The Dovetail #3: Updates from The Carpentries Workbench

Working through chopportunities

This is the third post in a series that we are calling “The Dovetail.” In this series, we aim to keep members of The Carpentries community abreast of the current news for The Carpentries Workbench.

If you are interested in participating in discussions around The Carpentries Workbench, head over to our GitHub Discussions forum:

Updates to The Carpentries Workbench

Since 2022-06-08,

  • {sandpaper} version 0.5.8 -> 0.6.0
    • create_episode() will now accept titles with spaces and UTF-8 characters. A slugified file name will be created from the title. Now you can create a new episode like so: sandpaper::create_episode("안녕 고양이 😹 Hello Kitty!") and the corresponding file name will be: 02-안녕-고양이-😹-hello-kitty.Rmd
    • create_episode() now has the variants create_episode_rmd() and create_episode_md(), for lesson developers who want to create episodes of a specific file type.
    • create_lesson() gains the rmd = TRUE argument, which allows lesson developers to opt out of creating an R Markdown-based episode if they want.
  • {varnish} version 0.1.14 -> 0.2.0
    • The search field has been disabled to avoid confusion (it is a future endeavour)
    • The heading above the sidebar has been renamed to EPISODES to avoid confusion
    • The sidebar will stay collapsed across page refreshes
  • {pegboard} (no updates)
  • Both the markdown template and R Markdown template now default to creating incubator lessons, as these are more common than lessons that are purely carpentries.

To update your local Workbench installation, open R and use the following code:

# Enable repository from carpentries
options(repos = c(
  ropensci = '',
  CRAN = ''))
# Download and install sandpaper in R
install.packages(c('tinkr', 'pegboard', 'sandpaper', 'varnish'))

Upcoming and Current Lessons in Workbench Beta

Zhian (aka Workbench DevOps Lead; aka Workbench Q&A Lead; aka Workbench Beta Phase Lead; aka Workbench Communications Lead) was on a well-deserved holiday last week, so the status since our last update to the Workbench Beta Phase has not changed much.

List of Lessons to enter Workbench Beta in 2022

No lessons have yet entered Workbench Beta, but we have a list of lessons that are in the queue:

Official Lessons

Tentative schedule for official lessons

Here are the tentative dates for lessons to enter pre-beta starting in the middle July. Please note that these dates are strictly tentative and are subject to change due to several factors including obligations that arise due to CarpentryCon.

Lesson Date Entering Pre-Beta
Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists 2022-07-12
R for Social Scientists 2022-07-19
Introduction to Geospatial Raster and Vector Data with R 2022-07-26
Data Cleaning with OpenRefine for Ecologists 2022-08-02
Library Carpentry: The UNIX Shell 2022-08-16
Instructor Training 2022-08-23

Community Lessons

New Participants

From our original call for participants in the workbench beta phase, we have gotten three new responses, for a total of twenty community members officially participating in the beta phase:

Updates from Community About Working in Workbench Beta

The developers of the Collaborative Lesson Development Training Curriculum ran their alpha pilot recently and Toby Hodges had this to say about their experience:

The Workbench was really a breeze to work with in the [collaborative lesson development] training pilot last week. The participants seemed to get the hang of it very quickly, and it was so much easier to keep them focussed on the relevant parts while giving the training than it would have been with styles. We heard a lot of positive feedback about how the lesson sites look, and the ease with which the various components fit together.

Additionally, I have created a Testimonials category for The Workbench discussion forum so that people can share their insights. If you have used the workbench in any way shape or form, I strongly encourage you to share your experience and get others excited:

Tips and Tricks for Using The Workbench

Callout blocks are always in the form of fenced divs that start with at least three colons followed by a class tag and end with a line that is comprised solely of at least three colons.

::: callout

### This is

A callout block


If you want to find out what types of callout blocks are avialable, you can check out the Workbench Component Guide, which displays the output of components that can be created with fenced divs.

Dialogue & Discussion

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