[thelist] horrible wiki usability

Steven Streight steven.streight at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 09:16:35 CST 2007

Brent thanks. Will look into MediaWiki.

I apologize for my stupid strident tone. Wikis are wonderful. They will help
overthrow outmoded ways of working and governing. My problem is I am trying
to construct a Public Facing Wiki, like Wikipedia, but on limited topics,
like Abandoned Blogs and Viral Publicity aka Fast PR.

I add this: Wikidot <http://www.wikidot.com> out of Poland is terrific. It
is easy to use and there is an auto-populated index to pages, a "List All
Pages" link in left side panel, though when I click "Edit This Panel" not
much happens, see no tools. Embedding code from external services is tiny
tricky, I don't think they have a Browse [your computer] uploader, you must
type in the URL using braced embed tags.

I want to shift things around, rename "List All Pages" to "Table of
Contents", and put that at top, with "About", "Contact", "Who We Are", "How
To Contribute", "Other Stuff We Do", "Resource Links", "Downloads",
"Bibliography", "Glossary", "Media Room", and "Wikiroll" under it.

I want a totally permeable wiki, a translucent osmosis of mind entering
matter, psyche pixelated, digital deconstructivist meandering and remodeling
tools. I seek more control, more liquidicity of modules and online real
estate reconfigging, renovation powers, click and drag, plus Browse Your
Computer image/audio file uploading.

On 2/9/07, Brent Eades <beades at almonte.com> wrote:
> Steven Streight wrote:
> > I am having bad luck using wikis. My main problem is creating (should be
> an
> > auto-populating feature) an Index to All Pages, or a Wiki Table of
> Contents.
> I agree, many wikis are appallingly bad in this respect. A good example
> is the documentation wiki for for the Mason back-end product I use quite
> extensively. Here's their "new and improved" table of contents
> (kwiki-based, I think)... pretty useless, and in turn I don't bother
> using this wiki, ever:
> http://www.masonhq.com/browse/all_nodes.html
> I'm partial to MediaWiki, myself. As you likely know, it automatically
> creates a ToC for every page a user creates, and they're pretty good.
> Here's a MediaWiki page from a project I'm working on with colleagues
> from several countries (I put this wiki together in about two hours, and
> its content is far from complete):
> http://centralbanks.org/wiki/index.php/RSS-CB_FAQ
> And here's an 'all pages' ToC for this same wiki (automatically created):
> http://centralbanks.org/wiki/index.php/Special:Allpages
> Not great, but certainly better than the Mason wiki.
> The essential problem with wikis is one of GIGO -- garbage in, garbage
> out. If users pay no attention to style guides/structures for a given
> wiki, then automated attempts to generate ToCs will create, well, more
> garbage.
> MediaWiki is far from perfect. It has numerous frustrating weaknesses.
> (Try renaming a page, for starters.)
> But I find it a lot better than the rest. Good enough for Wikipedia,
> anyway.
> --
> Brent Eades
> Almonte, Ontario
> http://almonte.com
> --
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Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Blog Revolution. Ecommerce.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com


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