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Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:07 pm
by kosse
As this is about format and the magazine is well advanced, I have a question about the print issue.

I know the magazine is going to be a site, but then again, interesting articles are always nice to print for further readings. Regarding that topic, I love the way Before&After Magazine (BAmagazine.com) handles that issue, they have 2 "formats", one is for presentation (pdf slides) and one is what they call 'paper-saver format'. Not only is it clever and saves paper but also very handy for reading purposes.

Looks like this:
Image

Would it be possible (I dunno how just asking) to have some articles layout in pdf with the same technique (say 1 or 2 per issue)? That would be awesome, what do you think, am I dreaming or is this possible? Would it be easy to manage? There could be a need for pre-formatted articles and then make the one or two pdf files, if it is once a month it's like possible, what do you think?

Marcos

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:09 am
by porwig
Marcos,

Welcome to this forum and thanks for posting your idea!

I think this would be a nice addition for the magazine IF there is a way we could enable support for "paper saver" format without having to re-format articles and keep 2 separate versions of articles.

I wonder if a plugin could potentially support this? For example if the plugin had a "Print Paper Saver" button for users, so that when users click on the button the plugin could re-format the article as needed.

Maybe there is something out there now that could support this, or something close that could be adapted to support this?

I am hoping others who might have more ideas will see this thread and respond.

Thanks again Marcos for posting your idea here!

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 9:40 pm
by kosse
Hi Paul,

I thought about his and I think that such a plugin would be a lot of work (maybe I'm wrong and happy to be corrected if so) for a nice result, but is it worth it?

What I can propose is doing a test manually with 1 article you or anyone from the magazine provides me, see how much time it takes me to do so and then post the pdf back. You could then ad a single button saying "Print Paper Saver" and link to the pdf, no rocket science :P

If the magazine is to be released once a month, some hours of work on a monthly basis are ok for me, no probs I'd gladly do it.

Cheers
Marcos aka troublemaker of the week (still laughing about that one)

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 11:46 pm
by porwig
Hi Marcos,

Thanks for sticking with this topic! Are you proposing that if you can convert articles to pdf relatively easily, that you would simply do this manually for all articles?

If so, the concern I have is that we may not finish work on all new articles until shortly before the magazine is released. So even if we only publish once a month, that doesn't mean you will have a month to create pdfs.

If I am misunderstanding what you are actually thinking of, sorry about that and please clarify it for me!

Thanks again,

paul

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:01 am
by kosse
Hi Paul,

you got me correctly, except one detail: I propose to do it manually for say 1 or 2 "featured" articles. Also, not every article is prone for that kind of presentation I guess. Dunno... Example: I think that tutorials are good for that kind of info, because you could re-use them later

And I hadn't thought about the *deadlines* of publishing articles (I'm no journalist so it skipped my mind) that is another thing, so 1 article that could benefit from it would be nice as a start.
A quick guess is that the first one will be more work and the rest (next months) would go smoother.

If you think all this fits I'm still game.
Marcos

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:54 am
by porwig
Okay thanks Marcos.

I understand your reasoning about limiting the PDF treatment to tutorial type articles, but one problem is I think we may end up with more than one or two of those per issue (in monthly sections such as: Did you know, Web Designers, Web Developers, Web Administrators). So, then it becomes a question of prioritizing which article we think will be more popular, which is a process I would prefer to avoid. :D

Also, I think it might be confusing to readers if they find a "Print PDF" button in a section for one month but not the next month, because we decided it made more sense to give that treatment somewhere else the next month.

So my current feeling is I would prefer to either offer this feature for all articles or none.

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:41 am
by kosse
Mmmh,
you're challenging me :) I kinda like challenges but I honestly think that it will be difficult to do all articles, both because of the deadlines and also because of the time involved. But I'm assuming. About the time, which so far I'm guessing, dunno really how much, say if I can do it all in 1 day it's ok. But I guess I'll have to do it to know it.

And you're right 'print to pdf' and 'paper-save print' might be confusing to user. Let's think "don't make me think" -> a little green paper logo at the bottom of the article + link to a page explaining why we do it? (I can contact the guy who inspired the idea maybe he has some tricks to share)

Puzzling... but you're right about tutorials, we could just stick it to those. No matter what section they're in.

Ok what about giving it a first shot now? I can try with 1 article. I can/will streamline the thing after.
Truth is that I'm just afraid to commit and then not deliver.

OR...

When the magazine launches I do my tests and we give it a shot for the second issue?

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:32 pm
by porwig
Thanks for sticking with this topic, Marcos!

