened in 7z archive manager. Your own environment may be different.

Unpacked the content of the zipped folder into C:\Users\username\installs\FFmpeg. The file listing looks like this:

C:\Users\username\installs>dir FFmpeg\
 Volume in drive C is OS
 Volume Serial Number is D213-1BB4

 Directory of C:\Users\username\installs\FFmpeg

20/03/2019  02:40 PM    <DIR>          .
20/03/2019  02:40 PM    <DIR>          ..
19/03/2019  04:15 AM    <DIR>          bin
19/03/2019  04:15 AM    <DIR>          doc
20/03/2019  02:40 PM    <DIR>          ffmpeg-20190319-f8075b2-win64-static
19/03/2019  04:15 AM            35,823 LICENSE.txt
19/03/2019  04:15 AM    <DIR>          presets
19/03/2019  04:15 AM             4,503 README.txt
               2 File(s)         40,326 bytes
               6 Dir(s)  150,178,562,048 bytes free

Then added the path to the binary to my path. To do this:
1. Found the folder FFmpeg\bin (in my case, C:\Users\username\installs\FFmpeg\bin) and copied that path (easiest was to go there in Explorer and then click in the address bar)
2. On the Windows icon, clicked and typed ‘Settings’ (or select Settings from the menu)
3. In the Find a setting box, typed ‘env’ and selected either edit system environment variables (if administrator and want this to work for all users) or edit for your account
4. When the list of variables came up, chose Path and clicked Edit. This brought up a list of directories that are in the path. Clicked New and pasted the FFmpeg\bin folder full address in there.
Opened a command prompt (if unsure, click on Windows icon and type ‘CMD’ and see what happens), then when it opened typed:

C:\>path

and saw a string of directories, with the last being the new FFmpeg directory. Good. Typed:

C:\>ffmpeg -version

and checked that the version matches whatever Adapt is mandating these days.

H:\>ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg version 2.8.4 Copyright (c) 2000-2015 the FFmpeg developers
built with gcc 5.2.0 (GCC)
configuration: --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --disable-w32threads --enable-avisynth --enable-bzlib --enable-fontconfig --enable-frei0r --enable-gnutls --enable-iconv --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libbs2b --enable-libcaca --enable-libdcadec --enable-libfreetype --enable-libgme --enable-libgsm --enable-libilbc --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-librtmp --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvidstab --enable-libvo-aacenc --enable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libwebp --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxavs --enable-libxvid --enable-lzma --enable-decklink --enable-zlib
libavutil 54. 31.100 / 54. 31.100
libavcodec 56. 60.100 / 56. 60.100
libavformat 56. 40.101 / 56. 40.101
libavdevice 56. 4.100 / 56. 4.100
libavfilter 5. 40.101 / 5. 40.101
libswscale 3. 1.101 / 3. 1.101
libswresample 1. 2.101 / 1. 2.101
libpostproc 53. 3.100 / 53. 3.100

Git

OK, installing Git on Windows. Try https://gitforwindows.org/. Downloaded and ran the installer without using my brain at all. Did turn on all the checkboxes.

Screen shot showing all boxes checked

Installing git

Clicked through. I am happy to use Vim as the default editor. I am happy to check ‘Git from the command line and also from 3rd-party software’ – I suspect this is essential for Adapt.

Boxes checked allowing run from command line and other applications

Installing git (2)

Left it using the OpenSSL library (no idea on this one). Used the recommended setting for line ending conversions. Used the Windows default console window (CMD.EXE). I want the installation to be an invisible part of Windows. Defaults the rest of the way.

Node.js

Went to https://nodejs.org/en/download/. Downloaded Windows Installer. (in this case, https://nodejs.org/dist/v10.15.3/node-v10.15.3-x64.msi) .

Ran it and accepted defaults. It said it worked … and who am I to argue?

Grunt

Went to https://gruntjs.com/getting-started. Grunt is installed using npm, the Node.js package manager.

First, went to my Windows menu and found Node.js in the list of applications and opened the Node.js command prompt. In the command window, typed:

H:\>npm --help

and did indeed get some output; this was a good start. According to the Grunt website, next step is to make sure everything is up to date, so:

H:\> npm update -g npm

This seemed to work. So:

H:\> npm install -g grunt-cli

That seemed to work too. Now, the website says: ‘Note that installing grunt-cli does not install the Grunt task runner!’. So how do I do that? Reading, it seems that the project should install Grunt for itself (‘Grunt and Grunt plugins should be defined as devDependencies in your project’s package.json. This will allow you to install all of your project’s dependencies with a single command: npm install.’)

So, I am going to see what happens as I go along.

MongoDB

Went to https://www.mongodb.com/download-center/community. Hit the big Download button and ran the installer. Chose to run it as a service locally, did not change contents of any boxes on the Service Configuration menu, except domain, account name and password.

It said: ‘Windows 2012 Server and Windows 10 need KB2999226 to provide Universal C Runtime support for Windows.’ Well, I have completely up-to-date Windows 10 as of March 2019, I chose to skip that and see what happens. Install proceeded. Seemed OK. What would I know?

Note: At a later date, MondoDB stopped working. The incantation from here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/42739166/could-not-connect-to-mongodb-on-the-provided-host-and-port did the job.

