Librivox Wiki

Non-reading activities need your help too!
Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 19th, 2006, 11:35 am

Thanks, Squiddhartha, I'll have a look.

Another question: on the "Help, What If I Suck" page, section "It's All There in the Text", I was doing a very minor edit ("were" to "where"), when I saw this "Mc{{{}}}Luhan" ... what are the curly brackets for?

kri
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Post by kri » February 19th, 2006, 1:30 pm

What does this whole DIFF thing mean??

avantman42
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Post by avantman42 » February 19th, 2006, 3:55 pm

kri wrote:What does this whole DIFF thing mean??
diff is the name of a program used to show the differences between two files. In the context of a wiki, when viewing the history, the diff view shows you what the person that made an edit changed.

The wiki engine being used shows diffs as a table - in the left hand (yellow) column, is text that was deleted. In the right hand (green) column is text that was added. If text is changed, it is shown in both, since as far as the wiki engine is concerned, the old version was deleted and the new version added.

If you like, you could make some changes to the SandBox, then view the diff of the changes to see how it looks - that will probably help give you an understanding of the idea. (the idea behind the sandbox is that it's a place where you can experiment without worrying about breaking things)

Russ

More information on diff at FOLDOC and Wikipedia

Squiddhartha
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Post by Squiddhartha » February 19th, 2006, 5:03 pm

Peter, since the wiki automatically takes a word in MixedCase and makes a link out of it, if there's a word that's already in mixed case that you don't want to have turn into a link (e.g., McLuhan, McDonald, etc), you can use Mc{{{}}}Luhan or Mc``Luhan to prevent the linkification.
This username is also my Gmail address.
"But if you've got a nuclear bomb, then you don't need the Jell-O!"

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 19th, 2006, 5:26 pm

Thanks; it *did* seem odd.

RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 19th, 2006, 5:28 pm

Squiddhartha wrote:I'm not a big user of spellcheckers. I'll peek at it sometime.
My spelling holds its own with just about anyone elses but I do use spell-checkers to pick up typos. As a reader, I find it disruptive when I'm reading some set of intructions and someone typed in "ot" instead of "to".

I may know what they mean but then I begin to wonder how credible the writer is when they don't pick up something so simple.

No biggy for me, though. There are probably many more things more important to take care of in setting up the Wiki.

Thanks for all your work.
[size=92]http://climber53.com
[i]a one thin dime production[/i][/size]
[size=75][color=blue]-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-[/color]
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/RobertGarrison]project status is in the wiki[/url][/size]

Squiddhartha
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Post by Squiddhartha » February 19th, 2006, 10:40 pm

Oh, I'm not knocking spellcheckers, I've just never developed the habit of using them, so it didn't occur to me to test it.

Turns out that it just needed a word list put in the appropriate directory. I've done that now, and it should improve matters greatly.
This username is also my Gmail address.
"But if you've got a nuclear bomb, then you don't need the Jell-O!"

RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 19th, 2006, 11:52 pm

Squiddhartha wrote:Turns out that it just needed a word list put in the appropriate directory. I've done that now, and it should improve matters greatly.
Excellent! My spelling is good but I am plagued by constant typos! :roll:
[size=92]http://climber53.com
[i]a one thin dime production[/i][/size]
[size=75][color=blue]-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-[/color]
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/RobertGarrison]project status is in the wiki[/url][/size]

avantman42
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Post by avantman42 » February 20th, 2006, 6:32 am

Might it be a good idea to add a link to the wiki to the LibriVox front page?

Or is there one already there but I missed it?

Russ

Kristen
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Post by Kristen » February 20th, 2006, 7:07 am

There's not a link yet. Now that the wiki has content and is getting fuller by the minute, I'll add a link on the home page.

I'd also like to replace the static pages with pointers to the proper pages in the wiki, but for tonight, just a link to the wiki will have to do. It's time to go to bed.

Thanks for the reminder. :D
Kristen
http://www.mediatinker.com
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/KristenMcQuillin/]My recordings & claimed chapters[/url]

vee
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Post by vee » February 20th, 2006, 7:22 am

Wow you guys have put a lot of work into the wiki this weekend huh

Hmm... maybe I should do more actual work work on weekdays so I'm not stuck in the office on weekends! :)

Just a note for everyone. When you start to edit the page, check the banner at the top. It should say that other users will be warned until ... If it says that someone is editing already, you might want to cancel and check back later to avoid editing conflicts. The wiki seems to do a good job of checking for editing conflicts. The default warning lasts for 10 minutes. But everytime you hit the preview button it will extend it.
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

harvey
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Post by harvey » February 21st, 2006, 12:36 pm

Wiki: ideas for improvement.

Caution: written by a recovering perfectionist.
Listed in the order in which I encountered the issues.

