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Appropedia:Site development/Desired features

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Contents

High Priority[edit]

All our highest priority tasks and all new tasks are placed at BetterMeans - see the "Appropedia Tech" dashboard for a listing of tasks. Look for higher priority tasks, i.e. with a red arrow pointing up, to the right of the "start" button. See also the latest changes and check the sub-workstreams.

Some older tasks remain on this page, but eventually all should be transferred.

See also:

Extensions[edit]

  • mw:Manual:wgForeignAPIRepo - allows us to specify another wiki to pull images from.
  • FCKeditor has a few problems - can you help us to identify the areas of problem code, or even solve any of them?


Fixed[edit]

  1. newsletter with MailPress (I tried but couldn't get mail servers set up. --Chriswaterguy 21:25, 24 February 2010 (UTC)) getting close now. --Chriswaterguy 06:19, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Archive[edit]

Old items (resolved or moved elsewhere):


Also search for the word high on the Desired features page to see other items marked as possibly "high priority".

See also[edit]

Requests[edit]

This is just a wishlist. It includes things we'd like but don't know if we can do. Please add suggestions by copying this template code, adding it to the bottom of the page, and filling in the fields (but leave "status" blank - an admin or tech helper will use that later). Comments can be added in the "how" field or below the template.

Grade of difficult (just a guess) and priority are from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

{{desired features
|title = 
|difficulty = 
|priority =
|how = 
|examples = 
|status =
}}

(Note: If this confuses you, just write in your request at the bottom.)

Those who help with the tech side of things can decide whether they can grant our wishes (and they together with the community can decide if they should grant them.)

Suggestions will be considered, but responses may take days, weeks or months, depending on the request, how critical it is, and available time and expertise.

The Priority tag doesn't necessarily mean much - it's just a guess at how much it's worth spending time on something (considering how easy or hard it is, and how valuable).

Technical solutions are sometimes found at one of:

When a solution has been found, please add SOLVED: at the beginning of the title.

SOLVED: Enable Firefox users to add an Appropedia search to their toolbar[edit]

Currently if viewing Appropedia, and you select "Add Appropedia (English)" from the search menu, it comes back with the warning:

Download error
Firefox could not download the search plugin from http://www.appropedia.org/Opensearch_desc.php

--Chriswaterguy · talk 19:05, 6 March 2007 (PST)

Wohoo! I think it is fixed. The code is somewhat undeveloped, and I think that there may be some functionality built into mediawiki (since there is already atom and rss feeds) that we are not using. For now the additional fix came just from excluding the rewrite of opensearch_desc.php, by adding to .htaccess the following code-
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/opensearch_desc.php
--Lonny 17:27, 11 May 2007 (PDT)
Only just noticed your answer - very cool! No time to play with it now, but would be good to make sure it's easily available, easily installed, and linked from our homepage.
Also, instructions for other browsers would be good. Opera shortcuts are dead easy (though if we want to build a search box, that would take some learning.) For IE and Safari, I have no idea. --Chriswaterguy · talk 01:29, 4 November 2007 (PDT)
Please add to the instructions linked from the front page - Help:Using_OpenSearch. Thank you, --Lonny 07:14, 4 November 2007 (PST)

Add bigger edit toolbar[edit]

Add bigger edit toolbar, like Wikipedia now has. This includes a redirect button, which I'd find useful. There might be other useful things to add as well, in future, so it would be good to document here. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:34, 30 April 2007 (PDT)

Note WikEd. Note also that there seem to be some bugs with WikEd... --Chriswaterguy · talk 00:19, 4 November 2007 (PDT)
This is done. I still have one more to add to the toolbar... which will be the most basic version of the ref tag. --Lonny 23:28, 3 December 2007 (PST)
Thanks! I'd noticed this when editing and was meaning to leave a thank you note. --Chriswaterguy · talk 16:55, 10 December 2007 (PST)

List poisoning for the wiki and/or forum?[edit]

Only if it's easy... Is it worth doing list poisoningW on the wiki and/or forum? This could possibly reduce the impact of email harvestingW by reducing the value of any list of email addresses harvested from the site. Not sure if it would actually make a difference... It also assumes that some people will not adequately encrypt their email addresses - a safe assumption, especially if we assume that sophisticated email harvesting bots can figure out basic encryption (e.g. fred AT domain DOT com, or use of NOSPAM as part of the address). The relevant lists of email addresses would need to be somewhere that's not noticeable/obtrusive to a human web surfer.

It would also be a bit of a contribution by us to the global spam problem. --Chriswaterguy · talk 22:46, 17 May 2007 (PDT)

Image upload...[edit]

License warnings[edit]

Image uploading needs a wizard, or at the very least some prominent warning notices. Images are being uploaded without license and attribution info.

At the Wikmedia Commons upload page, Commons:Project:Upload, questions are asked in large font. Hard to miss. And on clicking through (if logged in) a further warning in red stands out from the other text, saying "If you do not provide suitable license and source information, your file will be deleted without further notice. Thanks for your understanding."

Note MediaWiki.org has a prominent notice for text additions as well. We should think about whether to be a bit more prominent than we currently are (though maybe not as loud and red as MediaWiki - it feels unfriendly).

