How to Contribute an Article or a Codeshare Entry
The new DevCentral is here, and with the new platform, there are some structural changes to be aware of with regards to Codeshare, and a new benefit of being able to contribute article content as well. Before showing you how to contribute, I'll cover where to contribute.
- Codeshare: Articles -> CrowdSRC -> Submit Article... -> Codeshare Template
- Community Articles: Articles -> CrowdSRC -> Submit Article... -> Freeform (default)
- Curated Articles (F5ers only) : Articles -> Technical Articles -> Submit Article... -> Freeform
Everyone can contribute articles and codeshare entries in CrowdSRC. If you have something to share that you think the DevCentral community can benefit from, please do! The Technical Articles section is reserved for F5-specific technical how-to from F5 employees. The DevCentral team will review all submissions in both places, but only the articles submitted to Technical Articles will be scrutinized beyond making sure the community guidelines are followed. This means that we'll focus on curation in Technical Articles, whereas CrowdSRC articles will be considered best effort and use at your own risk.
Regardless of where you're going to contribute, the process is the same, but in this article I'll choose CrowdSRC. The first step is to navigate to CrowdSRC.
Next click on the Submit Article... button.
Next I'll choose the template. If I'm creating a codeshare entry, I'll choose CodeShare Template. Otherwise, as in this walk through, stick with the default which is Freeform. Then click Start Article.
On the New Article page, the critical pieces for submission are the Title, the Article Body, and selecting at least one Label.
You can also add a Teaser for site use, and SEO Title and Description under SEO Options as well. You can ignore the Canonical URL. If you collaborated on your article with another member, you can add them as a Contributor. Once you are done, you can Save which will create a draft you can edit later, or you can click Submit for Review which will then kick off a workflow for the DevCentral team.
After you submit, in the articles page (in this case CrowdSRC) you can go to your dashboard by clicking Options and the the Article Dashboard.
Which will show you the status of your contributions.
From this menu, if you want to make edits, you can click into your drafts or your submissions. You can edit drafts immediately. For any article awaiting review, you'll need to recall it.
After recalling, you can then select edit, or if you recalled by mistake, resubmit it.
And after your edits, you can again select Save to keep as a draft or Submit for Review to send back to the DevCentral team.
Once your article makes it through review and is published, you can see your articles in the Options dropdown by selecting My Article Contributions.
This leads to a similar screen as your dashboard.
One of the great things about the new platform is editor consistency, in that everything works the same whether you're in a forum or contributing an article. It might not be immediately clear, but there is a second row of editor options available by hitting the "..." icon at the end of the editor row, which will pop up an "expand toolbar" tip.
Now let's take a look at the options in both rows.
The icons in the red boxes above are all your typical text editing functions and work as advertised on this platform, there are no crazy rain dances you need to perform to achieve the formatting you prefer. A new option with formatting is ability to include a table of contents.
Once you've set your headers appropriately in your content, you can position your cursor at the top of your article, or after your intro paragraph, and hit the table of contents icon.
Here, you can adjust your indention, the style you prefer, and how many levels to include. Afterward, click save. You can also include code in your article by clicking the "</>" icon, which allows you to format with syntax highlighting in several languages.
Note: All code must be inserted as code and not regular text or the articles will be returned to the author for correction.
After clicking ok, you'll see the syntax highlighting appropriate for what language you selected.
For iRules, we recommend the Tcl language. It will not highlight perfectly as there are many additions in iRules to the native Tcl language, but it will be close enough.
Another nice addition to the editor is the ability to include spoilers! This is helpful for hiding anything you don't want shown by default. Maybe you have questions that should be pondered before revealing, or you are creating labs that have code solutions. This is what that looks like in execution and final copy:
The final set of icons are pretty self-explanatory.
Starting in the top row, you do have the ability to go to source and make raw HTML changes. This might be helpful if you want something non-standard in the way of formatting, but no style attributes or script tags will be accepted, though iframes, if appropriate, are ok. Links can be embedded, and if you must, you can include emojis. Photos can be uploaded, selected from your photos already uploaded on site, or linked from url. Videos must be linked from url. And finally, you can actually use a table now! Hard to believe something as simple as an HTML table wasn't possible previously, but those days are now in the past!
Contributing articles has never been easier on DevCentral. We're excited to offer this ability to everyone in the community, and even more excited to see what you all have to share with each other.