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#41 2008-02-25 16:15:17

marios
Plugin Author
Registered: 2005-03-12
Posts: 1,253

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

hakjoon wrote:

My only quibble is that I wish the <txp: /> tags were a more distinct color so they were easier to spot.

That would be easy.

Out of curiosity, are you implementing your own code highlighting scheme? What’s wrong with Genshi? (I’ve never used it)

Not really. I’m now experimenting with two different solutions that are clientside based .

  • Solution A is mootools based on some piece of code, that was already written by Chris van Pelt
    ( A more general matching and speedier )
  • Solution B is based on Alex Gorbatchev’s Library.
    ( In this case, then you just create a new Brush Library file for the Language you desire )

Now since Geshi is a Server Side thing, it is a different Approach. Both do have Advantages and disadvantages.
Personaly I’d go for a Clientside Approach. However, as in the B approach due to a heavy use of RE, which is not that an Ideal thing to do I think ,in Javascript, it can be slower depending on how the Brush was written.

It was something that I’d wanted already for a long time ( To be incorporated in a plugin for TXP).

I’ve modifed Gorbatchev’s Library to my taste as well ( which was a little more work ), and try to test stuff out, until I make up my mind .

regards, marios


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#42 2008-06-25 14:43:41

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,365
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

hakjoon wrote:

Everything that has been said here can easily be done with MediaWiki, somehow no one has done it.

The truth of it all.

I’m glad to turn over the keys to Textbook to anyone with interest in it. I only ended up with it because everyone else who was involved dissapeared. Send me an email and the keys are yours.

I feel your pain, Patrick, I truly do.

@all:

I’m somewhat amused by this thread. What’s old is new again about TextBook. I don’t want the keys back, Patrick (sorry), but since 2004 when I initiated the launch of TextBook, and especially in the last couple of years working on other wiki projects, I have learned a lot about wikis (used several), collaborative writing, and making it all just work. Ultimately it relies on individual initiative — bottom line! However, there is a LOT that can be done to make it conducive for users to give that initiative.

I’ve honestly been open-minded about options since day one, as Patrick certainly is currently, but I’m telling you people (take it or leave it), MediaWiki is still the right system for the job. Why?

  1. MediaWiki is far and away the leading wiki system when it comes to community support and extendability. I’ve not seen any argument given by anyone in four years why MW should be scrapped for something else. This reasoning that using Txp “just seems right” for collaborative docs is “just plain wrong” (my words). If you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand collaborative writing, and there’s nothing else to say. But here’s a tip: Txp is great for versioned writing, which is not the same thing at all.
  2. You (we) have established an international community in TextBook. Any decision making about it’s future should be moot without the input from those language communities. I don’t see that happening here, except for a few wise people pointing out the value of those international contributions. I know English is the dominant language in Txp brainstorming, I see it complained about in the French forum, but don’t forget there are other languages, and those people are your marketing ambassadors in other worlds (marketing being another big issue for Txp right now). For example, we don’t know what’s being said in a Chinese blog, unless you read Chinese, but we can assume playpiggy, being the Chinese LTR, is saying good things in those circles…and that’s a BIG part of the world. One world of many. Don’t forget that.
  3. Migration to anything else could be a bigger headache at this point than leaving things alone, and in any case you don’t jeopardize #2.

A couple more things then I’ll shut up:

Presentation: I’ve done quite a few custom MW skins in the last year. Most of them are internal to companies (used for product documentation, drafting user manuals, etc.), but here’s one online: STC Wiki, which was largely inspired by a skin formerly used at the MozillaDev Wiki (also MW). Truth is, once you understand MW’s presentation layer (and admittedly it’s a fucking mess by default), it easy to clean house and make MW behave real nice in the aesthetics department. (A future feature of my own site — or a mutual project — will be offering up custom MW layouts/skins I (others?) have put together…maybe. Don’t have time for that now though.)

Functionality: Poor TextBook has been abused since the beginning; largely out of people doing things without understanding how they were intended to be done by MediaWiki (I’m guilty too, but the light has parted my dark skies). In principle, this is bad, because there is actually a lot of good reason and thought behind why MW functions like it does. Furthermore, if the wiki and it’s functionality is used in the way it was meant to be, it’s easier to add extensions (think Txp plugins) to it, which will open up many new doors for collaboration. Adding Textile? There’s an extension (and mod for Textile2). Turn a discussion page into a threaded forum? There’s an extension. Making an article page behave like a blog page with a comment form? There’s an extension. Add semantic structure to content? There’s an extension. And so many, many, more that you might not believe, and certainly not find with any other wiki system. (Of course you don’t want to add extensions for the sake of it, because just like Txp plugins, they must be supported over time.)

Collaboration: I’ve found there are two types of documentation in any successful wiki environment. That which focuses on the subject (in this case Textpattern), and that which focuses on using the wiki system itself. TextBook has largely failed in the latter, but that can easily be turned around. (It has somewhat failed in the former too, but that can also be turned around, though perhaps not as easily since it requires good authoring contributions.) A key thing to improving TextBook, besides better information structure and presentation, is to make use of namespaces (e.g., help:, category:, template: …), and use them correctly. That’s the first kind of “help” documentation that needs written. Next is to create custom collaborative aides (via templates) that can be easily reused to communicate the status of any pages content and how it should be handled/used (e.g., “Work-in-progress”, “Warning! Content outdated,” “Stop! Page terminated.” etc…). In each case a custom div is created for the template that includes nice styling and a icon to help jazz it up. Wikipedia uses this technique a lot and it’s extremely effective at “offline” communication.

