The Dovetail #8: Updates from The Carpentries Workbench

Dates for Beta Phase Announced

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

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

Beta Phase To Resume

As we enter into the Q4, I am pleased to announce that the long-delayed beta phase will commence from 2022-10-17 until 2023-03-13 with one lesson entering the beta phase per week. Details of the beta phase and the official table of lessons can be found below and on the Workbench Beta Phase page, with explanation of what the different stages of the beta phase will bring.

In brief, the beta phase will run for 12 weeks1 for each lesson during which a link will appear on the lesson, leading to the same lesson using The Carpentries Workbench. During the beta phase, we will be asking for feedback about your experience with The Workbench in short assessments and will then invite participants to an optional focus group to gather qualitative feedback. The feedback we receive from the assessments and focus group will make sure that The Workbench rollout in 2023-Q2 is smooth.

I will be recording a short video to be distributed next week (and with the next edition of The Dovetail) that will introduce the beta phase and demonstrate what you can expect to see during that phase.

Updates to The Carpentries Workbench

Since 2022-09-28,

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

List of Lessons to enter Workbench Beta in 2022

Lesson Pre-Beta Beta Pre-release
datacarpentry/R-ecology-lesson—Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists (✅ approved by maintainers) 2022-10-17 2022-11-14 2023-01-23
datacarpentry/r-socialsci—R for Social Scientists (✅ approved by maintainer) 2022-10-24 2022-11-21 2023-01-30
datacarpentry/r-raster-vector-geospatial—Introduction to Geospatial Raster and Vector Data with R (⏳ awaiting responses) 2022-10-31 2022-11-28 2023-02-06
datacarpentry/OpenRefine-ecology-lesson—Data Cleaning with OpenRefine for Ecologists (✅ approved by maintainer) 2022-11-07 2022-12-05 2023-02-13
librarycarpentry/lc-shell—Library Carpentry: The UNIX Shell (⏳ awaiting responses) 2022-11-14 2022-12-12 2023-02-20
carpentries/instructor-training—Instructor Training (⏳ awaiting responses) 2022-11-28 2023-01-09 2023-03-06
datacarpentry/python-ecology-lesson-es—Análisis y visualización de datos usando Python 2022-12-05 2023-01-16 2023-03-13

Community Lessons


Tips and Tricks for Using The Workbench

In many of our lessons, we often use errors as teachable moments. Because of this all R lessons will still render a website even if there are errors in the examples, but this is a double-edged sword when unexpected errors happen. If you want to prevent unexpected errors from building a lesson, you can add fail_on_error: true to your config.yaml file and any chunks without an error = TRUE option will cause the build to fail if there is an error.

  1. because this version of the beta phase passes through the last week of December and the first week of January, each lesson’s beta phase will be extended by two weeks for a total of 14 weeks, assuming 2 weeks of down time for lesson maintainers. 

Dialogue & Discussion

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