--Chriswaterguy · talk 07:48, 2 November 2007 (PDT)

Mass upload[edit]

Is there a way of uploading multiple images at once? HTML doesn't allow this, I think, so we need to look at other options. I've heard of an email setup being used, emailing the images to an address where they're automatically uploaded.

If this is done, there would still need to be a prompt regarding images. Perhaps encouraged for use only when all images uploaded at once are the same license, so a single choice applies to all images. --Chriswaterguy · talk 04:28, 5 November 2007 (PST)

There are ways to do multiple file uploads with new html5 apis. This is something I could look into if it's of enough importance Tahnok 05:29, 2 May 2011 (PDT)

Special license namespace(s)[edit]

Special namespace(s) for valuable material only available under non-GFDL licenses. In particular for non-commercial licenses - e.g. FAO content falls under this category.

We need to get legal advice, but we're thinking that non-GFDL licensed content would:

  • have a clear notice at the top,
    • highlighting that "this doc is controlled by non GFDL licensing"
    • naming and linking to the applicable license
    • warning against copy/pasting content from the non-GFDL content into GFDL pages.
  • be protected from edits because "all contributions are GFDL", and the other license may not allow divs. (If the license does allow divs but is non-commercial, one option is to allow edits, with contributions falling under that license. My - Chriswaterguy's - initial thoughts are to maintain the focus on the more open pages, i.e. GFDL. We could just suggest that relevant info be quoted, but not excessively, and cited. Paraphrasing and taking the ideas are also acceptable - again, its by far the best approach to cite the source.)

Note, if it's protected, with a warning against copying large sections, then there shouldn't be any derivs being made, and the "no-derivs" versions shouldn't be an issue. I.e. don't need a separate namespace for CC-nc-nd-sa and CC-nc-sa.

Name: NC: for non-commercial?

Update: We've gone with using "Original:" with an {{open access}} template, for now. There's been no action/discussion related to this for ages (since early 2010?) --Chriswaterguy 23:58, 8 July 2011 (PDT)

PDF creation extension[edit]

Priority: Low (not urgent)

If we install mw:Extension:Pdf Export (or something like that), will that make it easier for someone who wants to print/publish our material? --Chriswaterguy · talk 13:09, 3 November 2007 (PDT)

Hi Chris, We do have the printable version link at the bottom of the nav bar. I think that combined with the plethora of print to pdf programs like cutepdf should take care of most of our visitors. --Lonny 02:28, 4 November 2007 (PST)
Okay... a simple how-to page would be good at some point, for people who don't know where to start. --Chriswaterguy · talk 02:43, 4 November 2007 (PST)

[edit]

Tasks #1107: Partner Site Visitor Banner

Showing (top) on recentchanges[edit]

Priority: Med (= nice, not critical)

The (top) notice next to changes on my contributions page is handy. Can we make it show on Recentchanges? --Chriswaterguy · talk 01:44, 4 November 2007 (PDT)

Setting who needs to be patrolled...[edit]

Priority: Med

This might be a question for MediaWiki.org. The red exclamation marks show me a page that is unpatrolled. I'd like to be able to turn this off for editors that I trust, to help me focus on monitoring changes made by editors I don't know well yet. It's not about how long they've been editing, but about their track record, which is a quesiton of judgment.

This might be a bit discriminatory - who decides if someone is trustworthy? - so the ideal would be if I could choose who I regard as trustworthy.

Even nicer (but probably completely unrealistic) would be if I could choose to have joint list with one or more other RC patrollers, if I trust their judgment on new editors. Something for MediaWiki version 4.0 perhaps :). --Chriswaterguy · talk 01:44, 4 November 2007 (PDT)

Custom searches[edit]

Note: see Custom search.

'Priority: Med-high for getting something happening, a bit lower for the fancy details.

  • Set up an account e.g. with Google apps, on an appropedia address (ap at ap dot org?) that all admins have access to, so we can have jointly managed custom search engines, like Woody's Appropriate Technology Search.
  • Have a way of showing this search box within a wiki page. Template, to make it easier.
  • Nice things (med or med-low prority):
    • A single search box with options: Search our wiki, our neighbourhood, AT/sustainability info, the wikisphere, the entire web. If we have a number of custom searches, the list could be on the long side, but not a big problem I think, as long as simpler concepts (e.g. "Related wikis") are at the top.
    • Default, if possible, could have "our wiki" results in the first column, and broad search results (on AT, sustainability) in the next.
    • Really snazzy would be to tag results from wikis... different colors or little gif or something. That's probably unrealistic, but I don't know.
    • If Wikipedia goes with Semantic MediaWiki one day, we could include a search of Wikipedia content in certain categories. (Possible to include everything in subcategories, to n levels?)

--Chriswaterguy · talk 22:31, 4 November 2007 (PST)

I second that. I would like something very similar around p2pfoundation.net wiki, and connect with related sites such as the cooperation commons, the sites by Sam Rose, etc..

Michel --61.7.174.173 01:43, 8 November 2007 (PST)

Making progress: APDS, under construction. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:29, 11 March 2008 (PDT)

Voting on articles?[edit]

Priority: Low. Interesting, maybe.

