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I hereby expressly permit any of my contributions, should they still be worthy of re-use, to be freely and liberally used in the spirit of open source on any project or website where they might contribute to the common good.

-- MattWilkie - 04 Nov 2008

  • GeoURL
  • There is too much happening on twiki.org for me to keep up anymore (this is a good thing!). If there is something you want to make sure I read, drop a line at MattWilkieMessages. After you've done that, consult the stars at my Dad's astrology site http://astrocyclics.com/. Who knows, you might be surprised. I often am. smile

    My public development twiki is offline online at http://maphew.freeshell.org/ go here to see the latest and greatest SeeSkin (which ain't that latest anymore...). I also maintain a twiki for our local gis users group at http://yukongis.ca/

    My current TWiki project is to build a CSS-based skin that is solid enough to go in the core. SeeSkin is the the current path pointing in that direction. PatternSkin is going to get there first, as well it should. FreeSkin should too, in my opinion. Outside of that I work on UsabilityIdeas and trying to bring much needed spirit and habits of refactoring to twiki.org. StartWithACleanSlate is another major interest.

    Personal Preferences (details in TWikiVariables)

    Related topics


    reminders to myself of topics I'd like to write about and expand on

    Simpler Forms

    test drive MichaelSparks' simpler forms application from PleaseCreateNewCategories.

    What's Related

    What's Related: Twiki could really benefit from some better tools for identifying topics whose discussion is related to the current one. Some possible are:

    • Manual list of related pages
    • embedded keywords
    • TopicClassification
    • Proximity Search, Proximity Graph (ala TouchGraph)
      • What's Related search, based on overlap of topic content, not just page titles. This would alleviate the problem of users having to manually maintain related pages link farms which rapidly become outdated. An added bonus is that it would aid discovery of pages which are related but that you didn't know existed.
    • Frequency Occurence Analysis (for the life of me I can't remember what this one is supposed to be about!)

    Ref-By is a great tool. Why do I have a habit of forgetting about it?

    Bookview: can be a handy tool for refactoring across many topics; add BV link to results page of topic name search for greater usability.

    smart linking: "a double underline to links which open in a new window, and a dotted underline to links which go to other parts of the same page." courtesy of http://mpt.phrasewise.com/

    TWiki Code Map

    By the way, I think it's worth mentioning for the benefit of other people who might want to hack their TWiki's WikiWord definition, that the code is in sub getRenderedVersion in lib/TWiki.pm .Also, I hacked isWikiName in lib/TWiki.pm similarly so that users wouldn't get WebTopicNonWikiTemplate's warning about not using course numbers as topic names if they used Go to name a new page. -- SingletonWikiWord, MitchellModel

    General Musings

    I'm really beginning to wonder if twiki is a best fit for me and where I want to go with wiki. Well actually there isn't much wondering about that, I know twiki isn't a good fit, the real question is, is anything else? So far not really. The wondering part is, can I, a non-programmer, realistically hope to bend twiki so that it is a good fit?

    To answer that question, the first thing to do I suppose is to identify the rough spots which chafe:

    [-] bullets, bullets, bullets! Everwhere I look, we are ducking a hail of bullets! I think bullets are to twiki what CAPS and exclamations are to email! I mean, once you start !'ing How can you stop?! It's a disease!! Each following sentence requires EVEN MORE EMPHASIS so as not to sound unimportant!!!

    [+] strictly speaking, this is twiki.org, not twiki-the-software. The resident wiki gardener can direct things how they wish. In practice this takes a lot of work as all the system docs work this way, exerting a strong influence on how nascent twiki-shrubs grow. Might be best to StartWithACleanSlate and port docs to the desired local GoodStyle.

    [-] too much like a database. Forms are a wonderful tool, but they should be used sparingly. Very sparingly. They are really quite alien to the "wiki way" of doing things and require a lot maintenance. Each addition to the form adds yet another item to maintain. Recently (Jan2004) TopicSummary was added to the Codev web. This is just silly in my opinion: the first sentence or paragraph of the page should be the summary. Rather than add a field which needs maintenance, establish a GoodStyle convention.

    [+] once again, twiki.org not TWiki. And again though it's possible to head in another direction it takes more effort.

    [-] webs, zones, sections, rooms, folders. I've flipped a 180 on this one. At one point I argued for more abilities to slice and dice and box topics into discrete containers (TWikiBlosxom). I've had some time to think more critically about this practice. Looked at the god-aweful mess our file servers and workstations are in at work. At every place I've ever worked. At the duplication of effort occuring every day, in every section and every department, because nobody realises that somebody else has already written that report. Or just as often, they know it was written, but they can't find the darn thing because they don't know what classification system was used. (MultipleWebs)

    [-] put it all in one web, or in as few webs as possible (we still want to allow for EasierUpgrades). Well, this is problematic too. People need heirarchy. We can't just absorb everything in one huge gulp.

    [?] Where is the middle ground? Is there some way to mash everything in one big ball, so that it's easy to find and nothing is ever left outside in the cold? And still be able to box things up into themes? Predefined formatted searches can do this, but it is very complicated and hard to use. Definitely unwiki. Does it need to be complicated? Or is it just that way because nobody has put the energy into it yet?

    why the heck am I writing this here when I have a perfectly good wiki of my own?


    i present this MeatBall:BarnStar for years of contributing to the docs, maturing TWiki, and just generally for helping out others (both users and developers) in any way you can. thanks matt -- WillNorris

    awww shucks. {red-face} thanks Will!

    Topic attachments
    I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
    GIFgif barnstar.gif r1 manage 4.2 K 2004-03-24 - 09:13 WillNorris  
    Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r37 < r36 < r35 < r34 < r33 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
    Topic revision: r37 - 2008-11-04 - MattWilkie
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