Author Topic: PVD Wiki is now online!  (Read 36775 times)

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Offline cwdean

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PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 12, 2009, 06:26:34 pm »
Hello Everyone,

Many folks, including myself, have requested making a Wiki available to assist in supporting the Personal Video Database (PVD).  Well, you’re suggestion have not fallen on deaf ears and I’m happy to report that the PVD-Wiki is online, live and ready for use!

I’ve participated in several community support sites over the years, whether they be forums, blogs and/or wikis.  I find them to be an effective way of promoting social awareness and support of the service being offered.  A wiki will help to supplement the support already provided within the PVD Forums.  Ultimately, the goal of the wiki should be a one-stop location for documentation and training purposes.  Then, if something isn’t clear and you need additional assistance, definitely check out the PVD Official Forums.

The wonderful thing about programs that are freely available, like PVD, is that they promote a strong social community.  People love to get involved in such projects; they feel a personal sense of satisfaction in knowing that they are contributing to a community of developers – or in the case of PVD, a community of users.  Obviously, nostra is developing and supporting PVD as a labor of love.  That’s an infectious feeling that is hard to ignore.  :)  Which is why I volunteered to create and support a PVD Wiki.

Both nostra and rick.ca believe in a community-driven support system (as do I).  It fosters greater enthusiasm and support for PVD and ultimately leads to a much better product.  Most users of PVD are here because it’s the best product of its kind.  Most of you participate in the forums for that very same reason.  So my hope is that you will use and contribute to the PVD Wiki for the same reason as well.  Let’s make the Wiki an incredibly useful tool in supporting PVD and the PVD community.  With your help and participation, I’m sure it will be so.

To find the PVD Wiki, click on the link below.  Be sure to bookmark the site for future reference.  And don’t forget, if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Wiki, be sure to check the forums and ask.  Then, if you think the answer (or subject) should be included in the Wiki, feel free to add it.  ;D

http://www.nimidia.com/pvd_wiki/tiki-index.php

By the way, we welcome your suggestions/feedback on the Wiki…so don’t be shy.  ;)  Post your comments in this forum.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 09:56:28 pm by rick.ca »

Offline cwdean

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Goals of the PVD Wiki
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 06:31:57 pm »
To get the ball rolling and to serve as an example of how to add content to a Wiki, I’ve taken the liberty of creating some wiki pages (41 pages to be exact  :)).  Please feel free to review them.  If you can contribute and improve a wiki page, please do so.  If you feel a relevant PVD topic is missing, please add it.  In other words, your contributions are more than welcome.  Not only welcome, but really necessary to creating thorough, effective documentation for PVD.

The purpose of the PVD Wiki site is to create truly effective documentation for PVD.  To that end, it must be:

  • Relevant (i.e. up to date)
  • Accurate (i.e. don’t guess, verify before posting)
  • Thorough (i.e. it’s okay to start a topic as a placeholder, but please be sure to complete the entry in a timely manner)

Suggestions for good documentation:

  • Include pictures and snapshots to illustrate your point
  • Use step-by-step instructions if the topic warrants it
  • Focus on one topic per page.  If a page is related to another page, reference it.  After all, that’s what a wiki is really good at.

Nobody’s looking for perfection.  But we should strive to be as accurate and thorough as possible.  So if you see something that could be improved upon, please indicate so (via comments, or whatever).  Better yet, make the improvement yourself.  Incremental improvements over time will make the end result a quality product.

And by all means, if you have suggestions or recommendations for improving the Wiki site as a whole, please let us know.  Documenting an evolving program is a living process.  The program will change over time and therefore, the documentation must also.  Help us to make the PVD Wiki a useful tool by contributing so that everybody can benefit.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 09:50:25 pm »
WOW! You've done a fantastic job of getting the Wiki started. Thanks!

I can't think of anything to add to your introduction (OMG, I'm speechless?!). So, I'll just reiterate—this is all about building a strong social community in support of our common interest. I hope others will appreciate you are offering them not only a very useful reference, but a way to participate. I enjoy testing and trouble-shooting, but writing doesn't come easily. I can see from what you've done, however, writing or editing a wiki topic is an excellent way of walking through an issue or procedure. And it leaves something that others can easily benefit from—and improve.