Check this draft scoring system. (On closer examination, this one seems to be an automated ranking system, which makes a number of assumptions about Wikipedia articles - e.g. counting references as a positive, weighing that against "citation needed tags" - which won't hold here. I'm not convinced they hold at Wikipedia for that matter.)

The social networking approach is another option - but do we even want to go down that track - creating more popularity for the already popular pages?

--Chriswaterguy · talk 04:13, 4 November 2007 (PST)

Moving category pages in MediaWiki[edit]

Status: Solved

Priority: Med.

It's not possible to move category pages in MediaWiki. Can this restriction be removed for admins, so pages can be moved with their history intact?

Reason: This would take away one of the problems for our topic/category policy (that's if we continue to use categories for topical info, which is currently up in the air - this policy makes sense in a way, as most of the pages in the wiki are on projects or other content types, and this policy keeps topic content distinct and readily accessible while browsing).

--Chriswaterguy · talk 09:21, 5 November 2007 (PST)

Is it possible to use Special:Export and Special:Import in Mediawiki to move a category page while keeping the history? i.e. export and import to the same wiki.
Not sure if there's an option to change the name for the target (if not through MediaWiki, perhaps by editing the XML?).
If the target name clashes with an existing page (including a category), is a warning given? An option for rename? Must check to ensure there's no auto overwrite. --Chriswaterguy · talk 20:37, 3 December 2007 (PST)
I finally got around to trying this (I'd never dealt with these functions before) and it works. The name must be changed by editing the <title> field of the .xml file before importing.
I'll write up a guide at Appropedia:Moving category pages. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:34, 9 January 2008 (PST)

Semantic MediaWiki[edit]

Priority: Medium-high - this might affect how we approach our categorization, which is something we put a fair amount of work into.

Semantic MediaWiki (see meta:Semantic MediaWiki) offers far more powerful searching and analysis of data in the wiki.

Requirements:

  • Powerful server - Semantic MediaWiki does slow things down. Limiting the number of parameters used in searching/analysis can reduce the load - e.g. no more than 2 parameters, or maybe 3 (depending how people are using it... it may be that not much benefit is obtained from this?) Or require admin status for server intensive analysis (admins could run searches on request, or someone could be given temporary admin status for that specific purpose?)

Questions:

  • Will it replace categories entirely? If so, our topic-category page system will need to adapt.

See Sites using Semantic MediaWiki to check how it looks and works in practice. --Chriswaterguy · talk 07:34, 19 November 2007 (PST)

"Image:" namespace change to "Media:"[edit]

"Image:" namespace should be changed to "Media:" to reflect the fact that it's not just images. --Chriswaterguy · talk 05:57, 22 November 2007 (PST)

Currently "Media:" is used to link directly to a file in the "Image:" namespace. For example Media:DoubleDig.swf. Maybe we could change "Image:" to "File:" or something like that. Any other mediawiki sites change the name of this Image namespace?
Thank you, --Lonny 11:40, 8 December 2007 (PST)

Date formats[edit]

Priority: low.

If wikilinking for dates could be made to only affect display format, and not to actually create a link, that would make for more consistent appearance.

Rationale: In pages like Upcoming conferences, it would be nice to have a mostly uniform date format. We could have a preferred format (e.g. 20 September 2007 is more international I think, as opposed to 20th September or September 20) - but enforcing it would be hard and a bit unfair. But in Mediawiki, if dates are wikilinked, they can be displayed according to the user's preferences.

However, having the dates wikilinked is one of the less attractive features of Wikipedia, I feel - wikilinks should always be relevant, and links to dates will usually not be relevant (unless we link to events happening on certain dates... but even then, it's not likely to tell the reader more than that there's a clash with another event that might be on a different topic on a different continent). --Chriswaterguy · talk 23:57, 7 December 2007 (PST)

Fan mail[edit]

One of wikiHow's cool features is fan mail - see examples at wikiHow:Project:Best of Fan Mail. People leave fan mail for an article, and anyone who has edited the article gets the note on their "User kudos" page, e.g. wikiHow:User_kudos:JackHerrick.

This is presumably one of wikiHow's additions to MediaWiki, which they said (personal conversation) are open source. --Chriswaterguy · talk 07:10, 10 December 2007 (PST)

ParserFunctions[edit]

ParserFunctions (see mw:ParserFunctions) to allow optional arguments in templates. I haven't figured out how they work, but several templates I've tried copying from Wikipedia use them, and some ideas I've had for templates rely on optional arguments. --Chriswaterguy · talk 23:12, 22 December 2007 (PST)

Update: Note changes made recently, at Wikipedia:Project:Wikipedia_Signpost/2008-01-21/Parser_changes. --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:21, 24 January 2008 (PST)

GreenCheck.pngDoneDone Install the ParserFunctions extension - installed by Jason Michael Smithson on January 9, 2011. --Teratornis 02:34, 28 January 2011 (PST)

Mailing lists[edit]

Priority: Medium-high. This would be a bit of a boost for our connectedness to other groups, and adding content.