Content: Sometimes, and this seems to prove true for Txp, you just need to have writing professionals in the ranks who are dedicated to authoring/editing content or nothing gets done, or done very well. An online friend of mine, Tom Johnson at I’d Rather Be Writing, is one of many such kinds of trained people working on the WordPress Codex, and look how much better it is for it. It works like this: A plugin dev writes-up a piece about his next big thing, or whatever, but since he has no skill with words or clarity of meaning, somebody like Tom who has the knack jumps on it and makes it all nice and consumable. The key here is the dev doesn’t cry about someone editing his Hemingway prose. Everyone understands Tom is the Editor in Chief and that’s the end of it. That’s collaborative writing at it’s best, and it does not exist in this community. It needs to be found and implemented.

In summary…don’t create more work with a pointless system change. Simply improve the good platform you have. It CAN BE DONE!

Last edited by Destry (2008-06-25 14:59:30)

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#43 2008-06-26 09:09:03

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Patrick: …send me an email and the keys are yours.

Destry: …I don’t want the keys back, Patrick (sorry)

Q: Who wants them, and has the capacity to drive the site?

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#44 2008-06-26 09:50:27

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,365
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

What I meant by that is I don’t want to be “leader” per se, and I think that’s all Patrick means too. Personally speaking, I think Patrick and I did pretty good together when we were co-managing the site. No real leader, but watching each others’ backs and keeping each other honest when dealing with the rest of you. That’s what’s needed. Three people even would be nice…

  • Systems Admin (backup database, does version upgrades, adds extensions as considered worthwhile…)
  • Interface (skin detail, styling for callaborative tool requests…)
  • Editor (content architecture, copy clean up, … )

I’ve proposed doing the interface, and after that I’m willing to get back in the swing as wiki Editor, but I hope Patrick will stick around for the Systems stuff.

Last edited by Destry (2008-06-26 09:53:30)

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#45 2008-06-26 09:53:37

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

That’ll be great!

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#46 2008-06-26 12:12:47

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,034
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Hi Destry, great to hear you’ll be helping to improve Textbook. There’s also Textbook redesign part 1 and some other threads you may want to read to bring you up to speed. I can be the third man if you’ve got the zither :)


TXPQ Examples and discussion of Textpattern CMS quality.

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#47 2008-06-26 12:48:48

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,365
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Bon. Bon.

Just one thing before we get stiff in cement. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth talk about moving the wiki to a different platform. I’ve already given my viewpoint above about why that’s a wasted effort. So, you all need to make it clear to me right now if that’s still what you plan on doing, because if it is, then I’m out before I’m in again. I don’t have time nor interest to get involved in any complicated migrations and retooling content that’s already been marked-up with MW syntax, etc.

If, on the other hand, you’re willing to trust me one more time with MW, I promise we’ll beat it into sublime submission. If that’s the case, I’ll put a clone up on my Joyent account where things will happen somewhat quietly until there’s actually something to show. Txp devs, Patrick, zero, and myself will have access at first. I just don’t want two live TxB sites at the same time so as not to confuse the search engines and rest of the world.

Zero, thanks for the content structure ideas…we’ll start with that for context. As for skin design, I want to base it from what’s being done with the main site, so it will be important to see what those guys are cooking up as soon as it’s possible to see it. We won’t match the layout necessarily, as we want to build around the nature of the wiki content, but we will adopt the general aesthetics. This concept of uniform theme vs. individual expression was pursued once years before and individual expression won out. This time, considering all this talk about image and marketing, TxB is going with the matching suit for clear indication of where it belongs.

Anyway, lets hear it about the platform so I know whether to go back to sleep or not.

EDIT: And I won’t be offended or put off if you really want to change systems. I’ll happily give more focus to my other projects.

Last edited by Destry (2008-06-26 12:52:56)

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#48 2008-06-26 13:13:08

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Produce the least possible amount of friction. +1 for MW, efforts should to go into content. Textile in DokuWiki isn’t all that shiny, too (IMHO), Textpattern isn’t the hammer for this nail.

And please: Canonisise the host name, to whatever.

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#49 2008-06-26 13:23:11

hakjoon
Moderator
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,631
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

I think the move idea got a lot of traction when we were having the never ending time out issues after moving to the new server. I seem to finally have beaten that beast into submission (with Mary’s help), so a lot of the clamoring for change has died down a bit.

The host name is another thing that got messed up in the server move thanks for reminding me to look into that. The current version is fairly out of date, robson did not have CLI php upgraded to 5 so it was getting really sketchy to run the upgrade scripts (actually I never really got those to run right), and after we moved to the new box we had all those other problems so I didn’t want to mess with anything since it was at least browseable.

I need to dedicate some time to getting everything upgraded.


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