Difference between revisions of "Talk:Record of Wiki Creation"

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First extension page of Wiki preparatory work.
First extension page of Wiki preparatory work.
Well, obviously that didn't work.  So much for applying logic!

Revision as of 10:38, 23 May 2011

InterCommunication Page For Wiki Workers

Until we have a better use for this page as the Wiki becomes established, can we not continually edit/add to this page for communication rather than send e-mails back and forth separately and outside the Wiki?



David, I assume that you have seen the various comments in e-mails to the effect that we do want this to be a secure Wiki rather than actually editable by any chance passerby. So it seems that the first things we need to do are to set up the log in procedure, even though this will add inconvenience for us. Then we need to establish a hierarchy of users with a limited number at the top able to let others move up the scale to do appropriate work. I suggest the following as being known and meaningful terminology instead of the more foreign Wiki standard terminology:

Developer: Tom, you, me, anyone else who is going to participate in the set up of the 'guts' of the Wiki. Each level needs to inherit the rights of the level below down to the level of Member.

Administrator: (to replace Bureaucrat) Tom, you, me, anyone else who is going to be able to change the rights of others.

Moderator: (to replace Sysop) Tom, you, me, anyone else who is going to be able to do what they attribute to a Sysop.

Member: Anyone granted a login and having the ability to create and edit pages. Membership needs to be granted by an Administrator after they do a login to request membership. After approval, login becomes normal procedure.

--David Mathis 14:57, 21 May 2011 (EDT)This part is done. If you go here: http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/Special:RequestAccount you will see that members now have to request accounts at this URL. Then and admin can do various functions based on the request.

--David Mathis 14:57, 21 May 2011 (EDT)Ted you have been added with all rights

Visitor: Anyone visiting the Wiki and paging through, searching and reading the pages. Any Visitor should have the right to enter comments on the discussion for a page only. We need to be able to receive this input. They cannot go back and edit their comments or anything else. Visitors need not log in, not having a log in, but should Record their 'name' with the system, if we can do this. I understand that the system keeps a record of the URL of any one doing any editing and so should for this limited posting ability of comments. I think that we need this limited kind of information so that we can ban visitors who are destructive in their comments, either with garbage or deliberate unhelpfulness. We need to eventually have a page with rules and commenting rights for visitors, associated with their Registration, including the explanation that this Registration allows them to make comments and suggestions on the Wiki contents. We should try to approximate this if we can't do precisely this.

If you have other suggestions then note them or edit as appropriate.



Hi Ted,

This sounds like a great starting point. I will start working on this today and see what I can get accomplished. I will add notes to your list above, or something else that makes sense as a chip away at it. Most of it sounds reasonable with a few things sounding iffy, so the approximate statement is accurate at this point.

The first thing I want to do Ted, is to get you into the system with all rights so that you can start looking through the special pages and help me figure some of this out. Can you please e-mail me your desired username / password so I can set a temp password for you, when you have a chance.

Best Regards




I saw another level of membership referred to as Stewards that seemed to be above Bureaucrats. Is this correct? That is where Tom needs to be set up if there is in fact such a level.

In looking at some of the changing of rights, it seems that we could change the terminology, but it does not seem worth all that trouble. It seems that you would have to set up a new group, assign all of the rights to it as appropriate and then remove the group with the old name. I can learn to live with the new terminology and so can everyone else to save needless trouble.



Hi Ted,

You will want to stick to the Media Wiki Manual

Here are the levels that are shipped with the default install...

User rights levels


A user with the rights of a sysop can delete and undelete pages, protect and unprotect pages, block and unblock IPs, issue read-only SQL queries to the database, and use a shortcut revert-to-previous-contributor's-revision feature in contributions. See Manual:Administrators for details. (Due to something of a historical accident, users with sysop status are generally referred to as 'administrators' or 'admins' on the English Wikipedia, and most likely elsewhere; although on other Wikimedia projects they are known as custodians, bibliotecarios, and moderators. To change what sysops are called, you can do a find-and-replace in MessagesEn.php.)


