From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Advanced wiki tools?

Hi Rudy, I like your use of checkboxes and templates. Do you have other tricks that we might want to add to the "Help" pages?

(see Help:Contents)

- HowardBurrows 18:52, 20 April 2006 (EDT)

Thanks Howard, we are still learning too. Did I tell you that we are using this Mediawiki for DataFed, and for my Spring06 Sustainable Air Quality Class. So we will have a few more tricks to share.... and we will do so on the ESIP Help page. Also, there is some action now on Brian Wilson's web service chaining group. I will help out moving much of the message traffic from the emails to this wiki, so people get their toes wet. Rhusar 01:44, 25 April 2006 (EDT)

Talk and User page question

Hi Rudy,

Talk pages

I think "talk" pages should only be used when you have a regular page (part of the public discussion) that has controversy that you want to "take offline". The discussion about the use of the wiki is really interesting and should be in one of the main pages. (I thought the ESIP Federation was about as neutral as you get--we do have international presences--and are about to have an international ESIP.) The "talk" offline section on personal User pages, like this one, is to have semi-private discussions. I don't think you should be linking from main page to another page's offline section--you can only offline one level deep.

The way we see it, a page is where the content resides that we would want to communicate. Therefore, pages or articles have a form very much like a standard webpage. On the other hand, I have been using the talk page to design or discuss the function, form and content of it's parent "article". In other words, I use discussion pages for recording the process of creating the page. In fact, a key reason that we liked mediawiki was the automatic creation of a talk page with every article page. Thanks!
Our most recent discussion pages:
  • are composed of signed messages, we also added a subject heading
  • arranged as a threaded discussion
These features mimic the hierarchical structure and style of forum pages. Because we have added headings to each message See Wiki Workspacefor an example of recent discussion page. Note that since each message has a heading (e.g. ====My Title====) it can be linked to from anywhere. Lately, we have been experimenting with cross-linking of messages occuring in different threads. The "....." in front of response messages is a clumsy attempt to appropriately indent titles in a thread. There should be a better way to indent headings...
As for the public/private discussion, as you see, I have not been using the wiki for private discussion - e-mail and telephone is just fine for me. However, I have no problem using the user talk page.
Rudy, I see why the interesting discussion about the use of this wiki for that page might be in the "talk" section. Guess I thought the topic could relate to most all of our pages.

User pages

I think "user" pages should mainly be used to describe yourself. They are automaticaly created when people register, appear at the top of each user's page when they are logged in, show up in the Userlist under "Special pages" in the menu in the left sidebar, and are the link given when anyone edits a page while they are logged in. I am encouraging people to model their own User page after mine HowardBurrows, but that may be overkill.

I had created another sandbox that people learning to edit could have lots of room to play in and linked to yours for the good tutorial content. I took the instruction/layout from the wikipedia sandbox because I thought that theirs was a good form. Since you had multiple links to other sandboxes I thought it was ok to keep the user subpage part, however they are not needed and I removed that link at your suggestion. Erin Robinson (ERobinson)

Help pages

The AQ Help page links to information in the wikipedia that could only be used by a wiki site admin (such as what to put in the admin sidebar). I built the page that is brought up when a user presses "Help" in the navigation section of the sidebar. Could we combine this with yours?The discussion on user subpages has been mangled in the wikipedia where the specialized AQ help sends folks. The wikipedia is wrong, but I'm not sure what a User subpage really is: is it links off their user page? That would be like any other digression that may need to be refactored down the line.

The DataFed Wiki Design Guidelines were for our own internal use. We added it to the AQ Help as a placeholder. We removed the link on the ESIP wiki. However, we would be very much interested in helping to gather the collective wisdom and to develop a design guideline for the ESIP wiki.