Rock Garden Quarterly

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

McGregor wrote:

Summer Edition of DIGITAL QUARTERLY now online

www.nxtbook.com/allen/roga/70-3

Pleased to say we've met the deadline (which was pretty tight) and the new edition is now up and running - have fun - and do try the USER OPTIONS in the toolbox - you can turn sound and shadow on and off, and you'll also find the archive section (as yet of course with only two issues in there.)

I was anticipating some response to this announcement, regarding how the digital version of the NARGS Rock Garden Quartery represents a major milestone for the society, but allow me to jump right in and offer my thoughts.  A sincere Thank You to all involved for making this development a reality.  My first take on the online version, hosted by nxbook.com and Allen Press, is the right venue has been selected; it is an excellent, intuitive interface that makes reading the NARGS Quarterly digitally a true pleasure.

I'm critical of poorly implemented software (don't get me started on Facebook ;) ), so it is a real pleasure to see something so well implemented as the hosting site for digital NARGS Quarterlies.  When first reaching the site for the latest Summer 2012 edition, I find the viewing and navigation tools very easy to use and logically presented.  The first thing that catches my attention, is that all of the web addresses, mail addresses, and article pages, are hot-linked; just click on them and they go to that page or activity.  When "mousing" over items that are hot-linked, such as an article page in the Table of Contents, or the website for a plant nursery advertiser, it highlights in yellow and provides "tool tips" right at the mouse cursor.

Not only is there the conventional Table of Contents which is clickable to jump to any article or page, but there is a special "extended" Contents view, done graphically, interactively allowing selecting an article or page to jump to.  Cool.

When viewing/reading the journal, there are simple interface tools to use; a "zoom slider bar" for sizing the content to what fits best on the page and reaches best legibility.  I use the "zoom slider bar" at the top and set it to 2-pages with medium level zoom, to see and read 2 pages at once.  The cursor is also interactive, showing icon tips, such as the 4-way arrow icon to indicate one can click and drag the screen to "pan" or move the view to read more.  There are dog-eared page-turning links at the corner of each page, to turn pages back or forward, complete with a fun page-turning sound if wanted (I'm easily amused by such features).  There are many other additional book-reading controls for you to try.

I was surprised by one feature, with the fact all of the advertiser web pages are hot-linked, I found myself actually clicking on those links and investigating the advertiser's wares.  In the hard-copy of the NARGS Quarterly, I see the advertiser's ads, I often think I should go and look them up, but then never actually go to the trouble to do so, yet in the digital version of the journal the advertiser's links are just a single click away, and I visited each. The direct hot-link connectivity of the digital version is a huge plus.

Last, it should be noted that all links are live, so mail addresses and links to specific sections of NARGS web page activities are all live and instantaneous. Need to send an email to a NARGS Chapter head, or to our illustrious NARGS President, the link is live and right there to click on ;)

Last but not least, I must say this latest edition of the NARGS Quarterly (Summer 2012) is the finest in recent memory, something for everyone, from David Sellers remarkably beautiful phoptos in his article on "Photographing Alpine Plants", to a memorable focus on the genus Viola and work of Kim Blaxand, western Phlox, and so much more.  Thank you to all who have contributed to this edition, and of course a special thanks to the leadership of NARGS Quarterly editor, Malcolm McGregor, and to our NARGS President's (Peter George) vision to improve the quality, value, and accessibility of NARGS member resources.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

I would thoroughly agree with Mark's scholarly overview. Not being so IT savvy i haven't discovered many of the features of the on-line Quarterly but can see how well it has been thought out - so thanks to everyone involved! It is a great issue, beautifully put together and must have been very satisfying to have produced. With the Quarterly on-line and the SRGC IRG it makes you really feel alpine gardening is going somewhere!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

The FALL ISSUE of the Quarterly is now at the printers and our expectation is that it will be dispatched by them sometime next week.

The DIGITAL QUARTERLY will then be posted around October 1. The only way to view this issue will be through the website link - click through from the Digital Quarterly image on the homepage (or follow the RGQ Online link) and then clicking on the cover. You will be asked for

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER

THIS MEMBERSHIP NUMBER WILL BE ON THE WRAPPER OF THE QUARTERLY just above your address.
The Spring and Summer issues will remain open to non-members so that non-members can see what they are missing but, in line with the President's letter in the last issue, new issues will only be accessible to members.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

FALL ISSUE of the Quarterly is now in the post.

DON'T FORGET TO MAKE A NOTE OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER ON THE WRAPPER

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

Just had some feedback from a couple of people that the despite all Bobby Ward's efforts (and mine) with the printer the labels may have your membership number printed on the label to the left (rather than to the right) of your membership expiration date. Not had mine (nor has Bobby had his) so can't confirm - anyway, one of the numbers above your name and address is a date - the OTHER ONE is your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER

Sorry about that!

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

New digital Quarterly is now online.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Received mine in the mail Friday, Sept 28. Yet another really great issue!  Something for everyone from the beginner to the expert.  And congratulations John W. for both the front and back cover photos!  Now I must get to reading...

And thanks, too, Malcom, for keeping the pdf format available.  This computer still runs on Windows 2000, and it doesn't support adobe air. :)

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Fermi
Fermi's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-03

Just received the "hard Copy" this week - haven't had a chance to check out the on-line version, but I have kept the wrapper! ;D
cheers
fermi

Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

Looks like everyone is pretty happy with the way the digital edition is operating given how few people have raised any problems.

Deadline for submissions for the next issue is November 1. This next issue will contain full profiles of all election candidates - the slate which you can view elsewhere on the website http://nargs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=284&Itemid... and any other candidates who are nominated prior to November 1 to Lola Horwitz  <llhorwitz@gmail.com>, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

McGregorUS
McGregorUS's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

WINTER QUARTERLY

This issue is now being proofread and is on target for dispatch by Christmas with the online edition being posted by Jan 1st.

Malcolm

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

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