You Can’t Always Git What You Want… (but we did) New Pressbooks Features

There’s many many things we’ve seen in this project that we wish we could change in the H5P and Pressbooks software. And often when you bother to submit feature requests, you either hear nothing or worse, you are told it’s not possible/likely.

That’s why it’s rewarding to hear back that sometimes you can “git” what you want (someone is making a pun on the GitHub system of software management. And we have Pressbook’s Steel Wagstaff (our super presenter from the April 2021 webinar) for not only seeing a few of our requests through but also letting us know. Read on…

(I have to credit Oliver Tacke for listening here and submitting a few H5P improvements we’ve grumbled about)

In a follow-up post about the print side of accessibility, we noted that when Pressbooks generates a PDF, it replaces H5P content with a URL, but that it was of limited use, because the link was for the entire chapter. This means a learner using a print version of the textbook looking for that H5P would have to get to a computer, enter the link, than scramble to find the H5P in the page.

In the post we noted that there was information in the rendering of the H5P content to get an anchor link to the location where the H5P exists in the page. It looks like Steel entered that as a change request in the Pressbooks code and in June lets us know by email it came through.

Kaching! Thanks Steel.

As a related idea to alternatives to H5P content, note the BCcampus Publishing Guide suggestion for “offline H5P” activities. It offers a CSS means to add content that can be an alternative exercise for H5P that will only be visible in the Print PDF versions. It’s an elegant approach.

But back to H5P. Another small request we made was regarding my favorite “Finding H5P scouting trick” where you take any Pressbooks URL e.g. say the newest update to the Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC open textbook and add h5p-listing to the end, you can get a page that lists all H5P content- check it out.

I used this for our projects to get regular counts of H5P content created, but had to use a trick to get a total number on the page (doing a command-F on the listing for “View Activity” to get the number of finds). I had mentioned this to Steele at some point… and shazam, it’s not a feature plus even more enhancements for the page:

Check out a screen video of seeing this in action!

Not only that:

This means when you search in the Pressbooks Directory for content with H5P, soon the icon in the search results will link to the H5P Listing page.

It makes us feel liked, thanks Steel!

Meme image created at

Thanks for “gitting” these things done!

But if you try sometimes, well, you might find you git what you need.

Featured Image: You can’t always get what you want flickr photo by quinn.anya shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license modified by Alan Levine to change “get” to “git”

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