Undoubtedly, if I kept looking, I'd find more to comment on, but this is
already long enough for one post and, more importantly, it's lunch time.

Cheers,
harvey
  1. Avoid abbreviations and explain acronyms eg: "Tech Specs" ought to be
    "Technical Specifications". Remember, many in the target audience for
    LibriVox have never encountered many of these concepts before, let
    alone the terminology that goes with them. The same holds true for
    potential volunteers.
  2. Perhaps a glossary is in order. That way, except for the most
    elementary of instructions aimed at beginners who've never done
    anything like this, wiki writers can link to the terms in the glossary
    rather than explain them in place.
    [Started 2006 Feb 22]

    Does this wiki support tool-tip type pop-ups, so that when you mouse
    over a specially formatted word or phrase, the definition will pop up
    (HTML supports this)?

    [New Jan 22] Potentially useful:
    http://www.librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/HelpOnMacros
    The editing page HelpOnMacros contains this tantalizing entry:

    Code: Select all

    [[GetVal(NeatSnippets,regards)]]
    Retrieve dictionary entries from dict pages.
    However, I don't understand the help page's terse explanation of how
    to use it.
  3. Always, always, always, -- did I say "always"? -- run the Wiki's
    built-in spell-checker on your work.

    I just started viewing the wiki today and found a typo on the second
    page I looked at: http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/SoftwareWeUse

    That's in addition to multiple typos on several pages of the main
    LibriVox site. These don't contribute to a positive image for or the
    credibility of LibriVox.

    While I'm on this topic, I've looked and I don't see any spell-checker
    as part of the message composer of this forum system. That seems a
    major deficiency. (whine: I'm already tired of copying my text into a
    word processor to spell check it before I submit it.)
  4. I find the organization on the welcome page confusing, even though I
    more-or-less know what I'm looking for, so it's likely that new-comers
    will be even more confused.

    One problem is the "Technical Details & Support" section. Most of that
    is information aimed at volunteers, so seems like it belongs in the
    "Volunteer" section. Since it's not there, may not a volunteer
    reasonably assume it doesn't apply to them?

    Similarly, part of what's on the "Software We Use" page is for
    Volunteers and some for Listeners. Ideally, there could be both a
    single Software page like the current one, where everything about
    LibriVox-related software can be gathered together in one place, plus
    having separate pages with just the software for Listeners or for
    Volunteer Readers (so they don't have to figure out what's not
    appropriate for them).

    In order not be maintaining duplicate copies of the same material, does
    this wiki support an "include" mechanism? That is, you have only one
    copy of something, say a list of programs for recording, which can show
    up on more than one wiki page, by being "included" at the appropriate
    place in each page as determined by an editor. In other words, the
    content of the wiki pages is managed internally in separate chunks,
    and those chunks are put together on-the-fly by the wiki system to
    display complete "virtual" pages to the readers. (Hope that's reasonably
    clear; CSS, many Web servers, and most programming languages
    have an "include" feature).
    Yes: http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/HelpOnMacros/Include
  5. A simpler matter of organization is the order of the main sections on
    the welcome page. Assuming that, eventually, if not now, more readers
    will be listeners than volunteers, "Information for Listeners" and
    "About the Books" ought to come first, and my vote is for this order
    (ie, "Listeners" first).
  6. "Other Things" (ie, stuff we don't know what else to do with (:-)

    On other sites, I've seen links to materials aimed at members of the
    media. Examples of the hyper-text are "media resources", "resources
    for the media", and "media kit". Since that's the only thing in this
    section, and since there is media interest in LibriVox, why not make it
    easier for them to find what's available by renaming "Other Things" to
    something like "Resources for the Media".

    Probably some reorganization is need to accommodate this. Some
    examples are that a reporter is likely to have basic questions about
    what LibriVox is (how to get these answered is too unclear on the
    Promoting page) and to want to know whom to call for an interview
    (where is this info?).
  7. About Our Audio Files. Current placeholder text:
    "mp3, ogg vorbis, speex(?) ... how to listen? portable MP3 player,
    computer, media player software, burning a CD."

    I suggest dividing this up into separate pages to make it easier for
    listeners to find exactly the help and answers they're looking for:
    One page that describes the files and file types available (ie, About
    Our Audio Files); another on "How to Listen"; and a third, perhaps
    titled, "Other things you can do with our files" (:-), such as burning
    CDs.

    (I haven't looked yet) Does the Wikipedia family of sites have how-to
    articles? Seems it would be better to link to those than write our
    own, such as "How to listen to audio files on your PC", "How to use
    your new portable MP3 player", or "How to pick out a player" (even
    though I've written the beginning of such an article in the Advice
    forum). If so, the most that should appear here is any LibriVox-
    specific issues to consider, such as the ability of a player to record
    if the user might want to read for LibriVox.
  8. A matter of style to help users navigate.

