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2008-12-11
Beta testing begins
Dear Beta Tester, please read this before starting to use PhilPapers.

We are almost ready for the public launch, except that there are probably many lurking bugs to fix. We would appreciate if you could let us know about anything that doesn't look right. As they say on campus here, if you see something, say something. Be particularly vigilant if you're using a Mac, because I haven't had the change to do much testing on Mac.

Please report bugs in the Bug Report Forum, through our contact form, or by email to both Dave and me (forum method preferred). Please include as much detail as possible, including the address of the page where you saw the bug. The easiest way to report a bug is to click the "Report a bug on this page" link which appears at the very top of each page. This will create a bug report in the forum with the address of the offending page and other information added automatically.

We would like to encourage you to create a profile and try all the features that come with profiles: reading lists, personal bibliographies, saved searches, personalized journal lists, etc. It's important that all this stuff gets tested thoroughly.

Another area where we can use your help is in improving the content. First, we are still working on the category structure (visible under "browse by area" or here). If you have suggestions for improvements, please submit them to the categorization forum. (See this page for an introduction to the categorization project.)

Another way you can contribute to the content is by creating a bibliography of your own. There are some powerful tools for quickly populating a bibliography. Check out my representationalism bibliography for an example of the kind of thing you can do. You will find the tools you need by exploring the options in "my bibliography".

You can also help kickstart the categorization effort. There are many ways to categorize entries. One way is through the entry editor or the "categorize" link under each entry. Another is by going to the "Uncategorized material" page and using the quick categorization tool there. You can also import topical bibliographies from word processing documents into existing categories (follow the small "batch import" link at the top of a category listing). Nb: the uncategorized material page will not remember entries you skip between sessions, and you need to click "skip" to move on to others. This will be improved in the near future.

We have no plan to reset the database before going public, so you shouldn't lose the information you contribute (bugs notwithstanding). If you wish to try the forums with "fake" messages, please do so in the test forum when possible.

David

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