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#1 2019-07-24 16:53

Jaerrib
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From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Q4OS wiki

I was looking at the apps included with the FreedomBox software and saw that it included MediaWiki. It looks like a fairly nice bit of software (and is already in the Debian repos) so I started thinking about adapting the existing Q4OS documentation to a wiki format. I still like the offline manual that I had worked on as it's good for when a user may not have an internet connection. However, a wiki could also be nice from the standpoint of layout, presentation, and discoverability. It also creates an an opportunity for community contribution. Any thoughts? Any forum users think this could have some benefits? (I should clarify that I'm not sure how or where the Q4OS website is hosted or if it would be easy to implement such a wiki. It may create additional overhead that the team doesn't want.)

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#2 2019-07-25 18:47

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 2,412
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Re: Q4OS wiki

Yes, that is a neat idea. The wiki could be hosted externally, we would provide a link from our site. The only difficulty could be to keep wiki updated, as some updates of the official documentation are performed time by time.

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#3 2019-07-25 19:19

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

I just looked at my web host and they provide an auto-installer ( I like easy smile ) for tikiwiki which I could set up if it is something you would like to use, I do not really have the time at the moment to populate it but as and when time permits I would offer my time to help out. I have plenty of space/bandwidth on my account so I do not foresee any problems to get it set up and running.

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#4 2019-07-28 01:10

Jaerrib
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From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Re: Q4OS wiki

q4osteam wrote:

Yes, that is a neat idea. The wiki could be hosted externally, we would provide a link from our site. The only difficulty could be to keep wiki updated, as some updates of the official documentation are performed time by time.

I don't think updates would be a problem as long as members of the team had access. It shouldn't be much different from editing the current documentation.

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#5 2019-07-28 01:17

Jaerrib
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From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Re: Q4OS wiki

Dai_trying wrote:

I just looked at my web host and they provide an auto-installer ( I like easy smile ) for tikiwiki which I could set up if it is something you would like to use, I do not really have the time at the moment to populate it but as and when time permits I would offer my time to help out. I have plenty of space/bandwidth on my account so I do not foresee any problems to get it set up and running.

Awesome of you to offer to host the wiki, Dai. I'd be interested in helping out as well when time permits.

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#6 2019-07-28 09:32

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

OK, I will get it set up and see how it works and post back when I have something ready. smile

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#7 2019-07-28 18:31

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

I have Mediawiki installed on my server and available for editing, I have not yet configured security or added any content, I just added a logo and installed anti spam measures, I will try and look further at security measures but I would like to know what you think about whether this should be publicly editable or whether to have an admin whitelist for contributors? or something else as I am quite new to this s/w so am having to read up on every change I think I need to make big_smile

EDIT: forgot the link https://dai-trying.com/Q4OS-wiki/index. … =Main_Page

Last edited by Dai_trying (2019-07-28 18:32)

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#8 2019-07-29 10:47

jotapesse
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From: Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2019-03-23
Posts: 67

Re: Q4OS wiki

Excellent idea for a Q4OS wiki. Ideally, however, the wiki should be part of Q4OS web site and share the same forum id/account. No idea if that's easily doable or not.


jotapesse - Obrigado / Thank you.

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#9 2019-07-30 01:47

Jaerrib
Member
From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Re: Q4OS wiki

Dai_trying wrote:

I have Mediawiki installed on my server and available for editing, I have not yet configured security or added any content, I just added a logo and installed anti spam measures, I will try and look further at security measures but I would like to know what you think about whether this should be publicly editable or whether to have an admin whitelist for contributors? or something else as I am quite new to this s/w so am having to read up on every change I think I need to make big_smile

EDIT: forgot the link https://dai-trying.com/Q4OS-wiki/index. … =Main_Page

Very nice so far, Dai. Thank you for setting things up. I think it would be nice to have anyone be able to contribute, but having some measure of moderation over the content may be necessary as well. Is it possible at present to create an account to begin adding anything yet?

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#10 2019-07-30 01:54

Jaerrib
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From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Re: Q4OS wiki

jotapesse wrote:

Excellent idea for a Q4OS wiki. Ideally, however, the wiki should be part of Q4OS web site and share the same forum id/account. No idea if that's easily doable or not.

As much as I appreciate Dai setting up the wiki, I kind of agree that it should be part of the official Q4OS website. In lieu of that, having anything available is still a step in the right direction for helping users find helpful information in an orderly manner. Perhaps it could be merged some time in the future if the opportunity arose.

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#11 2019-07-30 09:01

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

Yes you can edit the Wiki although if you do not register your ip address will be publicly available (as is mediawiki default), I do agree that it would be "better" hosted and integrated with the Q4OS site/forum but also see the extra burden it would put on the developers, which would obviously take away some resource from development of the OS which might have an impact on fixes/upgrades. Obviously I can make the site available in it's entirety to the devs if they would wish to do something like that in the future.

