Writing with Digital Technologies: Command-Line Help

[D]ifferent writing technologies set up radically different spatial, tactile, visual, and even temporal relations between a writer's material body and his or her material text.
—Christina Haas (1996, p. 226)

« Command-Line Help »

» Git Command-Line Help

Basic git commands

Below are some very basic, but common, git commands. For more information, see this helpful "instructional narrative" put together by some brilliant new media artists at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as Github's own command "cheat sheet".


##The status command checks the status of the repo
##that you are working on. Essentially, is it clean?
##Anything in need of committing?
$git status ##The add command – note the period – adds everything ##that git has tracked as being changed in the working ##directory. Instead of using the catch-all period ##option, you can also specify particular files, ##breaking up your comment into chunks, but that's ##most likely not a concern to have in our class.$ git add .

##When using the commit command, the -m option lets
##git know that you are including a helpful, short
##message that explains the nature of the committed
##changed files to the repo; hence, the message
##within the double quotations.
$git commit -m "this is where you type your commit message" ##The push command is what finally sends off your ##committed changes to the Github repo that it is ##linked to online. The origin argument prompts git ##to look for the working branch, so, in this ##example, I am pushing the committed changed files ##to the master branch.$ git push origin master


» Mac OS Help

Setting up the PATH environment variable for the dita command

Open up your terminal and type out the following commands. Note: The phrases that begin with "##" are comments, describing the function of the command.

##prints out current list of env vars
$echo$PATH
/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin

##quick dita cmd test
$dita -version -bash: dita: command not found ##changes to base directory$cd ~

##prints out 'present working directory'
$pwd /Users/your_username_here ##creates .bash_profile file$touch .bash_profile

##opens file in nano editor
$nano .bash_profile export DITA_PATH=~/path/to/dita-ot-2.1.1 export PATH=$PATH:$DITA_PATH/bin ##restart your terminal$ dita -version
DITA-OT version 2.1.1

##prints out updated list of env vars
$echo$PATH
/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/your/path/to/dita-ot-2.1.1/bin


» Windows Help

Setting up the PATH environment variable for the dita command

To set the PATH variable permanently, add the full path of the dita-ot-2.1.1\bin directory to the PATH variable. This full path can be found by looking at the directory viewer window. Once you know the path to the DITA-OT's bin directory, complete the following steps to navigate to the

1. Click Start, then Control Panel, then System.
2. Click Advanced, then Environment Variables.
3. The PATH environment variable is a series of directories separated by semicolons (;) and is not case-sensitive. Add the location of the bin folder of the DITA-OT to the PATH variable in System Variables. There may be numerous paths already listed. Add the full path to the DITA-OT bin at the end of this list (See below for example):
C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\path\to\your\DITA-OT\bin


» Basic DITA-OT Workflow Configuration

In this video, I discuss what tools you will need to begin using the DITA-OT. From there, I demonstrate how to begin building dita commands with the example topic models within the provided DITA repo.