Filling a need (i hope): i’m creating a WordPress theme & plugin for scholars

During my continual galavanting across the Interwebs in search of cool shit, i’ve yet to come across a WordPress theme (or plugin!) that is both aesthetically conducive and appealing to a particular lot (such as Manifest), as well as possessing functionality of traditional standalone software that could be used by writers, editors, or librarians; basically those of the educational-minded ilk.

Even before gestation and birth, i’ve dubbed it Scholar. I’m thinking that Scholar should be both a standalone plugin (secondary goal) and a theme. The former is the most important aspect—basis is to use it to house all annotations from readings, books, magazines, journals, etc. Over the years i’ve taken an ungodly amount of physical (sticky notes!) and digital notes (why i will always love BlackBerry keyboards) on all types of writings, as well as annotated books but have yet to transpose them to a digital form, into a digital repository for easy access. Being a Millenial, i am all for cloud everything, for housing my various files on an innumerable amount of devices or platforms. I want everything at my fingertips and regardless of where i am without the burden of lugging tomes and papers around. My back couldn’t take it, first of all lol.

By creating a theme (and most likely a plugin) that’s all for the input, storage and accessing of a person’s favorite quotes and passages, mental scribbles about said items or overall reading, as well as other tools, such as concordance and frequency of themes and whatnot, i hope to give back to the writing and editing communities, in addition to the open source world that has a dear, dear place in my heart and mind—hell, it helped to shape some of my beliefs on culture, intellect and knowledge during my teen years.

Things I want to accomplish with Scholar:

  • an environment and repository for notes, drafts of articles, essays, books
  • searchable with advanced highlighting
  • footnote insertion
  • intuitive bibliography creation (MLA and ALA formats, maybe the Psychological one, too)
  • quotes with sources and pages, as well as breaking down a large passage, highlighting a smaller piece within said passage
  • open source. Giving back to GPL community i’ve used and embraced over a decade
  • HTML5 integration (the new HTML5/CSS3 book from PeachPit Press cannot come soon enough; Jan 4th! Doesn’t count towards my embargo, btw, since i pre-ordered it :-))
  • minimalist theme, focusing on the authors writings and research
  • concordance (first started because of The Bible, actually, and one of my favorite nerdy, scholarly things to see)

What spurred this?

Well, one of my past professors, Dr. Pasupathi, had used WordPress to house all of her writings—always having access to them being the main reason for her adoption and love of the service/platform. She could also store images and text, as well as videos. Further desire was an essay regarding Lupe Fiasco and the BPPSD i was tempted to write when the trailer promoting L.A.S.E.R.S was released almost two years ago—it would’ve incorporated footnotes and a bibliography, exact features i hope to be able to have in Scholar. Once this is complete, i plan on sending Dr. Pasupathi a missive telling her about the theme (and plugin! lol) that could potentially assist with her academician duties.

Right now, i’m thinking i’ll start this during the remaining 11 days i have of being off from work, as well as creating a quasi-schedule for each month. Milestoning has never been a strong suit of mine, however. Good thing for one of my new favorite web services/sites: Asana, created by one of the founding members of Facebook.

As i told someone recently who remarked it needs to be my “six word story”: i want to write, not work. And, that writing is definitely inclusive of code and not just literary words.

Here’s to my magnum opus of design and coding—the first big project of any substance since i wrote a Hangman Flash game for my school’s portal (back in ’04! lol).