Set up a mailing list function, archived on the site. This will be:

  • an added service to users
  • a way of identifying Appropedia with the topics of the mailing lists
  • a way of adding open content to the site, by archiving the emails. (A note to this effect, that all emails to the list are regarded as being under Appropedia's license, is to be shown as part of signup, and in the (brief) footer on every email.

See Appropedia:Non-Drupal alternatives for Appropedia forum and blog for some discussion on making this work nicely - though since we're going with Drupal for most of the blog/forum stuff, the mailing lists won't be so demanding.

--Chriswaterguy · talk 22:56, 10 January 2008 (PST)

Permissions on the wiki[edit]

These comments have been moved to Appropedia:Permissions as it wasn't actually requesting anything. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:57, 31 January 2008 (PST)

Widgets[edit]

It's already possible to insert certain widgets into pages - (e.g. calendars and maps, as on User:Lonny - are these widgets?) A couple of Google's OpenSocial widgets look useful too. We should make a list of useful ones on Appropedia:Widgets.

Is there something we need to do with Appropedia's in order to have more freedom with Widgets?

Below is an extract from a Wikispaces newsletter, which prompted the question. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:35, 31 January 2008 (PST)

This month, we are bringing you a bunch of cool new Wikispaces widgets to put on your wiki pages. You can now put your discussion forums, page history, table of contents, or list of top space contributors directly on any page. Click "Edit This Page" and click the embed widget icon (psst...the one that looks like a TV). There's now a "Wikispaces" option where you will see the various widgets you can easily put on your space. For more on this, see our blog post at http://blog.wikispaces.com/2008/01/wikispaces-widgets.html .
We are now using a more adaptable suite of widgets seen at Appropedia:Widgets. --Lonny 20:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikispaces[edit]

This would be very nice. Is this also just a matter of waiting till MediaWiki developers implement this? (Sounds like it needs WYSIWIG/Wikiwyg.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:35, 31 January 2008 (PST)

We also bring you new and improved tables! Most importantly, we have built an easier way for you to edit your tables. Now, when you click on a cell in any table, you can click on the table icon that appears at the corner of that cell. A popup window will then appear which will allow you to add or delete rows or columns, align the text within the table, merge cells, create table headers, and delete your table. You can also place math, source code, and RSS feeds directly into your table. To see how this new tool works visually, check out our blog post at http://blog.wikispaces.com/2008/01/our-simplified-table-editor.html or try it out for yourself.

Rich text editing[edit]

See Appropedia:Rich text editing for links and ideas relating to this.

Various options, e.g. Wikiwyg - mw:Extension:Wikiwyg - sounds fantastic, but poses some technical challenges.

Before taking steps, wait for answers to the question at mw:Extension:Wikiwyg #Not used on Wikimedia projects? --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:45, 31 January 2008 (PST)

User can now click "rich text" to edit in WIKIWYG style. --Lonny 20:37, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Diff in notification email[edit]

Priority: Low The OLPC wiki has this feature working on MediaWiki. So the email gives the usual notification and link, and then says "Below is the difference between the last two revisions:..."

One downside: If I get such a notice, I possibly don't need to view the page... but as a result, I don't get email notification of future changes, until I do view the page. --Chriswaterguy · talk 15:03, 18 February 2008 (PST)

Extension:ArticleComments[edit]

Priority: Med mw:Extension:ArticleComments looks like it could be a good way of getting more input and engaging more with readers. Note that the comments are added with <comments /> - it doesn't apply to every page unless mw:Extension:Header Footer is used, so it's something we could try out and phase in.

I'm very keen to try this, and see what response we get! Even if it's not something we want to use on many pages, I'm sure we'll learn some things. --Chriswaterguy · talk 15:40, 22 February 2008 (PST)

Tag class projects in Recent Changes?[edit]

We have a template or templates for identifying articles which are class projects (- e.g. for Engr305), which indicates "Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team". If possible to do so, we might also want to identify the pages of class projects in Recent Changes, so that people who shouldn't be editing them will know not to bother clicking on them (except for purposes of reading the article, of course!)
(And conversely, I suppose, by so identifying class projects, those who are entitled to edit them will locate them more easily on Recent Changes.) -- Writtenonsand 17:04, 23 February 2008 (PST)

Wikipedia links: possible problem[edit]

We have a link style [[wikipedia:Foobar|Foobar]] which produces a link which looks like this: Foobar.

This links directly to the Wikipedia article "Foobar", but is indistinguishable from an internal link to an Appropedia article.

This will cause users to bypass our own articles, whether already-existing, or later created; both missing possibly-useful content on Appropedia as well as failing to realize that we even have various articles.

We may want to eccourage use of {{wp|Foobar}} and/or {{wp sup|Foobar}} and deprecate [[wikipedia:]].

We may even want to write a bot that will list all uses of [[wikipedia:]] on the site so that a human can manually check whether they're appropriate.