This is obsolete and removed from later versions of the software.

Developer has special rights and sees additional features in the Special-Pages (lock / unlock DB) as well in setting User-rights. Only a developer can UN-Set (delete) the Sysop-Rights of an admin.


This is a user that is allowed to turn other users into sysops via the aforementioned Special:Userrights page.


A registered bot account. Edits by an account with this set will not appear by default in Recent changes; this is intended for mass imports of data without flooding human edits from view. (To show bot edits, either click the "Show bots" link on the Special:Recentchanges page, or append &hidebots=0 directly to the page URL, e.g. like this on Wikipedia, or like this on MediaWiki.)

See the category Wikipedia:Category:Wikipedia vandalism on main Wikipedia.


I read extensively regarding Wikipedia Vandalism on Wikipedia. I was not sure exactly why you suggested this. Our situation will differ substantially from that of Wikipedia.

--David Mathis 19:16, 21 May 2011 (EDT) I was not suggesting Wikipedia reading :) I was suggesting Media Wiki Setup Manual reading which is the software that Wikipedia and now Tom and US use. The best source for learning what the default configurations are for any given software is the vendor of the software in question. I was simply suggesting that we understand what we are starting with so that we can plan for where we want to go.

We have much less information to deal with and we have proportionately less editors who will be working on it. They catch the errors introduced into Wikipedia apparently in large part because they have people who are constantly scanning the edits in nearly real time. Thus questionable edits are mostly caught. We will not have that luxury. We will be more in the way of having a problem finding persons interested in actually working on the Wiki and keeping at it. We just don't have the active numbers of members. We will have to depend upon the quality of those doing and permitted to do the editing and the fact that potential vandals are excluded.

--David Mathis 19:16, 21 May 2011 (EDT)We can handle this with no issues. I am confident of this. If a vandal slips through the cracks (not likely) we will deal with it.

I don't know how this project will develop yet, but I think and hope that it becomes an effective replacement for the archive section I tried and somewhat succeeded in creating at the bottom of the Index page on the BB. Few members are involved in ferreting out 'gems' that Tom has posted in the past and referencing or copying them there. No one works on it systematically, mining a particular section as Tom set them up. The hardest thing to do is to get the search function to be used rather than just ask the same questions over again. The ability to use the search function is one problem and the quality of the search function is another. And I personally don't find it easy to use.

--David Mathis 19:16, 21 May 2011 (EDT)I work a lot so for me this process may be slow, but as I learn Tom's material better I would LOVE to help wit this if you guys can accept my strange ways :)

We are hopefully not going to so much have new articles generated as postings by Tom found and linked into coherent articles if they are not already sufficiently extensive to be encyclopedic on a subject. I am not at all sure we have board members who should be writing new articles that do any extensive expansion of MBT concepts other than Tom and I, to be perfectly frank. Tom because he is our primary reference for such extended information and he has done so with some postings that were more advanced than he felt he could include in the books. I because I have done so with Tom's blessings and some input as I was in the process of the work. No one else has actually done any such extension to MBT concepts. One of the things I will likely do is to consult with Tom as to whether I shouldn't just put everything I planned as a book, since I have already posted so much on the BB, into the Wiki as it isn't likely to make me any more money than MBT has made for Tom. Tom hasn't made a dime out of the books yet but rather foots expenses for every copy produced. The only alternative is to sell PDF copies that you produce yourself at trivial expense and that means once a few are sold, you will realistically sell no more. Neither Tom nor I are in this for the money.

--David Mathis 19:16, 21 May 2011 (EDT)I don't think you have missed anything as I honestly don't see it that way, this breast is and always will be a work in progress in my view. I am curious about how you guys (this may include me - not sure) plan to tackle entering the info. Do you plan on starting with an overview of My Big TOE on the main page of the wiki and then start linking from it to other articles and then from those article other articles and so on?

What have I missed?



Another thing that we need to consider ASAP is the question of Backups of the Wiki. If you are not aware, one of the things I do every night is to run a backup of the BB using the supplied compressed backup function included as part of the administration package. What do you do for backups with a Wiki? There seems no such thing as an administration package unless it appears at your level of access to the software itself. Is this something that you must set up on the server and then I can download copies nightly? The compression of the BB actually occurs on the server and I just receive the resulting download. I have 1.5 TB drives so I can take the volume for quite some time. It is presently less than 26 MB per each on the BB and only takes about 5 minutes, including transit on my relatively slow and cheap Internet access. What do I need to do?


--David Mathis 19:01, 21 May 2011 (EDT) Already taken care of. I do redundant backups automatically daily to two separate locations. Basically the daily backups are overwritten daily and the weekly happens every 7 days and is overwritten from the week before. Just standard practice for web hosting. This takes care of catastrophic events.

If you want the backup sent to you daily I can setup a cronjob that would e-mail it to you daily, ftp it to a server of choice or I can have a cronjob copy the compressed backup to a web accessible directory that you can download from daily, either way I am backing the stuff up daily and weekly. You can also log into cPanel (I provided you with credentials in e-mail earlier) and click on backups. You will have an option to download full backups withing there. http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/cpanel

Regarding non catastrophic events, you are aware that the wiki saves previous versions of pages in the event that someone accidentally messes something up and these can be restored right from within the wiki software layer. It's one of the cool features of the wiki.

Yes, I realized this. I won't worry about this for now. I won't worry about this now and perhaps later I will start daily backups to my machine. That way we can back up to any point we want to. Have to use all that space for something.


Consider this page in the manual. Will this not permit editing of Talk pages, which presumably appear for discussion with every actual page, by anyone such as a Visitor class, once such a class is created as being anyone who comes on and makes a simple identification of themselves? [File:http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:EditSubpages] You will have to be the one to put it in and make it work properly, no doubt, but is this not the technique.

I remember seeing the way to create a group earlier. We need a class of visitors who we require to Register instead of become members which requires approval. The registration could either be remembered or required at each visit and remembered only for that visit, as the Wiki allows. These Visitors will then be permitted to make comments on the Talk pages so that we have their input. Registration would allow them to be banned by IP and name if they proved to be nothing but vandals.

Does this sound right. Do you want me to try to do it as a learning exercise, or should you just do it?


--David Mathis 11:34, 22 May 2011 (EDT)

Looking at it now. (I have actually installed the extension already because it requires downloading from the commandline and editing a few files) I think we can use the extension, simply unlock ALL of the talk pages using the extension's ability to use regular expressions. if not using a regexp we would have to manually unlock each take page each time a new one shows up.

I don't think we should need any special group for this. I think anonymous will work fine and additionally I am not sure that we can log someone's name or if there is any value in doing so in the first place. We capture IP already so if we see that a certain IP is a vandal we can simply block that IP. If someone truly is a vandal there's a good change that a name (likely randomly generated) they enter will be of no value at all to us and I don't see any added value in effectively blocking them. Visitor already falls into the anonymous class and by over complicating this could have the adverse affect of what we are trying to accomplish.

Let me get the regexp setup so that we can see if this will do what we want. I don't know if manually added the talk page to a file for each page will go over to well so being able to have this take a global affect for all talk pages seems important.

What do you think Ted?

--David Mathis 12:20, 22 May 2011 (EDT)I am not sure about this extension. When I add the flags etc and attempt to test it, it causes the entire wiki to go blank with a white screen. If you see this, know that I am working on trying to see if it's broken / buggy or what...


I got tangled in your overlapping in time edit and didn't deal with it correctly.

You are right, above, if you can get it to work. It would just take some notes to Visitors on the entry page explaining that they can post and edit on the Talk/discussion pages if they wish but that their identity is tracked and they can be banned if they engage in vandalism. A little unfriendly sounding, but it should encourage good behavior.

That just leaves me with figuring out how to edit the Registration Request page or whatever it is called. I want to clarify the terms and what is being asked for. There is however no edit page provided, of course. How do you do this? when I search for ways to do things in the manual, I just go into a spiral of looking at one explanation after another. The old lady never gets the pig over the style and so gets home tonight.

--David Mathis 13:03, 22 May 2011 (EDT)If you can create a screenshot showing me what verbiage changes should be made to that registration file I can do that for us. Or you can just paste the verbiage that's there to me and tell me what to replace it with and where any additional verbiage should be added to the form. I think I can remove certain parts to, but will have to dive into the code. I think it will require some recoding. I am assuming that will just want to reword some things and perhaps add some new verbiage to the form. The form is part of the ConfirmAccount extension.

--David Mathis 13:08, 22 May 2011 (EDT)This is what I thought I might find. There is an i18n file that's defining the text on that form which means it's translated into multiple languages. Might not be as straightforward as we first thought :). I can change the english part :)

wikimybi@wiki.my-big-toe.com [~/public_html]# find . -type f -exec grep -il "Once the account is approved" {} \; ./extensions/ConfirmAccount/ConfirmAccount.i18n.php


-- 12:48, 22 May 2011 (EDT)

Ted, I got it to work, so I hope this extension is solid...

Here's what the regexp configuration looks like: * .*talk:.*|+rin|unlock all talk pages

Test 1

1) Made sure include; require_once( "$IP/extensions/EditSubpages/EditSubpages.php" ); was in place. 2) Hit page http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/Test_Page 3) Result: Can edit existing talk / discussions

Test 2

1) Made sure to comment out include; require_once( "$IP/extensions/EditSubpages/EditSubpages.php" ); . 2) Hit page http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/Test_Page 3) Result: Can NOT edit existing talk / discussions.

You should see that my signature is Anonymous because the include is in place and the extension is letting me comment in talk / discussion only.

--David Mathis 12:52, 22 May 2011 (EDT)I think this works for now, but for clarity sake, I think you might be right about the name being entered along with the IP. I just need time to figure that part out. I will work on it, but the ETA is unknown at this point. I think we should move forward while I work on it as it shouldn't be a show stopper right?

I talked to Justin yesterday about the possibility of providing some custom artwork for the wiki to help as a visual aid for some of the more challenging concepts in the MBT. Additionally I asked that he provide a few mockups for main top left wiki image. I let him know that I would run this idea by you all before agreeing upon anything. He said he would be happy to do this for us.

Here's and example of his work

Justin example.jpg


Then there are two other things I thought of.

We need to figure out if we want to keep the board name as My-Big-TOE (maybe My Big TOE Wiki) or change it to something else and then work on figuring out the from address that e-mails out from the system. I doubt you want it to remain dbmathis@gmail.com.



For purposes of a title on the Wiki, My Big TOE Wiki sounds good. Can we use the existing My Big TOE mailing address? I don't have an example at hand as I delete them when I get notifications of a new post. But that is the one that I mean. I am inclined to keep it all as tightly intertwined as possible between the site, the BB and the Wiki and all clearly under Tom Campbell's brand. What problems does this cause?


--David Mathis 17:17, 22 May 2011 (EDT) Done and Done. Just tested the changes by requesting a new password.

From: <admin@my-big-toe.com>
Date: Sun, May 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM
Subject: New temporary password for My Big TOE Wiki
To: David Mathis <dbmathis@gmail.com>

I was thinking about some verbiage that might be good to add somewhere on the site for contributors. We will likely want the contributors to read up on wiki formatting and usage so that we can make a best attempt at keeping things well formatted and organized. Would be a bad idea IMO to not over-emphasize the important of this, if the goal here is to provide a consistent experience for visitors that keeps them coming back and confident in our data.

This seems very helpful as a starting point. http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Contents


As Shawn pointed out, do we want to have a minimum word count for the biography? I found where it's controlled in the confirm account extension.

wikimybi@wiki.my-big-toe.com [~/public_html/extensions/ConfirmAccount]# for file in `find . -type f -exec grep -C1 -il "50" {} \;`; do echo $file; grep -i -C1 word $file | grep -i min; done


  1. Minimum biography specs

$wgAccountRequestMinWords = 50;


I keep writing notes to you and getting side tracked before I send them off with save and then they are gone.

No, I had forgotten but I found that irritating. We do want to require an entry there and the easiest way is perhaps to have a minimum word count of some kind. I don't know if anything useful can be said in less than 50 words. But lower it if you want in lieu of having to change the code to just require an entry there.

I have been looking into how to change the board appearance to match the site or the BB as I see that their color schemes are similar but not exact. I have contacted Shawn to see if he knows Tom's thinking as I believe that he set the site and the BB color schemes and general arrangement. I like the BB colors as it is easy on my eyes as I spend many hours a day facing it in the form of a 30 flat panel monitor that is very glaring with a pure white background. The site actually has off white and white backgrounds instead of the darker ones for the BB. I have asked Shawn if he knows Toms preferences and if we should change the BB to match the site and also the Wiki to match the site. I think that I remember some unhappiness with the BB color scheme but it was left, apparently as I said I liked it. I don't look forward to staring at a glare white screen all the day as it seems I am likely to be kept busier than ever with the BB and the Wiki. I thought that Edge and others were going to do the Wiki but Tom apparently thought I should be involved.

--David Mathis 21:14, 22 May 2011 (EDT)Just let me know Ted. I am well equipped to make style changes if that is what Tom or whoever decides.

I need to start writing an introductory page and entry point for the members who will be editing the pages. I will include a statement that they are expected to read that reference you provided and work to that standard for consistency and to maintain maximum believability by the outside world.

With all you have achieved, it seems like it won't be too many more days, if I'm not over working you, to be ready to open the Wiki to recruiting members and getting them to work.

--David Mathis 21:14, 22 May 2011 (EDT)Sounds great.


Hey Ted, see my email about color scheme. As for the biography, it is more of a personal pet peeve to have the requirement, but at the same time, I can understand the value, especially if you are having to confirm members, etc.

David, can you use the email wiki@my-big-toe.com? There will be more specific oversight with that email.

--David Mathis 21:14, 22 May 2011 (EDT)Changed to wiki@my-big-toe.com. I left the emergency contact e-mail admin@wiki@my-big-toe.com. Shawn you may want to create an e-mail address for wiki@my-big-toe.com over at dreamhost just in case an important reply goes there. It's working fine though.

What do you guys think about creating a page, specifically for design planning? Who is making what page, etc? Has anyone contacted Edge yet? Looking good so far. Awesome artwork by Justin! ------Shawn

--David Mathis 22:07, 22 May 2011 (EDT)I think a planning page is good rather than taking a free for all approach :). I wanted to reach out to Edge, however I was not sure if I have permission to be pulling others in yet. I was under the impression that we were keeping this on the down low until we are sure that all securities are in place. I just don't know you guys good enough (other than you're a great bunch) to know who should be part of this initial stage so I will leave that part up to you.


Somewhere up above I explained that both Edge and Donna have been contacted and both say they are very busy for the foreseeable future so will not be able to contribute much if at all for some time.

That page on design planning is a good idea and it is something that I can actually do myself for a change so I will put one up as well as the introductory page for persons working on the Wiki.



