Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - cwdean

Pages: [1] 2
Support / PVD-Manual
« on: April 09, 2009, 06:02:29 pm »
The PVD Wiki supports what are called structures, which is just a fancy term for associating wiki pages so that they can be read in a particular sequence (like a pamphlet or book).  I've created a structure called 'PVD-Manual' which lays out wiki pages in a logical sequence that could be referenced like a manual.  You can check the PVD-Manual out here --  Navigation icons for moving through the pages are available at the top of the page.

As content is updated they are automatically reflected in the PVD-Manual.  However, for new pages, these need to be added to the structure in order to be reflected in the manual.  Anybody is welcome to do this (and I'll try to check for new pages that should be added to the manual as I can).

Additionally, I've enabled a feature called 'Multiple Print'.  You can find this under the Wiki menu.  This feature allows you to select pages and/or structures for printing.  So, for example, if you want to print the PVD-Manual, you can select the PVD-Manual structure and print the entire manual.  If you have a PDF Printer installed, you can print the manual to a PDF file for reference.  :)  This feature is available for any page (or pages) you choose.

Wiki pages are already being updated to refect changes (and new features) that have been introduced with version beta of PVD (such as support for remote database servers and permissions).  These aren't in the PVD-Manual structure yet, but they will be soon.   ;)

Hope you enjoy.  ;D

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 26, 2009, 04:56:20 am »
The Forum will be specific to PVD Wiki support and I will be sure to indicate this in the first sticky post.

If a discussion strays from Wiki support, I suggest you simply "move" it to the appropriate forum here. That is, start a topic here quoting the relevant dialog, and then post a "Moved to PVD forum" link to the Wiki topic. The obvious exception to this rule would be where the forum is necessarily being used to facilitate a discussion between users of different languages. In that case, it might be appropriate to post invitations to join the discussion to the English and Russian PVD forums.

Sounds good to me.   :)

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 25, 2009, 02:59:22 pm »
asking for a volunteer to create a like structure in Russian would be most appreciated

You see? If we had a multilingual forum, you could do that. 8)

I think I'll go ahead and turn Forums on in order to provide direct support for PVD Wiki...unless I hear any objections  ;) 

I've been working closely with Reset on multi-lingual (Russian) support and it would be more efficient to do so via a Forum rather than via internal system emails and Shoutbox messages.  This way it would be easier to elaborate on the details and give other users an opportunity to see what is going on and provide additional support if they are so inclined.

The Forum will be specific to PVD Wiki support and I will be sure to indicate this in the first sticky post.


Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 24, 2009, 05:17:31 am »
I don't know if the theme is at fault, it looks like there's a glitch with numbering in the "top users" module.

I just checked into this.  It isn't a problem with the theme.  It's an acknowledged bug in TikiWiki that needs to be fixed.  It's mostly an aesthetic problem, that's why I've gone ahead and left it visible.  Thanks for catching (noticing) this though.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 24, 2009, 05:02:48 am »
No maintenance involved whatsoever...

That's good news. Except if users want it changed again, you can't plead "too much trouble." ;)

I don't know if the theme is at fault, it looks like there's a glitch with numbering in the "top users" module.

Good point  ;)  Forget I even said that even possible?  ;D

I would be concerned forums at the Wiki would reduce activity here. But there may be use for this—facilitating communication between the two user groups. I've been looking for SMF solution, but haven't found one. I asked about inter-forum posting in the SMF Forum, and the response so far suggests that if there is a solution, it's not an obvious one. Maybe we should establish one simple forum at the Wiki—for the limited purpose of discussing all things wiki. It would serve a purpose we can't fill here, and would provide a demonstration of a different kind of forum—for consideration of options for the future.

It suggestion was mostly as an inform in order to learn (experience) more about how the forums in TikiWiki work.  But your point is worth considering...a forum to specifically support the wiki could be set up and then community feedback could help nostra with future support decisions.

I think it unlikely anyone is going to spontaneously help with something like that, just because they have permission to do so. As you point out, even if someone wanted to help, they would have to be concerned about messing up your structure. If you want help, it would probably be more effective to ask for it, then give permission and instructions to those who step forward.

Another good point.  I was reconsidering after I suggested the idea.  It really would be too much work for more than one person to try to support (without stepping on each other).  However, asking for a volunteer to create a like structure in Russian would be most appreciated  :)  I can ask for such assistance after I've finished Version 1 of the PVD-Manual.  Anyway, it's not even done and it's getting attention   :)

It would be a good task for your yet-to-be-named Assistant Editor-in-Chief. ;)

Now there's a promising thought  ;D  Anybody in particular you have in mind?

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 23, 2009, 03:15:12 pm »
Is it possible to put a link to the Wiki contents page from the home page
I believe this is a system generated / maintained page. It does appear to be incomplete though as many more pages are listed here Not sure what determines if a pages is added to the contents or not.
Hi patch,

Actually the PVD-Manual isn't really system generated...which is why it's incomplete  :)  It is using a feature of the wiki software called Structures which allows one to create a layout of wiki pages so that they are structured (i.e. like a book, etc).  It isn't hard to do, but does take some time...which is why it's incomplete right now.  You basically tell the structure what order the relationship of pages should appear in.  This way you can navigate pages in that order (like a book).  You can specify indentation in order to group like pages (like a chapter) and the Table of Contents will reflect this.

It's a cool feature.  I just need to finish it  ;D  By the way, I can give permissions for anybody to add pages to the structure.  I was reluctant to do this at first, for fear of the structure somehow getting messed up (it requires some planning and may not be all that intuitive).  But perhaps I should make it available to all registered users, or at least a select few.  What do you think?