    One of the early pieces of advice I encountered when the World-Wide Web
    was new and we were just emerging from the dark ages of the Internet,
    was this: As much as possible, the first text the user sees on the new
    page they've opened should be identical to the hyper-text of the link
    they just clicked. This helps assure the user they have actually ended
    up on the page they were expecting to get to. If the title of the new
    page is too different from the hyper-text, how do they know they
    haven't ended up somewhere they don't want to be?

    Let me illustrate with a mild counter example. At the bottom
    of the welcome page is the link "Promotional Material". Yet the title
    of that (next) page is "Promoting LibriVox". Yes, the user can be
    fairly certain this is the right page, but why not remove all cause for
    doubt by making the hyper-text the same as the linked page's title.

    Furthermore, there's inconsistency in the pages even having a title at
    all. The wiki software seems to put the wiki word that's the part of
    the URL for that page in the header of the page. For example on the
    page http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/HowLibriVoxWorks,
    "HowLibriVoxWorks" appears in the standard page header, but the main
    body of the article has no title. I suggest that title should be "How
    LibriVox Works", to match the hyper-text on the welcome page. I say
    this title should not be "HowLibriVoxWorks" since that's non-standard
    formatting for English and the target audience for LibriVox is people
    who like books (When's the last time you saw a run-on like this in a
    book in English?), not just denizens of the Internet who grow used to
    these eccentricities of the literacy-impaired (:-)
  9. SoftwareWeUse page. Needed info: pay/free for all programs listed.
    [Done]
  10. General navigation:

    Each page of the wiki should have two standard links.
    One takes the user directly to the wiki's welcome / start page.
    The other takes the user directly to the LibriVox home page
    (www.librivox.org).

    I think, and Kri seems to agree, that the LibriVox logo should link to
    the LibriVox home page.

    For the other link, I suggest the addition of a permanet tab labeled
    something like "Wiki Welcome", or "Start Page", or "Wiki Contents".
    Users should be able to get to the wiki's front page with one click
    from anywhere within the wiki.
  11. If the order of the linked pages within each category on the welcome
    page represents a suggested order of reading them, it would assist
    readers by putting a link to the next page in the sequence at the
    bottom (and top?) of each page. For example, link to the "Language"
    page from the "How LibriVox Works" page.
  12. How to properly set the volume level for recordings.

    Since I first discovered the LibriVox site, I've been on the look-out
    for an explanation of how to adjust the input volume on PCs for
    recording through a microphone, but haven't seen it (I know how to do
    this, I just find it curious there's no explanation of it here). I have
    seen mention of recording volume, but nothing that instructs readers on
    exactly what to do and why in order to get optimal results. The
    several LibriVox recordings I've listened to so far all have too many
    spikes that go over the maximum volume. The more of these there are,
    the more there will be audible distortion in the recording.

    If someone will confirm this doesn't exist, I'll (eventually) write it up.
  13. Software We Use page ought to have links to the existing wiki FAQs
    on the software listed.
    [Done]
  14. [New Feb 22]
    Audacity FAQ. Turn the first paragraph into a question: "What is Audacity?",
    like the GarageBand FAQ. That will make it easier for users to find.
  15. [New Feb 22]
    LibriVox: what's the correct way to write it? I see it both ways,
    with lower- and upper-case V's. The site would look better with a
    single, standardized way to write it, which is probably "LibriVox".

    The cleanest way to prevent WikiName linking is with an exclamation point:

    Code: Select all

    !LibriVox
Last edited by harvey on February 22nd, 2006, 2:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.

vee
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Post by vee » February 21st, 2006, 1:38 pm

Wow, you've definitely spent a lot of time there. We just really got started with the wiki, and there's definitely a lot of room for improvement. At the moment I think we're in a mad rush to populate. I'll have to look into some of the other things (like hovering and the include option). I haven't had time to really dig through everything that MoinMoin does at the moment.

The glossary is a really good idea. Do you think a table of contents on the front page would be helpful?

With something collaborative like this, there will always be inconsistant formatting. It'll take us some time to go through and update new content to get it to look similar.

Thanks for the input. If you have some time, you're more than welcome to jump in and "fix" us up too :)
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 21st, 2006, 1:40 pm

Wow harvey, this is a great list! Thanks for taking so much time to look through things. I think what you're saying about making things easy to understand, and avoiding techno babble, is very good. Unfortunately, most people who edit the Wiki will be quite familiar with using computers - it's good to remind oneself of one's target group. In the case of the wiki, I think we should over-explain, rather than leave things out, and not assume any prior knowledge at all.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein

kri
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Post by kri » February 21st, 2006, 1:42 pm

The big LibriVox logo is the link back to the main page.

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