I've noticed you've borrowed some of my posts for the Wiki—I encourage you to do so. And please feel free to clean them up to make them more readable and consistent with the writing style you've established. Maybe if I see more of those, I'll be encouraged to do so myself. Over time, I'd like to see everything in the Help Index covered in the Wiki.

A note to new users: I'm sure you will find the Wiki a very useful introduction and source of help for using PVD. But I also appreciate that when you have a problem or are stuck on something, 41 pages of information may not be what you need. Sometimes, having too much information or too many options (something PVD is particularly good at) is the cause of your difficulty. Please do not let the existence of the Wiki deter you from asking questions here.

Enough talk—let's get to work. The first order of business: Replace that ugly logo/banner! ;)  We're obviously in dire need of assistance from someone with some (any?) artistic ability. I like the idea of using the distinctive PVD splash screen, but I can't figure out it might be employed as a banner (i.e., shorter and wider).
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 10:29:47 pm by rick.ca »

Offline patch

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 04:12:05 am »
To find the PVD Wiki, click on the link below.  Be sure to bookmark the site for future reference.  And don’t forget, if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Wiki, be sure to check the forums and ask.  Then, if you think the answer (or subject) should be included in the Wiki, feel free to add it.  ;D

http://www.nimidia.com/pvd_wiki/tiki-index.php

nostra
How do you feel about having a wiki that is not at www.videodb.info and you don't have direct control of?
Advantages
It may solve a potential hosting problem of graphics files.
Leaves you to concentrate on continually improving PVD

Disadvantages
Sends users away from your site for support
Removes your direct veto power if something is published you take exception to (eg donate button, advertisements etc.)
Dilutes www.videodb.info
User name inconsistency between www.videodb.info and www.nimidia.com

A possible solution would be for cwdean to be an admin for a wiki part of www.videodb.info
But maybe there is no problem to solve, if you see more advantages than disadvantages.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 04:32:49 am by patch »

Offline rick.ca

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2009, 06:53:44 am »
Nostra can speak for himself, but I don't think there's anything to be concerned about. In the short term, it may reduce traffic here, but it's a necessary and positive step in the development of the user community. When this was proposed and discussed privately, I expressed these concerns and more. With no disagreement or resistance on any side (that I could detect), nostra and I were given full administrator rights for the wiki, and it was agreed the full content of the wiki belongs to nostra. So if there ever is an issue (e.g., cwdean can no longer host/support it), the whole thing could be moved here or elsewhere.

That being said, I still think we need to do what we can to make the experience of using the two sites as seamless as possible. I think there are more challenges because the SMF and TikiWiki systems are quite different, than because it's a different site. Even if the software is similar and hosted by the same site, forums and wikis—even if well integrated—are quite different in nature and therefore "dilute" one-another. Perhaps a good illustration of this is the SMF Online Manual. Yes, it's nice how that ("docs") is integrated with the forum ("community") and has the same look and feel. But there's no concealing the fact they are two separate systems.

There's virtually no user administration functions happening at either site, so there's no administrative need for a common login. And only those who wish to contribute need to register. It would be helpful for user recognition of one another, however, if everyone used the same user name on both sites. Maybe all that's required is a request that users registering at the wiki site use their PVD username—although I don't see a way to do that. Are you listening, cwdean or Starlock or whatever your name is?  ;D

Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 04:11:08 pm »
There's virtually no user administration functions happening at either site, so there's no administrative need for a common login. And only those who wish to contribute need to register. It would be helpful for user recognition of one another, however, if everyone used the same user name on both sites. Maybe all that's required is a request that users registering at the wiki site use their PVD username—although I don't see a way to do that. Are you listening, cwdean or Starlock or whatever your name is?  ;D

I'm listening  ;D  Your point is well taken.  I am now going by cwdean at both sites and would encourage the rest of the PVD community who wants to contribute on the Wiki to do the same.  This will alleviate some confusion and make it easier for community members to get to know each other.

Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki language/translations
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 04:26:26 pm »
For our international members, the PVD Wiki does support multiple languages and translations.  Here's what you need to do (to the best of my knowledge, which is a bit limited, so if you have different experiences or learn more, please let us know) --

  • There are some preset translation links at the bottom of the pages.
  • There is a link to Babelfish at the bottom of every page as well to assist in page translations.
  • You can select a language for the page being viewed via the drop-down language listbox at the top right-hand corner of the page.  If your preferred language doesn't appear, you can select "Translate" and translate the page (this is fairly simple to do as the wiki software supports multiple languages natively).  This only has to be done once.  After that, the translated page will appear in the drop-down list box.

