Create Shell Scripts to Implement Your Own Local Fix for Poor App UI/UX

Repository: Sean Sosik-Hamor’s Snippets-Collection on GitHub.com – Newsvoice.com

I’ve recently started submitting summary posts to Newsvoice.com to expand my journalism portfolio for Hamor Photography in Pelham, NH.

But, like many web-based services, the web app doesn’t implement the same feature set as the smartphone app and vice versa. More frustratingly, neither app seems to allow editors to view a list of their submitted story links or their summaries pending moderation.

So I’ve hacked together a quick shell script to find the latest published summary URL on Newsvoice.com, iterate from that URL through a list of all recently-submitted summaries (both published and unpublished), and do a case-insensitive search for a single-word string that appears in your latest submitted title.

That way, as soon as you submit the links and title, you can immediately find the URL to your unmoderated story links page and submit your summary for moderation before another contributor claims it!

And, once the story links page is is approved by moderators, the script will also find all other stories that link to the page.

Unless I’m overlooking some obvious functionality during the submission process the workflow seems to entail:

  1. Submit multiple links for a news story from different reputable news sources with differing views, opinions, or biases.
  2. Create a short, unbiased, factual title to describe the story links.
  3. Wait for your links and title to be approved by moderators.
  4. Tap the approval notification that’s pushed to your smartphone.
  5. Create an unbiased summary of the story.
  6. Wait for your summary to be approved by moderators.
  7. The final story with summary and links will publish publicly on the Newsvoice front page or channel page once approved my moderators.

It sounds pretty straightforward. But things get frustrating going into step 4.

Once the links are approved by moderators anyone can claim the story links and write their own unbiased summary of the story. Like Wikipedia, shared editing with public accountability is the whole point of Newsvoice. But the only approval notice that you receive is via the single push notification on your smartphone.

When you tap the notification it permanently disappears. If you unlock your smartphone without tapping the notification, and the Newsvoice app was the last app that you used, then the notification permanently disappears without displaying the approved story links screen within the app.

Either way, if you forget to save the approved story links page in the smartphone app once you tap the notification, then you can’t find it again. And, since you’re not given the story ID or URL, you can’t find the story links page through the web app either.

And that’s not even taking into consideration that trying to write summaries on a tiny smartphone screen is less than ideal.

It could take a couple hours for the links to show up as a published story links page with no summary and, in the meantime, someone else could click claim.

So far I’m a fan of the idea of the Newsvoice platform. The more I use the platform as a non-moderator contributor the more frustrated I become. It should also be noted that, any time I’ve submitted more than two links to a story, only one or two links are approved. Other summary pages may show a dozen or more links so my assumption is only links submitted by multiple contributors (or merged pages) display more than a link or two.

Updated Sunday, July 26, 2020 to fix a typo, reorder paragraphs, and add a conclusion paragraph.

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