I have an idea which is sort of a variation on your idea to start this with the second issue: How about if we try to implement this as a follow-on feature for all articles? By that I mean that the PDF conversion process and the "Print PDF" (or whatever the label is) button gets added for all articles after that issue is published? That way readers in the first few days may not have that option, but you (or you and others to share the workload) could follow each issue's release and add the "Print PDF" feature as you have time?

That way we could offer that feature for all articles, but it wouldn't have to be a high stress, last minute job for you every month?

What do you think of that idea?

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:39 pm
by kosse
Hi Paul,

thx for taking your time into this, I'm very ok with the idea, well thought.
As soon as the first issue is out I will do an article and then ... roll

Glad I can help
Marcos

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:51 pm
by porwig
Great thanks Marcos! Could you please send me a PM with your primary email address and Skype id if you have one?

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:25 pm
by mlipscomb
I think PhocaPDF can, by default or configuration, handle some of the basics of what you need. It does allow for defaulted paper sizes and orientation. I've used it on a few sites that are "info heavy" but never a magazine site (yet) :)

http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions ... a-pdf/7492

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:12 pm
by kosse
Hi Matt,

nice! I guess you need to speak to the dev team (and Komrade?) see if they can integrate this and how... It's not a MAJOR issue but my guess is that it's not a piece of cake (if I'm wrong even better).
Paul what do you think? I'm still up doing it whether manually or through phoca , as some work will have to be done on layout.

Cheers

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:07 pm
by porwig
Thanks Matt for letting us know about this extension!

Marcos, perhaps you can take a closer look at this extension and see if you think it will help with your vision for the PDF conversions. Maybe the extension's website has a forum where you can look into how well it does (or doesn't) integrate with K2.

I have sent you a Skype contact request. If you accept it I can add you to the open ended group chat about the magazine. Fotis participates in that group conversation so once you have learned some more about how well this extension might work for the magazine, you can ask Fotis about it.

How does that all sound?

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:07 pm
by kosse
I will test the extension this week then, and I will see Fotis in Germany over 10 days I guess, so we can even discuss it there live :)

Sounds yummy yummy!

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:19 pm
by porwig
That sounds great, thanks Marcos. I want you to become our expert on this and make it work if it's possible and if it's an improvement over doing the conversions manually!

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:23 pm
by kosse
Hi Paul,

Did a quick test using K2 2.2 + Joomla 1.5.15 (waiting for 1.5.18 next week) + Phoca 1.0.5

1) Phoca overtakes the PDF function once installed and does have some nice layout features.
2) K2 doesn't handle by default a PDF button as Joomla does (however the print functionality works even better then default's Joomla must say).

After looking in K2 forum for some info, there are users asking the same (pdf) and others that found "a way of doing it" (http://community.getk2.org/forum/topics/get-article-id) by adding an extra button, but doesn't look (at first sight) as a sustainable and tested method in the long run.

So imho, what I thought is right: there needs to be a link between K2 and Phoca, which by all means is more then a few lines of code in order to do it.

All that is something that might be done in future but is only a part of the issue. The other issue is while Phoca does the job right being very flexible it is not a PDF maker stricto senso (which is normal, it's just a pdf converter for the web) and the articles need to be "re-worked" not only to fit the page but also to have specific layouts (1 image instead of three for example, etc.).

VoilĂ  that's were I stand today, so from my part and what I've seen I'll stick to the caveman-by-hand solution per article as automated is out of my league atm.

Thought (or proven/tested solutions)?

Cheers
Marcos

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:48 pm
by porwig
Hi Marcos,

Thanks for doing that research and posting this update, this is great to see what you've learned!

I am fine with you sticking with the manual approach for now. As you continue to get more familiar with the pieces of the puzzle (K2 + Phoca), a solution may present itself either from someone else wanting to accomplish the same thing, or you may figure out a solution yourself.

I think it will be helpful for you to continue to update this thread as you learn more. This will help to document your findings and also increase the chances that someone else who can help will also see this thread.

Thanks again,

paul

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:27 pm
by kosse
Update: Nilesh Toshniwal has done this for the pdf on K2
http://community.getk2.org/forum/topics ... r-k2-items

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:32 pm
by porwig
Thanks kosse,

Marcos has done some research on that site, but I don't know if he's seen that or not. I'll forward it to him.

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:48 pm
by kosse
porwig wrote:Thanks kosse,

Marcos has done some research on that site, but I don't know if he's seen that or not. I'll forward it to him.
that's what happens when u use nicknames of the 90's ... kosse comes from mar[cos], my fellow waterpolo players call me kosse ;-)
lol

Marcos

Re: Print and keep valuable articles

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:54 pm
by porwig
Ha, thanks Marcos!

I took a look at that thread, saw you made some recent posts, and was about to come back here and tell "kosse" that I am sure Marcos was already aware of this.

So this is good news, thanks for the update Marcos.