The Future of the Wiki

Discussions about the forum and contents
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Barry Barnitz
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Post by Barry Barnitz » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:38 pm

CyberBob wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:The wiki understands HTML directly.


Cool. That means anyone that doesn't want to bother with wiki syntax should be able to just create articles using their word processor.

OpenOffice Writer
File --> Export...MediaWiki (.txt) format

Microsoft Word
File --> Save As...Web page, filtered .htm .html (Note: definitely use the filtered option, which removes the non-HTML Word gobbeldygook)

Bob

P.S. Do you think that going the HTML route rather than using wiki syntax may make the page more difficult for someone else to edit later? Or does the chance for increased wiki participation because of simplification vastly outweigh that concern?


Unless the HTML export converts the entry into wiki code it would be worthless. Here is Lady Geeks actual transfer:
<meta>
<meta>

<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>
<link>

<title>Bogleheads :: View topic - Roth v traditional with current market conditions</title>
<link>
<style>
<!--
/*
The original subSilver Theme for phpBB version 2+
Created by subBlue design
http://www.subBlue.com

NOTE: These CSS definitions are stored within the main page body so that you can use the phpBB2
theme administration centre. When you have finalised your style you could cut the final CSS code
and place it in an external file, deleting this section to save bandwidth.
*/

/* General page style. The scroll bar colours only visible in IE5.5+ */
body {
background-color: #E5E5E5;
scrollbar-face-color: #DEE3E7;
scrollbar-highlight-color: #FFFFFF;
scrollbar-shadow-color: #DEE3E7;
scrollbar-3dlight-color: #D1D7DC;
scrollbar-arrow-color: #006699;
scrollbar-track-color: #EFEFEF;
scrollbar-darkshadow-color: #98AAB1;
}

/* General font families for common tags */
font,th,td,p { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif }
a:link,a:active,a:visited { color : #006699; }
a:hover { text-decoration: underline; color : #DD6900; }
hr { height: 0px; border: solid #D1D7DC 0px; border-top-width: 1px;}

/* This is the border line & background colour round the entire page */
.bodyline { background-color: #FFFFFF; border: 1px #98AAB1 solid; }

/* This is the outline round the main forum tables */
.forumline { background-color: #FFFFFF; border: 2px #006699 solid; }

/* Main table cell colours and backgrounds */
td.row1 { background-color: #EFEFEF; }
td.row2 { background-color: #DEE3E7; }
td.row3 { background-color: #D1D7DC; }

/*
This is for the table cell above the Topics, Post & Last posts on the index.php page
By default this is the fading out gradiated silver background.
However, you could replace this with a bitmap specific for each forum
*/
td.rowpic {
background-color: #FFFFFF;
background-image: url(templates/subSilver/images/cellpic2.jpg);
background-repeat: repeat-y;
}

/* Header cells - the blue and silver gradient backgrounds */
th {
color: #FFA34F; font-size: 11px; font-weight : bold;
background-color: #006699; height: 25px;
background-image: url(templates/subSilver/images/cellpic3.gif);
}



This goes on for about 10x what you presently are viewing. There is no way anyone but a programmer could ever edit this.

Since most everyday forum members would simply be producing verbiage (not tables, graphs, charts, images, or anything fancy) they can simply copy the script they compose on any word processor and copy and paste their paragraph/s into the wiki.

[edited to reduce the gargantuan HTML page coding]

regards,
Last edited by Barry Barnitz on Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LadyGeek
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Post by LadyGeek » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:23 pm

Barry - Could you please delete about 80% of my HTML page content from your post? That takes up a lot of forum space. Point taken. (Note that the embedded comments are not mine, but are from the web page designers.)

CyberBob wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:The wiki understands HTML directly.


Cool. That means anyone that doesn't want to bother with wiki syntax should be able to just create articles using their word processor.

OpenOffice Writer
File --> Export...MediaWiki (.txt) format

Microsoft Word
File --> Save As...Web page, filtered .htm .html (Note: definitely use the filtered option, which removes the non-HTML Word gobbeldygook)

Bob

P.S. Do you think that going the HTML route rather than using wiki syntax may make the page more difficult for someone else to edit later? Or does the chance for increased wiki participation because of simplification vastly outweigh that concern?
Good point on the difficulty of editing.

I used MS Word to edit the .htm file, delete the rows from the table (that's how it sees the posts in HTML), and resaved the file. In a few words, it's ugly.

Note that the fonts are messed up and the sidebar links are colored the same as the links in the forum posts. Don't worry, it only affects the page being viewed.

I think I missed a <format> somewhere. No clue on what went wrong and it's going to take a while to figure it out. Not worth it.

Which brings me to conclude: The wiki engine is happy using wiki markup / wiki syntax.

I'll take a look at the MS Word macros.
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Post by sommerfeld » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:30 pm

from an ongoing maintenance standpoint we'll be better served in most cases by plain text with light or no markup; a big chunk of complex html with embedded CSS directives (like the quoted forum page above) will be harder to maintain going forward.

(as a side note: I'm amused that the forum software is rendering smilies in the html comments as emoticon images.

as another side note, I think there may be a bug in how the forum software is dealing with that large blob of html -- the two posts after it are squished up against the right margin with a huge left margin.

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Post by CyberBob » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:33 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Which brings me to conclude: The wiki engine is happy using wiki markup / wiki syntax.

I would have to agree. For someone who has wiki syntax as the hurdle that's keeping them from editing on the wiki, the OpenOffice File --> Export...MediaWiki option seems a much more elegant solution than HTML. Or heck, as mentioned above in the thread, if you really want to write something for the wiki, just do it in plain old unformatted text. Just like on this forum, it's the content that's most important, not the fancy text.

Bob

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Post by LadyGeek » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:55 pm

I just deleted my "experimental" page. Something went astray with an edit and it affected the forum (also noted by sommerfeld). :oops:

Whatever (HTML command (or CSS)) was missing had an effect in grand style. The forum page was affected, so when I went from the wiki to this thread, all of the message content was compressed into the right side of the page.

I had to totally clear out my FireFox cache. Experiment failed, no need to continue. Point proven. Page deleted.

Note that there is some HTML content in the wiki. For example, the Table of Contents. However, it's a single table that can easily be edited.

(Post updated to reflect sommerfeld's comments about the forum bug.)
Last edited by LadyGeek on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Barry Barnitz
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Help for forum members.

Post by Barry Barnitz » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:17 pm

Hi:

On a slightly different track, I will present the following "mini-tutorial" on the basics of viewing wiki activity, which may help many forum members.

As many of us involved with the wiki have stated, the heart and soul of wiki participation is the "Recent Changes" link, which is situated in the navigation box on the sidebar of the wiki Main Page. The best way for forum members to think of Recent Changes is to consider it the wiki version of the diehards.org index of forum posts.

What I will now do is explain for all of you what information can be gleaned from the Recent Changes page.

First of all the page has a default setting of showing you the 50 most recent edits over the past 7 days. Here is a view.

We have actually been having a great amount of activity on the wiki recently, so to show a more accurate accounting of wiki edits, I will change the parameters by showing 500 edits over the past week.

Here is the view.

You may notice that many edits are marked with an (m). This signifies that the edit is minor (fixing a broken link, typo, or other minor action, usually described in the short note you see with the edit). You can screen out minor edits. Here are the 500 past edits, screening out minor edits: View.

If you select the link to the title of a wiki page, the page will be displayed. If you want to the see the actual edit, select the (diff) option, This will present you with a side by side view of the edit and the original text, as well as the page version of the edited page. We will use a recent page edit as an illustration.

Here is a recent edit, showing the (diff) function: Here is the view of the (diff) option.

You can view a history of the past edits of the page by using the (hist) function. Here is the view of the page's history.

Finally, you can use the (contribs) link to see all of the wiki editor's contributions to the wiki. Here is a the view of the (contribs) option for the editor who has made the edit.


I hope that this will now make your scrutiny of the wiki's Recent Changes easier and more rewarding.

regards,
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Post by LadyGeek » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:44 pm

To request help with formatting problems (or anything else), the wiki already has a solution. Simply invoke the "Cleanup Needed" template in your page. That puts the page in a special category and flags it for editing help. Here's an example:

Please see Paul's Post on the Bogleheads Wiki. (This page is in the Development category, so it is being used as an example).

There are a number of other flags / markers to categorize pages that need attention. Please see Template Messages on the Bogleheads Wiki.
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post moved

Post by pkcrafter » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:03 pm

It's too bad this thread got moved to the Reference Library. One of the main purposes was to get gets lots of readers, some enthusiasm, and hopefully, some new contributors. Now that it's here, it won't get the exposure. :(


Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:11 pm

Not sure who moved it here, but I can't do anything about it or I would move it back (for some reason, I don't have moderator status on this forum).

I think only the admins, mods and librarians can see this sub-forum, so it certainly will not be seen by the vast majority of members, and that's a shame.
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Post by linuxizer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:13 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:Not sure who moved it here, but I can't do anything about it or I would move it back (for some reason, I don't have moderator status on this forum).

