Setting up Sandbox for Oxford QDA Students

Yes. You would do it this way:

  • Send a PM to yourself with the content you are coding
  • Annotate your PM - which is only accessible to you (and actually, technically also by admins if they know the PM id - no way around that). You just go straight to
  • Once you are ready, you can make that PM into a public post

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However, this is not ideal either, because I think whatever you strip away would still be available for others to read in the edit history. So you would probably have to strip any such info before you put it on the platform if you ever intend to make the post public or accessible by others.

This is possible with the PM method - they simply have to explicitly invite people to the PM topic.

Eh, yeah, this is too clunky, especially since you can’t add tags to PMs or create groups/folders of them (AFAIK). Easier to create people one private and one public project subcat for each project. Still not ideal though…open to further thoughts on workarounds.

This is really quite clunky too. This essentially means that we would have to have one user group with a single user belonging to it, per student. That clutters up our user groups quite a lot and is pretty hacky. There is no way to give a user exclusive access to a category - you always have to work through the intermediary of a user group.

Yes, agree, super clunky. A better way would be super welcomed.

I could think about it, but I’m not sure there is one out of the box. If we start offering this as a product, we could build something that makes this easier, but for now we’re stuck with the standard ways in which Discourse works. That really just leaves two options for keeping things private:

  • Restricted categories, limited by user group
  • Private messages

Also, we really need to be able to tick box codes to all be added to parent codes (an easier way to edit code hierarchies). It’s marked as important in GitHub – Provide a more efficient interface to edit Open Ethnographer code hierarchies

Any way to make this happen as a strong priority @matthias @hugi @alberto? It’s causing issues across all projects right now as we move further into the code refining process.

That’s really on the table of @matthias, and more widely on making budget available for Daniel to implement such a feature.

We should have money from travel budget for tech now (right @marina?), and according to Matt in the meeting there’s bandwidth if there’s money. Can we move forward with it (and the couple of other issues marked important in GitHub)?

There is 10k that was reallocated from travel to tech (services) in POPREBEL.

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That budget reallocation is assigned to for Graphryder work and besides is not suitable for Open Ethnographer development since it’s only for third-party services, not for staff. Daniel has worked under a staff contract in POPREBEL and NGI Forward so he cannot be working as a third-party service provider for the same EU project.

I’ll see how much effort this particular issue is, and if possible let Daniel do it from a part of the remaining 2500 EUR tech support budget. That’s pretty surely not a wise use of that money since the year is still long, but it was clear from the very beginning that the tech budget would be finished before the project …

I like having Open Ethnographer on its own Discourse community forum better than in a category here on Reasons:

  1. It’s a kind of demo installation / sandbox site, so it would be nicer to keep this separate from a forum that is being used as an actual forum.

  2. The “one private category per user” idea is workable, but only on its own Discourse forum. Otherwise, all these groups with one user pollute our Discourse groups namespace.

  3. A separate Discourse site has its own set of settings, allowing to configure it differently should that need emerge in the future. For example, right now we have “edit history visible to public: false” here on, but we might want to change that in the future. We couldn’t when students require continued privacy of the edit history.

  4. We can create a small automatic task that clears the post edit history if we want that. But to limit potential damage, I’d like to avoid using such an approach on a forum that contains a lot of other content as well. There’s always a chance that automatic deletions will delete the wrong stuff due to a software bug.

As for the data model: I propose top-level categories per ethnographic corpus, either public or protected as required. And then protected per-user sub-categories where only that one user (and perhaps a mentor) has access. Users start and code content in these private workspaces, and then assign it to the project category to publish it. The “edit history visible to public: false” setting prevents previous edits to be seen by anyone except admins. And to make extra sure that no data leaks can happen, an automatic deletion script (simple cron task) could be used, as mentioned above.

A separate Discourse forum would not take “my time and energy”. Daniel would set it up and invoice Edgeryders Core for 100-150 EUR for a basic Edgeryders Communities forum setup.

If the above sounds reasonable, I can organize that Daniel sets up an Edgeryders Communities forum at or similar within the next few days.

Hmm. This is not good news.

talked to @nadia this morning, there is some space in the other parts of the reallocated budget. We’re on it! :slight_smile:

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@amelia - how did all of this go? Are we trying this out?

Hi everyone! Apologies for the delay on this, things have been crazy. I’d like to go ahead with this if possible, @matthias! My class starts on Tuesday so if it would be possible to do it before then, that would be amazing (though of course I understand if not, since that’s pretty soon). I like your proposed data model and the URL. Let me know, and thank you :slight_smile:

Ok then, @amelia and @hugi. Got this done with Daniel today. The platform is now available at (Hope you like the name change compared to my original proposal, I thought it’s better to describe the platform content in the name rather than the tool used there.)

If you two could please log in there once, with your normal account. That will allow me to make you admin there, and then we can continue to set up the rest of the configuration. Also @amelia, if you want you can DM me the list of students so I can create private categories and group for all of them, saving you the hassle.

P.S.: The logo can be changed easily if you have a better idea. I used a quick draft that can be interpreted to mean both “annotation” (via the asterisk symbol) and “network” (via a stylized hub graph).

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Great! Thanks! I have logged in.

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Thank you!!! I love the name change. I signed in. I’ll DM you the names of the students on Monday when I get our final roster. Thank you so much! This is great!


@amelia and @hugi, you’re both admins on now. You can adjust anything you like now. (Since some of the admin settings can break the site, it’s wise to adapt them only if you know what they are doing.)