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PerlNet:Village Pump

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Welcome to the village pump. This page exists to discuss PerlNet issues which are not specificially related to Perl. If you have a question relating to Perl you may be better visiting Help with perl. The village pump is not a place to make lasting comments as inactive discussions are archived regularly.

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Village Pump Archives

Active Discussions

Some quick UI suggestions

  • On the Village Pump page, say what flavor of section header is needed. Give a picture. I'm guessing == foo ==, but won't know 'till preview.
  • In http://perl.net.au/wiki/Template:Welcome "Talk and vote pages" could be links. And the "help pages" link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help is almost certainly not what you intended.
  • In http://perl.net.au/wiki/MediaWiki:Whitelistedittext , "You have to _login_ to edit pages." is perhaps a bit off putting. Perhaps "Editing pages requires _logging in_. You can create an account in just a few seconds. You only need to pick a username and password, no e-mail verification or other details are required. Join the PerlNet community and help make PerlNet a definitive reference site."
  • After registration, rather than "now customize your account", perhaps "You can check and modify your preferences at any time". It doesn't look like there is anything which really needs a check. And if the user has registered just to tweak some page, they are on a mission, and the preferences are for now, just a distraction/obstacle.
  • Under preferences, I wasnt sure whether "remember me" was me getting a cookie, or you recording an IP address. Perhaps an extra word of clarification?
  • Editing a locked pages gives a message with a <Project:Protected page> link. It bounces me to the creation/edit of a nonexistent PerlNet:Protected_page.
  • To create this note, I pictured the "big busy page containing the Village Pump link", and clicked on the "Main Page" left navbar entry. And was puzzled. Found it under community portal. The "I have something to say, but I have no idea where to say it!" puzzle should have an easy an obvious answer. If Village Pump is the thing, or Waterhole ;), perhaps it should be on the navbar. Hmm. Or maybe a "Comments?" link there (clearer), to the Pump.
  • Should this entry be ended with three ~? 4? 5? What was it that the page said? "How do I do italics again?" A one line syntax summary in the message below the editing window would save pain. And increase the likelyhood of the requested twiddles appearing.
  • On the community portal, I didn't expect the link "Category-based access to pages about PerlNet" to offer the editing of a nonexistent page. The link is actually an action=edit. Several of the nearby links are too. A way of marking work in progress?
  • Nice site. Thank you for your work. Good luck!

MitchellNCharity 16:33, 8 January 2006 (EST)

Mitchell, thanks for the feedback. I've already taken some of your suggestions on-board. I've updated the login reminder, and I'm working on providing a quick-help under the editing box. Of course, all users are invited and encouraged to improve the site as best they can, so if you do spot something that you feel you can fix yourself, then be bold and do so. --PJF (talk) 15:04, 10 January 2006 (EST)

Wiki bootstrap suggestion

As I mentioned on irc, it's very hard to grow a wiki incrementally. It's a bootstrap problem - person: "why should I hang around when there aren't already lots of people hanging around". You have a window of opportunity, as you go public, to avoid this. This, perhaps the hardest aspect of creating a wiki. You can leverage the "it's new! it's neat!" to quickly accumulate a critical mass of community. So I suggest going to all the large PM groups, doing lightning talks on the wiki, and giving people an opportunity to register right then and there. Over a short span of time. It could be worth quite a bit of effort now to avoid the often long long hard slog of building a community incrementally later. Try to get to critical mass quickly. It only gets harder later. All this assumes your infrastructure and vision are ready go full out. If not, then what I've just said is instead a way to die fast and hard. ;) MitchellNCharity 16:45, 8 January 2006 (EST)

Intresting history of a WiKi page

I found this facinating movie about the evolution of a specific page on Wikipedia. Given that PerlNet is also a WiKi I thought it would be of general interest.

Alec (talk) 21:19, 13 February 2006 (EST)

A Perl Index? - an idea for a wiki page

Have you ever seen a book index written by a really good indexer? ("Indexer" is a human profession, like "author" and "copy editor";). It is a cross-referenced concept map. A major work in its own right. The body of the book becomes something like a mere "for further details, see...". It provides easy random access to the body of knowledge. And also reveals its structure. It also allows the indexer to provide brief glosses/comments, eg ("see also foo but bar is better").

Wouldn't it be nice if perl had an index? Something to help you avoid spending hours searching google and cpan and perlmonks, struggling to think of ways to describe what you want to do? Without either getting overwhelmed with useless hits, or missing the one oddly named cpan module, or perlmonks snippet, which does exactly what you want? Such an index could link to wiki pages, perldoc, cpan pages, perlmonks threads, cpan searches, etc.

Here is a silly little example of part of an index. But it gives some feel for the (large) magnitude of such undertaking.

    reblessing  (link to 2 lines down)
  see also modules, CPAN modules
  what is
  see perl index
  see also CPAN modules
  lexical vs global
  see also class
perl index
  writing for
  see also perl index - proposal
perl index - proposal
  desireablity of   (which is a link to this page of course;)
  feasibility of
    capabilities needed
      fine-grain anchors and links on one? big page
      (Question: is this possible now, without wiki changes?)
    potential problems
      creating good indexes is _hard_ work
      and not something wiki software is well adapted to doing (ie, outline editing)
Sounds like a great idea. I'm sure if you start it, others will follow.
-- Jarich (talk) 11:01, 21 February 2006 (EST)
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