Thursday, January 11, 2007

Editing HTML in D2L

James Falkofske strikes again.
James, of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, is one of the most talented instructional designers and trainers in our system (check out his blog). He sent me an email this morning regarding a technique he researched for editing the HTML in uploaded files for D2L classes.
Using the HTML editor inside D2L doesn't always work well and it doesn't work at all for certain browsers. This causes problems for some of us who try to avoid Microsoft Internet Explorer as if it were plague-infested. Maybe it truly is, although YMMV.

James has been experimenting with the Mozilla SeaMonkey suite of browser tools, which includes a "Composer" web editor. SeaMonkey feels very much like the old Netscape browser which also had a Composer feature. In fact, Netscape Composer is how I first learned to make web pages, back in the day. (Flickr photo courtesy of kitten wtw, and here's another fun photo from someone else.)

James also created a very nice Captivate Flash video that shows the process that D2L users can utilize to directly edit files within the D2L server space. View the video here.

This is a very easy way to edit existing files within D2L. I've used it this morning on several different pages with good results. This doesn't solve the caching issues with D2L where it often takes 5 to 10 minutes for the new edits on a page to show up in the Content area. This is not a browser cache issue, and this will continue to happen regardless of whether someone uses the D2L editor or the SeaMonkey editor.

James adds the following:
NOTE: for this to work best, ALL files must be stored in the course's root folder.

BTW, don't you just love sea monkeys? I have some baby sea monkeys in my basement right now. The baby angelfish usually eat the little monkeys before they have a chance to learn how to walk the tightrope or ride the bikes, but other than that it's just what you would expect from the ads.

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