A new branding and major quality of life improvements · September 2022

A new branding and major quality of life improvements · September 2022

Dear subscriber,

thank you for your interest in DictionR! It was a busy summer for DictionR, involving a lot of work behind-the-scene. I'm glad to finally release a ton of quality of life improvements — many of them being driven by your feedback.

I've also introduced a new branding — that fits with the broader identity of LearnRstats. What's LearnRstats you may ask? It's the umbrella project under which I will develop a lot more R related products.

LearnRstats by Olivier Simard-Casanova
Learn R the easy way

DictionR has always been just a starting point and I'm currently working on LearnR, an online course to get started with R for busy people.

LearnR by Olivier Simard-Casanova
Getting started with R for busy people

The quality of life improvements of DictionR (listed below) required me to write my own Ghost theme — Ghost is the content management system I use to publish DictionR. Hence why it took me a bit of time to ship them. The investment is worth it though because I now have a lot more control on the user interface of DictionR. The goal is to make DictionR easier to use and more powerful — while sticking to a minimalist aesthetics.

The current theme is a fork of one of the built-in Ghost themes (called Ease), adapted to the specific needs of DictionR and you, its subscribers. You can find the list of all the new features in the post below.

I hope you will find these new features useful! Now that DictionR have a better home with more solid foundations, I can work on the content itself — snippets and guides. Stay tuned for more to come!

Olivier


New features

A new homepage

The first major new feature is a revamped homepage. The messaging is clearer on what DictionR is. Snippets and guides are now separated and updates (such as this very post) are displayed more prominently. Individual snippets are displayed from newer to older — instead of the contrary, making it easier to spot new snippets.

The list of libraries now have its own page, also accessible from the homepage.

A list of all snippets

This one was a bit tedious to implement but it worths the effort: there is now a list of all snippets, sorted from newer to older. Thank you to Jake for the suggestion!

Longer pagination — and less clicking

Up to 50 snippets are now displayed in list pages — such as the list of all snippets. In the past it was only 10, which could lead to a lot of clicking in long lists. Not anymore. Thank you to Jake for the suggestion!

Snippets, guides and updates pages now have breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs make navigation better and give you a better sense of the kind of resources you're currently reading — a snippet, a guide or an update.

A much, much better list of required libraries for individual snippets

This one is also a major new feature: required libraries are now displayed at the top of snippet pages, with a clearer messaging and a link to the documentation — if you need a reminder on how to load a library.

The previous implement was clunky and a bit of a hack. Not anymore!

An improved search experience

Last but not least, DictionR also has a much improved search experience. The previous search engines were actually two different search services — one for the homepage and one for the menu. They were inconsistent and both had trouble to catch up when I publish new snippets and guides. The search experiene is now unified and more robust. Try it in the menu to see for yourself!

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