1. Joining Còmhla

Membership of Còmhla is open to anyone who can contribute to the aims of the community or who thinks that they might benefit by taking part. In particular, we are keen to recruit Gaelic language professionals, such as teachers, translators, broadcasters and journalists.

If you want to join, you will need to create a Wikispaces account (click "Join" at the top right of this page), and then request membership in this wiki. If you are having problems, please email Mark.McConville@glasgow.ac.uk. As with any complex piece of software, we know that there is a multitude of minor things that can go wrong in a wiki but can be fixed easily, so please don't hesitate to get in touch.

2. Contributing to Còmhla

Còmhla is a "wiki" - a user-editable website. Every page can be both read AND edited by members, and every page has a "Discussion" tab where members can engage in threaded discussions about page structure and content. For example, I suggest you add a message to the discussion tab on this page introducing yourself. Members can also create new pages.

3. How to edit pages

That's easy. Just go to the page, click the "Edit" tab at the top right, make your changes, and then click "Save". There are some good tutorials here and a useful help page here. Or click "Help" at the top right of this page. If you get stuck, there is no need to worry - a permanent record is kept on the server of all previous versions of every page, so the wiki managers can fix any problems. Just email Mark.McConville@glasgow.ac.uk. Alternatively you can leave a message by clicking the "Discussion" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to practice a little before you jump in, we have created a "sandbox" page for you to play around with - you can make any edits to this page that you want.

4. Leaving comments

One of the easiest ways of editing a page is by annotating some bit of the text with which you disagree with a comment. Just click the "Edit" button, select the bit of text you want to comment on, and then click the little yellow speech bubble icon on the edit pane. Leave your message and save the page. Your comment will appear in two places - on the right hand margin of the page, and also as a new thread in the "Discussion" panel. Other members can then reply to your comment.

You can read more about comments here.

5. Notifications

If you want, you can choose to be notified by either email or RSS, whenever someone edits or leaves a message on any page that you are particularly interested in. To set up this feature, click on the "Notify Me" tab on the relevant page.

6. Bugs in the software

The wiki software itself contains a couple of bugs that you should probably know about.

The first of these has to do with the situation where two different members are trying to edit the same page at the same time. For example:
  • member A starts to edit page X.
  • member B starts to edit page X.
  • member B saves his/her edits to page X and makes a cup of tea.
  • member A saves his/her edits to page X.
  • member B comes back, looks at page X and finds that all of the edits they just made have been overwritten by member A.

The basic principle involved in simultaneous editing is: the last person to save wins. This is not great - ideally Wikispaces would try to reconcile the competing versions in some way. But this doesn't happen yet. As soon as another member tries to edit the same page, you should see a little message up by the "Save" button telling you so. This is a signal that you may have to redo your edits again later, once the other member has saved their work. The best way to avoid this scenario is to make lots of short edits, rather than keeping a page open for editing for a long time without saving.

Another minor bug involves the editing system itself. Wikispaces actually provides you with two different ways of editing a page. The default one is what they call the "Visual Editor", which looks and works like a typical WYSIWYG word processor. This is by far the easiest one to use, but it very occasionally gets confused, and the only way to sort this out is to go into the "Wikitext" editor and make one or two edits there, before switching back to the "Visual Editor" (you can make the switch by clicking the arrow to the right of the "Save" button). If you are unsure about this, perhaps the best thing to do is just save what you have done, and leave a message on the "Discussion" tab saying what happened, and one of the moderators will fix it.

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