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greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Garden : One Thread

It's June 1st, 2002.

Wanna go for a walk?

Last year, for John's birthday, I made a virtual house/salon to share out of software designed by Phil Greenspun that I particularly like. It evolved over time into several other forums, one of which became the "Daily Tales", now a deep repository for some of my latest writings.

This one is called The Garden. I used it privately, for other things, and always envisioned it as a walk up the path to this place that I call "One Abode". (I always wondered what was out back - somehow, with you, I think we may go take a look)

This morning I realized it was a great place for you and I to meet and hang, and to let you accrue the benefits I've enjoyed by using this place to plant my words and watch them grow. I deleted all but one little bit on modes - I thought you might find it interesting - and have dedicated the rest of it to a walk with you.

I won't change this. If I want a new garden, I'll make a new one. This is our bit, now.

It is a password protected forum - only you and I can get in. It's pretty damned secure, and we're pretty damned obscure, so there shouldn't be a problem...

If we write here, and post things here - essays, letters, poetry, links to cool stuff, pictures, whatever we can imagine and figure out from Greenspun's FAQ (referenced below) - we'll not have the e-mail blob that gathers over time, *and* we'll get the benefit of accessing/visiting/adding to the space from any brower we use.

One way I used the Daily Tales was to write things inspired by John that really didn't belong in an e-mail, because I didn't want them to carry the load - for either him or for I - of needing a response. It turned out to be a very wise move, because it let the artist in me loose, without needing his feedback to continue.

Your poetry, pictures, letters, documents, allegories, and stories, linked or loaded here rather than as attachments to e-mails, can stand for both of us to access, simply and wherever/whenever we like. That would be very nice for me, this woman on the move with only 2 gigs in her laptop, who wants to peruse and revisit and smell the flowers at my leisure, and whenever I can. I think you might enjoy it, too.


Philip's room design on this site allows us to share things with one another. The way we initiate a sharing is always in the form of an "asking", a coming to each other with at least a part of our minds open and wondering.

At the "Top Level" of the Garden, when you click on "ask a question", this starts a new thread and you can write anything you'd like in there. When you want to stay in the thread, you simply "Contribute an Answer". It doesn't have to be an ANSWER - it's just a way to group the data.

When the data gets cumbersome, we can categorize later - after the fact.

You can cut and paste from a word document that you've composed off-line. You must use HTML text, however. I haven't tried creating an html document using a program yet, as I've only just got the software, so I've simply kept to basic html rules:

Use < p > to separate paragraphs,
< br > to make line breaks,
and you must craft some sort of a signature glyph, comprised of several lines of characters at the end that you don't need to be seen everytime, since the software has a periodic tendency to truncate postings by about 2 lines of text.

You can also place hot links in your "questions", as well as your "answers". Formatting with the full html address - < a h ref="http://www.fill in the blank"target="new">descriptive text here < /a > will suffice, though I've used bad syntax (spaces around the a's, h's and the p's above) in theses example so they won't turn into links or html.

The "ask a question" link used to confound me a bit. Phil doesn't let us edit this text. But I've come to appreciate it over the years. You see, for all proficient conversationalists, the asking posture is often just that - a posture we can utilize as an entree to get our own points across. The best of us, however, manage to keep the question evolving while we thrust and declare our way around it, finally contributing some shape to the unknown that still hangs in the air between us.

So don't be deceived, nor deterred. Follow my example of shameless disregard for new postings sans question mark, and share your heart's content to your heart's content


Phil Greenspun is pretty amazing - I'm just an awed fan. I use some of his tools, and this forum software is some of the best I've seen for speed and ease of use. This little thread can be for us to talk about technical stuff using this software if you're interested.

The data we generate here all sits on Phil's server at MIT. If you delete it, it's gone. I periodically download the whole collection through a function on the admin page. It's not pretty, but it works.

I keep my setting on "add an alert" for everything, because that let's me know by e-mail when you post something new. I usually don't read it in e-mail, because I actually prefer the interactive capacity of the Greenspun forum and it captures my responses more completely if I'm working out of the forum rather than e-mail.

I've also tended to use the Garden for things that I want to stand, as distinct from transient messages - but I've noticed that some exquisite paragraphs show up in the e-mails, and I don't know how to balance the two. I've never had anyone who shows the remotest interest in actually using the forum, rather than e-mail, to communicate densely. Perhaps we can give one another permission to post/plant into the Garden exquisite passages from the others' notes that move us?

Because this is a private password forum you have to browse with greenspun (this server) cookies enabled for the session. This goes a bit against my grain, since I shun all cookies. However, Phil seems to be a bit of a privacy buff, so I feel pretty confident that normal propriety is fully maintained.


There's also a wonderful editing feature, available to you through the "private page for deleting old threads" link at The Garden's top level. I'd like to extend to you the same options I have for making myself look like a better writer than I actually am.

The password for this admin page is "spring". You have the power to delete the whole thing if you like - if you get consumed in a fit of pique or something - and our work will disappear, so I guess the request I'd like to make is that you refrain from doing that. If you put it up, please consider leaving it up. I'll do the same. You have me on my honor for this. Don't change the admin password, please.

I use the edit feature to correct typographical errors. Clarifications, additional URLS, and afterthoughts are best submitted as "I think I'd have been better off saying ....." through the "Contribute an Answer" feature, so that the train of conversation can flow more naturally, and your reader (me) doesn't have to read the same thing over and over again and guess what refinements you made.

When you reach the administration page, click on the link for Q&A under "visit admin page". You should be able to figure it out from there - just remember to hand enter the < p >, since the only time that's done automatically is when you actually generate text inside the submission form.

You can visit Greenspun's page to get more info on details if you're interested. I plan on using this software, in combo with other things, to help me organize Chasing Spring. I think there are better ones out there, so this may morph into a way to collect those over time.


So, I think this is it, Daniel. I'm going to post a couple of things here so you see how it could be done.

I'm going to enjoy this walk, I think.
Immensely, I think.

Welcome to my garden.











.* <

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2002

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