Simon Heimler | 13 Sep 10:27 2013
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My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi!

I've been asked to write my first Impressions about MediaWiki & SMW to this
maillist. So here it goes:

Background: I've been playing around with MediaWiki since a week, digging
deeper into Semantic Web Technologies since two Weeks. For my Bachelor
Thesis in Interactive Media I'm working on Semantic Knowledge Management
with MediaWiki & Semantic Bundle. What I'm writing now is somewhat my
"First Impressions", still hot. I hope that nobody's hurt ;) Since I’m a
beginner, I may be wrong about some things. Feel free to tell me! Some
things surely need further explanation, too.

*MediaWiki in General:*

§  I do like the simplicity of MediaWiki! There is so much overcrowded and
over featured Software out there: MediaWiki doesn’t feel that way. Still
you can extend it a lot, so there’s a good Chance it does what you want it
to do.

§  The File Structure of the Project was immediately clear to me.

§  Administration:  Of course someone who is used to other Web Software
will look for a true Admin Backend and so have I.  Putting the settings
directly into the LocalSettings.php is a simple way and the options are
very well documented, but a little overwhelming too ;) An Admin Backend
(with Hooks for Extensions) could be nice because you can have a fast and
easy Overview and MW would feel a bit more modern. But I haven’t missed it
much.

(Continue reading)

Kirk McDermid | 13 Sep 13:49 2013

Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Simon, you should check out the Page Schemas Extension to see if that 
helps with your issues editing forms & templates as a unit.  I haven't 
used it much (yet) but if I were starting out I think I'd advise someone 
to do that.

Kirk

Asst. Professor of Philosophy
Chair, General Education Committee
Dickson Hall 408
P: 973-655-6975
Montclair State University

On 9/13/2013 4:27 AM, Simon Heimler wrote:
> Hi!
>
> I've been asked to write my first Impressions about MediaWiki & SMW to this
> maillist. So here it goes:
>
> Background: I've been playing around with MediaWiki since a week, digging
> deeper into Semantic Web Technologies since two Weeks. For my Bachelor
> Thesis in Interactive Media I'm working on Semantic Knowledge Management
> with MediaWiki & Semantic Bundle. What I'm writing now is somewhat my
> "First Impressions", still hot. I hope that nobody's hurt ;) Since I’m a
> beginner, I may be wrong about some things. Feel free to tell me! Some
> things surely need further explanation, too.
>
>
>
> *MediaWiki in General:*
(Continue reading)

Sal Quintanilla | 13 Sep 18:12 2013
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Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Great response Simon.  For me it syncs with many similar impressions I've held for at least 3 years now.

To add to the wysiwyg/usability issue... I did an in-house survey a couple months ago, and out of 140
engineers these are the responses I got (the Jive product did the rounding):

*50% - WYSIWYG must be there
*30% - I would use it sometimes and prefer it to be available
*10% - I would use it sometimes but would be fine without it
*10% - I would never use it.

The 50% was surprising to me from engineers, but in any case the first 2 percentages are telling.

I provide forms for all content, and use wysiwyg in the free text area of the forms.  Because of that, I've been
stuck with MW 1.16 / SMW 1.5.2 / SF 2.4 so that I can use the FCKEditor that worked with those versions.  The
best I can hope for right now is upgrading to the archived SMW+, which takes me to MW 1.17.1 and a much better
WYSIWYG editor.  I have an MW 1.21 install with the latest everything, and I can feel the speed, but
unfortunately it has no Semantic Forms / wysiwyg solution.

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Heimler [mailto:heimlersimon <at> gmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 1:27 AM
To: SMW Maillist
Subject: [Semediawiki-user] My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi!

I've been asked to write my first Impressions about MediaWiki & SMW to this maillist. So here it goes:

Background: I've been playing around with MediaWiki since a week, digging deeper into Semantic Web
Technologies since two Weeks. For my Bachelor Thesis in Interactive Media I'm working on Semantic
(Continue reading)

Simon Heimler | 14 Sep 08:21 2013
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Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hello Sal,

very interesting to know about this survey! So if even most technic savy
people prefer the WYSIWYG, this is definately a priority.

By the way: I've played around with the new VisualEditor and this seems to
be the official MediaWiki (or at least Wikipedia.org) direction to head.
Installing the Parsoid Service (A Node.js Application) isn't very hard too.
You would have to maintain this  Service too, but Node makes updating and
dependenciy management really easy. (If you need help there I can be of
assistance, having some experience with Node.js programming)
Maybe this would lift of some problems? Right now you need the Alpha
Version of MediaWiki for it, but that could mean that the next stable
MediaWiki Version is supported?

Are you familiar with Github? They have no WYSIWYG either but the Markup
Syntax is more clear. I know a lot of Developers which love Github for that
reason and prefer therefore Markup to WYSIWYG.
But of couse - Github is for Developers and thats the reason they can do it
that way.

