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Wiki Wish List


Namespace: WIN_COM_API
It never hurts to ask
New stuff at the top please.
See Improving Wiki, Wiki Things To Do, Wiki Bug Reports, Wiki Recent Improvements and Wiki Fixed Bugs. Also Wiki Suggestions Rejected :-)
After the # N # and # U # tags fade away, but are still in the text, change them into a small calendar icon that, when moused over, displays a tooltip that shows 'New' or 'Updated' followed by the date. That way you're not distracted when reading the text of a topic, but the date info is still available. Kind of like a # D #, but less obtrusive. This would be very useful in discussion mode topics that have faded from our active interest. Randy Bosma [2008.04.07]

I *love* that idea. -- Steven Black

OK, try this: (Mouse over that) -- Steven Black

Fantastic! Exactly what I was thinking. Thanks, Steve! Randy Bosma

Really nice. Well done! -- Alex Feldstein

Now maybe the older the item the more faded the calendar icon? Newer=bolder tooltip, or more cerise colored? Lots of options. I'm using this jQuery tooltip plugin that has more demos here . -- Steven Black
I'd really like it if the default behaviour for clicking a link (edit: an *external* link) was to open it in a new browser window without having to hold shift. I'm sure plenty of people like it the way it is, so is there some way of setting some cookie preferences for this or something?
Has anyone seen this?
It's only a demo and your browser must be Mozilla based but it looks nice..
http://demo.wikiwyg.net/wikiwyg/demo/standalone/
Could the wiki email us when pages we've contributed to are modified afterwards? Perhaps with an option to turn this behaviour on and off. Either globally or on a page by page basis. Michael Wagner

I am new here but it seems to me one of the problems faced by the Wiki is eventually getting Thread Mode articles into Document Mode. Would it be a good idea if each article had 2 sections? One for Document Mode and another one below it for Thread Mode? Then comments could be moved into the Document Mode section as they gain peer acceptance. Having the 2 sections would encourage people to refactor into Document Mode.
Darren Woodford
This strikes me as a particularly good idea. This is kind of similar to Wikipedia's "talk page", though since this Wiki is a little less encyclopedic (which I view as a good thing, mind you), I think that something like Darren suggested is more suited, though I think how exactly to implement such a distinction is open to debate. I'm not sure at all if this is the best solution, but perhaps one source page, but sections could be marked "thread mode", and then would be filtered out of normal wiki view? -- Peter Crabtree
I have just noticed that the wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page has a separate tab for article and discussion. This might be a good way to go.
Putting tables in is very hard here. You have to know how to do the HTML. It would be nice to support the table formating that other wikis use with the bar defining columns like:

|Header|Header2|
|Data|Data|

-- Bob Archer
Access keys and tab index for standard hyperlinks and form controls. HTML tags provide an accesskey attribute to solve this. I implemented this in the AfpWiki - http://www.afpwiki.de - and this saves a lot of time while editing a lot of topics. Here's a sample how this could look like:
[a tabindex="1" accesskey="e" class="TopicEdit" href="edit.afp?id=AfpWiki" title="Edit current topic. [alt-e]"]Edit[/a] -- JoKi
Providing short explainations using the title attrbute of HTML tags. -- JoKi
Steve, per HTMLValidator, Validate this page! - ?jMM
Ouch! Doesn't validate, SB, you need to add a !DOCTYPE to your HTML headers and ALTs to two links: the RSS gif in the footer, and the "off site" link gif. -- tr
Real Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0) publication of wiki changes so that they could show up in news aggregators. Aggregators are a great way of gathering information from many disparate sources - as long as they produce RSS. -- Ted Roche
Seconding this wish. -- Willson De Veas
Beta, proof-of-concept at http://www.tedroche.com/RSSFeeds.html. Additional development effort will depend on interest and feedback. -- Ted Roche I like the idea. For a clue of what it can produce on another wiki, check http://www.fecondcarcan.com/tools/openwiki-fr/default.asp?MurDesGraffitis JosÚ Constant
Another good application for XSLT and XML would be the Us States topic where the same 50 states are listed 3 times in different formats. -- Mike Helland
Steve - I'd like to suggest the date stamping of posts. It's mentioned below and Fernando had an excellent idea with using colors:

Other way to do it could be: [New 02/28/2001], then [02/28/2001] and finally [02/28/2001].