-- Writtenonsand 21:34, 1 March 2008 (PST)

Yes, this is a concern!
Some wikis have interwiki links a lighter shade of blue than local wikilinks. We could do a more obvious version, e.g. local links green, interwiki links blue. Would that help? (more likely to be ignored or cause confusion, I suspect.
I agree that piped links in the text are undesirable and should be discouraged, maybe in one of our official guidelines. But transparent interwiki links, e.g in the "interwiki links" section, seem good to me. (By transparent interwiki links I mean something like Wikipedia:Foobar, with no pipe.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 04:49, 2 March 2008 (PST)
I like the idea of avoiding piped links, but would it also be possible to have a small icon appear by the link? (eg: [[1]]. Tahnok 06:06, 2 May 2011 (PDT)

Talk page format[edit]

See WikiEducator:Talk:WikiMaster for an interesting approach. I like it. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:36, 10 March 2008 (PDT)

Cross-wiki search function[edit]

Wikia Central used to have a cross-wiki search. Is that developed by Wikia itself?

Could we do something with Google and some coding?

(See also #Search improvements, above.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:39, 11 March 2008 (PDT)

Note Educational material wikisearch as one simple approach. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 21:31, 30 March 2008 (PDT)

Republish function ("Publish this" link)[edit]

wikiHow articles have a link near the bottom of each article which looks like:

Blog this! Republish this entire article on your blog or website.

and points to [[Special:Republish/{{PAGENAME}}]]. --Chriswaterguy · talk 03:56, 13 March 2008 (PDT)

This seems like something you could accomplish using simple html and js in the skin itself. Something like http://sharethis.com/publishers/get-sharing-button seems pretty simple to setup --Tahnok 15:13, 3 May 2011 (PDT)
That sounds cool! --Chriswaterguy 04:51, 4 May 2011 (PDT)
It turns out there aren't any good mediawiki extensions to do this. I found one, but it added a really ugly and unhelpful button. Instead I made a tweet this button that adds a link to the Toolbox, though it could be moved somewhere else. The code is Here and I'm going to try and get it running on the dev wiki later today --Tahnok 09:56, 12 May 2011 (PDT)

Priorities[edit]

Moved to: Appropedia:Desired features/Priorities

Other Ideas[edit]

I didn't do a thorough review of the earlier submissions but here are my ideas - Posted by david.reber (talk · contribs)

  • Scriptable Interfaces create a scripting language so that users could program the interface themselves. That way, david.appropedia.org would behave completely differently than curt.appropedia.org.
  • Getoagging each organization on the organizations page should have one or more geotags. I want to search for all organizations within 50 miles of my house and have the results come up on a google map.
  • Blog functionality I immagine it to be a wikipage organized by date of post, sub-pages for each post, comment sections on the sub pages. the wiki-blog posts should be included in blog search engines like technorati.
  • combine the tagging provided by semantic mediawiki with forms that people could fill out, we could create a consistant user experience that was queryable like a database.
For instance our form should have boxes for time, date, title and tags. A script will convert the user entries into a standard format and apply media wiki tags. That way you could search for all events within a particular area, on a particular topic, within a particular time.

Edit with forms[edit]

Noting David's comments above, see the CC wiki, e.g. CC:Appropedia - this has the option of "Edit with form", mhich seems to interact somehow with the templates in the page. (When I tried, however, it changed the order of the 2 template boxes, which I didn't want, so I did reglar editing to get it back.) Some pages have no such "Edit with form" option, probably because they have no such templates.

wikiHow has editing by form an all pages, with the option of doing regular wiki style editing (no form). I think this is part of the extensive hacking they did on the MediaWiki code. --Chriswaterguy 09:53, 27 April 2008 (PDT)

Subpages[edit]

If I'm on the page Open Sustainability Network Conference 2008 then [[/presentations/]] should link to Open Sustainability Network Conference 2008/presentations. This works in other sites such as Wikibooks (I couldn't find an example, but I checked by previewing a page).

Subpages should show a tree at the top - e.g. see the Wikibooks page Spanish/Introduction links "< Spanish" under the title. This works in userspace (& templates?) in Appropedia - e.g. see User:Chriswaterguy #Content ideas; moving the root page also moves all subpages with it (so I found once on either Appropedia or Wikipedia). --Chriswaterguy 18:15, 28 April 2008 (PDT)

Do we still want the subpages feature that is available in the User namespace to be available in the Article namespace? I think that this might be a simple change. --Lonny 20:40, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have subpages in the article namespace. While we are not constrained by what Wikipedia does, it's usually a good idea to be aware of why Wikipedia does what it does. Before we do something differently, we should convince ourselves Wikipedia's reasons won't apply to us now or in the future.
  • "Subpages were originally used on Wikipedia to differentiate between subjects to create topical hierarchies of articles, but this proved unworkable because articles tend to belong in more than one hierarchy. The present system of disambiguation was adopted instead, and the Wikipedia:Do not use subpages policy had to be rigorously enforced, as well as retroactively applied. As of 2010[update], the category system supports hierarchical organization while still allowing an article to belong to multiple categories."W
Presumably as Appropedia grows it would tend to run into the same problem with article subpages that Wikipedia did: editors trying to use subpages like unavoidably rigid one-dimensional categories. Subpages are useful in other namespaces (such as Template:, User:, Portal:, and Project:), where hierarchy is typically more straightforward. --Teratornis 14:06, 28 January 2011 (PST)
The main way that appropedia uses article subpages is for projects and classes. These types of articles are one of the main conceptual differences between appropedia and wikipedia, i.e. original research and collaborative projects. For example, I have used article subpages for assignments for a class and meeting notes from a collaborative meeting (see Community Created Humboldt/Jan 23 10 for the most egregious example (subsubpages!)). I think that they have been very useful for us in a way that is different from Wikipedia's need. Thoughts? --Lonny 14:17, 28 January 2011 (PST)

Tag clouds or category clouds[edit]

One of these could be good: mediawiki.org search for cloud. I like the look of mw:Extension:SelectCategoryTagCloud.

