A Proposal for a Custom Wiki Extension

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A Proposal for a Custom Wiki Extension

Postby Luo » June 22nd, 2011, 1:06 pm

Lately, we’ve been running in circles trying to improve the wiki. People have variously proposed standardizing the event pages, improving state-by-state and trial event information, and revitalizing the test exchange. In order to accelerate the development of the wiki, we need to employ a more unified and comprehensive system to facilitate our efforts.

Hangfromthefloor is in the planning stages of a new custom extension for the wiki and test exchange that will make it easier to store and edit the site’s metadata. Hangy is examining IMSLP, a community-built library of public domain sheet music, as the model for an improved wiki and test exchange. The custom MediaWiki design that IMSLP uses accommodates many different types of files by matching the appropriate metadata to each individual file. For example, a “performer” attribute would be applied to audio files, while a “number of pages” attribute would be applied to printable files. Users may then search and filter results by these attributes.

Similarly, Hangy’s extension for the wiki would abstract the relevant metadata from each file on the wiki and test exchange. By dealing with tests, study guides, images, recordings, videos, and other media, this proposal encompasses more than just the "test exchange" as it currently exists for tests only. This extension will allow for greater flexibility and organization, and begin to solve some of the pesky standardization problems that we've been encountering.

Hangfromthefloor has already compiled a preliminary list of attributes that would be applied to files on the wiki and test exchange. He would like input and ideas from other scioians in order to set this project in motion. What do you guys think of this plan? Are there any nuances of the wiki and test exchange that you would like to see eliminated, retained, or incorporated from IMSLP? If you have any comments or suggestions related specifically to this proposal, please post them here.

If this project goes as planned, the wiki's functionality and ease of use should be improved greatly in the near future.
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Re: A Proposal for a Custom Wiki Extension

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » June 23rd, 2011, 5:07 pm

This seems like a good idea for its main function, which in our case would be for tests/study guides/other printed material, which most Science Olympiad resources tend to be on. The images aspect isn't as urgent, since we have the Image Gallery on the site and links to it for the wiki. I believe there is also a place for videos. I don't think there's much of a demand for audio files, but if there are some out there that could potentially be helpful, maybe we could work it out.

That said, since this is going to be mostly used for documents, maybe , since this is an extension of the wiki, have it on its own little tab up on the top, and make it function mostly as a separate entity, albeit more similar to the wiki than the image gallery is. Who knows, maybe we can have a "Document Gallery" and have specialized mods for that.

In all, this is a good plan that would result in the improvement of the helpfulness of the wiki and this site. Good job guys. :)
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Re: A Proposal for a Custom Wiki Extension

Postby gh » July 12th, 2011, 5:30 pm

Is this something that can't be done with existing MediaWiki functionality? Have you done an extensive search of say, category options in wiki editing? Have you contacted the people behind the sheet music wiki about their system details?

I'm wary of having a large chunk of highly specialized software developed by a user just for this site. Abandonment is practically guaranteed (not blaming Hang; that's just how it is), and then we'll be screwed as soon as the MediaWiki plugin API breaks compatibility.

Finally, do you have a brief technical proposal for what it is you're adding? It's not too clear to me. A mockup (even in MS Paint) could be immensely helpful here, if this is something visual.
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Re: A Proposal for a Custom Wiki Extension

Postby paleonaps » July 13th, 2011, 10:18 am

I don't really understand the point of this. Could you try to explain it in English, Luo?
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