Wiki Community/Future/Software Features

InfoInfo TalkTalk

In coming up with future plans for the wiki, software is definitely going to affect how we interact with information. We already have a page on this on the Wiki Spot hub, [wikispot]Feature requests, but that page is long and is just a list of ideas.

This page should be a survey to figure out what the greatest software needs are for our community are. Just list the top two changes that you'd like to see in our wiki, so we get an idea of what's important to people. See also Wiki Community/Future/Gnome Features.

(If you're actually interested in doing some of these software changes, check out [sycamore]sycamore or email <sycamore-dev AT T wikispot DOT org>)

General tools that don't trap people into specific processes and possibilities. Many proposed system tools were oriented toward one way of wiki. —jw

See also a small side discussion at LocalWiki/New User Flow

Your top two requests

I'd like to see (1) An Events Board that doesn't suck, and (2) A categorized mapping system. —BrentLaabs

I would like to see (1) an event board that doesn't suck and (2) A description of your edit for the quick edit Daubert

As far as user features, (1) a smart WYSIWYG editing system would be terrific for getting people away from comments. (2) An event board that doesn't suck would be nice, too. —WilliamLewis

(1) An effective notification system for messages. Ideally, both an on-screen thing and an email notification (with the option to change what actually shows up in user settings). (2) Some sort of threading system to view a back-and-forth conversation between users. Any time there are more than about 3 back-and-forth comments on people's pages, it's virtually impossible to track the course of the conversation. Possibly have an ability to show the "info" page for multiple pages at once, select multiple edits, and "View Threaded Edits" to see the source of each edit in sequence. —TomGarberson

(1) Same as TG's #1 (improved notification, both on-screen and via email). (2) Coming soon. —CovertProfessor

(1) File history shown in the edit history of a page like it is in Recent Changes, and the size of the differences of edits in the info page and Recent Changes. (2) Better mapping system without Google. —NickSchmalenberger

(1) [WWW]Comment-linking capabilities in the user pages, and perhaps (2) a more “native” way to link to specific sections of a page (using hash anchors) —EBT

(1) A better socialization process for bringing new editors into the community and up to speed. (2) A change to the comment macro so that comments are no longer stored into the text of the page, but are directed into a separate database. Allow them to thread, be voted up or down, filtered, sorted by date either way, allow responses and quoting. Turn it into a real page specific forum feature, or get rid of it. —JasonAller

(1) A "Request Queue" - such that any person can go onto this page - and enter any Text/Images into the queue, and a more experienced contributor can take items from the queue, properly format them, and place them on the wiki (so that less experienced users can still contribute, without having to spend time learning the nuances of the wiki or get heckled for formatting or something) - also I think this would just allow people to enter information in when they don't have much time, and other contributors could "claim" an item so no-one else will claim it at the same time, and then remove it from the queue once it's done, pretty simple concept, pretty easy to build (2) - facebook integration - to get more people viewing the wiki - because in many ways - just viewing the wiki is contributing, and the more views, the more editors you'll get. a "LIKE" button on every single page I think would be a WONDERFUL, EASY, SIMPLE way to do this, and would immediately have an effect on the wiki traffic. —GarrettGallegos

I've always wanted a city wide events calendar that anyone could submit events to and could aggregate events from other local websites. I think that a revamped events calendar could be really successful in the LocalWiki software. I'd like to be able to open the events calendar page and search for topics and and a date range. This way on Friday nights when I want to see live music in Davis, I simply log on to DavisWiki click "Events" and type "music" or "live music", then I see all the upcoming concerts for the weekend. And same anything topic. I'd also like to be able to submit ical feeds from my site. So that if I have a site about my band that plays in Davis, I could feed my events calendar to this one. The Davis Community Calendar has a similar functionality and so does the events page on the Davis wiki, but both of these need to be modernized. — JasonMoore

Feature Discussions

Discussion Channel

How would the "discussion" pages be different from the "Talk" pages we have now? That's what the Talk pages are for — discussion about the page. —CovertProfessor

Editor focus

Almost all of the suggestions above are Editor-related features, and almost none of them would benefit the common end-user. I think a focus on ease-of-use for the average user, rather than niceties for the most common editors, would be a good thing to take into consideration before making suggestions, and before putting time into building any of the above. Very little has been done to make it easier for the average user, who may not be computer literate, to contribute. This may not be a business, but it needs to start getting run like a business in many respects. —GarrettGallegos

"Rewrite" is probably the wrong word. We're working on new wiki software for local communities — a major part of the [WWW]LocalWiki project. This development work is being funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation. I've read countless rewrite/don't-rewrite arguments (jwz, mozilla, etc). In our case, we do not have an actively developed or maintained piece of software. Sycamore, the software powering projects, has had minimal outside contributors (for various reasons) and isn't and hasn't been actively maintained for years now. I wrote a good deal of it (years ago) and the thought of hacking on it now is really off-putting to me, even! If you'd like to get more info as we have it, put your email into the "help out & get more info" box at We're literally just getting started really this week and we'll be sending info on tech stuff out shortly if you'd like to help.PhilipNeustrom

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