Do you wonder what editor tools are? Or do you know what they are and wonder what they're used for? Or, maybe just how to use them? If so, you're in luck, because this month's column goes into excruciatingly painful detail (well, not exactly..) about those things that make editing life a little easier.
Where to begin...
There are two excellent places to begin your quest for the holy grail:
And now, the Top 10 Editor Tools, and how to use them. Ta-da!
This thing is the cat's pajamas. If you need an address to use when contacting submitters (so you don't have to give out your actual address), or if you just want an easy-to-remember and cool-sounding address, this is where to go. Editor huggi has graciously donated his service to the DMOZ community. Simply go to the page and fill out the very short form, and soon you'll have your email@example.com e-mail alias. This service dates back to March 1999.
Nurey has supplied this extremely helpful tool. You tell it what categories to watch, and every day it will check those categories. If their unreviewed percentage is over a certain threshold (1% by default), it will send you a friendly e-mail notice. To use it, visit the page, type your editor name in the box, and press Enter. From there, type or paste category paths into the form and press Add. You can also set the threshold to something other than 1%. For instance, my threshold for Arts: Music: Bands and Artists: N: Nirvana is set higher than Recreation: Autos: Enthusiasts: Station Wagons because Nirvana has a co-editor and tends to get over 1% unreviewed every day. Try it out; you'll like it. :-) This tool was created in March 2000.
Created by former editor gruban, these tools make filling up or emptying a category a breeze. The Multi-Links Editor will edit, unreview, or delete an entire category of links at your discretion. The Multi-Links Adder will take a page of links and let you make touch-up changes to each one, then add them all in one fell swoop. Staff engineer cptginyu is currently working to add these tools to dmoz.org. A prototype of the Multi-Links Adder can be access via http://dmoz.org/editors/multilink.cgi?cat=. Just add the path of the category where you want the links to be added and the tool will work magic. Both of these tools are designed for good use but have the capability of being used for evil (that is, manual catmvs.. just don't do it!), so please use sensibly.
Another fantastic creation by Nurey, this tool is best for non-editalls. It will show you the unreviewed in a given category, even one you don't edit. Perhaps you're thinking of applying for Sports/Lacrosse? Use this tool to find out what the unreviewed is like. There is even an associated bookmarklet.
8. @linking Bigger_Region/Topic to Littler_Region/Topic and @linking Place/Topic to Place/Another_Topic
@linking Bigger_Region/Topic to Littler_Region/Topic and back with a related cat, where the regions can be localities, counties, metro areas, states, and whatnot. It does it for every topic that exists in the bigger region, and at least one littler region. It also does related categories from Littler_Region to Bigger_Region.
@linking Place/Topic to Place/Another_Topic in a template fashion, e.g. Creating @links from Arts_and_Entertainment to B&E/Restaurants_and_Bars. There are a whole range of standard template topics to choose from. These links go to forum threads where rpfuller graciously offers to keep track of the nightmare of sorting out @linking in Regional.
Feed this monster a category and it'll go through the links, one by one, telling you if the links are good or not. It's like Robozilla's little brother. This tool was created by editor trebor back in early 1999. (Before most of y'all were even around... back in MY day, sonny, we didn't have all this fancy schmancy stuff. We edited on a 386 and we LIKED it! We LOVED it! Oh, sorry. Got carried away.) This tool will tell you if the page is OK, or if the host times out, or if the page is gone (404)... one of the ones you can't live without.
10. #ODP IRC Chat
OK, so this isn't exactly an editor tool. Well, it could be. This is a Java interface to an IRC chat channel where dmoz editors can go to relax or talk about dmoz, or both! It's also accessible through a standard IRC client like xchat, mIRC, or pIRCh. Just use the server newwave.primeline.com and channel #ODP.
OK, so that was actually more than 10. It's just so hard to pick 10 favorites. But at least I didn't mention this one ;-) In fact, there are plenty more tools I haven't even mentioned, one that might be your new favorite. So do yourself a favor and check out the Editor Tools category. You'll be glad you did.