WYSIWYG Wiki Editing






Please include a summary of the discussion, any recommendations or requests that the group had, and any resources the group noted regarding the topic.

If wikis are going to be a socially transformative technology, then they need to be designed so that everyone can use them. Right now, MediaWiki is a very powerful tool, but it's powerful like the cockpit of a plane -- there are tons of controls, and you need to have special training and experience to feel comfortable using it.


Wikia is working on a Wysiwyg editing experience, to help new contributors learn how to edit a wiki -- giving them a basic editing view first before they have to worry about templates or code. Wikia is using a modified version of the FCK engine.


You can see the current version on the Twilight wiki -- check out http://twilight.wikia.com/wiki/Bella_Swan as an example. When you click edit, you see (more or less) like the actual page -- no wiki code, just text and images.


Formatting is done through the buttons at the top of the edit window -- bold, italics, headings, links, adding pictures and videos.


The templates are represented in gray to show that they're there, but they don't get in the way of people who want to just edit text. Form-based templates like infoboxes can still be edited from the Wysiwyg page -- in the Bella Swan example, you can hover over the "Vampire infobox" tag to see how the infobox looks, and if you click on that tag, it opens a pop-up window that allows you to edit the text in the box.


Experienced editors who want to see the wiki code can click the "source" button at the top of the window; this opens the typical MediaWiki edit window.


There are a lot of pieces that are still in process. One important one is allowing experienced editors to use the keyboard shortcuts that they're familiar with, like using brackets for links and equal signs to create headings. In the current version, using that formatting in the Wysiwyg view just adds that as text. This has been frustrating for editors who expect phrases in brackets to turn into links. New revisions are being released every couple of weeks.


Other pieces that are coming -- a larger editing space, a new header with clearer controls, and a new way to add/edit categories.


Right now, the Wysiwyg editor is enabled on a few established wikis as a test, and it's also being used as the default for all newly-created wikis. It's still new, so there aren't any clear results yet for how well it's working.


The session started with a demonstration of Wikia's Wysiwyg engine, and people played around with it for a while.


John Williams talked about Swankwiki.net, which uses the TinyMCE engine.


JackHerrick and Chris Hadley talked about some similar projects that WikiHow is working on to make the editing experience easier -- including a new Add categories feature, New article boost, and a Video curation feature.


The session ended with Jack, Chris and Danny poking around on each other's websites as everybody else got bored and drifted away. In other words: The perfect session.


If folks have any questions about Wikia's Wysiwyg project, or any of the other stuff that we're working on, feel free to write to Danny: . Power to the wikis and peace to all people. See also related research paper help.

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    • You can open and close cards in place. Just click on the
      4296 medium
    • Use the menu above an edit box to make text bold, italics, bullet points; create headers (paragraph, Heading 1, Heading 2); etc.
    • All links require double brackets around them.
    • Named links require a vertical bar (|) between the link and the name.
    • Most HTML in normal cards will get stripped. To edit it, click on the HTML button at the right edge of the editing toolbar. Any HTML can be added using HTML cards (you'll have to be signed in to create/edit them).

    To learn more see the Wagn documentation. Common curiousities:

    If you have questions about using this wiki, you might reach someone live on Internet Relay Chat, or you can contact the Wagn guys by various means, or just ask your question here and someone will answer it shortly:

    Q: How do you communicate on a wiki like this - is there a space like MediaWiki's talk page?

    A: This is typically done in Wagn by including a +discussion card — fandom is an example here; for an explanation, see Common Wagn patterns. Of course you can also leave comments on the card itself, old-school wiki style.

    Q: How can I edit the Menu and Help cards?

    A: You can double-click in any card to edit it.

    Q: Is there notification for +discussion cards?

    A: Alas, not yet. It is high on our list.

    Q: How can I upload a pdf?

    A: Create a New Card (there's a link at the very top of every page), and set it's card type to File. Then click on the Browse... button to upload the pdf.

    Q: How do I edit a previous version to achieve a page revert? --MarkDilley

    A: In the Changes tab of every card you can go through different versions and click on Save as current when you find the version you want to revert to.

    Q: I'm an old member, what happened to my name and password?

    A: If you try to sign in, you'll see an interface to reset your password if you've forgotten it. If you don't remember what email address you used, leave a note here and we'll try to help.

    Q: How do I change my password?

    A: In the Options tab on your home card.

    Q: On the main page, after clicking "edit" I had to scroll way down (about 10 screens of blank) to find the "save" and "cancel" buttons. --PeteForsyth

    A: Known bug, but we hadn't ticketed it yet; thanks!

    Q: How do you sort a list alphabetically when some items are links and some are not? (The brackets count as a different character.) --Kristin Webb-Tomson

    A: Manually — in other words ignore the brackets, and copy & paste names to where they should go.

    What do you mean manually?
    you may use any programming language, and any sorting algorithm, with a if-then-else instruction!

      --Adrian (Not signed in).....Mon Mar 30 14:56:44 -0700 2009



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