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Direction of VdfWiki.com

This page is for discussing the direction of vdfwiki. Feel free to provide feedback here :) --Jka 21:00, 13 December 2007 (CET)

Overall goal

I think VdfWiki should be a place to assemble knowledge and articles in the long term (in a structured manner). vdf-guidance should be used for sharing projects and code.

There are some guidelines for keeping VdfWiki on the right track :VdfWiki_guidelines

The newsgroups are still THE place to ask question and chat about current events.--Jka 08:28, 23 November 2007 (CET)

Feedback

Common Editing Mistakes

Something to watch for (and maybe warn against): I had occasion last night to move an article (Add Workspace Parameter) by Peter Brooks which he had put on the Category:How To page; I moved it off onto its own page, but it is an easy mistake to make: just go to a Category and start editing. --Mike 11:01, 5 December 2007 (CET)



Wishes

Style Guide?

At the suggestion of Hellboy1975 (what is that all about anyway, Matt? <g>) - see Talk:Web_Service_Basics - I have been changing the colour I am using to emphasise stuff - in this case (for now anyway) changing blue to midnightblue to avoid confusion with hypertext links (I'm not sure that is enough - I think I've just made that text look like visited links).

However it would have saved me this effort if I'd had a guideline on what colours etc. to use from the start. I think we need to evolve some kind of consensus "Style Guide" which would help us all use a nice, clear, consistent style for various things. It would be bound to be an evolving document, as we are unlikely to think of everything on day one and will have to be flexible and inclusive rather than prescriptive, but the sooner we start laying it down, the less time will be wasted later fixing stuff up that doesn't match or looks ugly. (I did experiment with using a template - Template:Colorise - but couldn't get what I wanted to work: the amount of time I can afford to devote to learning the WikiMedia Template DSL is strictly limited! <g>) Mike 11:03, 22 November 2007 (CET)

I should have said proscriptive above - it would indeed be prescriptive, by intent! Mike 14:54, 22 November 2007 (CET)
Something like the Wikipedia Manual of Style is always a good place to start. Another place to look for examples are in some of the programming manuals on Wikibooks. Here's one of the pages in the C++ manual for instance. [1] Hellboy1975 00:20, 23 November 2007 (CET)


A mediawiki plugin is on the way for source code formatting --Jka 14:11, 31 March 2008 (CEST)
We now have a plugin that renders vdf code (thanks to Torkild Resheim). Check the "hello world" example below --Jka 19:41, 8 June 2008 (CEST)

<source lang="vdf">

Showln "hello world"

</source>

Namespaces

Actually, namespaces require modification of the LocalSettings.php file on the server I think, so adding them is non-trivial (i.e. down to somebody with OS access to the server: Jacob, Johan or Sture, etc.) and thus they are a blunter and less flexible tool than Categories, but worth thinking about, in a background sort of way.
Let's do some experimenting with namespaces when we have a backup copy of VDFWiki running on a separate machine. --Jka 10:10, 6 December 2007 (CET)
The backup strategy is now in place. Namespaces support is scheduled for 2008 Q2 --Jka 14:13, 31 March 2008 (CEST)
Hmm.. I am trying to Grok namespaces . I take it that they will be great for integrating api descriptions do you guys have some suggestions for other namespaces that are good here? Let's try to list them here. Oh yes. I'll extend the deadline on namespaces support in vdfwiki to Q3 so we can give it some more thought. --Jka 19:52, 8 June 2008 (CEST)

good ideas for namespaces

  • Class : pages about code classes
  • Tutorial :

Layout / Main Page

I'm sure you've all noticed by now I've made a bit of a change to the front page. It's more or less the same as before, just with a bit more information for users who are a bit new to the whole wiki thing. What do you guys think? Hellboy1975 05:21, 5 December 2007 (CET)

Looks good Matt... you might consider mentioning Special:Categories in addition to the Category Index, and maybe adding the Category Index to the "navigation" pane (edit MediaWiki:Sidebar). ...And be careful who you say doesn't bite: I haven't had any coffee yet! Smile.gif
I think we probably need a single person (oops: that would be you... sucker! You have only yourself to blame!) to head-up work on structure, accessibility, cross-indexing and the like. We have made a big step forward with Categories, giving us the three tools you mention: Structure, Search and Categories... now let's talk namespaces!
Given that Matt has proclaimed himself 'category enforcer' - then I think he could lead the overall structure on the wiki ;) --Jka 11:45, 5 December 2007 (CET)
That's fine, I'm happy to take on the roll of structuring the site for now. My first goal is to make the main page a bit more accessable, and then each of the main categories (Web, Windows, Character Mode, DD's and Development Tools). I guess my plan with these pages at the moment is to make the more structures, in much the same way as the Main Page on Wikipedia Hellboy1975 00:25, 6 December 2007 (CET)
Take a look at Main_Page_1 for a preview Hellboy1975 01:53, 6 December 2007 (CET)
Like it Matt! Very nice. Keep up the good work! --Mike 09:54, 6 December 2007 (CET)
Awesome effort :) You rock --Jka 10:06, 6 December 2007 (CET)
So... when are you going to make that live? I can't believe anybody is going to think we should not go with it... it is just a question of fleshing out some of those "wanted" links first IMO. --Mike 10:22, 6 December 2007 (CET)
Still got a couple of little things I want to do, mainly including some more info from the original main page. All things going well sometime tomorrow or over the weekend. Hellboy1975 13:08, 6 December 2007 (CET)


