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Author Guidelines

Introduction

This page provides guidelines for authors creating or editing Demonstrations. The Participate page has all the information you need to make a Demonstration—this page gives tips that authors have found useful.

Before You Start

Search through the existing Demonstrations for topics close to yours. Some topics in the site, like trigonometric functions, are very densely populated, so vary your search terms to make sure you see everything relevant. It is fine if there is already something similar to your idea—just give your Demonstration a different emphasis.

Demonstration Title

  • Make the title as specific as you can. "Density Map for the 3n + 1 Problem" is a better title than "3n + 1 Problem."
  • The Demonstration's title and file name are generated from what you enter in this section, so the file name of the notebook you upload does not matter.
  • The permanent URL of a Demonstration is also generated from the title. We encourage authors to use standard English alpha numeric characters, because the URL syntax does not support many characters from outside this set.

Controls for Your Manipulate

  • Choose your controls judiciously. Unnecessary clutter only distracts from the idea of your Demonstration.
  • Let the sliders do the animating. A slider that steps through an evolution is usually better than an animation the user cannot control.
  • Label controls clearly with English words: "number of subdivisions" is more instructive than "n."
  • InputField is not supported in Demonstrations.
  • Set Appearance->"Labeled" for any slider whose values should be displayed to the right of the slider. Display other useful data in the content area of the Manipulate, for instance as a PlotLabel.
  • Nested Manipulates or functions that return Manipulate are not allowed. Keep things simple and use only one Manipulate per Demonstration.
  • Appearance->"Open" is not allowed for Manipulator controls in Demonstrations, as it takes up precious screen space. Users can open the controls manually.

Authoring Information

The first line should always be "Contributed by: [author's name]".
Possible additional lines include:

  • "Based on a program by:..." if code from another program was used.
  • "Suggested by:..." if someone suggested the idea to the author.
  • "After work by:..." if the Demonstration builds on a book, paper, etc.
  • "With additional contributions by:..." if the primary author received significant assistance.

Testing Your Demonstration

Check your Demonstration before you upload. This will speed it through our review process.

  • The Demonstration's screen size, including its controls, should not change as controls are manipulated. The outer border of each Demonstration should lie outside the white area of the Test Image Size palette and inside the translucent green area. The palette is located in the Tools menu. Also, consider setting an ImageSize option or using a Pane construct to control the size of your Demonstration.
  • Move each control to its limits. Check for any error messages, unnecessary slowdowns, or other signs of improper function.
  • As you move the controls, check for any jiggling of the Manipulate contents. You can eliminate jiggling by using the PlotRange or ImagePadding options, Spacers, or a Pane construct.
  • Review and edit the Caption and Details sections to make them as clear as possible.
  • Use the Check Spelling button in the Tools menu.



 
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