The idea of using tags as well as categories is discussed at Appropedia:Information architecture - the details of how this might work are unclear.

Other options: can we diplay Digg tags for pages? (Only an option once we get enough Diggs). --Chriswaterguy 20:45, 30 April 2008 (PDT)

Using folksonomies[edit]

I'm thinking about how to show the best links on a given topic. There's a lot to be said for a folksonomy... that's not something that MediaWiki does, but maybe there's a way of using folksonomies from other sources?

MediaWiki can be made to display RSS feeds so maybe the same is possible with folksonomies from sites such as del.icio.us.

We want to have a way of filtering or using semantic queries(?) though, to provide localized info - e.g. "rainwater tanks, Australia". --Chriswaterguy 23:23, 8 May 2008 (PDT)

Email a friend[edit]

A box on homepage or navbar saying "tell a friend about this site. Email addresses will not be shared or used for any other purpose. --Chriswaterguy 22:18, 14 May 2008 (PDT)

Better tables, please![edit]

I want an easier way to format tables. The standard MediaWiki way is a pain for me, let alone a wiki newbie.

mw:Extension:SimpleTable looks nice and simple.

mw:Extension:TableEdit more here might be good for simple tables - I'm not quite clear on that. It looks very powerful, with some cool ways of getting input from visitors or casual users, but will take a bit of work to get the best out of it.

See also mw:Category:Table extensions. --Chriswaterguy 01:08, 11 June 2008 (PDT)

WYSIWYG (FCKeditor) looks like it's close, so it may be worth waiting for that. --Chriswaterguy 15:16, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
FCKeditor is here with table editing. --Lonny 20:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Templates are a great solution for tables with repetitive structure. See for example infoboxes.W A WYSIWYG table editor is probably best for one-off tables. I find raw wikitext editing to be easy enough for tables that do not have too many columns. The more columns a table has, the harder it is to edit in plain text, because the column representation in plain text differs more from the formatted appearance than the row representation does. --Teratornis 14:10, 28 January 2011 (PST)

Recentchanges desplayed as a table[edit]

mw:Extension:TransformChanges (example). --Chriswaterguy 01:31, 14 June 2008 (PDT)

SOLVED: RSS Reader[edit]

mw:Extension:RSS Reader doesn't work with some feeds. See Open blog feeds

This is possibly relevant: mw:Extension talk:RSS Reader#Error:_ It.27s not possible to get http:.2F.2Fwww._... --Chriswaterguy 04:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

We should use the new Widget:Feed instead. --Lonny 20:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Auto-changing images for front page / landing pages[edit]

From Jean-Luc Henry, of Ekopedia, on our discussion list:

We could choose a lot of different images and make them change every day or every week with a simple template using magic words (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Magic_words#Date_.26_time) and parser functions.

Example for 1 image for each month:

{{#switch: {{CURRENTMONTH}}
 |01=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |02=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
 |03=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |04=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
 |05=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |06=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
 |07=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |08=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
 |09=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |10=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
 |11=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]

 |12=[[Image:4-Stroke-Engine.gif]]
}}

--Chriswaterguy 00:16, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Abuse filter[edit]

See Wikipedia:Project:Abuse filter & Wikipedia:Project:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-03-23/Abuse Filter. Looks awesome. --Chriswaterguy 17:16, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

EmailPage[edit]


EmailPage
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3
Priority (low/med/high): 3
How: See mw:Extension:EmailPage.
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


Features enabling users and visitors to share are very valuable. --Chriswaterguy 16:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Facebook connect[edit]


Namespace alias
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): med-low
How: mw:Extension:FBConnect
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


This could be good in future: "Facebook connect," to allow:

  • "Single Sign On" experience via Facebook Connect
  • On a successful Connect, creates a new wiki user and fills in Real Name from Facebook. (Better when it prepopulates a rich profile with Facebook data)

More attractive when it adds the ability to connect existing profiles (promised), and the option of disconnecting.

