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Reorganisation of the 68kMLA wiki


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#1 MidnightCommando

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:24 AM

Hey there again, 68kMLAwikians!

I'd like to request permission and blessings for a reorganisation of the 68kMLA wiki ...

The current wiki has an inconsistent structure, parts being extremely well organised, some parts not so much.
The amount of things accessible from the front page is nowhere near as high as it should be, in fact some things are pretty much only linked from here in the forums, and even those links have had to be poked at to get somewhere on the wiki (The NIC list comes to mind).

I'd like to set up a hierarchy of wiki pages, pretty much arbitrary but it would work.
I'd also like to take on the Main Page so that it's a little more informative and a little more conducive to finding information.

I understand that some of you have been involved in the current organisation of the wiki, and I'd like to state that this in no way reflects badly on you or your work, which is much appreciated by myself and (I'm sure) the community as a whole, but I have thought of some cool things that could be done and I'd like your blessings to proceed in attempting to implement them.

I'll probably also braindump ideas in this thread as I have them. This is going to be messy but I'm pretty sure the skills i picked up over at Wikipedia can make this relatively painless for you guys - after all, it can't really get harder to find things at the moment, as long as we have the Search box ;-)
«Hrm, I wonder what this wire does... *kzrrrt*»
... This warning brought to you by the Horst Burkhardt initiative for Not Frying Your Compact Mac (or yourself.)

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#2 PowerPup

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:33 AM

I am for this. :D I too noticed that it's somewhat difficult to find things, it would also be neat if there was a "What's New" area on the main page.

Macs I own: Classic II, LCIII, PowerMac 6100 w/ NewerTech G3 250Mhz CPU, PowerMac G4 "Sawtooth", PowerBook 5300, PowerBook 1400c, PowerBook 3400c, PowerBook G3 "Lombard", PowerBook G4 Titanium.


#3 Dennis Nedry

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:01 PM

Go for it! It's a wiki after all.

I noticed that some wiki features don't work like wiki tables, etc. I believe it's because it's too old. Could a server software update be possible?
[wiki="User]Dennis Nedry's 68kMLA Wiki Userpage[/wiki], including my extensive Mac collection.
Dennis Nedry was an awesome Mac hacker, but I hack Macs in his name to preserve, not to destroy.

#4 ChristTrekker

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:51 PM

I don't think it's meant to be strictly hierarchical. Not everything can be pigeonholed. I think the somewhat free-form nature of the wiki is a strength. The category structure is roughly hierarchical, where it makes sense. But I also look at categories more akin to tags. There may not be a single hierarchy that works, there may be multiple orthogonal hierarchies describing articles. See the pages for any of the Mac models…these are categorized in almost excruciating detail to make things easy to find.

This is not to say that there aren't areas needing cleanup, because there are. I guess I'd like to hear more about what you feel is deficient in the current organization. Calling your organization system "arbitrary" at the outset is not winning you points in my book. :) If you have ideas for better navigational aids, I'm all for that.

[wiki]Special:NewPages[/wiki] and [wiki]Special:RecentChanges[/wiki] are standard features of MediaWiki, and I've been using it long enough that I never thought to link them from the main page, but I just did that since it's a good idea. I'd also like to hear what's broken with wiki tables. They've been working fine AFAIK.

#5 MidnightCommando

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:43 PM

Calling your organization system "arbitrary" at the outset is not winning you points in my book.



I'm merely attempting to be honest - to say anything other than that my personal tastes in efficiently organising reference materials (and I've grown to be quite proficient at hierarchising things, though I can understand the point about multiple intersecting hierarchies - that is something that had bounced through my mind) would be an enormous influence on my proposed reworking - would be a filthy lie. ;)

In that sense, my ideas on reorganising the wiki would be arbitrary, insofar as they would be (for my work) dictated/arbitrated by my own experience. Of course, it's a wiki, and so if anyone feels strongly about it they can just start an edit war. :p

I'll probably whip up some diagrams or some text art to indicate the sort of hierarchy i'm thinking of as I go, and I can keep it posted to this thread...

