This page is for discussion of the software which is running CommunityWiki.


Feedback on Changes to the Software

Alex, congratulations on and thank you for RecentNearChanges?. After a week or so, I can now say that I use it as my default RecentChanges for both here and MeatballWiki?. – BayleShanks

I wish we had renaming features, though. (WikiFeatures:PageRenaming.) – LionKimbro

Administrators can search & replace on the entire wiki, thus should be less of a problem. Anybody want to be administrator? See CommunityWikiAdministrators. – AlexSchroeder

Feature Requests

The page LionKimbro won’t finish loading right now. The last thing to appear is the headingremote blog”. Maybe TransClusion needs a timeout? – BayleShanks

How much would you suggest? 30s? – AlexSchroeder

I wrote a blog entry a couple days ago, but it’s not showing up. FeedValidator? says it’s okay. – LionKimbro

RSS inclusion will use only 15 items; I’ll think about a good way of handling this. – AlexSchroeder

Feature request: RecentNearChanges?-en; i.e. RecentNearChanges?, but with local changes language filtered like RecentChanges-en.

Feature request: Make page clusters distinguishable on RecentNearChanges?; currently a change to the ExperimentalTechnology cluster shows up on RecentNearChanges? just like a change to the page ExperimentalTechnology (unless I’m missing something).

Feature request: It would be neat if there was a way to specify that you wanted some PageClusters? auto-expanded in “My subscribed pages”. For example, this command:

My subscribed pages: ExperimentalTechnology

Shows an RC with a single entry, which is a cluster. Maybe you could make it so that if a PageCluset? is listed in the “categories:” section, it is autoexpanded?

If this isn’t easy, don’t worry about it, it’s not that important.


This is a bit more difficult. In this particular case, however, use ExperimentalTechnology in the categories section will lead to nearly the same result, I think. – AlexSchroeder

Indentation with DenotingAuthor

See my comment on TurnBasedVsInterruptedThreadMode. I would like

::[new:BayleShanks:2004-04-17 21:22 UTC]

to do something just like [new:BayleShanks:2004-04-17 21:22 UTC], but with the picture (and everything else) indented two levels.

Done. I think it sends the wrong signal, however. I find real threads with indentation have horrible usability. Our current format forces us to writter better, and I like that effect.

Thanks! I’ll try to use it sparingly.

non-indexed sections

(moved from BayleShanks)

Heya Bayle, I was just noticing you come up on searches of many category listings, heh. I just realized it’s due to the inclusion of ‘convenience links’ you have on your page here, and in your thesis page, etc… I don’t know what I’m writing this, but I wish oddmuse had a bookmarking feature! (at least to make the categories more useful)… I noticed that since I have bookmarks on my own page, I’ll probably come up in search results also.

At least I wish there was some way to make certain sections of a page not indexable. or maybe that is possible?

I agree. I moved your comment to this page, and noted it on WikiFeatures:IdeasToPlace.

One thing that’s fairly tedious in at least some wikis is making sure categories don’t have unintended results. I had a recent experience in a MoinMoin? wiki where I linked to a category page from content, so the category page listed that page as a member of the category (it wasn’t). While changing the regular expression used in the category search can (in the category pages for that particular wiki software) reduces the chance of such false hits, it really makes me worry about the simplicity of the data model many wiki use: “everything is text, nothing is distinguished”. My own thought for my category issue is that the categories that a page is in should not be determined based on the page text, but that additional data can be stored that isn’t included in the text search. Here on CommunityWiki, I think we know the term “MetaData”, don’t we? :-)

It’s especially a problem for the wiki I encountered this in since the classic wiki markup isn’t what I use by default; the wiki is predominantly written using ReStructuredText?.

I’ll spend a bit of time thinking about a way to deal with it for MoinMoin?, and see if I can come up with a reasonable approach using MoinMoin?’s processing instructions as a storage mechanism for the categories (and hope it’s acceptable to the MoinMoin? developers), but that still only helps for MoinMoin?, not other wiki platforms. :-(


Rather than adding complexity to the simplicity of free-form text, perhaps there is another solution to this problem: “The title of this page doesn’t belong in that category, but I want to mention (and link to) that category in the text”. (I thought I mentioned some possible solutions on another wiki – perhaps C2 or Wiki Features ? Maybe this should really go on the WikLossary?)

Here are 3 work-arounds I’ve seen so far (but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an even better work-around):

  • Go ahead and link directly to the category. Problem: You get a couple extra irrelevant pages when you ask for a list of all pages in the category.
  • Refer to the category in a round-about way – “The comics category (of which PopEye? is a member)”. It adds another level of indirection – instead of clicking on the category name directly, one clicks on PopEye?, scrolls to the list of categories, then clicks on the compics category. Problem: Now it takes 3 clicks to get all the other pages in the category, rather than 2 clicks.
  • Link to the Roadmap page, rather than the Category page. A category page, when you click on the name, gives you a computer-generated alphabetical list of all pages in the category. Often a category page has a parallel Wiki:RoadMap page, with a carefully hand-organized list of many pages in that category. Problem: ?

Yes, each of these work-arounds has a little problem, but I suspect that having this tiny little problem is worth keeping the simplicity of free-form text.

I guess my natural biases are showing; I build content-management systems for a living these days. Avoiding the false hits for categories seems so simple, and that’s the kind of thing that really makes the difference between a system that’s workable and a system that people want to work with. Simple organizational systems (like categories) are such a huge win, and I really think doing it better is worth the trouble. What I don’t want is to build yet another WikiEngine? just to improve this one aspect; that doesn’t make sense, given how many reasonable foundations we have to build from.

Another aspect of this is that while membership in a category is based on the content of a page, it isn’t based on the words as much as the ideas behind the words. Perhaps I’m not WikiEnough?, but using traditional WikiNames? and constructing information networks using only the surface of the TextualCanvas? on which we write feels constraining to me. Yes, the categories labels typically land at the end of the page, but that’s still feels a bit clumsy: we’re forcing the content to carry information we often want to deal with specially anyway.

I’m not sure I’ll have time to experiment with the idea anytime soon, but it’s something I’d like to play with further. Hmm… categories, as practiced, feel like a subset of TopicMaps. Time to read that book sitting on my shelf!


Some people are writing extensions for Oddmuse trying to address this. Since tagging is “hot” these days, most of these extensions resolve around adding tags to pages, and listing pages by tag.

See Oddmuse:TagMap Module, Oddmuse:Tagging Extension, Oddmuse:Blogging With Categories.

This issue has a name: UseMentionProblem?.

Yes, that’s exactly the issue on my mind; thanks for providing the name! I’m glad to see that OddMuse users are getting an opportunity to deal with it via those extensions. The comments at UseMentionProblem? certainly suggest that it can be handled simply by using a slightly more elaborate pattern while retaining the simplicity of the wiki implementation. Perhaps I’ll play with using that before going off and writing more software. Thanks!


Hi folks! NicolasMontessuit? is currently working onto his Theuth language project that runs two things in one : 1°) a software that translates any language into any language, 2°) the wiki that goes with that; the next outward manifestation of Theuth into this sublunar world is scheduled for April 2007, the 27th. Thanx for your attention! ;-)

Maybe make a page Theuth and present it in English here, Nicolas. We’ll help with translation. The presentation of Theuth and BlueMoon to the big public in French. Also in French Theuth powerpoint demo


Activation of alternate CSS via the link yields pages with this in their HTML source:

 <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href=";id=CommunityMaintainedFrontPageCss;raw=1;mime-type=text/css" /><link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="" />

That is to say, it links to both the new CSS file and the default one. I think this is causing the alternative CSS to be overridden by green.css. In my browser, nothing changes when I try to activate this alternate CSS.

Yep, this problem has been fixed in recent revisions. I installed the latest Oddmuse version.


Define external redirect: RecentNearChanges NicolasMontessuit WikiNames WikiEnough MeatballWiki PopEye FeedValidator PageCluset ReStructuredText PageClusters MoinMoin WikiEngine UseMentionProblem TextualCanvas