Book Notes

Since last fall I have been leading a book discussion group at my church. I have been using Fargo to organize my notes for each week by creating an outline of that week's chapter. I created those notes in a Fargo blog called The Narthex and published each entry to a Wordpress blog that I own of the same name.

The reason why I publish the book notes on Wordpress is that I started writing them before Dave released the beta of Fargo 2 and it's new CMS; at the time I started Fargo had no directly associated CMS because Trex was put to rest, leaving Wordpress the only way at the time to publish content. Turns out that with the new CMS, I can publish content both to Wordpress and to a FargoPublisher site.

As I am preparing my notes for each week, it makes sense to write and save them chronologically, just like a blog. However, I've felt that after we finished a book I preferred to archive the notes in a table of contents order aligning to the book. If you are reading the book at a different time, I think it easier to see them listed in chapter order.

A table of contents is really a basic list or outline, so making one in Fargo makes sense. What I want is the top level of the site to be a list of book titles. When the user clicks each title they then see a list of the chapters in the book, pretty much the same as the table of contents. One more click on each chapter entry gets you to the notes for that chapter.

I created a new outline and set its type to index. Each node at the top level, which is a book title, is also a type of index, which presents the table of contents. Finally, a sub-node under a book title is a chapter that has an outline type.

Another thing I wanted to do is control where I wanted the Disqus comments box to appear. I did not want the comments box to appear at the top page of the site, but I wanted it to appear on the table of contents pages and the chapter notes pages. First, I created a new Disqus group on my account. Next, after asking for info on the smallpict-user Google group, I added #flDisqusComments "false" as a top level node to the outline. Under each book node I added #flDisqusComments "true" and #disqusGroupName "booknotes". If I really want to be fancy, I could create a new Disqus group for each book, but I decided to go with just one basic one for all my book notes. Here is a link to the OPML file for this site if you want to take a look.

One issue with how the site works has to do with the breadcrumb and navigation links at the top of the chapter notes pages. You see links to Home and the book title. The Home link works correctly, but the book title page does not. If you click to name of the book title in the breadcrumb the link takes you to the table of contents page, but is missing the end forward slash. If you then click a link on the table of contents, it will try to load a page that does not exist because it is missing a directory. For example, it tries to load this, when it should load this.

The release of Fargo Publisher 0.92 should fix the problem I describe above. I've tried re-rendering this site several times, but the problem does not resolve. In fact, the problem does not exist in the other Fargo blogs I use, including these work notes. My speculation is that the breadcrumb change made with 0.92 is associated with blogs and not indexes like I am using with the Book Notes site.

Last built: Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 3:27 PM

By Frank McPherson, Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:29 PM. Only steal from the best.