If a page has been translated to your preferred language (which you specify in your Preferences) it should automatically appear for you.

My default language is English...so I'm unable to test a lot of this.  If you experience problems please let me know.  As I'm helping administer the site, I will do my best to be accomodating to our international community members...but really need your help to do so.  One way you can help is by translating pages to your preferred language as you view them.  Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Looks like the PVD Wiki is off to a great start.  ;D  Special thanks to all of you who have assisted in creating and translating pages.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 04:28:46 pm by cwdean »

Offline rick.ca

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 12:38:27 am »
How is this going over with our Russian friends? Perhaps we should have assumed they would feel the same about an English wiki as we would about a Russian. That is, fine—as long as it behaves/performs pretty much the same in our native language—otherwise—we may as well do our own. It appears they are actively translating your pages, so maybe they're happy. Since the wiki will maintain pages in multiple languages, I don't suppose that's the issue. But is the quality of the Russian interface acceptable?

A few things I've noticed...

When I log in, the Babelfish section disappears and is replaced with "Babelfish (debug): Fatal error."

The translation links don't include the option to translate to English. I suppose that's logical—it's recognizing the default language is English, so there should be no need to translate to English. But what if I want to translate a Russian page to see if there's something there I might want to add to the English page (I'm sure those guys have cool tips they're not sharing with us!). My workaround for this is to use the following bookmarklet to send the page to Google Translate.

Code: [Select]
javascript:location='http://translate.google.com/translate?u=' + encodeURIComponent(location);
Quote
My default language is English...so I'm unable to test a lot of this.

Hopefully, there will soon be new pages in Russian only that we will need to translate into English. That should give us some idea. The part we can't experience is the quality of the Russian (or other non-English) interface. BTW, if one doesn't understand English, how do they register and change the interface language to their own? Maybe changing the default language to Russian for a time would make a good test. ;)

Offline nostra

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 01:39:23 am »
I do not know about the UI (but I'll test it later), but some users got error messages while trying to translate certain pages and some texts seem to be untranslatable.  Never the less it seems like the idea of creating a Wiki liked both English and Russian users.

Quote
Hopefully, there will soon be new pages in Russian only that we will need to translate into English.

I am sure they will.
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Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 03:05:11 pm »
But is the quality of the Russian interface acceptable?

A very good question, but unfortunately one that I cannot respond to without feedback from our Russian friends.  I suspect it will be personal tastes, but if something simply isn't working I need to know about it in order to attempt to fix it  :)

Quote
When I log in, the Babelfish section disappears and is replaced with "Babelfish (debug): Fatal error."

This happened to me once before as well, so I turned the feature off.  When I turned it back on the other day, it seemed to work fine for me.  I am no longer getting that error message.  I don't know what I changed to fix it for me.  I'll look at it some more in depth and see what I can find.  Thanks for pointing this out to me.[/quote]

Quote
The translation links don't include the option to translate to English. I suppose that's logical—it's recognizing the default language is English, so there should be no need to translate to English.

I believe that is how it works.  Since the default language on the site is English, it assumes that the initial page is in English (thus the English page in the drop-down listbox).  You can change the language of the page from the Translate page (for initial pages that are not written in English).

Quote
But what if I want to translate a Russian page to see if there's something there I might want to add to the English page (I'm sure those guys have cool tips they're not sharing with us!). My workaround for this is to use the following bookmarklet to send the page to Google Translate.

Code: [Select]
javascript:location='http://translate.google.com/translate?u=' + encodeURIComponent(location);

Great tip.  I'll see if I can add this bookmarklet as a custom menu item.

Quote
BTW, if one doesn't understand English, how do they register and change the interface language to their own? Maybe changing the default language to Russian for a time would make a good test. ;)

Good question.  I'll have to check into that.  If I recall correctly (and I'll double-check this evening) I think you specify your preferred language while completing your profile after validating your e-mail address (upon sign-up).  But I also think that Tiki reads your preferred language from your browser and displays pages according to that setting.  Again, kind of hard for me to test  ;)

Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 03:08:13 pm »
I do not know about the UI (but I'll test it later), but some users got error messages while trying to translate certain pages and some texts seem to be untranslatable.  Never the less it seems like the idea of creating a Wiki liked both English and Russian users.

