Computational Literacies Lab

This section explains how to do things. It's intended to help new lab members get set up and as a reference for existing members of the lab.

Organizing filesystems

This page describes Chris's practices for organizing filesystems. These are the result of over a decade of iteration, so there might be some wisdom baked in. But use whatever works for you.


  • Own your work
  • Back up your work

Which filesystems

  • Laptop
  • Google Drive. Good for collaboration. Don't use your university email address.


At a top level, I think it makes sense to distinguish your doctoral work from your previous professional work and from your future as an academic, if that's your thing. Here's a partial example of Chris's laptop filesystem.

├── Academic
│   ├── Career
│   │   └── 2019 Job Search
│   ├── Consulting
│   ├── Identity
│   │   └── CV
│   ├── Network
│   ├── Research
│   │   ├── Grants
│   │   │   ├── 2022 NSF CS for All
│   │   │   └── 2022 NSF CAREER
│   │   ├── Projects
│   │   │   ├── 2022 NSF CS for All
│   │   │   ├── Making With Code
│   │   │   ├── Minecraft Utopia
│   │   │   └── Unfold Studio
│   │   └── Publications
│   │       ├── 2021 AERA identity as interface
│   │       ├── 2021 CS Teaching Book Chapter
│   │       ├── 2022 CSCL Minecraft
│   │       └── 2022 Encyclopedia CT
│   ├── Service
│   │   ├── Letters
│   │   ├── Reviewing
│   │   └── NSF
│   └── UB
│       ├── Admin
│       ├── Service
│       │   └── Advising
│       └── Teaching
└── PhD
    ├── Admin
    ├── Coursework
    └── Research

A few notes. Research is organized into Grants, Projects, and Publications.

Editing the site

Site documentation

In the spirit of computational literacies, all members of the lab are invited to contribute to the lab site by adding profiles, news items, developing descriptions of projects you're working on, and even improving the site's layout and style. This documentation explains how to get started editing the site.


To contribute to the site, you need a few skills. If you don't know how to do any of these, ask Chris. They're not too hard.

  • Writing in markdown, for editing the site's content.
  • Running commands in the terminal.
  • Managing source code with git
  • HTML and CSS, if you're planning to edit the site's templates or style.

Clone the site repo: This is a private repository. If you don't have access, ask Chris.

Install Zola. Zola is a static site generator which assembles a site from source code. The basic idea of a static site generator is that you should be able to write the site content in markdown, and the generator will take care of all the fancy work of building the site's webpages. All the site content lives in the content directory;

In the terminal, navigate to the site directory within the repo and run zola serve. You should see:

Repos/computationalliteracies/site % zola serve
Building site...
Checking all internal links with anchors.
> Successfully checked 4 internal link(s) with anchors.
-> Creating 40 pages (0 orphan) and 51 sections
Done in 194ms.

Web server is available at

This terminal session is now running a web server. Open in your web browser, and you'll see a locally-built version of the lab site. The server is also watching all the source code files, and will rebuild the local site every time you save changes to a file.

Now you can edit files in the project source code, and you'll immediately see their effect on the site.

Your first edit

A good first edit is adding your profile to the site. All the site content lives in the content directory. Look in content/people and you'll see directories for each member of the site.

Copy an existing folder, rename it with your name, and edit the files inside. Use the local build of the site to make sure things look the way you want them to.

When you finish, commit and push your changes.

Site Content


Profile front matter should look like this:

title = "Chris Proctor"
weight = 10

roles = ["PI"]

image = "people/chris/chris.jpg"
  • Weight defines the order in which profiles appear on the site. Your profile's weight should be based on the first role which matches you:
    • PI is a leader of the lab. Currently just Chris.
    • Affiliate is a faculty member who collaborates with lab members.
    • Postdoc is a postdoctoral scholar working in the lab.
    • GRA is a graduate research assistant, funded to work on a lab project.
    • Advisee is a student whose advisor is a PI in the lab.
    • Alum is someone who's not an active part of the lab anymore.
  • The roles taxonomy lists one or more of your roles in the lab.
  • Every profile should have an image, specifying the path to a picture of you. Pictures will be cropped to square.