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DS in the classroom: creating a digital edition

For this session we will demonstrate a simple project using the skills you've been developing: building a simple website using GitHub pages. The 'theme' we'll be using is Ed, designed for textual editors who want to create a digital edition of a primary text using the principles of minimal computing. Because it's an easy way to collaborate on creating open educational resources, we'll talk about how one could assign a similar activity to students.

In this session, we will:

  • clone (download) a GitHub repository
  • prepare and publish a markdown document of a public domain text
  • collaborate on a GitHub Pages website
  • learn how to build a lightweight digital edition

Setting up

Preparing your text

Git in Atom

Collaborating on GitHub

Setting up

Working 'locally' in GitHub

Yesterday and today, you have worked in Github only. Part of what makes github pages compelling is not only the possibility of having a website with minimal overhead but also have a way to see what you will be publishing before its live. To see the local changes before you publish them, you will have to download the repository to your computer.

Cloning our repository

For this project you'll need a local copy of this GitHub repository, which you will download or 'clone'. First, navigate to whichever directory you want to use to store this project.

cd <your directory>

Then use Git to download

git clone

You now have a copy of the 'Ed Minimal Edition repository' in your computer that you can contribute to.

Becoming collaborators

Now that you have a local copy of the repository in your computer, you can use your text editor rather than Github to make changes to the repository. That said, you still are not able to make changes to the main repository in github. To do that, you have to become collaborators.

  1. Owner needs to add your github username as a collaborator to the repository
  2. You will get an email asking to accept becoming a collaborator

Choosing a text for your digital edition

You can use anything you want, but for the purposes of this workshop, we encourage you to pick something in the public domain that you're able to find in plain text format. For example, here's a list of texts from the Internet Archive that entered the public domain in 2019.

Once you've selected your text, download it in plain text format (with the file extension .txt).

  1. Save the text file as “”
  2. Move it to the _texts folder in your local copy of the Ed MinimalEditions repository

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