And Rick noticed that BabelFish was throwing an error for him.  It seems to be working for me, so it's definitely something I'll be looking into.

It's probably to be expected that some terms may not be understood by a particular language dictionary.  In those cases, we'll need to rely on our international friends to help with the proper translations (i.e. manual translation).

Offline cwdean

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Changes/Improvements to the PVD Wiki site
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 07:27:08 pm »
I've made several changes/improvements to the PVD Wiki web site (located at http://www.nimidia.com/pvd_wiki/tiki-index.php) in order to make it easier to use for our international (and other) community members.  Changes include:

  • added a Site Language listbox that will allow you to dynamically change the language of the site (temporarily overrides your preferred language)
  • added Online users listbox so that visitors will know who is currently online (to make collaborating easier)  :)
  • added the Shoutbox feature to assist with collaborative communications (i.e. near real-time communications)
  • added a "Send a link" feature so that pages can be easily sent to friends

Hope these improvements make the site easier to use.  I'll be looking at other ways to improve the site, but if you have any specific needs or features that you'd like for us to consider please let us know.

-cwdean-

Offline nostra

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 08:14:12 pm »
Quote
added a Site Language listbox that will allow you to dynamically change the language of the site (temporarily overrides your preferred language)

This is very good, thx

cwdean, is it possible to make UI look more like Wikipedia? I have got a number of complaints about wiki design from our users...
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Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 08:53:35 pm »
cwdean, is it possible to make UI look more like Wikipedia? I have got a number of complaints about wiki design from our users...

I'll see what I can do.  I know that Tiki supports themes but haven't played with them much.  I don't know if they'll provide the look-and-feel of Wikipedia though, as all of the functionalities of Tiki are highly integrated (which is one of the main featueres of Tiki that separates it from other wiki solutions) and therefore does impose some required structure around it's layout.  But perhaps the themes can add at least a more pleasing interface.  I believe that themes can even be selected on a per-user basis.  Anyway, I'll definitely see what our options are.  ;D

Offline rick.ca

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 11:19:10 pm »
Quote
I am now going by cwdean at both sites...

Is there a story behind your avatar? It looks a lot like a "Starlock" to me.  ;D

Quote
added a Site Language listbox that will allow you to dynamically change the language of the site

That's better!

Quote
added Online users listbox so that visitors will know who is currently online

Hope you don't mind... I moved that so it appears above the Shoutbox—so we know who we're shouting at. ;)

Quote
When I log in, the Babelfish section disappears and is replaced with "Babelfish (debug): Fatal error."

Changing my language preference from Default to English seems to have resolved this. If you can determine that only admins are affected, it's probably safe to ignore the matter.

The Babelfish options appear to be "fixed," in that they don't adapt to language preference. So there's no translation to English.

I should point out, BTW, this feature just translates the entire page using an external service. It must be quite apart from the function of translating a page into another language. I haven't actually tried that, but I assume that's fully integrated—text is translated and tags are preserved, etc.

Quote
cwdean, is it possible to make UI look more like Wikipedia? I have got a number of complaints about wiki design from our users...

It's difficult to believe anyone just casually wants something that is not MediaWiki to look like Wikipedia. Are the complaints not really about the selection of software? Perhaps you could diplomatically explain a wiki is finally happening because cwdean volunteered to take it on. Obviously, he has chosen to use the software he is comfortable with and prefers. This doesn't mean others are not "right" in preferring something else. They might, however, try to cooperate in giving TikiWiki a fair trial.

If it really is just a "look & feel" issue, maybe we could try the Tikipedia theme. Although I appreciate what cwdean is saying, and would be surprised if this were easy to implement.

Offline nostra

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2009, 11:32:16 pm »
Quote
It's difficult to believe anyone just casually wants something that is not MediaWiki to look like Wikipedia. Are the complaints not really about the selection of software? Perhaps you could diplomatically explain a wiki is finally happening because cwdean volunteered to take it on. Obviously, he has chosen to use the software he is comfortable with and prefers. This doesn't mean others are not "right" in preferring something else. They might, however, try to cooperate in giving TikiWiki a fair trial.