Main page change is now up, and am working on the Portal pages. Feedback/suggestions on the main page always appreciated. Hellboy1975 12:04, 9 December 2007 (CET)
Hey! And now all the Portals are extant! Well done Matt - a fine piece of work. I feel I just don't have to think about structure any more, 'cos you've got it covered. --Mike 01:01, 11 December 2007 (CET)
I like the new approach you have taken with the new "portals" - now it is more clear that they can act as "approaches" to going into vdfwiki.com with different mindsets. Given time - and more content on vdfwiki.com I think this will be a very effective way of handling the structure on this site. --Jka 20:46, 13 December 2007 (CET)



Portals

On the main pages, in the top section where it says "Welcome to the VDFWiki" I added on the right a list of categories, which I'm implementing as portals. The ones I stuck in there (Dataflex, VDF, Web Apps, DD's, Class Reference, Tutorials, Dataflex Community and Development Tools) pretty much just came off the top of my head when I did that bit. Having a weekend to think about it, I think it's a pretty good structure, and seems to cover pretty much all the bases I can think of. Provided there's no objections, I'm going to implement each of these are portals, and then change the current Sections are on the sidebar to point to these portals.

As part of this Portal conversion, I may also be editing any pages that currently resemble portals (like the current Visual DataFlex page) and making something more like a reference page. In that example the Visual Dataflex page will become more of a What Is type page. The ultimate plan to be that all pages will either be a reference type page, or some kind of tutorial, while anything that contains lists of articles gets shifted to Portal: pages. Hellboy1975 12:29, 9 December 2007 (CET)

How are the new portal pages supposed to work together with the "sections" in the navigation? I think the two should be integrated somehow. It would be great if we could keep sections/portals in such a narrow scope that one guy could keep track of it all (check the "section owners in VdfWiki:about ).--Jka 14:30, 9 December 2007 (CET)
I agree, and already have plans for that. From the fisrt paragraph "I'm going to implement each of these are portals, and then change the current Sections are on the sidebar to point to these portals" Hellboy1975 22:16, 9 December 2007 (CET)


Data Dictionaries

I also want to add a topic on batch create/update/delete using DataDictionaries. Where would that live? Would it be a topic referenced from Web and Windows and Webservices, or should this be another section, 'Data Dictionaries'?
I think a section about 'Data Dictionaries' could be great. I'll just add one (also containing the Databases' links from Mike --Jka 10:16, 25 November 2007 (CET)


Development Tools

Can I suggest that we add a new section or link on the main page for general development tools and articles that sit outside of the existing Web/Windows/WS/Console categories. Hellboy1975 00:07, 23 November 2007 (CET)

Sounds perfectly sensible to me... "Other" as a general catch-all, or "Other Tools": a bit more specific, but then we might have issues with things that fell outside that and our existing sections. --Mike 00:14, 23 November 2007 (CET)
I am OK with a "tools" section. We can still lay down the law in that page :P The trick is to create a separate page for each tool we want to describe - and keep the external links down to a minimum (this should make it easier to keep track of the content on the page). I think the title "Development tools" could work. articles not related to these sections can be attached to a specific user page - we should try not to clutter the frontpage and 1st level navigation too much. --Jka 08:15, 23 November 2007 (CET)




Technical / System

Backups

(Seem to have spawned a different thread here, so... Smile.jpg --Mike 09:54, 6 December 2007 (CET))

I have two other MediaWikis set up that I can play/practice on (but they are hosted on real operating systems Smile.gif), and if you are going to do that stuff I suggest you set one up for yourself, if you have not already - the software is a snap to set up, at least on Linux. Actually, several of us might consider doing that just to take periodic back-up copies of VdfWiki onto... just a thought.

