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Turtles, Portfolios, Galleries  XML
Forum Index -> Turtle Web Concepts
Author Message
Tim Endres


Joined: 09/01/2006 07:25:14
Messages: 7

This topic will discuss the relationships of turtles, portfolios and galleries on the Turtle Web website.

A turtle is the most obvious, and easiest to understand, of the items defined on the website. A turtle is exactly the same item that you evolve in the BioLogo application. It is a program that was evolved to draw a picture. When you upload a turtle to the website, you transmit only the turtle's program. Once the turtle's program is uploaded, you will see its thumbnail, and you can click on the thumbnail to see the full size picture that the turtle draws. You can give the turtle a name and a description, as well as define the number of steps it should draw and the pensize it should use for drawing.

A portfolio is a collection of turtles. You can think of it as a population similar to the populations you evolve in BioLogo. In fact, you can upload a turtle population directly into a portfolio. However, a portfolio is not a population, in the sense that the turtles it contains did not have to come from the same BioLogo population, and thus, were not necessarily evolved together and might not have any genetic relationships. The turtles may have been a population in BioLogo that was uploaded to the portfolio, but they may also be turtles uploaded individually from many different populations. Another way to look at a portfolio is simply as a folder containing turtle drawings.

A gallery is a collection of portfolios and other galleries. Galleries are used both to help user's organize their portfolios, and to present portfolios to users browsing the website. Because a gallery can contain other galleries, the galleries are organized in a tree structure. The root gallery, named 'Main Gallery' on the website, is the parent of all other galleries. Each user has their own gallery under which they can organize their personal galleries and portfolios. The best way to conceptualize galleries is to think of them the same way you do the folders on your hard drive. Folder contain folders and files. If you think of it in this fashion, the folders are galleries and the files are portfolios, and the files (or portfolios) contain turtles.

Portfolios, as a general rule, are not browsable by a Turtle Web visitor. Portfolios are meant as an organizing tool for the owner of the portfolio. Portfolios help to group turtles. However, to make the website more interesting as a general attraction, it is desirable to present turtles to the visitor who wishes to browse. Yet, as a rule, a user's portfolio of turtles may not be the content or the selection that the user wishes to present to the public. For this reason, galleries are used for public presentation to organize and present specific portfolios. This allows a user to have a large number of portfolios, and yet, present only some of them to the public at large. It also allows for the organization and presentation of portfolios of general interest. For example, a gallery could be defined for the Portfolio Of The Week, which might be voted upon or selected based upon some criteria such as view count.

When you registered with Turtle Web, your account was created with a portfolio named "My Favorites", which was placed into a gallery created under the "User Galleries" gallery and named with your full name. Then, some sample turtles were placed into your My Favorites portfolio. This was done to help you get started. It is also nice to have a consistent user model in the sense of everyone having a portfolio of favorite turtles available under their gallery. Of course, you are free to delete the portfolio.

Finally, galleries have the concept of privacy. By default, a gallery is marked as public, meaning that the portfolios within that gallery may be viewed by any user on the site including guest visitors. If a gallery is marked private, the gallery and its portfolios will be visible only to their owner. This allows users to organize their portfolios within galleries without making them public.
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