User talk:Blbarnitz

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Revision as of 16:52, 8 March 2009 by Blbarnitz (talk | contribs) (moved from user to discussion)
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Not sure if you saw my comment at MediaWiki talk:Common.css or not, but I wanted to let you know that MediaWiki:Common.css is a powerful page that allows for all sorts of formatting. For example, Wikipedia's article on George W. Bush takes advantage of it in a number of ways that we might be able to add here as well. The first is the infobox at the top of the page, on the right. Including a box like that on each page about a particular mutual fund would allow us to put the important info—fund category, benchmark index, expense ratio, fees, etc.—in a consistent, easy access format.

The second thing that might be useful are the boxes at the bottom of the page, starting with "George W. Bush" and ending with "Texas Rangers". These boxes are collapsible (and are collapsed by default, as you see), reducing the amount of space that they take up on the page. These could be used on individual fund pages as well, to help organize the vast number of links at the bottom of pages like Vanguard Pacific Stock Index Fund.

The problem is that to edit that page, the user has to be an administrator. If you like, you can simply copy the corresponding page from Wikipedia, but it's a fairly large file and includes some unnecessary code (like formatting for image galleries—probably not something we need here). That might be the easiest solution, at least until you're confident enough that I'm not going to run around breaking things =).

Once the necessary code is there, I think it will be fairly easy to copy/paste the templates from Wikipedia that allow these kinds of informational and navigational aids to be added to our pages here. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions. --Spangineer (talk) 19:32, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I haven't looked at this in depth. When I created a navigation box, I wanted to use a navbox just like the wikipedia, but it appeared to have dependency issues. That is, navbox depends on some template, which in turn depends on some template or JavaScript. Do you know if it's easy to resolve the dependency issues? Maybe I should take a look again. At the time, I was sort of in rush to create navigation boxes for fund and 529 pages. PiperWarrior 19:57, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Both suggestions look promising. I am no "techie" and have very little background with wikimedia markup; the codes in common css are essentially meaningless to me, so I mostly learn it by copying an established example. If you know the code, and can create the templates. I see no downside in using them. Blbarnitz 21:00, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
PiperWarrior, the boxes depend on "classes" within the tables, and those classes are all defined in Common.css. Once those are in place, it should be fairly simple to start adding boxes that look like the ones on Wikipedia. But until Common.css has the appropriate code in it (which only an administrator can add), I don't know of an easy way to make it happen. --Spangineer (talk) 22:22, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. I just looked at the source code for navbox. It looks like we need ParserFunctions so that we can use things like #if and #switch. I'll ask Tashina, the site administrator, to install this. PiperWarrior 05:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry Blbarnitz, I should have specified--the talk page doesn't need to be edited, just the actual page itself (MediaWiki:Common.css). --Spangineer (talk) 00:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Simultaneous edits

Barry. We have a problem. I just lost a huge edit because we seem to be working on Investment Planning at the same time. Is my edit saved somewhere? Can we come to some agreement about a schedule for working on the page? Sewall 18:59, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Sewall: You have the kernel of a nice page here but it needs to be based on general principals, not a long extended case history. You can say what you need to say with about 1/10th the effort. Focus on elements of the process, not the long narrative. Use a couple of short examples to illustrate a computation if it helps,

Barry: Thanks. I wish we had exchanged thoughts earlier. I've sent you e-mails about this (just now). I think it best for me that I stop working on the page. I had a whole section drafted and when I went to save it the save failed. I think it was because you were working on it as well. If there was any indication of this possibility I didn't see it. (There should be a warning. If there already is one, it should be more prominent.) I won't do work like this again. I'll do it offline in a separate editor (that's the lesson). Sewall 19:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Sewall. If you are working on a page, place a template on the page indicating you are presently active. See Template Messages in the sidebar Wiki help. UnderConstruction or InUse are both applicable. I wanted to slow you down a little on that page because I feared it would get excessively pruned on later revisions by other editors and I hated to see you expend so much effort. Remember to have sources for much of what you put on the wiki. Unfortunately we do not have the automatic footnote capability here, so we have to do these manually. Just include the reference link in the page and I will eventually get around to footnoting it. For an example, check out Gift Annuity for which I recently completed the citation referencing. By the way your page is not lost. You can find it in the page history. Blbarnitz 22:05, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Barry. No, really, my edits to the Asset Allocation: Returns and Risks section are really gone. I saved the page and it jumped to your latest version. My simultaneous edit is gone. I am guilty for not having read or internalized all editorial norms. I might have shortened up the page content later. I should have done the rough drafting I was doing off-line (my bad).
But the method of teaching me (deliberately "slowing me down") by changing and rechanging while I was in the middle of my effort was an unpleasant way of education (from my perspective). I have a few suggestions: (1) make a "contributor" page that links prominently from the main page or navigation bar with brief instructions of the most critical stylistic points you were trying to teach me (I didn't find any such thing directly on, which is on the main page). (2) When you suspect someone has gone off track, warn them (as you did with me) but then give them some leeway. You can always edit the page later. A second warning on the page they're working on (as opposed to the talk page) and/or an e-mail would drive the point home. A contributor may not see the talk page right away (I didn't).
I'm very interested in seeing this effort thrive. I will continue to contribute. But my efforts on the Investment Planning are done. I'll leave it to you and/or others. Thanks.

Barry: Remember that Sewall's comments, and now mine, are good problems. It means that there are enough people contributing and each has his/her own idea of how things should be. We are now running into each other. There is already a mechanism in place where people can coordinate their ideas- the Talk: page (discussion tab). That's what it's there for: to discuss content for that page. For example, I was about to delete what you did to the main category tables, but I made an entry in the Main_Page_Development/Categories Talk page asking your intentions.

There's an example footnote in the Wiki Help Notes (it's a footnote...) LadyGeek 22:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

LaddyGeek, Thank you. That's exactly what I was thinking. I really want this experience to lead to better ways to allow others to contribute. I know enough about wikis to know that these things happen and they're opportunities for process improvements. But other possibly valuable contributors may find such an interaction very off-putting. We should strive to avoid it as much as possible. I take responsibility for not availing myself of all information and techniques. Let's make those easier to find and use. And, when we see someone making a project out of a sub-section, let's stay out of his/her way unless it is really threatening. I do not think what I was doing remotely falls into the threatening category. I would have been happy to see major edits done later. As it was, Barry's well-meaning attempts to "fix" my "mistakes" led to a loss of some work (it is not in the history that I can tell). That is really something we should try to avoid. I'll do my part. We all make mistakes. Let's move on. Thanks all. Sewall 23:26, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Sewall, sorry to mess up your page editing, mea culpa. In regards to a policy position now is a good time to formulate one (independent of wikimedia guidelines which are roughly applicable but not fine-tuned to a smaller enterprise.) I made a post about this issue in the Forum including a link to Finiki's version, but it has drawn no comment. We need to have input on this while we have a manageable small "wiki staff". Blbarnitz 00:20, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Barry, OK. As long as this leads to some progress on policy it was a worthwhile mix-up. Let's get to it. I'll go to the forum post to see what you wrote. I confess I'm spending less time there, more here. There may be a point at which I miss some wiki issues there. I'll try to remember to check in from time to time. Sewall 01:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)