Instructions For Wiki Editors
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 done from the Writer window in two 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 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 textarea on MediaWiki form. (Remember to click on the "Save Page" button in your browser).
- 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:
Once you have the OpenOffice.org software suite saved on your computer, it is easy to load the MediaWiki extension software from your OpenOffice.org “Writer” software module. It can be separately downloaded from the site listed above or from the following link if you prefer to save software to your computer before installing it.
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 will allow you to get the MediaWiki extension either from direct download and simultaneously install it on your computer or install from the previous download as saved.
Note: We do not recommend downloading Beta versions of this software, such as OpenOffice.org 3.4. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Finally, 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”.
[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.]