I have thought about the integration of forum accounts to the wiki and it is likely to cause some data protection issues as user information would be shared to another platform (mediawiki) which if my thoughts are correct would require permissions from each user. I am not really certain about this but it would seem something to consider.

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#12 2019-07-30 14:03

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 2,412
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Re: Q4OS wiki

We don't plan to directly host the Wiki at the moment, however we are ready to support the community effort as best as possible. We agree Dai_trying completely, it's not easily possible to integrate forum user accounts with the media Wiki. Anyway, thanks for creating the Wiki pages, hopefully they will get some boost and will be helpful for Q4OS users in the course of time.

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#13 2019-08-19 01:57

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 18

Re: Q4OS wiki

I have a different suggestion, targeted at  low maintenance and ease of use: go with MDwiki (http://dynalon.github.io/mdwiki/) hosted at Github, as the homepage suggests in the "Tutorials" section.

Installation of MDwiki couldn't be simpler and I am a big fan of Markdown, as it really streamlines any editing tasks, big or small.

Last edited by Midas (2019-08-19 01:59)

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#14 2019-08-19 09:37

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

It would seem there is no real requirement for a wiki (or at least nobody has yet to make an edit) I went for MediaWiki in the end as it is very widely used, and a proven good software, I wouldn't want to have to research and monitor a github project just to host something that doesn't seem to be in demand.

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#15 2019-08-19 10:07

Jaerrib
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From: Pennsylvania, USA
Registered: 2018-11-18
Posts: 138

Re: Q4OS wiki

Dai_trying wrote:

It would seem there is no real requirement for a wiki (or at least nobody has yet to make an edit) I went for MediaWiki in the end as it is very widely used, and a proven good software, I wouldn't want to have to research and monitor a github project just to host something that doesn't seem to be in demand.

I had taken a look at the page and created an account. I wasn't quite sure where to start from a general layout/structure standpoint. Should the wiki just mimic the existings docs in terms of the various sections or try something more similar to the Manjaro wiki? Also, my schedule has been full the past few weeks (vacation and whatnot) which is why I haven't done any icon work either. It is, of course, possible that the wiki isn't really needed. Maybe what we have is sufficient. I'm sorry if you feel your time was wasted. I'm still willing to help if anyone would like to have a wiki.

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#16 2019-08-19 10:36

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Q4OS wiki

I do not feel any of my time is wasted, I am always trying something new and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I would rather regret doing something than to regret not doing it, if you know what I mean.

I will leave the Wiki up as I have the hosting service anyway and it might be that give time it will become something useful to all, it is a community resource and I imagine it will take some time to populate to a comprehensive state.

As far as layout / structure, I'm afraid I am not very imaginitive in that respect and personally would mimic what seems to work for others, but I am definitely not opposed to seeing something a bit different as long as it is easily readable by all users.

I would hope that given time we could have more focused information regarding the different desktops and their workings and tweaks available etc,etc... but that would be something I don't have too much experience with as I am a settled Trinity user and cannot see that changing any time soon.

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#17 2019-08-19 14:50

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 18

Re: Q4OS wiki

I just spent over an hour fiddling with a single page edit in the proposed wiki -- see https://dai-trying.com/Q4OS-wiki/index. … or_Windows -- and here are my first impressions.

But before I do, let me stake a claim for being a written information specialist, at least for the past 25 years. While I deeply appreciate Dai_trying effort and contribution here, my experience is that the "if you build it, they will come" mindset doesn't really work in this field, believe me. As it is, attrition needs to be absolutely minimal for any effects of global attention to even start showing themselves and, much less, compounding...

That being said, let's have a quick look at the practicalities at hand.

- In terms of syntax, Mediawiki proves to be extremely unwieldy and kludgy -- just look at the source code of the page I created. Its proprietary syntax doesn't conform to any existing editing standards, either for wikis (e.g., wikicreole; http://www.wikicreole.org/), or streamlined text markup (like Markdown; https://commonmark.org/). BTW, the "Content" box in my page was left intentionally mangled as minor example of it's shortcomings; other examples exist throughout the page.

- The wide spanning text paragraphs are a nuisance to read, an accessibility obstacle that should be especially avoided when dealing with technical subjects in order to maximize understanding and visual reader anchoring. Amplifying essential white space is tiresome, kludgy and, in some cases, completely impossible (without background intervention, that is -- there really are no unsolvable problems). E.g., in order to minimize this, I resorted to breaking sentences into paragraphs but the end result is far from satisfactory.

