We're off and running in porting all the great work that you all have created to our very own wiki site. Thanks to all those who have contributed and continue to contribute to this very valuable resource for both the Bogleheads/Diehards community and for other investors as well.
Thanks for your hard work, and best regards to all.
Mel et al:
Once the Wiki goes "live" we will probably have to draft a few pages describing:
- 1. Defining a wiki; writing and editing, etc.
- 2. What is expected from a wiki writer/editor (neutrality- allowing both positive and negative sides to issues-preferably cited; debating positions is the role of the forum); comportment and etiquette, etc;
- 3. How to join the wiki;
- 4. A help page describing wiki markup and syntax;
I have used Wikimedia links for three of these topics. How to join is specific to the wiki, and could be combined with wiki specific rules of etiquette.
I'm embarking on a brash rewrite of the Main Page and the Help article in the navigation sidebar. I'll provide more explanation after the fact, but my goals are to improve organization and to reduce the intimidation factor associated with signing up for the wiki. Ken Schwartz 10:54, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
- Here are the main things I did:
- Eliminated the Table of Contents. It was annoying to click on a link in the TOC, only to be sent to the topic list on the same page.
- Consolidated all help information on the Help page in the navigation sidebar. I also expanded it a little bit in the area of content policies.
- Tried to make the sign-up process less scary. Replaced words like writer and editor with user and contributor. In terms of asking for access, I employed request instead of apply. Ken Schwartz 12:06, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
The Main Page looks rather bland. If anyone has appropriate photos or other ideas for enlivening the page, improvements would be very welcome. Ken Schwartz 01:14, 31 May 2008 (EDT)
- Here's an attempt to improve the Main Page. I know the colors need updating. Comments? - Simba 12:57, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
Simba, thanks for your page. I edited it some, so you can take a look at what I've done. I'm not at all satisfied with the result. I really like your basic idea that we can enliven the page with simple background colors. We need to come up with a scheme that doesn't require left-right scrolling if a reader views the page zoomed, i.e., at a bigger text size. Fixed pixel width tables seem to cause a problem in this regard (at least in Firefox).
Another big consideration is that we need an approach which is very easy to maintain as the topic list is modified. I.e., it shouldn't be dependent on the specific topics and description lengths which are there now.
I wish I were better with HTML. Ken Schwartz 15:46, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
- Two other comments:
- See my suggestion below regarding use of categories to replace the topic index. Spending a lot of time formatting the topic index may not be worthwhile, though I probably will anyway.
- Simba, I noticed that in the test page, you've written "A simple PM is all it takes to request editor (or user - a MediaWiki term) status." My avoidance of the term editor was very intentional. It sounds too official, and it probably scares people away from joining. Ken Schwartz 16:38, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
I went ahead and reformatted the main page, using my twisted interpretation of Simba's idea. I don't believe I changed any of the words that were there before. I opted for a 1 rather than 2 column layout of the Topic Index. The 2 column layout is a neat idea, but I was having technical problems with it, and (more importantly) it would be hard to maintain if additional topics or longer descriptions were introduced. If anyone hates the new look, feel free to yell at me, or to revert if you really despise it. Ken Schwartz 20:40, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
- For now this will work. I do agree with you and Cyberbob, that going the path of Categories might make more sense in the future. Simba 00:10, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- Anyone have a photo of Bogle, free of licensing restrictions? Ken Schwartz 21:21, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
- These photos were taken by the Bogleheads during the Boglehead reunions - Simba 00:10, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- DH - II (gailcox)
- DH - VI (familydoc)
Thanks Simba. For some reason, I get a "Forbidden" message when I try to access familydoc's first 3 pictures. The 4th one has potential if cropped. I'll see what I can do. Ken Schwartz 00:37, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- Ken - Check familydoc's album from DH history in the reference Library. Simba 00:45, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
Perfect. Thanks. Ken Schwartz 01:21, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- I've inserted a Bogle photo, but I'm having trouble with a caption. The obvious MediaWiki syntax doesn't appear (strangely) to do anything, and the deprecated HTML approach adversely affects image alignment. Thoughts? Ken Schwartz 12:05, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
I've solved the caption problem in a really ugly way. Thank goodness for GIMP. I'd still like to understand the right way to do it. [Note to non-geeks: I used the GNU Image Manipulation Program to modify the picture, so that the desired words are part of it.] Ken Schwartz 13:05, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- I fixed the photo caption by inserting an actual wiki caption ala [[Image:PhotoFileName|thumb|Caption text goes here]]. Is that what you were looking for? CyberBob 15:53, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
Yes. Thanks, Bob. It doesn't work if you omit the thumb part! Ken Schwartz 16:41, 2 June 2008 (EDT)
- In MediaWiki software only thumbnail images have captions. An 'in-line' image (aka full-size image) doesn't have a caption below, but rather will show the text as a hoverbox if you hover your mouse over the image. Probably a feature, as I think that it's generally assumed that in the middle of an article, thumbnails will be used as an adjunct to the main text of the article. However, if you have a lot of text you would like to add to a photo (more than a caption should contain), you also can add that on the actual image page, which shows the full-size image after you click the thumbnail, as on the Image:JohnBogle.jpg page. CyberBob 12:57, 3 June 2008 (EDT)
Topic Index vs. Categories (and Possibly Search)
At some point soon we might consider replacing the Topic Index with a link to something like Category:Financial Planning. Categories can provide the structure needed for easy site navigation, and they're easier to maintain than an explicit page hierarchy.