Orrrrrrrrr you could trust the half-baked ideas of a crazed lunatic who hasn't edited on the 68kMLA wiki that much but has brilliant ideas and is pretty much a loose cannon. :lisa2:

I guess I'd like to hear more about what you feel is deficient in the current organization.


I'm not so sure how to qualify my criticisms. I just have a very strong feeling that the wiki can truly be made better, and I would like to offer my skills to make that happen. This thread was to ensure I didn't tread on anyone's toes while going about it.

(P.S. I already have ideas about how to make the front page prettier/more inviting)
«Hrm, I wonder what this wire does... *kzrrrt*»
... This warning brought to you by the Horst Burkhardt initiative for Not Frying Your Compact Mac (or yourself.)

Avatar courtesy of [wiki]User:Mars478[/wiki] based on minordetail's "Finder icon"

#6 ChristTrekker

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:03 PM

If you have ideas for making the Main Page better, have at it. I pretty much don't ever touch it. Mostly my concern has been categorization, and templates. Many of the templates auto-categorize when fed the correct parameters, which is a huge win for organization. This is why I'm interested in your intent, because if you start rethinking how categories ought to work, it could mean significant rework of multiple templates. I don't think the coding in them is tooooo complex, but if you're new to that, it would be very easy to break things.

I'd really just like to see lots more content in the wiki. If every reader of this board wrote just one article, we'd have a lot more to look at. Our coverage of hardware is decent, but for software it's pretty sad. Honestly, I'm somewhat perplexed when I hear that things are hard to find - there really isn't that much there to get lost in, IMO. Can I get an example or description of how it's been hard to find what you're looking for?

#7 ChristTrekker

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:11 PM

FWIW, I've started some [wiki]Category:navigation templates[/wiki] for the various model series.

#8 Dennis Nedry

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 05:49 AM

You are correct, wiki tables do work. I was having an issue a long time ago and I don't remember what it was now.

There was some sort of structure that would only show up as pure white / clear. I'll try to figure out what it was.

edit:
Table background color doesn't work, but I don't think that was it. "td" background color does work though.
[wiki="User]Dennis Nedry's 68kMLA Wiki Userpage[/wiki], including my extensive Mac collection.
Dennis Nedry was an awesome Mac hacker, but I hack Macs in his name to preserve, not to destroy.

#9 MidnightCommando

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:07 AM

{...} if you start rethinking how categories ought to work, it could mean significant rework of multiple templates. I don't think the coding in them is tooooo complex, but if you're new to that, it would be very easy to break things.

I'm a user over at wikipedia and have done structural work there, including reworking of and creation of semicomplex templates, I've ported several wikipedia templates to other mediawiki installations (for instance, DigitalNoise wiki when it was running, and to my own MediaWiki install which I had running some time back) - template code isn't likely to fritz my head terribly. That said, if I run into any problems, I'll be sure to consult with someone competent before doing anything that could potentially cause breakage.

I do have some ideas for how categories should work, but they're largely frontend ideas - it shouldn't be too necessary to modify your current magic unless i just need More Magic to do things with. It could be the lack of content that had me confused too. I recall Scott Baret had proposed writing some articles on educational software - they haven't materialised yet, but I could probably take a trip down memory lane and see if I can remember any of the educational software I was brought up on (We had LCs and 5260s and 6360s and 7200s ... oh my!) when I was in primary school, and I could possibly do some initial work on System Software articles ... all this will take time, but I have a lot of free time and not much to do with it for various reasons - so I may as well put it to good use.

Honestly, I'm somewhat perplexed when I hear that things are hard to find - there really isn't that much there to get lost in, IMO.

That could explain the problem, there are honestly too many redlinks on the wiki for my liking, and information on some pages isn't presented as well as it should be (wikis are, unfortunately, scarcely greater than the sum of their parts) - the content that is there is not always presented consistently. I don't know how to describe it properly... it's just ... the wiki looks wrong to my head. As I said, it's just a very strong feeling that I can do something useful and make it better.

I'm working on structure now in my head to see what exactly I'm aiming for before I start potentially destructive editing, just to be sure.

