Using An Tir’s Online System for Commentary and Response (OSCAR)

By Lady Áine Steele, Löwenmähne Herald

(This tutorial is also available in .doc format.)

The purpose of this document is to provide a guideline for those heralds who may wish to comment on Internal Letters of Intent, but may not otherwise be technophiles. While OSCAR is an incredibly handy and useful tool, it only functions as one if everyone is comfortable using it. Hopefully, having a simple user’s guide will encourage more heralds to participate in internal commentary.

Step 1: Creating an Account

Go to http://antirheralds.org/oscar/index.php and click on “Create Account”. This link should be on the left-hand side of the screen, underneath the boxes marked “Name” and “Password”. You will come to a screen that looks like the one on the right.

You should create a username and password that you can remember easily. Make sure that the e-mail address you put in the “Email Address” box is one you check often.

When you have all the pertinent information entered, click on the “Create Account” button.

Your account will need to be verified by an admin, so you won't be able to log in right away. Please check back later to log in if you don't hear from one of us.


Step 2: Logging In and Setting Up Your Account

On the main screen, put your username and password into the appropriate boxes; then click the “Log In” button.

If you have done your login correctly, your screen should look like this.

If you ever want to return to this screen, click on the “Site News” link.

The first thing you want to do is go to the “Preferences” section. You can either click the link on the left-hand side of the screen or the one across the top. When you get to the “Preferences” screen, make sure the “Display Comments” is checked; otherwise, you won’t be able to see any of the comments made by other heralds. You also have e-mail options in the “Preferences” section; these let you know by e-mail when others respond to your commentary and when Lions Blood or Boar posts a new letter. You should keep these boxes checked as long as you intend to be an active commenter. A more in-depth explanation of the preferences can be found at http://antirheralds.org/oscar/pref_explain.html.


Step 3: Reading and Commenting on Internal Letters of Intent

Start by clicking “Read ILs”, either in the left-hand column or across the top. You will come to a screen that looks similar to this one.

Clicking on any individual letter will bring up the contents of that letter. For example, if I want to look at the August IL, I would click on the letter labeled “An Tir IL” with an issue date of “2007-Jul-28”. If I wanted to look at the June IL, I would click on the letter with an issue date of “2007-Jun-10”.


You can comment on these letters in two ways. First, you can comment on each individual item as you are reading the Internal Letter. For example, when I click on the “2007-Jul-28” letter to do my reading, I see a screen that looks like this.

If I wanted to comment on the first item on this letter, the device resubmission for Arion the Wanderer, I would simply click on the “Comment” link in parenthesis next to it. This brings up a screen with a box that I can enter what I want to say about this submission. Scrolling down the page underneath this box shows me all the things that Boar says the submitter presented, as well as all the comments made by other heralds. When I am done writing what I want to say, I simply click on the “Submit Comment” button. This attaches my comments to this specific submission on this specific letter, and OSCAR places the comment on my Letter of Commentary.


An example of the commentary box is demonstrated in this screenshot. Note that you can attach images to your commentary. This is particularly useful when commenting on armory, but can also be useful to attach a scan of a rare book with documentation of a name.


The other way you can make comments on submissions is by clicking on the “Comment” link, either in the left-hand column or across the top of the screen. If, for example, you know that you only want to comment on names, this is a handy tool to use. You’ll begin at a screen that looks similar to this one (it has lines in alternating green).


Clicking on any individual item will take you to the individual entry, including all the commentary, but you will not be able to see the rest of the letter that it appears on. This is demonstrated here with the screenshot of Iuliana de la Sara’s submission. Again, clicking on the “Comment” link in parenthesis next to the item you want to comment on (in this case, a Spanish name) will take you to a screen where you can write your commentary.

You’ll notice that you have several handy links to use as you are writing commentary: “RFS”, “Prec”, and “AH”. These links go to the Rules for Submission, the Precedents listings, and the Administrative Handbook respectfully. These are there for your benefit; please use them.


Step 4: Reading Letters of Commentary

If you are interested in reading everything written by a particular commenter, you can use the “Read LoCs” link. That will bring you to a screen that looks like this. This can be useful if you are looking for commentary from a particular herald but can’t remember what submission it was regarding.


Clicking on a name will list everything that herald has written during the month you have selected. For example, if I wanted to see everything that I had written in July, I would click on “Lowenmahne Letter of Comment” under the “2007-07” heading. If I click that now, I see a screen like this one.

This shows me everything that I commented on during the month of July, for all LoIs. To get back to the list of LoCs from reading a particular LoC, you will need to use the “Back” button in your browser.