In fact there are people who do not like UI only and there some that suggest to use another Wiki engine. One of them has already a DokuWiki set up. I think that there is no 100% solution, but Tikiwiki seem pretty powerful to me and I am sure if we can make it look better people will automatically get a better impression of it.
The Tikipedia theme looks just perfect. Can we apply it cwdean?
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Offline rick.ca

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2009, 11:43:22 pm »
Quote
One of them has already a DokuWiki set up.

Oh, well. Maybe the competition will help. :-\

Hmmm... Maybe that's why Reset is cranking-out page translations at an astonishing rate! ;D

Offline nostra

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2009, 12:23:18 am »
Quote
Oh, well. Maybe the competition will help. Undecided

Yeah, that's funny: there was no sign of manuals for a long time and now there are two wikis to choose.  :o
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Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2009, 03:24:41 pm »
Hope you don't mind... I moved that so it appears above the Shoutbox—so we know who we're shouting at. ;)

Don't mind at all.  That's why you're an admin.  ;)

Quote
Changing my language preference from Default to English seems to have resolved this. If you can determine that only admins are affected, it's probably safe to ignore the matter.

The Babelfish options appear to be "fixed," in that they don't adapt to language preference. So there's no translation to English.

I should point out, BTW, this feature just translates the entire page using an external service. It must be quite apart from the function of translating a page into another language. I haven't actually tried that, but I assume that's fully integrated—text is translated and tags are preserved, etc.

Seems to be working for me as well, and for the test account...so I think it's fixed...unless somebody tells me otherwise.

The way that Tiki works is that you have the ability to support internal and external translation, i.e. external translating via external services such as Google or BabelFish, and internal translating where you translate the page and save it in the database.  Internal translation is the preference as it provides greater flexibility and direct control of the page content.  External translation is fine for quick views of pages but is limited by how accurate the service may be.  Thus Tiki supports both.

With that said, internal translation is what we should be focusing on because it will allow our clients to benefit directly from community contributions.  Once a page is translated, it resides in the database and all our clients need to do is set their preferred language accordingly.

Quote
It's difficult to believe anyone just casually wants something that is not MediaWiki to look like Wikipedia. Are the complaints not really about the selection of software? Perhaps you could diplomatically explain a wiki is finally happening because cwdean volunteered to take it on. Obviously, he has chosen to use the software he is comfortable with and prefers. This doesn't mean others are not "right" in preferring something else. They might, however, try to cooperate in giving TikiWiki a fair trial.

If it really is just a "look & feel" issue, maybe we could try the Tikipedia theme. Although I appreciate what cwdean is saying, and would be surprised if this were easy to implement.

I agree with you Rick.  I support commercial applications in my profession and it's considered best practice to minimize customizations as much as possible.  Otherwise, future upgrades become a real challenge.  If we can find an existing theme that will meet our needs, that's the approach I would recommend.  It seems like Tikipedia is worth looking at, and there may be one or two others that are suitable as well.  I just tried to install and take a look at the Tikipedia theme and I got an error...so I will look into that further this evening (I think it's a security issue with a folder).

As with all "new" software, it takes a little time to learn the interface and get comfortable with it.  :)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 07:32:04 pm by rick.ca »

Offline cwdean

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Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2009, 03:30:36 pm »
In fact there are people who do not like UI only and there some that suggest to use another Wiki engine. One of them has already a DokuWiki set up. I think that there is no 100% solution, but Tikiwiki seem pretty powerful to me and I am sure if we can make it look better people will automatically get a better impression of it.
The Tikipedia theme looks just perfect. Can we apply it cwdean?

I think people have a preference for they are comfortable or familiar with.  The functionality of Tiki is very similar to other wiki implementations, so I agree that most issues are probably with the look&feel.  But as I mentioned in another post, working with any "new" software package takes time to get familiar with the interface and functionality.  With time, I'm hopeful that others will appreciate what Tiki has to offer.  And if not, we'll look to a different solution  :)

Tikiwiki is very powerful and the breadth of integration is really impressive.  Right now, it is fully functionality as a wiki and should more than adequately meet our needs. 

I'll work on implementing the Tikipedia theme this evening.

 

anything