Right now I know we have three categories off the top of my head that can be used as the parents for everything else:

- Hardware
- Software
- Wetware (as in, the human element - what we can do) (note i'm not actually going to call it "Wetware" - perhaps Tips or something)

Hardware can be subdivided like so:
- Apple II
- Macintosh
- Power Macintosh
- PowerBook
(strictly, my idea of ordering would put iMacs with PowerPCs in Power Macintosh, and iBooks in with PowerBooks)
- Newton
- Clones
- Peripherals
- Expansions

Software might be divided into:
- System Software (System 6, System 7 (, .1, .5, .6), Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X)
- System Components (Open Transport, CarbonLib come to mind)
- Utilities (most third-party extensions would go in here, drivers probably in System Software)
- Productivity (BBEdit, ClarisWorks, office:mac, etc.)
- Educational (Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?, Body Fun, any of teh Dorling Kindersley titles, etc.)
- Games (Hellcats Over The Pacific, Glider+, Deus Ex, Marathon, etc.)
- Programming (MPW, Think C, Think Pascal, etc.)
- Internet (ftp clients, Netscape, IE, Ircle, MacIRC)
, and so on, and so forth.

Wetware (Tips?)
- Board recapping
- Working with Disk Images
- Hardware troubleshooting
- Choosing the right System for your Mac
- things like this

I'm pretty sure you can see the ridiculous extents to which I'm thinking of categorising, and I'm aware that some things will simply have to be in multiple categories - for instance BBEdit is both a productivity and a programming tool, and the Carmen Sandiago games are both Games and Educational (I think they invented the word Edutainment for that, although I've never liked it myself) ...

I feel that imposing a more encompassing structure on the wiki will make it easier to crosslink articles (I've also gained some experience in rapidly fixing dead links en masse, thank the gods) and thus will allow for easier access to information. Of course, this assumes that information (content) is there in the first place, so I'll probably have to do a bit of writing too. :p

Anyhow this is still in the Just A Brainfart™ stage, but it's to give you an idea of what I'm thinking.
«Hrm, I wonder what this wire does... *kzrrrt*»
... This warning brought to you by the Horst Burkhardt initiative for Not Frying Your Compact Mac (or yourself.)

Avatar courtesy of [wiki]User:Mars478[/wiki] based on minordetail's "Finder icon"

#10 ChristTrekker

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:00 PM

This is the current category system, to a couple levels of depth. (This is not an exhaustive list, though.) The absolute root category of everything is [wiki]Category:Contents[/wiki]. Maybe seeing "everything" in one list will help. I think that much of what you're considering is already done in some fashion.