C:\>mkdir data

C:\>mkdir data\db

C:\>cd "Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.0\bin\

C:\Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.0\bin>mongod

Then I could run MongoDB ok.

Step 2: Adapt

Created C:\Users\username\installs\Adapt and went there in the Node.js terminal window. Ran (just take ‘>’ as the command prompt):

>git clone https://github.com/adaptlearning/adapt_authoring.git

It did a whole bunch of stuff.

>cd adapt-authoring

Then used npm to install the things the project depends on:

>npm install --production

Website: ‘Note: The <tt>–production</tt> option bypasses the installation of dependencies which are only relevant to development, such as the unit testing facilities.’ That is, it can be omitted unless you want to actually develop Adapt as well as use it. I don’t.
Got some warnings, but no errors. I dunno. No errors is probably good. Warning may be due to it being a new install and some files having to be created. Suggests ‘run `npm audit fix` to fix them, or `npm audit` for details’ and who am I to argue?

>npm audit fix

It did not help. Oh, well, ignore for now … Install it:

>node install

Accepted all defaults, except superuser information, and said Y to ffmpeg; Windows defender popped up a warning. I said it should allow access.
The install asked about database server info:

> Database host (localhost)
> Database server port (27017)
> Database server user (only specify if using database authentication)
> Database server password (only specify if using database authentication)
> Database server authentication database (only specify if using database authentication)

Was not sure about this. Just hit Enter, but perhaps should have put in the details I had to enter for the MongoDB install. But did not! Eventually, got:

Web application built successfully.
Installation completed successfully, the application can now be started with 'node server'.

Good!

>node server
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:44 +11:00] configuration loaded from C:\Users\username\installs\Adapt\adapt_authoring\conf\config.json
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:45 +11:00] Supporting the following authentication types:
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:45 +11:00] - local
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:46 +11:00] Connection established: adapt-tenant-master
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:47 +11:00] Adapt authoring tool 0.6.5.
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:47 +11:00] Adapt framework 2.3.3.
info: [21 Mar 2019 10:57:47 +11:00] Server started listening on port 5000

Looks good.
Open Edge and go to localhost:5000. Do indeed get a login window!

screenshot

Adapt learning login window

So entered my login information, and I’m in. Now I need to actually figure out how to use the program!

Created a little batch file to run it, Adapt.bat:

@echo off
echo Start the database engine
start mongodaemon.bat
sleep 5s
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\MongoDBCompassCommunity\MongoDBCompassCommunity.exe
sleep 15s
echo Start the server
c:
cd C:\Users\usernameinstalls\Adapt\adapt_authoring
start /min /newwindow node server
sleep 15s
echo Start the browser
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" http://localhost:5000

The details here will depend strongly on where the programs were installed. For example, these are mostly locally installed rather than installed into Program Files.

Here is mongodaemon.bat

@echo off 
Echo Starting mongo daemon, I hope
c:
cd "c:\Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.0\bin"
mongod.exe

I found that Firefox/Chrome (as Brave) played better with this setup than did Edge; I did not try Chrome or any other browsers.

YMMV.

Adapt or

Correct answer indented wrongly in Articulate Storyline

Here is the problem:

screenshot

The correct answer is not fully indented; makes it easy once you work out the pattern

If I select the correct answer (click the radio button), it gets moved into the correct position. If I right-click on ‘True’ in the slide editor, then select Format Shape and then Text Box, I can see the internal margins — left 20px, right 20px. I see the same for ‘False’. Paragraph formatting is also the same. If I select the whole rectangle that the text is in, it has 10px. What if I make all 20px? Both the text boxes and the rectangle they sit in?

Nope, cannot do that. Greyed out.

But … if I select the actual button itself and look at Format Shape and then Text Box, I do see some differences… Selecting the button is not that easy — I seem to need to reselect the correct answer after I can fix it. Seems like this could introduce errors.

Make any horizontal position numbers the same.

screenshot, showing the Left and Right internal margins as the culprits

The arrowed numbers are the culprits

Yep, this fixes it. These numbers were different for the radio button/check box associated with the correct answer(s) for multiple choice, true/false and select all questions. There must be an inconsistency in some underlying template. Well, at least I know how to do a manual fix now.

Articulate

Physics in Focus Year 12

Here it is!

I am very pleased to announce the arrival of Physics in Focus for Year 12, the new book for NSW high schools. See here!

My contribution is just a couple of chapters of the 17 in there, plus some solutions to various worked examples and end-of-chapter questions.

A book like this, with so many equations, images, tables, figures and other forms of content, is a highly collaborative exercise, and I’m glad I was not responsible for putting all the pieces together! That was up to Eleanor Gregory and Felicity Clissold at Cengage. The editing was by Elaine Cochrane, and Jane Fitzpatrick was the proofreader.

I hope I was not too hard to work with. I’m very pleased that the body text is a serif font. Choosing sans serif fonts for body text does not work well for mathematics where we need to be able to differentiate symbols and where we’d like a real italic rather than an oblique. The choice means the designers are taking the content seriously.

There was little to worry about here since the style was already set in the Year 11 book.

Photo of cover, showing title and authors, including me...

The front cover of Physics in Focus for Year 12, the new textbook from Nelson (Cengage).  ISBN-13: 9780170409131 — order your copy now!

 

Seconded.