Shawn told me in an e-mail that the style information for the BB and the site are scattered in many places and not in a single CSS as I asked him for. The colors don't match between the site and the BB and it has never been finalized on the site and the BB was cobbled together in a rush after it was hacked by someone. So Shawn says to just sample the colors with a color sampling program to get identities and apply them where we want in the Wiki as the best way to proceed. I can do the color sampling part and will try to have that list for you soon. Then I can discuss with you what options we have for using them. The idea will be to substitute the earth tones of the BB for the glare white of the Wiki as it comes out of the box just like the BB did. Where all we can apply different colors will be of interest. Some different areas on the Wiki are clear, even with these very faint color differences.

Another thing to consider if possible is the suggestion I got from one of the alternate skins page. Someone did a skin based on a different text font which was said to scale better with the screen sizing and using Ctrl + to increase type size. This type is very small to my eyes, even with my glasses. I think this skin that comes with the Wiki is called monoblock and it is supposed to be very well written so basically we want to stay with it. He comments that the font doesn't scale up well however with the browser sizing options and I observe that it doesn't although it eventually looks better when very large. So the question will be how much trouble is it to change the font in the CSS sheet as well as the colors?


--David Mathis 09:57, 23 May 2011 (EDT)

Hi Ted. I think that if we are going to be working on web stuff, we should use the tools of the trade so that we are far more efficient. I didn't see any mention of the color sampling tool above so I will share what I use. I have been building sites for fortune 500 / 1000 companies for the last few years and Firefox -> Firebug Plugin is likely the most used tool in my toolbox (for discovering DOM, Doc Structure, Styling, you name it). Here is how I suggest you get style / color information from the site. This will not only make grabbing the BB styles easier for you, it will also make the job of styling the wiki more efficient for me.

I should have no problems at all matching the styles on the sites as long as I have good instructions. I can also look at installing that skin. I had meant to bring this up a few days ago, but didn't want to cause an information overload :)

Firebug example 1.png

Firebug example 2.png


We need to set the time on the Wiki to match the time on the web site and BB. And of course as usual I have no clue how to do it.


--David Mathis 10:14, 23 May 2011 (EDT) I will fix this. If I don't find it first, what time should the wiki get?

--David Mathis 09:58, 23 May 2011 (CST) Test

--David Mathis 10:00, 23 May 2011 (CST) Test

--David Mathis 11:23, 23 May 2011 (CDT) Test

--David Mathis 11:25, 23 May 2011 (CDT) I think this get's us working

# Set default timezone to central while taking  daylight savings into consideration
$wgLocaltimezone = "America/Rankin_Inlet";
$dtz = new DateTimeZone($wgLocaltimezone);
$dt = new DateTime('now', $dtz);
$wgLocalTZoffset = $dtz->getOffset($dt) / 60;

--Ted Vollers 11:27, 23 May 2011 (CDT) The web site and BB are set, as I understand, to one time zone west of the presently set EDT (Central as CDT?/CST?) where Tom lives.


I had already been referred to Firebug by Shawn. Here are the main colors. E5CC70 Ocher for side bars and general background/ 323D4F Looks black Keeps showing up for Text but I don't know why Black isn't used/ F0E6C3 Cream as background for text area. There is also a tan as background for text areas but for some reason, I cannot pick it up. This is the color that alternates on the BB for the Cream post background. I don't think that we will need it as I understand the Wiki so far. We will just have single large text areas and the lighter color would be best for this. There are some blues and grays for background bars and dividing lines but I think that the original starlight or whatever it was was retained for this. There are also some dark brownish purple bars that I did not bother with yet unless we need something like this. I'm not clear on a need for now.



You keep inserting changes as I am trying to insert one. In true modern software fashion, the Wiki tells you to merge your text or save will delete it but absolutely fails to provide a way to do so. No button for merge or explanation. I don't see any sign of this so far in those instruction pages. How do you handle this other than copying your modification and saving and starting over?

The Wiki also keeps asking us to start a second page. Is that the plus above? I'll try it. It says start a new section instead of new page.


First extension page of Wiki preparatory work.

Well, obviously that didn't work. So much for applying logic!