- Text formatting syntax is severely limited and overly complicated, with plenty of redundancy and ambiguity. As an extreme example, note that it doesn't even provide a standard escape character (usually '\' elsewhere) for signaling characters or strings that must not be treated as formatting notation, burdening users instead with a HTML inspired pseudo-tag ('<nowiki />'). This ins't a mere technicality but a requisite for achieving clear and understandable results. Utilization of such utterly disorienting tag-soup is rife in the syntax instructions -- just check https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Formatting, or the source code of my one-page example.

I could go on but I won't, as this is enough to flesh my point. TL;DR "It would seem there is no real requirement for a wiki" is a self-fulfilling prophecy that doesn't surprise me at all. It doesn't mean that a wiki is not an excellent solution for seeding and breeding a sorely needed organic solution for Q4OS information scarcity. It's just that people have plenty of more appealing ways to waste their time. I know I do.

Last edited by Midas (2019-08-20 18:31)

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#18 2019-08-19 15:37

Dai_trying
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From: UK
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 2,715
Website

Re: Q4OS wiki

I cannot say if MediaWiki is or isn't "extremely unwieldy and kludgy" but if the biggest Wiki in the world (that I know of) uses it I would think it is somewhat of a standard on it own (example:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page ) and at neary 6 million pages for the English version alone it must surely be usable???

I don't know if there are any settings I can enable/disable to make things easier but I will see if I can find anything in the documentation.


Edit The two links in your fourth paragraph are 404's

I just edited the control box and I had to wonder why you put a Blank chapter (or whatever it is termed) with a blank line below it, and also why you used a number in the first actual chapter and not any others, although I could understand if this was solely intentional to emphasize what you previously mentioned.

Last edited by Dai_trying (2019-08-19 15:56)

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#19 2019-08-20 12:15

Midas
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Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 18

Re: Q4OS wiki

Dai_trying wrote:

I cannot say if MediaWiki is or isn't "extremely unwieldy and kludgy" but if the biggest Wiki in the world (that I know of) uses it I would think it is somewhat of a standard on it own (example:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page ) and at neary 6 million pages for the English version alone it must surely be usable???

Much as I prize Wikipedia, my posting isn't about an organization that has the manpower to produce 6 million pages, by manually weaving them, if need be. Can we reasonably expect Q4OS userbase do the same?

Likewise, millions plowed the land by hand (some still do) before mechanized agriculture came about. Going back to my experience and although I was hopeful this could be an area ripe for a LIS specialist collaboration, that will be the last of my mingling, since none of what I wrote was really disproved.

Dai_trying wrote:

Edit The two links in your fourth paragraph are 404's

I just edited the control box and I had to wonder why you put a Blank chapter (or whatever it is termed) with a blank line below it, and also why you used a number in the first actual chapter and not any others, although I could understand if this was solely intentional to emphasize what you previously mentioned.

Sorry, but I inserted no link whatsoever in the body of my page, save for the source link-back in the footer.

As for the rest, my previous post clearly said: "The 'Content' box in my page was left intentionally mangled as minor example of it's shortcomings; other examples exist throughout the page".

I thank you for your patience and contributions.

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#20 2019-08-20 18:21

Dai_trying
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From: UK
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 2,715
Website

Re: Q4OS wiki

Midas wrote:

Much as I prize Wikipedia, my posting isn't about an organization that has the manpower to produce 6 million pages, by manually weaving them, if need be. Can we reasonably expect Q4OS userbase do the same?

The point I was making is that surely if it was that unmanageable it would have been re-done or another method found, like you say an organization with that sort of manpower could easily do that.

Midas wrote:
Dai_trying wrote:

Edit The two links in your fourth paragraph are 404's

Sorry, but I inserted no link whatsoever in the body of my page, save for the source link-back in the footer.

I was referring to the links in your post here

Midas (paragraph 4 of #17) wrote:

- In terms of syntax, Mediawiki proves to be extremely unwieldy and kludgy -- just look at the source code of the page I created. Its proprietary syntax doesn't conform to any existing editing standards, either for wikis (e.g., wikicreole; http://www.wikicreole.org/), or streamlined text markup (like Markdown; https://commonmark.org/).

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#21 2019-08-20 18:25

Midas
Member
Registered: 2017-12-15
Posts: 18

Re: Q4OS wiki

The forum software is taking the closing bracket as part of the URL -- remove that and they'll work. Anyway, thanks for pointing, now corrected.

EDIT: apparently, the WikiCreole page I linked above is currently down.

https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/wikicreole.org

For the time being, You can find a little more on WikiCreole at

https://trac.edgewall.org/wiki/WikiCreole

Last edited by Midas (2019-08-28 13:56)

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