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 23, 2009, 03:07:29 pm »
cwdean could TikWiki support the type of interface I have described. Alternatively are you or someone else aware of software that could. If software was available which would assist in bringing the communities together, then perhaps nostra may choose to delegate the upgrade to the PVD forum (& Wiki).

Patch, TikiWiki is actually working just the way you described right now  :)  The software fully supports multiple languages and a user can toggle between any translated page at will.  Translation is primarily human driven in order to promote the most useful and accurate content.  You can use an external translator such as Babel Fish or Google Translate, but those are supplementary services for when a translated page doesn't exist.  It's anticipated that the community will translate a page when needed.  And once translated appears along with all translated pages in the Language drop-down list.  Also, if a page has been translated in your preferred language, it will automatically appear when navigating the wiki.  So I think this behavior is exactly what you were looking for (or describing).

I did some research on translating wiki pages and pretty much every wiki software program works this way.  The implementation may be different, but the expectation that the community will translate pages is the same.

Also, TikiWiki fully supports integrated Forums...i.e. with full multi-language support as well.  This isn't a current requirement, so it's not turned on...and it's completely notra's call when and if he even wants to integrate the two feature sets.  I think the intent is to see how the Wiki goes and to let it mature for a while before even considering such a move (which makes sense to me  :) ).  But PVD Wiki can support the move when and if nostra is ready.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 23, 2009, 02:58:09 pm »
Looks like I've somehow stirred up a hornet's nest.

Hey, we're movie buffs. Today it's drama, tomorrow it's comedy...  :( :D

So true  ;D

As for the rest of your post, I agree completely. I appreciate both your intent, and all the effort you've put into this.

I'm not sure about the Tikipedia theme (except for the logo, of course ;) )—while more pleasing overall, I wonder if it will be more difficult because the details don't stand out as well. How do you find it from a maintenance point-of-view? Are all the same features there? Does it require a lot of things to be changed so it works?

My pleasure.  I think we're well on our way to figuring this out.  The Tikipedia theme has been online this last Friday.  All I had to do was install the Tikipedia theme (took about a minute) and change one configuration setting in the Wiki to turn it on.  That was about it.  No maintenance involved whatsoever (unless we find a bug while using, which is always possible with software  ;) ).  But so far everything seems to be working fine.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 20, 2009, 06:12:02 pm »
I've added a wiki page called "How to translate Wiki pages" ( to help provide guidance on translating wiki pages.  This link is accessible from the HomePage.

Hope this is helpful.  :)

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 20, 2009, 04:00:11 pm »
The issue is bigger than that.

Looks like I've somehow stirred up a hornet's nest.  :'(

Causing a fracture amongst the PVD community was not my intent, nor the intent of the PVD Wiki.  And lack of communication wasn't my intent either.  The whole purpose of the wiki is to pull the community together in order to collaborate on documentation.  Several of you have really embraced this intent, while others have not.  It really shouldn't matter what language a page is in...if it isn't in your preferred language then take a moment to translate it.  You don't even have to know the page language to run it through Google Translate or Babelfish to translate it to your preferred language.  Copy and paste that output into the PVD Wiki and you're done.  The only reason I don't automatically do this for the community is becuase I only know English and have no means to validate the accuracy of the Google or BabelFish translation.  But perhaps that isn't a big deal.  Anybody could run the page through translation and post the output to the appropriate language page (patch illustated this in his post).

And the choice of Wiki software shouldn't matter either.  It either works as a wiki or it doesn't.  The debate of the best software to use is very subjective, non-productive and is likely never to end.  The reason I chose TikWiki is because of it's feature-set and tight functional integration.  With the flip of one configuration option, I can turn on Forums, Articles, Blogs, File Galleries, Photo Galleries, etc. -- and each feature set is complete and fully integrated with every other feature set.  Right now, the only requirement is the need for a that is all that is turned on (and file gallery).  But as the community evolved I wanted to be prepared to support it.

The ultimate decision is up to Nostra.  I'd really like to see the community focus on developing and translating wiki pages and content, rather than debating about which wiki software is better.

And for my international friends, I'm terribly sorry if I've somehow alienated you by posting only English language pages.  It took me a few days to figure out how to configure all of Tiki's multilanguage support features.  And I was really counting on our multi-lingual members to assist with translating pages.  I might point out as well that there are now more non-English pages than there are English somebody out there doesn't mind translating and adding pages (thanks Reset!)  ;D

Again, I'm open to suggestions for improving the site if you have any ideas.  As requested, I've implemented the Tikipedia theme so that the site looks more like a Wikipedia site for those that are more comfortable with that layout.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« on: March 19, 2009, 03:34:13 pm »
Oh, well. Maybe the competition will help. :-\

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

My only concern is it may be diverting resources from contributing to a comprehensive solution, and perhaps cause some confusion for our clients (i.e. which wiki am I supposed to go to?).  I don't want to undermine the effort of the other wiki...but having two wikis doesn't seem practical to me.  Just my opinion.  :-\

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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.  ;)

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 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.

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 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.  :)

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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

Support / Changes/Improvements to the PVD Wiki site
« on: March 18, 2009, 07:27:08 pm »
I've made several changes/improvements to the PVD Wiki web site (located at 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.


Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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).

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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  :)

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]

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).

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='' + encodeURIComponent(location);

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

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  ;)

Support / Re: PVD Wiki language/translations
« 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 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.

Support / Re: PVD Wiki is now online!
« 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.

Support / Goals of the PVD Wiki
« 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.

Pages: [1] 2