[*:2npdsk52]Articles

[*:2npdsk52]Design
[*:2npdsk52]Typefaces
[*:2npdsk52]User interface[*:2npdsk52]Essays
[*:2npdsk52]Articles to be expanded
[*:2npdsk52]Formats, languages, and technologies
[*:2npdsk52]Hardware
[*:2npdsk52]Computers
[*:2npdsk52]A/UX-compatible machines
[*:2npdsk52]Clones
[*:2npdsk52]Computers by expansion option
[*:2npdsk52]Computers by form factor
[*:2npdsk52]Desktop computers
[*:2npdsk52]Laptop computers
[*:2npdsk52]PDA computers
[*:2npdsk52]Tower computers[*:2npdsk52]Computers by memory type
[*:2npdsk52]Computers by processor
[*:2npdsk52]Computers by series
[*:2npdsk52]Apple I series
[*:2npdsk52]Apple II series
[*:2npdsk52]Apple III series
[*:2npdsk52]Centris series
[*:2npdsk52]LC series
[*:2npdsk52]Macintosh series
[*:2npdsk52]Macintosh II series
[*:2npdsk52]PowerBook series
[*:2npdsk52]Quadra series[/list][*:2npdsk52]Displays
[*:2npdsk52]Expansion cards
[*:2npdsk52]Members' machines
[*:2npdsk52]Printers
[*:2npdsk52]Storage devices[/list][*:2npdsk52]Introductions
[*:2npdsk52]Software
[*:2npdsk52]A/UX software
[*:2npdsk52]Control panels
[*:2npdsk52]Drawing software
[*:2npdsk52]E-mail clients
[*:2npdsk52]Emulation software
[*:2npdsk52]Mac OS emulators
[*:2npdsk52]Extensions
[*:2npdsk52]Games
[*:2npdsk52]Operating systems
[*:2npdsk52]Paint software
[*:2npdsk52]Screensavers
[*:2npdsk52]Text editors
[*:2npdsk52]User interface
[*:2npdsk52]Utilities
[*:2npdsk52]Web browsers
[*:2npdsk52]Word processors[*:2npdsk52]Tutorials
[*:2npdsk52]Tips[/list][*:2npdsk52]Media
[*:2npdsk52]Copyrighted media
[*:2npdsk52]Wiki interface[*:2npdsk52]Meta
[*:2npdsk52]68kMLA Wiki features
[*:2npdsk52]68kMLA Wiki policies and guidelines
[*:2npdsk52]All pages needing cleanup[*:2npdsk52]Templates
[*:2npdsk52]Citation templates
[*:2npdsk52]Templates for linking to file downloads
[*:2npdsk52]Hardware templates
[*:2npdsk52]Infobox templates
[*:2npdsk52]Maintenance templates
[*:2npdsk52]Navigation templates
[*:2npdsk52]User templates[*:2npdsk52]Users[/list]
There are currently 520 wanted pages (redlinks), only 84 of which are linked from more than one place. I'm thinking many of these are probably the result of copy-and-paste from Wikipedia, and often should just be removed if they are outside the scope of 68k Macs.

Over on Wikipedia, I once thought like you and started to lump (then-current) iMacs and PowerBooks in with PowerMacs because they were both PPC. I got my hand slapped. Don't conflate the line/brand with the processor. Once I realized that, I cleaned everything into "Macintosh computers by CPU family", "Macintosh computers by case type", and "Macintosh computers by product line" hierarchies, which was the basis of what I did here. I added even more hierarchies here, because we can have more detail (trivia) in a topical wiki.

#11 Bunsen

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 11:39 AM

Personally I agree that the wiki could be easier to navigate.

This is the current category system, to a couple levels of depth.


Having a table laid out like that, easily available from the front page ("Site Map"?) would be a great start, especially if it can self-update (is that even possible?)

- Wetware (as in, the human element - what we can do) (note i'm not actually going to call it "Wetware" - perhaps Tips or something)

Smartware? Brainware?

have you searched? Seeks: Nubus PDS DSP PB170 Newton; TRS-80 III/4; CBM BBC SX-64 CX5M Likes: 8bit luggable palmtop terminal NC tablet audio MIDI analog FM drum synth steam&dieselpunk; 1930-1980 lab/comm/mil Score! NC100 PB190 Q950 IIe-PDS


#12 ChristTrekker

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:53 PM

Having a table laid out like that, easily available from the front page ("Site Map"?) would be a great start, especially if it can self-update (is that even possible?)

There is a MW extension that allows the subcategories listed on a category page to be expandable, to any depth (IIRC). Wikipedia uses it. So it should be technically possible to create something like that. A "category browser" nav widget in the sidebar would be very useful. Maybe I'll have to look around to see if there is already an extension for that.

#13 MidnightCommando

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 01:11 AM

Smartware? Brainware?


As always, Bunsen, your optimism amazes.

You see, for these monikers to work, the reader must have either smarts, or brains. And while I'm sure the type of people who've the good judgement to come to our fine wiki probably possess one, the other, or both; that much cannot be guaranteed for all who stumble upon it. :p

Mind you, after seeing ChristTrekker's subpages I've had a small wave of brilliance which may be useful if I can make it work.

ChristTrekker, once I'm sure I've got it figured out, I might need to ask you to be a guinea pig :D
«Hrm, I wonder what this wire does... *kzrrrt*»
... This warning brought to you by the Horst Burkhardt initiative for Not Frying Your Compact Mac (or yourself.)

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