#11 2009-05-11 16:46

narayan
Senior Member
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 470

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

Thanks to that tip, I discovered that OOo can indeed generate the pages effortlessly!

I deleted all except three pages in the manual and saved the file (each page of this new file contains a screenshot and a table) .

Then using openOffice, I exported the file. It produced a single text file, and all images were stripped.

Then I pasted the entire file into Mediawiki sandbox, here:
http://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?ti … ction=edit

Pressed the Show Preview button (at bottom) and voila!
A reasonable replica of the manual.

It does a reasonable job. Nested tables are also handled well.

Color shading in the table cells is stripped too. I guess that can be brought back with a little editing.

All images are replaced by [image] tab. I guess they have to be inserted later separately. (Unless someone knows more about how to handle that...) But then we have very few images, so it is alright either way.

Some junk characters appear, which need to be cleaned up.

All in all, we can go ahead- No issues at all! smile

In creating the actual manual, all I have to do is paste each rule on a separate page, and then insert images and clean up. Then the others can start editing online.

Over to you, Denis! Let's have that Mediawiki started!

P.S. I was wondering if the English version of online manual can be directly translated to any other language using Babelfish? I have seen somewhere that only a starting link is required (usually a country flag indicating the language, as in Wikipedia. When the visitor clicks on a flag, the site changes its language.

This is essentially machine translation, so may contain a few awkward constructions.

I am not sure whether it is free or charged (per view, etc.)...

Also, would it be legal for a visitor to rip the translated website (with webhttracker)? Then a non-English user can have his own NON-ENGLISH manual offline!

And probably we can convert that ripped site to a pdf manual using a free service.

Possibilities! Possibilities!  smile

Last edited by narayan (2009-05-11 17:21)

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#12 2009-05-12 02:49

narayan
Senior Member
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 470

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

I found this at the site that compares Drupal wih Mediawiki:

Collaborative Wiki Culture: Wikipedia culture has developed elaborate and clever ways of dealing with large-scale problems through cultural processes that take its simple page editing scheme and category tracking to new organizational heights. Most of these processes aren't hard-coded into the MediaWiki software at all. Wikipedia runs mostly on informal policies and practices that Wikipedians have developed through trial and error.

This seems to be a warning-cum-tip.

Andrew, what issues are faced in collaborative writing, and roughly what is the code of conduct? Perhaps we can put it in the welcome/signup page for any contributor.

Our scale of operation (and users) would be minuscule compared to Wikipedia, so our model need not be as rigorous as that.

Last edited by narayan (2009-05-12 03:24)

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#13 2009-05-12 12:53

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

narayan wrote:

Andrew, what issues are faced in collaborative writing, and roughly what is the code of conduct? Perhaps we can put it in the welcome/signup page for any contributor.

Our scale of operation (and users) would be minuscule compared to Wikipedia, so our model need not be as rigorous as that.

Well, the chief one as I said would be unwanted tampering of articles, overwriting contents with spam etc. The best we can do to prevent this is I guess for Denis to provide editing privileges only to certain approved people. The rest should at the most be able to add their thoughts re. articles, errors if any, omissions, corrections etc. to the discussion page of any given article. Editing the actual articles should IMO not be available to any person who visits the site.

As for the general writng pattern/style and subsections in every article etc., I think that will be mandated by the style you have adopted in the documentation so far. As long as it's all in a similar format, we should be ok and the editing can take off from there. If not, we'll have to spend some time editing the articles and bringing them all into some sort of common format.

Once the main body of the articles is in place, I guess we'll only contribute minor edits etc. as necessary, unless of course someone disagrees with major parts of any given page.

BTW, I guess Denis will also need to provide some space on the server for us to upload screenshots etc. that can be included in various articles.

I think the best thing to do is start the actual process and see where we go from there, instead of having endless discussions like committees do! roll wink

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#14 2009-05-12 14:46

prologician
Member
Registered: 2009-01-30
Posts: 84

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

I've been lurking and reading this discussion.... and it only just came to me now, that I've seen a precedent for this very thing (that is, having a documentation which is in a MediaWiki format). For me, this precedent is actually the AviSynth project (http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Main_Page).

This also ties in a little bit with Andrew's concern... graffiti/spam in the articles. Using the AviSynth pages as an example... you don't see that many locked pages (are there any?). As far as I can tell, they've not been having issues over graffiti.... though I'll admit, I haven't really looked into it, either. That's not to say that having a contingency plan is bad... there should be one. Just that I don't think we need to open with the big guns, as it were.

One additional thing which would be handy to have (or is this built-into MediaWiki?), is the Search Engine addon... have it sitting comfortably in FF/IE/whatever, and if someone wants to look something up fast, use that search to dig it up. (I use the AviSynth search like that a bit, since there are a lot of commands, and most of them take... what, four parameters at a time?)

