Difference between revisions of "MoveToMediaWiki"

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= Site migrated to <nowiki>MediaWiki</nowiki>! =
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In March 2015, Ian McGowan passed the data for this site to Zumasys, where for all the reasons documented below, it was migrated to MediaWiki. Zumasys is now serving the community as site host and curator. Site content is still the responsibility of the community.
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People will probably have questions about the site: How do we use it? Where can we ask questions? What's being done here? The answers will be changing over time. The search mechanisms will be changed, new features will be added, and the resource will stabilize.
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For now, the info below is being left as a historical reference. It will be updated as time permits.
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* To discuss the site and what's happening, we're planning to use the [https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mvdbms MVDBMS Google Group].
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* For live chat, join mvTalk at Slack.com. See the invitation [https://groups.google.com/d/msg/mvdbms/VbrTU1svUYc/9OFyB2DuBz8J here].
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Community members are encouraged to create an account here and to contribute. If you have comments or questions about content but you don't want to modify the content, click the "discussion" tab at the top of any page. There you can recommend changes or explain the content without actually changing it. If you want to know when content changes, click the "watch" tab or check the [[Special:RecentChanges]] page.
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More to come soon...
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= We're moving to <nowiki>MediaWiki</nowiki>! =
 
= We're moving to <nowiki>MediaWiki</nowiki>! =
  

Revision as of 17:32, 2 April 2015

Site migrated to MediaWiki!

In March 2015, Ian McGowan passed the data for this site to Zumasys, where for all the reasons documented below, it was migrated to MediaWiki. Zumasys is now serving the community as site host and curator. Site content is still the responsibility of the community.

People will probably have questions about the site: How do we use it? Where can we ask questions? What's being done here? The answers will be changing over time. The search mechanisms will be changed, new features will be added, and the resource will stabilize.

For now, the info below is being left as a historical reference. It will be updated as time permits.

  • To discuss the site and what's happening, we're planning to use the MVDBMS Google Group.
  • For live chat, join mvTalk at Slack.com. See the invitation here.

Community members are encouraged to create an account here and to contribute. If you have comments or questions about content but you don't want to modify the content, click the "discussion" tab at the top of any page. There you can recommend changes or explain the content without actually changing it. If you want to know when content changes, click the "watch" tab or check the Special:RecentChanges page.

More to come soon...



We're moving to MediaWiki!

(2009/01/07) After some discussion and research (see NewWikiIdeas), a decision has been made to move this environment to MediaWiki. That decision isn't carved in stone, but we've already created a new wiki environment which is now in test mode. All data has been ported there. Ian, Rex, and Tony are now identifying what didn't convert properly. We'll probably write small BASIC utilities to zap the data as required so that it fits with MediaWiki.

Why MediaWiki?

(A note from Tony Gravagno to Ian McGowan and Rex Gozar, now shared with MediaWiki visitors.)


I was encouraged to look into alternatives to MediaWiki. What follows are my current thoughts on the matter. I will continue with my effort to port into MediaWiki as an experiment, and if someone has some compelling reason to choose something else then Ian can make the choice.
After doing a bit of research, my choice for porting MediaWiki to a new Wiki platform is still MediaWiki. Here is why:
* It's standard. This precludes "why didn't you use something more standard" arguments.
* Just about anyone can jump in to help administer it, not so with fringe alternatives.
* The core and extensions are well maintained by hundreds of people, eliminating the problem of porting to software that later dies through lack of interest, as is the case with many FOSS projects.
* There are a wealth of extensions, enabling us to respond with new features.
* Arguments against MediaWiki are not compelling and most of them seem to be a few years old. When asked "why MediaWiki", I'd have to respond "why not?".
* Porting to another platform can result in questions like "why doesn't this work" or "what happened to that?" Our chances of resolving these issues quickly with MediaWiki are much better than with other platforms.
One problem we want to resolve is the need to use "weird" syntax in page edits:
People want to contribute content without learning a new language to do it. Unfortunately options for WYSIWYG editors for any wiki are limited. Most wiki have no WYSIWYG. So by definition, content management with wiki almost always requires some knowledge of wiki syntax. However, MediaWiki has about four WYSIWYG options. Only one of them, FCKEditor (another popular standard), is cross-browser, not considered experimental, and is actively developed/maintained. Therefore, my implementation of MediaWiki would include FCKEditor.
No WYSIWYG tools support the full range of wiki features. Instead of "what you see is what you get", the reality today is more like "what you get is close to what you mean but not necessarily what you thought you were going to see". Refinement and using special features will require some knowledge of wiki syntax which can be added by putting the editor in raw mode.
Summary
No solution is perfect. MediaWiki, FCKEditor, and all of these related FOSS tools have their faults. But the proposed solution is still better than what we have now. This project is defined as being nothing more than a wiki web site, not a CMS where we might choose Drupal or Joomla, and not a documentation site where we might choose DocuWiki. PickWiki is not funded or corporately sponsored, and not maintained by people who have a lot of free time. In this limited scope and with consideration for easy maintenance and ease of use by the intended audience, MediaWiki seems to be the proper choice for this site.

More Q&A

  • When is this happening?
    • An environment is currently in test mode. Testing will continue as time permits, as long as required. Expect to see a test site by February 2010 and a new live site by March 2010.
  • Can we see the new site before it goes live?
    • We'll open the test site for UAT (User Acceptance Testing) when we've eliminated the initial conversion issues. People will be welcome to beat up the new environment before we relocate it back here to PickWiki.com.
  • Will our existing user IDs be preserved?
    • We're not sure yet.
  • What features will be available?
    • The site will have a minimal set of extensions to reduce complexity and maintenance, but suggestions are welcome for must-have features.
    • Initially the focus will be on:
      • ease of editing
      • visual appeal (without glitz)
      • security
      • elimination of spam, graffiti, and other abuse
      • searchability with categories, tags, etc
      • ability for people to comment without posting content (this is actually a feature built-in to MediaWiki with Talk/Discussion pages but we'll try to ensure that people can effectively collaborate on content
  • Will history of changes be preserved?
    • (From Ian) With any transition, it would be nice to convert history, not just the existing content: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Importing_external_content
    • We'll try to ensure that all revision history is maintained but we can't guarantee it. Let's assume that the new site will move forward from the conversion date with no history, and that any history will be a nice bonus.
  • What if I don't like MediaWiki?
    • Please propose an alternative and provide some good reasoning.
  • Can I recommend other features?
    • Sure, post ideas here or email Tony, Ian, or Rex.
  • How can I help?
    • Share your thoughts.
    • Post content.
    • Find links to web pages with content that should be included here.
    • Spend a few minutes beating up on the test site when we open it up.