Simon

2013/9/13 Sal Quintanilla <salquint <at> gmail.com>

> Great response Simon.  For me it syncs with many similar impressions I've
> held for at least 3 years now.
>
> To add to the wysiwyg/usability issue... I did an in-house survey a couple
> months ago, and out of 140 engineers these are the responses I got (the
(Continue reading)

Sal Quintanilla | 14 Sep 16:20 2013
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Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi Simon, 

I’ve played with the VisualEditor too, and have a link to it on my personal home page to keep up with it.   I
wouldn’t call it “beta” at this point with some of the issues it has, but maybe that’s just me
(here’s one… undo / ctrl-Z works, redo works, but not ctrl-Y).    The UX is clean, and there are pluses to
it being mediawiki aware which should make it easier for it to add mediawiki components to the document
(like Categories).  For me, considering the roadmap and imagining how features manifest based on how it
looks now, it still seems too minimalist in the control area, compared to the WYSIWYG extension that
minimizes control real estate to make many more common controls visually obvious an one click away
(illustrated for people who haven’t seen either):

VisualEditor – undo / redo / line style / bold / italic / link / clear formatting / number list / bullet list /
outdent list / indent list / more,

with more doing a pull down of features: computer code / strikethrough / underline / subscript /
superscript / media / reference / reference list / transclusion.  

WYSIWYG –save & continue / save & exit / cut / copy / line style / font / font size / bold / italic / underline /
align left / center / aight right / justify / number list / bullet list / outdent list / indent list / link /
unlink / text color / background color / maximize – minimize / down icon, the down icon expands this first
button bar area to make a stick second button bard holding: WikiText / paste as plain text / paste from Word*
/ find / replace / strikethrough / subscript / superscript / block quote / remove format / undo (or ctrl-z) /
redo (or ctrl-y) / image / upload media / interactive table creation / horizontal line / special character
/ special tags / mediawiki template (it doesn’t show them until you click the T box it’s in or go to
WikiText, and even does a syntax check before saving) / signature / insert a new query (not useful for my
guys, but not a bad interface) / Webservice wizard / show data toolbar (catagories / properties /
annotation hints) / add property / add category / about

That was a lot to type with WYSIWYG, but the interface works fine, with visual icons and hover making control
selection simple.  I informally asked our guys about Word import, and everyone I asked liked the ability to
(Continue reading)

Simon Heimler | 15 Sep 10:27 2013
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Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi Sal,

ok, I see you have very specific needs. FCKEditor is much more feature-rich
of couse. To bad nobody took CKEditor to MediaWiki. I'm very fond of the
new CKEditor btw.!

The lousy thing is that WYSIWYG is supported in MW21 and I’ve run it from
there, but it doesn’t work in the free text area of Semantic Forms, and
like most of us, I’m too busy to get it to work right now.

I've noticed that too. Even the default Editor doesn't load there. Maybe
this is something to bug report? Could be a minor thing.

Have a nice Sunday!
Simon

2013/9/14 Sal Quintanilla <salquint <at> gmail.com>

> Hi Simon, ****
>
> ** **
>
> I’ve played with the VisualEditor too, and have a link to it on my
> personal home page to keep up with it.   I wouldn’t call it “beta” at this
> point with some of the issues it has, but maybe that’s just me (here’s one…
> undo / ctrl-Z works, redo works, but not ctrl-Y).    The UX is clean, and
> there are pluses to it being mediawiki aware which should make it easier
> for it to add mediawiki components to the document (like Categories).  For
> me, considering the roadmap and imagining how features manifest based on
> how it looks now, it still seems too minimalist in the control area,
(Continue reading)

Yaron Koren | 13 Sep 18:43 2013

Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi Simon,

This is an interesting set of observations. To comment on yet another part
of what you wrote, you wrote this:

§  Visually it doesn’t blend in to the Vector Theme very well.  It looks a
> bit clumsy to me too.

It's the Vector skin, by the way - in MediaWiki they're called skins, not
themes. But could you elaborate on what you meant? If you have some
specific ideas on how the Semantic Forms look-and-feel could be improved,
that could be (in my opinion) an ideal focus for your efforts in improving
usability.

-Yaron
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Neill Mitchell | 13 Sep 20:30 2013

Re: My first week impressions on MediaWiki with Semantic Bundle

Hi Simon.

An interesting set of points. With regard to the themes, MediaWiki can be completely re-skinned (the MW
term for themes) with a bit of effort. The forms can also be transformed with a bit of CSS know how.

A couple of examples:
http://www.aroundisleofwight.info
http://www.hampshiregateway.info

Cheers
Neill.

Simon Heimler <heimlersimon <at> gmail.com> wrote:
>Hi!
>
>I've been asked to write my first Impressions about MediaWiki & SMW to
>this
>maillist. So here it goes:
>
>Background: I've been playing around with MediaWiki since a week,
>digging
>deeper into Semantic Web Technologies since two Weeks. For my Bachelor
>Thesis in Interactive Media I'm working on Semantic Knowledge
>Management
>with MediaWiki & Semantic Bundle. What I'm writing now is somewhat my
>"First Impressions", still hot. I hope that nobody's hurt ;) Since I’m
>a
>beginner, I may be wrong about some things. Feel free to tell me! Some
>things surely need further explanation, too.
>
(Continue reading)


Gmane