I think only the admins, mods and librarians can see this sub-forum, so it certainly will not be seen by the vast majority of members, and that's a shame.


I can see the forum and this thread, and I am neither an admin, nor a mod, nor a librarian. It's definitely not the highest-traffic of the Bogleheads fora though.

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Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:17 pm

linuxizer wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:Not sure who moved it here, but I can't do anything about it or I would move it back (for some reason, I don't have moderator status on this forum).

I think only the admins, mods and librarians can see this sub-forum, so it certainly will not be seen by the vast majority of members, and that's a shame.


I can see the forum and this thread, and I am neither an admin, nor a mod, nor a librarian. It's definitely not the highest-traffic of the Bogleheads fora though.


That's really strange, because I don't have Moderator capabilities in this forum, and I can't vote in any poll on this forum, nor can I start a new thread. So this forum obviously has some special limitations.
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Post by linuxizer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:26 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:That's really strange, because I don't have Moderator capabilities in this forum, and I can't vote in any poll on this forum, nor can I start a new thread. So this forum obviously has some special limitations.


Odd. I can't start a thread either, so presumably it's read, append, but no write (new post) privileges.

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Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:32 pm

linuxizer wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:That's really strange, because I don't have Moderator capabilities in this forum, and I can't vote in any poll on this forum, nor can I start a new thread. So this forum obviously has some special limitations.


Odd. I can't start a thread either, so presumably it's read, append, but no write (new post) privileges.


Are you a wiki editor by any chance? If so, that's probably why you can read this forum.
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Barry Barnitz
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Paul:

Post by Barry Barnitz » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:33 pm

Hi:

I believe that I can move this topic to another forum. Which one would you like to have it moved to?

This is not the Wiki admins forum, which is restricted to wiki editors. This is the library, which is not a discussion forum.



regards,
Last edited by Barry Barnitz on Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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linuxizer
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Post by linuxizer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:33 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:
linuxizer wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:That's really strange, because I don't have Moderator capabilities in this forum, and I can't vote in any poll on this forum, nor can I start a new thread. So this forum obviously has some special limitations.


Odd. I can't start a thread either, so presumably it's read, append, but no write (new post) privileges.


Are you a wiki editor by any chance? If so, that's probably why you can read this forum.


I joined the wiki last week. That's probably it.

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Re: Paul:

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:41 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:Hi:

I believe that I can move this topic to another forum. Which one would you like to have it moved to?

This is not the Wiki admins forum, which is restricted to wiki editors. This is the library, which is not a discussion forum.



regards,


I don't want to overrule Alex if he's the one who moved it here, but perhaps he didn't realize that Paul and the wiki folks were looking for broad membership feedback and new wiki editors (it appears you did recruit some from this thread).

I think it should be in the News sub-forum if Alex agrees.
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Move

Post by Barry Barnitz » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:43 pm

Hi:

Am about ready to zip off to work in our still high water locale (we were ground zero of the recent storm).

I have moved the page to Forum Issues and Admin.

regards,
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Re: Move

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:11 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:Hi:

Am about ready to zip off to work in our still high water locale (we were ground zero of the recent storm).

I have moved the page to Forum Issues and Admin.

regards,


That's a good place for it Barry. Are you going to work in your boat? I saw some of the pictures of the flooding in VA and it looked like you guys were in Florida or LA after a hurricane hit.
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Post by LadyGeek » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:23 pm

I took a stab at another experiment. However, I'm using CyberBob's suggested MS Word macros (no HTML!). Does this help?

Please see Word to Wiki Converter on the Bogleheads Wiki.

The table was built using the macro on the Word macros Talk page. Needs a bit more work.
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Post by TJAJ9 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:14 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:
linuxizer wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:That's really strange, because I don't have Moderator capabilities in this forum, and I can't vote in any poll on this forum, nor can I start a new thread. So this forum obviously has some special limitations.


Odd. I can't start a thread either, so presumably it's read, append, but no write (new post) privileges.


Are you a wiki editor by any chance? If so, that's probably why you can read this forum.


I can read this forum also and I am not an editor.

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Re: post moved

Post by rokid » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:29 am

pkcrafter wrote:It's too bad this thread got moved to the Reference Library. One of the main purposes was to get gets lots of readers, some enthusiasm, and hopefully, some new contributors. Now that it's here, it won't get the exposure. :(


Paul


Are you sure? I've been reading it with great interest. :wink: ----Jim

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Post by pkcrafter » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:27 pm

Jim wrote:
Are you sure? I've been reading it with great interest. :wink: ----Jim


Great! Sign that boy up. :D


Paul :wink:
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