Good idea to do multiple backups. Sture and I have been talking about uploading the content to 'somebody's ftp server - to have it duplicated. is that 'somebody' you , Mike? --Jka 11:45, 5 December 2007 (CET)
It could be. Right now I have MediaWikis running on two Linux boxen - one in the office (Ububtu server) and one at home (Fedora). I realise that you guys are running under WinDoze/IIS - would that cause any issues do you think? We have a public, hosted FTP server that I should be able to configure access to for you, so we are a possibility as a backup, but I think DAW or DAE are probably a better bet, both from a technical and an administrative PoV. If needed, I could act as "third string" to a DAW/DAE "second string", in that you could dump stuff nightly to my FTP server (and I would then ignore it), where, in the event of an emergency, it could be restored from to a MediaWiki I could set up specifically for it (on another Fedora machine that I have spare in the office). If I set up VdfWiki on that, it would be sitting ready to go from backup... But I'd explore the Data Access options first I think. --Mike 13:05, 5 December 2007 (CET)
Or... we also have our web site hosted, with the ability to host others (we do host a couple of others there). I have work to do in moving that all to a new machine on the hosting site (I'm just too overloaded to contemplate it ATM), but once I've done that we could offer a WinDoze compatible alternative hosting platform as a backup (primary or otherwise). --Mike 13:05, 5 December 2007 (CET)
DAE has agreed to set up an ftp account for our purpose. Its content will be part of their backup sequence (cool). Once we get it Jacob will upload a vdfwiki image and we'll see if it runs easily at your server(s). --Sture 18:16, 6 December 2007 (CET)
I now have access to a backup ip with a rather cryptic password. Nobody but me will be able to remember that - so I suppose that adresss is just for me. But -hey! now we have a offsite backup - so if our office is attacked by Flesh eating mutants we will still have the data for VdfWiki! --Jka 10:00, 11 December 2007 (CET)
now the backup thing is done . Notes are available here . I can send backup images to any ftp-server of choice - just email me with ftp account info if you want your server added to the list --Jka 14:19, 31 March 2008 (CEST)

Historical

Wiki Structure Proposal

I (Mike) have just modifed the sidebar (the panel on the left of every page) to add "sections". (If any Sysop is not happy with this then it can be undone by editing the page MediaWiki:Sidebar, or by just reverting my changes to it.) I have used the sections as currently laid out on the main page, but I would like to propose a significant restructuring of those sections. I will take no action until there has been reasonable discussion of it here and a consensus reached however.

Overall structure (from Mike)

I would propose something like the following overall structure:

  • Main Page (Brief Product Overview)
    • Product Detail
    • Windows
      • CodeJock
      • OLE/COM/ActiveX
      • Reporting
    • Web
      • AJAX
      • JavaScript
    • Character Mode
      • DOS/Console Mode
      • Unix/Linux
    • Web Services
      • SOA
    • Databases
      • Embedded
      • MS SQL Server
      • Oracle
      • IBM DB/2
      • Pervasive
      • MySQL
      • ODBC

(All comments and abuse will be gratefully received! Smile-tpvgames.gif)

--Mike 02:46, 21 November 2007 (CET)

I agree, the current structure on the main page isn't clear enough at the moment. Hellboy1975 05:37, 21 November 2007 (CET)
Marco here... I agree too. I'd like to add some gotcha's about moving from DataFlex tables to DB2, accessed from DF32 on Linux and VDF on Win32.


Discussing cookbooks

I think the discussion below has been obsoleted by the introduction of Portal:Tutorials --Jka 20:53, 13 December 2007 (CET)

That structure looks reasonable. My original idea with the "cookbooks" was to put a list of howto-do-stuffs in there. E.g a list of recipes in them - and have the "other" page contain the description. E.g "Windows" contains the description and "Windows cookbook" contains the recipes. I've found that the early contributions have been about "howto do stuff" (e.g something that should go in the cookbook). I can see now , that there should be no distinction between e.g "Windows" and "Windows cookbook" - they should be the same page. --Jka 09:38, 21 November 2007 (CET)
On the "cookbooks" issue... perhaps using "Categories" might be a help. This is not a subject I understand well enough (yet!), but it seems to me that it might add a multi-dimentional element to how articles are arranged and accessed, so that they can be come at from more than one direction (don't know how yet - research needed!). I think the original idea had merit - that some articles will be of a "howto" nature while others will be more descriptive, others discursive and still others umm... complaining (whining? - "why don't DAW do more with the Linux product?" <g>). In a big Wiki like Wikipedia, searching is usually the only way to start, but with our rather less ambitious subject matter, good organisation might lead people quickly to what they need (even if they didn't know they needed it and didn't know it was there). --Mike 11:12, 21 November 2007 (CET)
Yes . The need for having a "cookbook" can be adressed by having a category for all the different recipees. I think we should proceed in this direction . I removed the cookbook links from the frontpage and the navigation. --Jka 20:12, 21 November 2007 (CET)
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