We also might think about what we need to do in order to make the search functionality in the left navigation bar more useful. If the wiki gets very large (OK, I'm dreaming), traversing the category structure will itself become painful, and searches will become very important. Ken Schwartz 01:07, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
- Replacing the Topic Index with Categories is a superb idea. Category pages give a more focused grouping to topics, not to mention links between pages in that category, often making finding similar or related items easier. And they are low-maintenance too, as they are automatically updated as people create new pages with that category tag (and conversely, they don't show dead-links if the page doesn't exist yet). The Topic Index is/was a helpful way to start when you might not be sure of the exact subject-matter structure. But, once that structure starts to become fleshed out, via categories, using them is a great idea. Maybe something similar to Wikipedia's Category Index. Although ours should have significantly fewer categories, and so be much less formidable looking. CyberBob 21:25, 1 June 2008 (EDT)
"Main Page Experimentation" copied here
I've copied the category-based page here. Barry's approach seems ready for prime time. I've written brief descriptions for all the financial categories right on the category pages. If my action is premature, we can always revert.
We can perform tweaks on the Main Page article itself, with related discussions right here. Ken Schwartz 00:00, 8 June 2008 (EDT)
An Invitation for Newbies
I think the main page should have some text near the top (perhaps just under the top color box) that says "If you're new to the wiki, we invite you to join the discussion on the [insert page name] page." As for what the page is called, please see Wiki Chatroom where I describe the two functions of such a page. Those functions might be separated onto different pages in the future, as needed. I'm going to stick some such text on the main page now. But I am fully aware that others have spent a lot of time making the main page nice. So, I will not at all be offended if it is reverted back. I would at least like to have my idea discussed though.
Exactly what I was looking for. The only problem is that the Wiki Chatroom was missing from the Wiki Chores table at the bottom. I put it back to be consistent with the category list. This section appears to be manually edited (no TOC). LadyGeek 18:36, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
A multiple sheet example:
- Life Expectancy Tables from IRS Publication 590 (view in Google Docs) (or download as Excel .xls file)
LadyGeek 03:37, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
New option: Dan Kohn 17:07, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- TIAA CREF vs. Vanguard spreadsheet (choose File: Export to download)
Test option #1, same as above: LadyGeek 22:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- Test (choose File: Export to download)
Test option #2: LadyGeek 22:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
- Test (View only)
A slight variation: LadyGeek 22:48, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Main Page Cleanup
It was time for a cleanup. Resorted, color bars in alternating pattern, dropped the bold fonts since it was used inconsistently. If it doesn't look right, I can put the bold back (but for all categories). LadyGeek 03:37, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Is it just me? Main page doesn't look right
I see big blank areas, right on the first screen and elsewhere on the main page. Probably just a work in progress. Just a heads up in case it is just me. --Sewall 13:33, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
- I can't reproduce your blank areas. Working in Firefox 3.06 and testing with IE 7. IE 7 renders the page differently than Firefox(!), so I see the photo in the Welcome box on top of the text. It should be on the left. Also, the header for the Welcome box doesn't line up with the content. No clue why, nothing I can do.
- I just finished recategorizing all the pages to "Main Page", which makes this an "official" release. Cleaned up the Search box to fit the layout better. Tested in both wide-screen and "standard" display aspect ratios. Now I see why web page design is a full-time job. I wonder how it looks on Opera.LadyGeek 15:18, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
- Bumber you can't reproduce. I could send you a screen shot if you PM your e-mail address to me. It really is not pretty. --Sewall 17:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
- Just viewed it in IE7. Some aesthetic feedback: It looks way better than in IE6 but the layout still seems odd to me and I'm not sure it is what was intended. The boxes seem disconnected in the vertical direction with a lot of white space. Horizontally they overlap a bit, which is odd. The picture of Bogle causes a lot of white space to its left that looks vacant. --Sewall 00:30, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
- OK, looking much better now in IE7. Recent changes are very nice. --Sewall 13:49, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
- Looks fine in IE6 now too. Fantastic! --Sewall 00:39, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
- Thanks! Always test in at least 2 browsers... LadyGeek 22:48, 10 March 2009 (UTC)