General discussion


Welcome to Workspace!

By Jay Garmon Contributor ·
The following message was sent via e-mail to our latest group of TR Insiders. If you didn't receive the mail (lousy spam filters), you can review it here at your leisure. If you did receive the mail, you can skip directly to Workspace testing via the link at the bottom of this post.


Greetings TR Insiders,

If you're receiving this mail, it means either you're a veteran TR Insider who has been recalled to active duty (Oz, Apotheon, HAL, good to see you), or a new recruit to the ranks of TechRepublic's most trusted and influential members. The TR Insiders have access to a private, for-your-eyes-only forum that will allow you to preview, critique, beta test, and directly shape TechRepublic's feature development. There's no obligation to participate, but if you do, there will be some tasty TR swag in your future (except for Maxwell Edison, who would rather work for free).

Participation involves testing Beta versions of TechRepublic features and giving us honest, helpful feedback. It also means keeping these features secret until they're ready for their world debut. In the meantime, you can talk smack about all things TechRepublic safely within the confines of the TR Insiders forum, located here.

It's been a while since TechRepublic has rolled out some new features and functionality for you to poke and prod, but we hope our latest effort will make it worth the wait. Our most recent creation, the TechRepublic Workspace, is currently in Beta.

The Workspace is designed to answer some of the most common requests and complaints we have received regarding a few of our new community features. "What do I do with Links?" and "Why should I update my Profile?" being some enduring classics of the genre. Workspace is where we pull it all together via four key components: Suggestions, History, Enhanced Links, and Projects.

Suggestions is a mix of TechRepublic content (including downloads, discussions, and blog posts) collected just for you based on the data expressed in your TechRepublic Profile. No longer will you need to search for TR content of interest to you. TechRepublic will find it for you.

History is a checklist of selected actions you've performed on TechRepublic, allowing you to backtrack and find interesting content you've already consumed and want to revisit.

Links is the lynchpin of the TR Workspace, allowing you to save and tag any of the Suggested or Historical content for future reference. You can now also mark selected Links as Private, preventing sensitive documents or content from being shared with the larger TechRepublic community.

Projects is where we kick it up a notch, allowing you to build a more narrowly focused version of your TechRepublic Workspace. Projects allow you to specify tags that will filter content for you. Would you like suggested content that relates only to VPN and security, rather than your entire list of Profile interests? Set it up as a Project and view only those results. You can also save content within the Projects via our Links feature. So if you find a great download that you want to mark and save for later, you can save it within your "VPN Security" Project so you can easily find and refer to it again.

We'd like to invite you to test Workspace and answer four questions for us via the TR Insiders forum:

What do you like about Workspace?
What do you hate about Workspace?
Would you use Workspace, and if so, what for?
What would you change about Workspace?

Yes, these are very specific questions, but feedback like, "I hate it," or "I love it," really doesn't help us refine and enhance the product.

And speaking of enhancements, we have big plans for the future of Workspace, like including content from around the Web and providing collaboration features that allow you to use Workspace as a group.

Please take some time over the next week to check out the Workspace. Create a project or two and post to the TRI discussion about your experience. We appreciate your time and effort in helping us make TechRepublic the best it can be.

The TechRepublic Community Team
(Stephen Howard-Sarin, Pete Spande, Shawn Morton, Beth Blakely, Jay Garmon, Paul Cook, and Bryan Peabody)


You can find Workspace here:

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

136 total posts (Page 5 of 14)   Prev   03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07   Next
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by apotheon In reply to Suggestions will rule the ...

That sounds highly spiff. I eagerly await richer content.

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I like the longer history

by stress junkie In reply to Welcome to Workspace!

One thing that I wanted was a longer history though I never mentioned it. Someone else must have thought the same thing. I like the longer history under "Your Private Work Tools". I'm not sure that I participated in all of the linked items but maybe I did.

Now, about getting the title of the post that you are reading to turn orange instead of battleship grey...

And while we're at it I've thought of another helper in finding posts of interest in a discussion. How about having the title of each of your own posts show up in green? That way you can scan a list of posts in a discussion to easily find all of your own posts. I think it should be a medium green, not green like a pine tree. That's too dark.

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How do we view others?

by jdclyde In reply to Welcome to Workspace!

Or is this not available yet?

If we could look at the other public projects, it would help to steal ideas from others.

(I am really hoping there wasn't a huge button somewhere for this and I just missed it!)

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I wondered about that too

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How do we view others?

It would also be nice if you could invite other members to contribute. I've had some interesting peer chats with people kicked off by a discussion point or a response to a question. Some of them could easily end up as a discussion / tutorial on a useful topic and in someways a better way of going through the achievement process than some of these constant downloads.
Being able to manage your my documents equivalent would be a definite boon as well. They are many posts on mine where the point of initial thread was lost and I'd like see that back of it and have easy access to ones of more note but less frenetic activity.

Overall I like the look big simple and blue is a design mainstay of mine.

P.S. thanks for the invite.

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Group functionality is coming

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to I wondered about that too

This is Workspace Beta 1, which is basically a skeleton of where we want the public release to go. Workspace Beta 2, which is only weeks away, is built around collaboration (and a much better interface). You'll be able to do exactly this sort of info-sharing and organization.

It may seem a bit premature to include you guys this early in the process, but we wanted to get user feedback every step of the way.

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by apotheon In reply to Group functionality is co ...

You're verging on agile software development techniques, there, with that whole "feedback every step" thing. Heh.

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to agility

You'll spook the engineers!

Actually, our head software guy is a big Agile proponent. Glad you noticed.

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by apotheon In reply to Ssssssshhhhhhh!!!!!

Point him at Ruby on Rails, then. If he's such an Agile proponent, and knows good development frameworks when he sees 'em, he'll love it. I recently got my hands on Dave Thomas' and David Heinemeier Hansson's Agile Web Development with Rails, and I'm in love. I'll probably be redesigning all my websites using Rails, now.

It's that good (and includes built-in AJAX support, among other neat toys, that doesn't actually require you to write any tedious XML crap the way Struts would).

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by debuggist Staff In reply to Rails

I'd love to hear about your experience with ROR. I've been reading about it for months now (just read a magazine article that described the installation and setup of some simple pages).

It sounds great for form handling or other tools on a low activity site. Like the author of the article that I read though, I'm concerned about scalability. I wonder what choices are available for optimization.

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no problem

by apotheon In reply to Rails

I'll probably end up blogging about it at some point.

I don't know how extensible Rails is on the back end, yet, though if it is fairly extensible I'm sure it could be adapted to technologies that would make it potentially as scalable as anything else. I guess I'll find out as I go. Considering web development isn't my main career focus, I'll probably never be writing web apps on the order of Wikimedia and Google stuff, so Rails is probably perfect for me even if it does suffer a little in the scalability department, but it would be nice to be sure of its capabilities in that regard.

So, yeah. I'll let ya know, I guess, when I know more.

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