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#15 2009-05-12 16:19

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

Well, as long as you have someone being responsible for overseeing a particular article, who'll revert any malicious edits, it's not a problem. Thing is, I could just now go to that AviSynth wiki and delete everything and replace it all with junk. There's nothing really to stop me, though of course an undo to the prev. version is relatively trivial. So maybe we can have a trial run with no authentication required, and react accordingly if too many morons show up. All in agreement, say "Aye!". tongue

BTW, those AviSynth docs are pretty good; something our docs should aim at being like eventually. A quick look showed me good article structure (with sections and sub-sections etc.), articles written with both new and advanced users in mind, and so on. They have scripting-related sections as well, which may come in handy while we're writing our own.

One more thing prologician, do you happen to know if any documentation is included along with the program distribution? Or do they leave it all online and expect their users to use that as the sole means of help?

P.S. Search Engine addon? Oh, absolutely, without a doubt! Can't do without it when it comes to documentation of any sort, especially online docs that are spread across pages and not confined to a single PDF as at present.

Last edited by Andrew (2009-05-12 16:22)

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#16 2009-05-12 17:48

narayan
Senior Member
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 470

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

I'd second Andrew. Why invite trouble. I have seen many spam attacks even on x2 forum.

A major consideration is the load on the webmaster, who has to first approve all candidates and then blacklist if the guy turns out to be a troublemaker. In our case, only a few authors have been writing solutions, scripts and new applications. (A much larger number of visitors only post queries and problems). The switchover to Mediawiki will not change that scenario.

So with Andrew's proposal, the webmaster has to handle a small number of authors; and the rest get free access to the discussion pages. That's just fine for the webmaster.

BTW how does Mediawiki handle the queries on a new subject that does not have a topic page yet?

Last edited by narayan (2009-05-12 17:54)

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#17 2009-05-12 18:56

prologician
Member
Registered: 2009-01-30
Posts: 84

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

I'm not sure if my "Search Engine addon" statement had the right meaning.... I don't mean the search bar that you have in, say, Wikipedia pages.... because you're right, you need to actually be able to navigate. I meant that in Firefox (for example), you have a Search Bar.... its default location is next to the Location Bar. You can add in search engines in there for faster lookup of stuff. For example, I do have both Wikipedia and AviSynth in there, to make lookups of random things faster than, say, going to the Main Page of each, and then beginning a search. (Hopefully that expresses better...)

I did a quick look, and they do have documentation in among their distribution (though I'll admit, I've never used them before.... heh). For their docs, however, they went for generating bunches of HTML pages, so it's a bit different than what is being sought out here (ie, a single monolithic PDF). But I guess that's more a case of personal preferences....

While I think of it (and while I'm in the process of revealing the community I pay attention to), another example of MediaWiki work in action (though I think this is less impressive than the AviSynth guide).... Aegisub, a subtitle editor. They have separate Docs and Wiki sections, though in some ways they're kinda similar.... so that's why I'm pointing out both here. smile

PS: Aye!

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#18 2009-05-14 16:34

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

prologician wrote:

I'm not sure if my "Search Engine addon" statement had the right meaning.... I don't mean the search bar that you have in, say, Wikipedia pages.... because you're right, you need to actually be able to navigate. I meant that in Firefox (for example), you have a Search Bar.... its default location is next to the Location Bar. You can add in search engines in there for faster lookup of stuff. For example, I do have both Wikipedia and AviSynth in there, to make lookups of random things faster than, say, going to the Main Page of each, and then beginning a search. (Hopefully that expresses better...)

Ah, got it. Well, AFAIK, if MediaWiki out of the box indexes all its content and allows users to search for a particular article/piece of text etc., then it must be passing a search string based on the user's query input to a search page. Eg.) wiki.den4b.com/renamer/search.php?find=pascal+script All we need to do is create an OpenSearch plugin, which is basically a fancy term for a simple XML file that will get integrated into most modern browsers and just pass on whatever the user types in the browser search box to that search page. See here for more.

prologician wrote:

I did a quick look, and they do have documentation in among their distribution (though I'll admit, I've never used them before.... heh). For their docs, however, they went for generating bunches of HTML pages, so it's a bit different than what is being sought out here (ie, a single monolithic PDF). But I guess that's more a case of personal preferences....

Multiple HTML pages, one MHT, a PDF... Doesn't really matter. Whatever is easiest to export using MediaWiki I guess. (Though a read-only PDF might be preferable.)

O.T. P.S. A manga addict, perhaps? wink

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#19 2009-05-14 16:49

narayan
Senior Member
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 470

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

pdf with bookmarks is the best option, because Denis can make the help context-sensitive.

In other words, when the user presses the ? button in any window, it can open the correct page in the pdf.

Probably the same will work with Mediawiki-generated pdf file too.

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#20 2009-05-14 20:32

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,400

Re: Setting up a Wiki: DokuWiki or MediaWiki

Sorry guys, a little delay here with setting up MediaWiki.

It turns out that MediaWiki needs a newer version of PHP than the one available on my hosting. In the next few days (working days, so might stretch out to the next week) me and my hosting provider are going to transfer my account to another server.

Hopefully everything will go smooth, without much down time.

You will know when it is done when you'll see MediaWiki working wink

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