LDSTech

Ward Bulletin Online Application

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#11Postby TechPro-p40 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:37 pm

Yes, you could output it as a PDF and then post that ... but have you actually tried that? I have.

Typically, the person who creates the Ward Bulletin is not a person putting the info on the Ward (or Stake) website. This then requires the Ward (or Stake) website admin to get an electronic version of the material used for the bulletin (which will often include fonts and formats that are custom to the bulletin creator's computer) and then create the PDF file(s) since many of the bulletin creators can't (or don't know how) create the PDF versions themselves despite free PDF creation software is readily available.

Still with me?

Only then can the Ward (or Stake) website admin upload the bulletin material.

--- It is my opinion that a online bulletin creation package that allows for lots of customization for each and every page would be a GOOD thing ... and if provided through the lds.org websites would then be an approved site/resource to link to, thus helping it to be easy and safe.
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#12Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:18 pm

TechPro wrote:Yes, you could output it as a PDF and then post that ... but have you actually tried that? I have.

Typically, the person who creates the Ward Bulletin is not a person putting the info on the Ward (or Stake) website. This then requires the Ward (or Stake) website admin to get an electronic version of the material used for the bulletin (which will often include fonts and formats that are custom to the bulletin creator's computer) and then create the PDF file(s) since many of the bulletin creators can't (or don't know how) create the PDF versions themselves despite free PDF creation software is readily available.

Still with me?


No, I'm not with you. It makes no sense to have the bulletin creator send the source material to the administrator. It makes far more sense to generate the PDF there, because as you say it may well require fonts or file formats that are unique to the creator's computer, whereas PDF is designed to be a flexiblle interchange format.

Every stake and most wards will have helpful people who can help the bulletin author to install a PDF driver. Do that once, and then the PDF can easily be created and emailed to the website admin each month. That's a simple solution -- I see no reason to make it more complicated than that.
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#13Postby TechPro-p40 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:26 pm

Yes, that is a simple solution ... and one I've tried to implement with 5 different Ward Bulletin authors ... and I have yet to receive the bulletin already in PDF format just once without me having to do it for them.

That's why I encourage an online bulletin creation method.

It boils down to people being (by nature) creatures of habit. Until willing to change their habit, the change will not happen (one of the reasons the Lord calls young men and women to be Missionaries).

An online method would complete remove the option of using old (and outdated) methods and would significantly improve the management (and consistency) of bulletin content.

But ... it still would be optional, and not everyone would want to use it.

I'll still support (and encourage) an online bulleting creation method.
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#14Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:55 pm

Just as a note, anyone can submit a news item. It doesn't have to be the web admin. The only thing actually required of them is to approve it.

Question - if people are a creature of habit, then how would you get these Ward Bulletin authors to use the new system?
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#15Postby kennethjorgensen » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:41 pm

TechPro wrote:Yes, that is a simple solution ... and one I've tried to implement with 5 different Ward Bulletin authors ... and I have yet to receive the bulletin already in PDF format just once without me having to do it for them.


If someone can create a Ward Bulletin in whatever application then I don't understand why it is not possible to teach them to simply print to the PDF printer and select where to save the file (we assume they can save files) and then upload or send it to someone else.

I am curious to know where the bottleneck is.
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#16Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:27 am

RussellHltn wrote:Just as a note, anyone can submit a news item. It doesn't have to be the web admin. The only thing actually required of them is to approve it.


Unfortunately, when a regular user submits a news item, they have no option for including an attachment. So they would have to e-mail or somehow get the attachment to the website admin in some other way. Then the admin can attach the file to the news item as he approves it.
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OpenOffice GoogleDocs extension

#17Postby jaocon » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:47 pm

Ok, so back to GoogleDocs... (I am not familiar with the Ward/Unit website as I do not have access). I don't really care if the final document is printed from PDF, OpenOffice, GoogleDoc, Word, etc. I am just trying to make it easier to get the text entered/shared (googledocs seems to work well for this) then get that text imported easily into a template that allows a little better formatting than GoogleDocs currently allows. Since OpenOffice is freely available this seems to be a good solution and portableapps.com appears to have the smallest footprint/download for OpenOffice.

I find that there is an OpenOffice extension to import/export to Googledocs:
http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/ooo2gd

So far playing around with this extension has worked well using it on Vista machine. It does import from GoogleDocs account well but one document at a time so copy/paste into the OpenOffice template seems to still be required. At least that way I can import to an OpenOffice template in the order I want! So now if I can just get help with creating an OpenOffice or some wizard to make it generic for any ward...of course creation of a GoogleDocs account for each ward would need to be included in the wizard...

It seems good to note the following:
this OpenOffice extension requires Java 6 SE (by the way is this appears to be ok with the version familysearchindexing.org uses)
only supports import from GoogleDocs as .ODT file and of course OpenOffice 2.0+

If anybody finds out other pointers before I do, let me know or post them please.

Thanks
JAO - wannabe developer
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#18Postby mkmurray » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:58 pm

JAOCON wrote:Ok, so back to GoogleDocs... (I am not familiar with the Ward/Unit website as I do not have access)

This is an unusual thing to hear a member in Utah say. This can only be because you have personally chosen not to participate, or less likely, your stake has chosen not to sign up for some reason.

If it's the first reason, I find it quite odd given your technical knowledge.
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#19Postby carolaskew » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:07 am

This thread is a little old, but just in case someone out there is still considering this...

I was just called yesterday to create our ward bulletin. Just have to say that I would love a tool like this. I personally don't have much desire to be "creative" with our bulletin. I want it to be accurate, and I would like to be able to update the information and produce each week's bulletin quickly and easily.

Regarding other things discussed in this thread - as far as I know, some overworked member of our Bishopric is responsible for updating our online ward website information on lds.org, and it never gets done. And I am capable of creating PDF's myself. :-) But I've been in IT for many years, so I may be unusual.
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#20Postby mkmurray » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:49 pm

carolaskew wrote:This thread is a little old, but just in case someone out there is still considering this...

I was just called yesterday to create our ward bulletin. Just have to say that I would love a tool like this. I personally don't have much desire to be "creative" with our bulletin. I want it to be accurate, and I would like to be able to update the information and produce each week's bulletin quickly and easily.

Regarding other things discussed in this thread - as far as I know, some overworked member of our Bishopric is responsible for updating our online ward website information on lds.org, and it never gets done. And I am capable of creating PDF's myself. :-) But I've been in IT for many years, so I may be unusual.

I thought I would inform you of some new developments by pointing you to this recently created LDSTech Wiki page indicating a Church-sponsored, Community-developed project to create a replacement for the current Local Unit Web Sites: https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Local_Unit_Website_Project

You'll notice there are new features being hoped for including improved calendaring and announcement & news distribution. This is probably similar to your bulletin board idea. You can bookmark the page to follow the progress of the project. It is in the very early stages, however.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!
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