Matronics talk:Community Portal

From Matronics

In this wiki, all articles across all communities are stored together in one repository. If a type community, eg Avid Flyer, wants all its articles to be easily found within this shared environment, contributors will want to follow some scheme to identify articles as belonging to that type.

Some of the ways to do that include:

  1. mention Avid Flyer in the text of every article (for phrase searching)
  2. reference a category of Avid Flyer using [[Category:Avid Flyer]] (for searching by category)
  3. maintain an index of links to Avid Flyer articles (eg Contents section on the Avid Flyer entry page)
  4. use the subpage feature in each article title (eg Avid Flyer/Drag Reduction)
  5. use Avid Flyer at the beginning of every page title (eg Avid Flyer Drag Reduction)

If someone writes a short article without doing one of the above (eg Main Gear), it will NOT be findable for those looking for Avid Flyer pages - and, it may be confusing (not a good thing in aviation) if the page DOESN'T reference Avid Flyer in some way, and someone comes across the page and is left wondering what type it applies to.

A similar problem exists with uploaded files - images etc. Without a naming convention, unless the files are used on some related page, no one will be able to tell what they are from the file list special page. The first one to name a file tailwheel.jpg gets that name, the next person has to get creative.

I will be contributing a large number of seed articles, so I would prefer to have a scheme worked out, and a contributor's guide article drafted, before sinking a lot of time and effort into it. I know from experience that time spent up front working out these things pays big dividends later on.

There are pros and cons to be determined for the above approaches. First impressions are that 5 is rarely used in other wikis, 2 is commonly used and offers some consistency, 1 is hit or miss, 3 is a good technique when seeding a new wiki and helps build the community.

Re 4, per http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Link#Subpage_feature the subpage feature must be configured. Is it enabled in the Matronics wiki? Looks like a Kitfox contributor tried to use it, possibly testing the above concepts.

--jheckmann 10:52, 17 August 2008 (PDT)

I was not aware of subpages before. That is a great tool, and I think it's probably the best approach for community articles. I'm prepared to relocate all the RV articles if we want to settle on this as the standard for the wiki. I'll email Brian and Matt to bring them in on this discussion before we decide. Any idea how we can bring in other interested parties? Perhaps an email to the RV List? --Tedd 17:51, 20 August 2008 (PDT)
I was just wondering: If the community pages are subpages, what happens when someone who doesn't know about subpages creates a new page for that community? Does an editor need to come along and move the page to a subpage? If you create a page by making a link on a subpage, is the new page automatically part of the same sub-domain as the referring page? --Tedd 14:35, 21 August 2008 (PDT)
Answered my own question by trying it on my own wiki. If you make a link such as [[sub-domain/New Page]] you get a new page that is a subpage. --Tedd 17:14, 21 August 2008 (PDT)
I would like evaluate pros and cons before settling on one or several approaches. What is it about subpages that you think is "best"? Also - what do you mean by sub-domain? namespace? --jheckmann 07:58, 24 August 2008 (PDT)
Yes, I guess namespace is what I meant -- articles under a path tree such as .../RV/Landing_Gear. I also probably way overstated my case; I'm not sure it is the right tool for what we're trying to do. It just seemed, at first glance, as though it might have some advantages for us. Perhaps portals would be better? I'm not at all clear on how portals work, though. --Tedd 14:25, 26 August 2008 (PDT)
AFAICT, Mediawiki namespaces are meant to be used to separate different *types* of content (eg, Talk:, Template:); most wikis will not have a large (and potentially growing) number of namespaces, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_namespace. I've looked high and low for uses of subpages; they seem to be used heavily in User: for sandbox/override css (eg User:jheckmann/monobook.css) but not for content.
As for portals, portal pages are entry points into subsets of content. So yes, we have this Community Portal which lists entry points into communities such as RV and Kitfox and Avid Flyer; and each of those pages may (I would say, should) be portals that list entry points into their content (all three of these do). The Humor page, on the other hand - currently there is only the one page, should be changed to a portal page with a link to that one article, so that others will be encouraged to add articles. These portal pages are maintained manually, and need Wiki Gardeners to maintain them. Once there is more content, I would hope the Community Portal could be dressed up and updated periodically to highlight the content within, a la http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Aviation. All that said, portals only get the user so far into the content (Community Portal > Avid Flyer > topic); in addition we need Categories and other means of navigation. So, approaches 2 and 3. --jheckmann 10:39, 27 August 2008 (PDT)

Thank you -Joanne- for advising me of this discussion. I agree that a structure could add to the useful function of articles and I would promote it. In this discussion it is mentioned that a Kitfox contributor may have tested subpages. Are you referring to my Kitfox/tailwheelswap article? If so, I don't think my article utilized any subpage features unless it IS a subpage which it may be. I did use "targets" (an HTML term I think is different for wiki, I don't remember) A Target is a way to link to a point on a web page from a navigation bar or table of contents. It allows you to jump to that location directly. --Rexinator 13:34, 24 August 2008 (PDT)

Hello, thanks for participating. Yes, per the subpage link above:

In the namespace where the subpage feature is activated, any slash in a page name causes a subpage structure, even if unintended.

So titling a page Kitfox/tailwheelswap may create a subpage structure.

Today I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Subpages, with links at the bottom containing further discussion AGAINST using subpages in the main namespace (using them in talk and user namespaces is ok when used per their guidelines). They moved away from subpages, to categories http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Category.

I like this Community Portal page, it gets the user to the first page for the subject area or type, eg Avid Flyer. Once within the Avid Flyer main page, the user can navigate from the manually maintained Contents list to pages related to Avid Flyer; or type Avid Flyer in the search box and click on Search (clicking on Go gets them to the Avid Flyer main page again, which is good) to get a list of pages with Avid Flyer in the title or in the text (a bit of a tough slog, the more content, the tougher the slog). Oddly, that doesn't list pages in the category Avid Flyer, even if the Category box at the bottom of the search results page is checked and the search is rerun. There is a link to the category at the bottom of every page (file, image...) in the category, which gets the user to a page listing everything in that category, organized alphabetically by type (article, image...).

In summary, the Avid Flyer Contributor's Guide article will request that all contributions include at the minimum[[Category:Avid Flyer]], so that the WikiGnome/Wiki Gardener (me) can take it from there, keeping the Contents list updated and otherwise herding the cats. --jheckmann 16:57, 24 August 2008 (PDT)

Beyond categories is Semantic MediaWiki http://semantic-mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Introduction_to_Semantic_MediaWiki, or the lite version http://semeb.com/dpldemo/index.php?title=Dynamic_Page_List which I like, see the demo, especially the Google Maps mashup. How many times have you wondered who was building a similar project nearby? We used to be able to call the factory, now that Avids are no longer made, it's not as easy. I can envision infoboxes capturing this information for builders and for their projects, and voila! instant locator. Sure, we had Sid's Flickr map, took me a few minutes to find it http://www.frappr.com/avidbuilderandownersmap/map but it belongs to Sid, so same problems as if it were a standalone website. Now, here's where having all types in the same wiki could be helpful: if I need help welding, I might look for a Tailwind builder nearby... --jheckmann 10:39, 27 August 2008 (PDT)

I can see that I would need more time to devote to this question of subpages vs categories vs whatever. I spent a little time reading the suggested pages, but my time to devote to this is limited. I'll agree that my subpage: Kitfox/tailwheelswap might be better changed to a category and I'll be happy to change it to another convention if this subject is decided. I'll try to keep informed reading this page and educate myself to form a better opinion when time permits.
I have some background in engineering documentation and understand the reasons for these arguments from that experience.