Downsides: do we actually want to support a site which in many ways is the antithesis of openness and freedom? --Chriswaterguy 18:00, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Namespace alias (Redirects from "A:")[edit]


Namespace alias
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 1
Priority (low/med/high): 2
How: mw:Manual:$wgNamespaceAliases
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


On Wikipedia, links beginning WP: automatically link to the project namespace "Wikipedia:". We can have "A:" or "AP:" do the same thing here. Suggestions:

  • "A:" or "AP:" to redirect to "Appropedia:"
  • "AP:" or "APT:" to redirect to "Appropedia talk:"

e.g. page A:About would automatically redirect to Appropedia:About, without need for its own namespace. --Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Media features[edit]


upload several files at once
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3
Priority (low/med/high): 3
How: MultipleUpload
Examples? (a site using this feature?) MultipleUpload (used on SCW: version)
Status:


---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



importing properly licensed photos from flickr
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How: ImportFreeImages
Examples? (a site using this feature?) Special:ImportFreeImages] on SCW: (version)
Status:


---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


adds <googlespreadsheet> tag for Google Docs' spreadsheets display
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): Depends - would it be useful for academics and students?
How:
Examples? (a site using this feature?) GoogleDocs4MW (Wikia help page)
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



Import properly licensed photos from Flickr
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: ImportFreeImages - from Flickr.
Examples? (a site using this feature?) importing properly licensed photos
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Allow embedding of more video sources
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3 or 4
Priority (low/med/high): low (we already have YouTube)
How: YouTube - plays YouTube and Google Video movies + Archive.org audio and video + WeGame

and Gametrailers video + Tangler forum + GoGreenTube video + Crispy Gamer

Examples? (a site using this feature?) - used on http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status: Appropedia:Widgets

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Social networking[edit]


Invite a friend link & form
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):  ?
Priority (low/med/high): med
How:  ? no link on SCW version page
Examples? (a site using this feature?)  ??
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Enabling conversation[edit]


Blog on the wiki, for community members
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3/4
Priority (low/med/high): low
How: no link on SCW version page
Examples? (a site using this feature?) BlogArticles on Wikia; Enric Senabre's Wlog (not clear how this one works - see its Version page]
Status:


I'm not sure it's a good idea for us - but kind of interesting. ---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Forum within the wiki?
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): low to medium
How: Stand Alone Forum Extension; Wikia's forum implementation. http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/Special:AWCforum
Examples? (a site using this feature?) Stand Alone Forum Extension at the Gardenology forum. Wikia's at Wikia central forum
Status:


A much better alternative is probably to have collaboration with other sites with networking and to link between them and the wiki. This is a fallback option - unless we can somehow replicate the best (most useful and engaging) features of a networking/forum site within Appropedia, which is probably unrealistic. (Need to focus on our core strength, which is knowledge management.)

Kudos or recognition[edit]


Social Rewarding (i.e. kudos for contributors).
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): Med?
Priority (low/med/high): Low-med
How: mw:Extension:SocialRewarding. See the article by the same team, describing how and why it was implemented: Motivate Online Community Contributions Using Social Rewarding Techniques
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:



Display Editcount of a user
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): Low
How: by Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason. no link on SCW version page
Examples? (a site using this feature?) edit count page, can create a link to, say Special:Editcount/Tom Sponheim
Status:


a little kudos for activity level. ---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Navigation[edit]


Suggest articles to look at based on what someone has looked at or edited.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): med
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: Compare: EditSimilar "Encourages users to edit an article similar (by categories) to the one they just had edited." BUT, problematic to encouraging editing of other people's project pages? Could we adapt the extension to just encourage them to check the article out, rather than edit?
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:


--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Make image behavior more intuitive - have a small image info link, but the image itself should not be clickable unless it deliberately links to a page.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): med
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: ImageMap (already on Appropedia) allows link-to-page functionality, but it requires fancy code on the page, rather than being default:
Takoma - square.jpg

If the image size is specified, a blue "i" symbol appears, for image info (see bottom image - the symbol can be placed at any of the corners of the image). Nice, but too prominent for small images, making it distracting if used on the main page or navigation portals:/<p>

Takoma - square.jpg
About this image

The specific challenge here is to change the default behavior for images.

Examples? (a site using this feature?)  ?
Status:


--Chriswaterguy 02:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

User engagement & usability[edit]


Allows users to report problems with wiki-articles and helpers/sysops/janitors/staff to view & resolve them
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): low
How: ProblemReports
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



add an "add new section" link to the page end
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): low
How: AddNewTalkSection (internal Wikia code?) A template could easily do the same thing - just needs to be added manually.
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:


--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


weekly digest email of watchlisted pages.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How: GlobalWatchlist (unlinked on version page), Adrian 'ADi' Wieczorek, on SCW: ([http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Version version) (Also, didn't Brianna Laugher do something like this, shown on her blog modernthings?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



Sending digest email of watchlisted pages, e.g. weekly
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3?
Priority (low/med/high): 3
How: GlobalWatchlist? by Adrian 'ADi' Wieczorek on Wikia. Didn't Brianna Laugher do something like this, shown on her blog modernthings?
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



Suggest pages of interest
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: EditSimilar "Encourages

users to edit an article similar (by categories) to the one they just had edited." Problematic to encouraging editing of other people's project pages? Otherwise would be excellent. Edit the extension to just encourage them to check the article out?) - used on http://solarcooking.wikia.com

Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


More sophisticated popular pages functions
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How: MostPopularArticles (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


"Share this article" link at top
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: "Share Feature" (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


edit summary and save button above the fold
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): low (does it actually make it easier?)
How: EditEnhancements by Christian Williams, Maciej Brencz and Maciej Błaszkowski (Marooned) (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:


--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


improved version of inputbox (difficulty = when an existing page name is entered, it prompts the user to add a different name.)
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): {{{difficulty}}}
Priority (low/med/high):
How: CreateBox
Examples? (a site using this feature?) wikia:Help:Project:Help:Inputbox
Status:

--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Enhanced RecentChanges pages/feeds
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): low for some, med-high for the collated talk page.
Priority (low/med/high):
How: * mw: Manual:Configuration settings #Recent changes:
  • Note also some useful filtered RC pges at Appropedia:Recent Changes Patrol (encourage their use by linking from community pages, having a more advanced version of {{welcome}} for editors as they get more active.)
  • Greasemonkey could be used for a combined page of the various talk page changes (main talk, category talk etc)? {{talk tracker}} is a very crude and awkward version of this.
  • Can we get feeds for all of these pages?
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:



Better/newer WYSIWYG
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): Med?
Priority (low/med/high): High/med
How: Update mw:Extension:FCKeditor (Official)? And/or try the SVN, which might be more recent. Our Special:Version says we're now using a 2008 version.
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


The current FCKEditor is sometimes good, but sometimes does many small unwanted changes, including capitalizing wiki links, which makes the diffs no longer work properly, so it's nearly impossible to see what someone has added to a page. --Chriswaterguy 00:08, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Headers still don't work well - based on test "Your Health Services Wiki" that I'm helping on today. --Chriswaterguy 13:40, 6 March 2010 (UTC)



Boilerplate for new pages
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): Med?
Priority (low/med/high): Med
How: mw:Extension:MultiBoilerplate - gives drop-down menu above edit box for new pages. (Seems more elegant than previous methods we've tried. --Chriswaterguy 13:40, 6 March 2010 (UTC))
Examples? (a site using this feature?) http://www.grassrootswiki.org/index.php?preload=Template%3AManual&action=edit&title=Atsohuoe
Status:


Miscellaneous[edit]


Allows users to close the sitenotice - makes larger notices more acceptable.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: DismissableSiteNotice
Examples? (a site using this feature?) Used on Wikipedia & Wikia
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)



Create a magazine/collection of articles from the wiki, in PDF.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): low/med
How: MagCloud Collection (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:



upload files directly from editpage
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high): med
How: MiniUpload &/or "WikiaMiniUpload (Add Images)" (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:

---Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


SEO[edit]


meta-description tag containing snippet of the Article
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):  ??? (do search engines still use

the meta tag? does this actually add value? If not, very low priority.

How: ArticleMetaDescription by Adrian 'ADi' Wieczorek (internal Wikia code?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?) - http://solarcooking.wikia.com
Status:


--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Spam & bot defence[edit]


Recognize and fend off bots, and minimize risk to site and interference with users.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): 3?
Priority (low/med/high): 2
How: One option: AntiBot "Simple framework for spambot checks and trigger payloads. used on one or more of Wikimedia's wikis" => stable.
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:

--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


More small-grained feeds than just RC... (Feeds for each page?)
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How:  ?? (is [WikiArticleFeeds] relevant?)
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:

--Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Assign User Message to Actions - Userengagement by Andrew Yasinsky This seems to be the code. Intriguing, but what does it do? --Chriswaterguy 17:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Quality assessment and monitoring[edit]

{{desired features |title = Allow users to make public their watchlists, so a user can see who is publicly watching a certain page. (Needs to be optional, to respect [[Wikipedia:Project:Watchlist#Privacy_of_watchlists|privacy). |difficulty = 5? |priority = low |how = probably requires an extension? (Note that adding "$wgPageShowWatchingUsers = true;" to LocalSettings.php adds the number of watchers to the footer, which is very easy and almost as good.) |examples = |status = }} I was going to just add the ShowWatchingUsers option, then discovered that was actually very easy. :-) --Chriswaterguy 04:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)


Appropedia: Stable versions
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):  ?
Priority (low/med/high): high
How: mw:Extension:FlaggedRevs
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


Especially valuable for medical info and other such pages where info quality is key; might make e.g. public health publishers more comfortable with Appropedia. --Chriswaterguy 22:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


Extension updates[edit]

Not new features per se, but...


Translation[edit]


Machine translation from within the site.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): med?
Priority (low/med/high): med-high
How: edit skin?
Examples? (a site using this feature?) http://venicewiki.org/wiki/ (bottom of left sidebar). (Another wiki has it in top right - I forget which site. --Chriswaterguy 15:48, 6 March 2010 (UTC))
Status:


The Solarcooking wiki does this with a template, but this is more awkward & less neat looking. --Chriswaterguy 15:48, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Misc[edit]


Remove problematic characters from the characters that can be used in page titles.
Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard): med-low
Priority (low/med/high): med-high
How: change this setting: mw:Manual:$wgLegalTitleChars
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:


Pages with & or + in the title can't be viewed and are tricky to delete - and possibly others. --Chriswaterguy 14:49, 21 December 2009 (UTC)


Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How:
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status:



Est. difficulty (1=tweak, 5=hard):
Priority (low/med/high):
How:
Examples? (a site using this feature?)
Status: