Instructions For Wiki Editors
MY BIG TOE WIKI PHILOSOPY
Here, we emphasize that what Thomas Campbell wants this Wiki to be is a really high-quality source of knowledge of metaphysics, in general, and My Big TOE, in particular. Here is a quote from Tom:
“This is not Wikipedia; we are not looking for broad, but shallow, expertise on many subjects – rather, we need exceedingly 'in-depth' understanding in the relatively narrow fields of MBT science and metaphysics”.
Here is another comment from Tom Campbell on what our policies should be regarding information included in the Wiki:
"Members must be able to clearly differentiate between fact and opinion. The wiki is not to be used as a “soap box” to express personal beliefs about any subject – opinion belongs in the forum, not in the wiki. The wiki is about capturing and presenting pertinent factual information about a broad array of subjects relating to MBT. Opinion, if it exists within the wiki, must be clearly labeled as such."
It is the choice of the Member/Editor as to what software he wishes to work with, including the option of working entirely within the Wiki, but we currently recommend creating your original articles in OpenOffice.org “Writer”, which is the word processor software included in the OpenOffice.org 3.3 office suite software. This office suite software compares very favorably with Microsoft Office Suite software and is free to download to anyone. Version 3.3 is the latest fully-released version at the time of this writing.
OpenOffice.org Writer has good and easy to use text formatting capabilities – on a par with Microsoft Word.
OpenOffice.org Writer has a big advantage for us in the original creation of major pages, since a separate extension (free) is available for this software which allows exporting a normal Writer file to a file that is formatted for MediaWiki. Once the Writer document is complete, this can be easily done from the Writer window with a few mouse clicks. Thus, you can export your Writer file with MediaWiki formatting, which should result in a file ready to post directly into the Wiki and one that will display on the Wiki just as it did in the original Writer document.
Such electronically-translated documents will likely require a little final “tweaking” after loading into the Wiki, but it will be much less work than manually formatting the entire document with the MediaWiki formatting codes and clunky interface. References and linking particularly will be required.
A test of how well this will work has been completed – you may judge the results before diving into OpenOffice.org software installation on your computer. You may judge this test for yourself as this page of the Wiki was created originally by Darryl Rogers in OO, transferred to Ted Vollers for minor editing and then this page was created with trivial need for editing after copying the exported file's information without word wrap and pasting it into this page as it was initially created empty. Immediately below is the detailed procedure for creation of pages in this way as created by David Mathis and added to these instructions.
- Step 1: Write your text in Open Office.
- Step 2: Save a copy of your file in Open Office format (YourDocument.odt) before exporting to wiki text by clicking on File > Save.
- Step 3: Convert your file to Mediawiki text clicking on File > Export feature.
- Step 4: Select the MediaWiki (.txt) as the file type for your export.
- Step 5: Choose the location for saving your file and click on the Save button.
- Step 6: Go to MediaWiki and open an existing page to edit or create a new page.
- Step 7: Open the previously saved Yourfile.txt file and you will see Open Office has inserted the wiki tags syntax used for formating text in MediaWiki. Copy this text above without word wrap into the editing area on your MediaWiki page. Do a "Preview" of the inserted text, and if all is well, be sure to click on the "Save Page" button before navigating away.
- Step 8: Upload any images you need in the normal way.
When ready, you may download the OpenOffice.org software suite from the link below:
NOTE: During installation of the Open Office software, a folder of Open Office installation files will normally be created on your desktop. This is separate from the Open Office startup icon. These files are not necessary after installation is complete -- the extra desktop folder and the files within may be safely deleted.
Once you have the OpenOffice.org software suite installed on your computer, it is easy to download the MediaWiki extension software from your OpenOffice.org “Writer” software module. Just open and run the “Writer” module. When it has finished loading and the “blank page” appears on your screen, just click on “Tools” and then “Extension Manager”.
When the Extension Manager comes up, it usually has only a few “language extensions” showing in the window. Click on the small blue text at the lower left of the Extension Manager window that states “Get more extensions online...”. This merely takes you back to the Open Office website at the "Extensions" page -- so you can also get this extension from the OpenOffice.org website link (above) by navigating to the extensions page. Download the Wiki Publisher extension file to a suitable folder, then run the ".exe" file to install the extension.
During a recent episode of functionality problems at the Open Office website, some Members were able to obtain the Wiki extension for Open Office at the link below. So, this link is listed as an alternate.
Note: We do not recommend downloading Beta versions of this software. Stick with the fully tested and officially released versions of the software.
CREATING WIKI PAGES FROM FORUM POSTS
The goal is to leave the Forum ideas and information intact, but to condense and organize the text of posts and threads for efficient reading of the subject material. Think of an encyclopedia entry.
- Leave the pertinent My Big TOE type of information intact, but remove conversational material, friendly banter and such-like.
- Reference information contained in your Wiki article back to its original Forum source thread(s) and posts – actual links would be useful. Do not reference duplicated threads (such as contained in the Forum “Archive of the Best Threads from All Forum Topics”) but the original (see references help below).
- The beginning paragraph of an article based on Forum information should reference all the important contributors of useful information to the thread – that is, those who contributed “TOE” material. Much of this will be Thomas Campbell answering questions, but sometimes others contribute significant information as well. Try to give credit to bulletin board members as due. This paragraph should provide background and the original question being asked, usually, and serve as an introduction to the page.
CREATING WIKI PAGES FROM “My Big TOE”
- It is not desired to create a “duplicate book” of My Big TOE online in the Wiki – that would be little better than the paper book itself. Maybe faster to search, but not worth the extensive work.
- Those who are using this Wiki should have already read My Big TOE at least once or have an equivalent background and thus be familiar with the basics. Therefore, it is not necessary to put in all the detailed explanations that would be necessary for complete newcomers to the My Big TOE ideas – the way that Tom had to do in the original books.
- Editors should “assume reader familiarity” with the “basics” and enter into the Wiki only articles based on higher-level My Big TOE discussions. As necessary for completeness, such basic material might be stated but not provided with all the background material that Tom originally provided. The Wiki format allows easier grouping of related information from My Big TOE – material that may now be scattered throughout the book trilogy due to Tom having to lead newcomers through this material “by the hand”. There had to be a gradual introduction to this rather difficult material. However, we can now assume that a Wiki-reader will be someone already familiar with most of the concepts from reading My Big Toe and will be interested in deepening his understanding of this type of material.
- Articles should have references to the pages in My Big TOE that were the original sources of the information contained therein with clarity as to which edition and number of pages (see references help below).
- Additionally, such articles may have information collected from outside sources that are related to the information contained in My Big TOE and to metaphysics in general. Those sources must be referenced and linked as well, if possible. This would be information not contained in My Big TOE.
An example of the above is that, within an article discussing the RWW and IUOCs we would like to have a linked article on the concept of Indra's Net and relating it to the RWW and IUOCs. This would include historical background and linking to show that what Tom has discovered is not entirely new (though Tom has restated it in light of modern science and digital technology), but in reality what mystics and metaphysicians had discovered millennia ago. This permits visitors to relate My Big TOE to historical sources and religions.
In addition, we would want articles on subjects like pure mathematics – such as cellular automata. Not so much that we are interested in the mathematical subjects themselves, but because they can help understand the way that development from the Void to the LCS and AUM came about.
MECHANICS OF CONSTRUCTION
INDEXING NEW WIKI PAGES
The "indexing" feature of MediaWiki is called "Categories". Categories are groupings of pages that address the same broader topic -- a "Category". Within a Category page, the subpages are grouped together alphabetically -- based on the beginning letter(s) of their title. This is a useful feature when reading a page of interest, as clicking on the Category at the bottom of that page will take you to a group of related pages.
One problem that may interfere with the proper listing of pages in a Category is the fact that the title is sorted by the first letter. For example, the title, "The Beginning of Time", would be placed alphabetically under the "T" listings -- when you would probably prefer it under the "B" listings. This problem can be corrected by a "forced sort" using the "sort key" function -- where you can specify the word you want to sort on, rather than the first word of the title.
This is easy to do. Please refer to the Help Page below for detailed instructions on using Categories and sort keys.
EMBEDDING VIDEOS IN WIKI TEXT
On June 18, 2011, David Mathis added a valuable Mediawiki extension to our toolbox -- the ability to embed videos (from YouTube and elsewhere) into Wiki text articles. In many cases, adding videos to an article may enhance the understanding of the reader and also their enjoyment of the article.
Embedding a video is a fairly simple process of pulling out the essential information contained in a video URL (link) and applying the correct Wiki formatting around it. This formatting will vary according to the video source -- it is not the same for all videos.
For detailed instructions, refer to the following MediaWiki link and scroll down to the "USAGE" section of the instructions:
For an example of an embedded video, click on the "discussion" tab at the top of this page and scroll down.
When creating references please use the Cite extension. We need to stick with this convention to keep consistency throughout the site. This functionality provides reference grouping and highlighting (to name a few) that provides easy to read and navigate references to external content.
For detailed instructions, refer to the following internal help link: References Help
PLEASE NOTE: When editing any page that references external content, pay careful attention to the references embedded into the page content. This should be done to avoid breaking references by accidentally removing reference start and end tags. I can't emphasize this enough :).
[Further guidance will be added to this document as it becomes available. Please pay attention to the publication date underneath the title to assure that you have the latest version of these instructions. Thank you.]