I think it would be very, very useful with or without colors to date stamp the posts. Peter Diotte [New 10/21/2002]

I agree. Can the Wiki software detect new or revised paragraphs, and date them when the page is saved? Randy Bosma [Added 1-8-2003]
One of the Wiki Suggestions Rejected was to use frames to make the edit area larger... we don't want frames, but how about sizer buttons to change its size, such as:


- ?wgcs

This feature has been there almost since day 1. After you hit Edit, you'll see this:
Display Rows:Columns:
... and the values you save will be kept in your cookie.
-- Steven Black
WRT the width, a css suggestion:
TEXTAREA
{width:100%;}
This gives a nice automatic full width textarea in css compatible browsers and can live in harmony with the hard-coded col setting for older browsers. - ?lc

I know that the Columns/Rows are there in the the edit screen; However, when you change them (perhaps because what you were typing no longer fits in the edit window you were using), not only the whole Page has to reload but also, every thing you've changed has been lost. This could be remedied by haveing the "Resize" button actually submit the whole form, like the "Save" button, and recreate the TextArea with changed (without saving them permanently), OR, with the simple code above, the browser reload can be completely avoided, and the cursor position can even stay where it was (If you use OnClick of an image instead of Buttons)! When "Save" is then clicked, the new values could be put into the cookie (I think the cookie could be changed in the Java Script code on the buttons, too, but I'm not certain). (BTW, I like the CSS solution, too, but it doesn't address the height of the TextArea) - ?wgcs
That's a good suggestion and I'll implement this eventually. Thanks! -- Steven Black
Hmm, I hope you all choose function over form, cuz the tweak I made to Footer Links makes the footer not so pretty, but I like having a topic search. - Maybe Steve will see the value in this, and pull it into the existing search form, and then it will be pretty too. -- ?CFK

A tweek to the search: to determine what to search (Topics or Text), look at the name of the button pressed instead of the name of the textbox, so that a 2nd button could be added to the footer, like this:


- ?CFK
Add a Categories button to that too.
How about a date/time stamp on the fading NEW and UPDATED tags - that way, when a topic is being actively worked upon, we can diferentiate between all the NEW and UPDATED tags. - William Fields
Whoops, I didn't read far enough below - date stamping was already suggested.

BTW - Great Job Steve! The Wiki is a wonderful resource.


I recall earlier, that the Wiki has problems overwriting itself, because users could make edits at the same time. The solution was to put the notification that someone had already tried an edit less than 5 minutes ago. The problem is what if the user hits back or something that doesn't cause the page to be rechecked out at the server. If you wanted to get fancy, you could create some Java Scripts that run on the client, that make a second HTTP class back to the server and call a Web Service thats "checks" out the page, if it can. The second HTTP request woudl be invisible to the user. Hmmm, a thick client for the wiki would be kindof nice too-- Mike Helland
More for an "advanced search" page: an option to only search titles, not page content. If I am looking for "One Form Vfp App", I search for "form"; I only want to search topic titles, not the 1200 topics that contain "form." - ?CFK

This has been there since day 1. Click the Find link to search for strings in titles or content.-- Steven Black

Doh! - ?cfk


I saw this requested somewhere else but can't find it now and I don't want it to be forgotten: Search really needs to be improved to be able, at least, to find topics where all words exist (rather than only topics where the given phrase is found). - ?wgcs

If this (in How This Wiki Works) is basically the way the find function in the wiki works:
accept "Search: " to lcSearch
select * from wiki where upper( lcSearch ) $ upper( cWikiPageText )

Then it should be a simple matter to add a user preferences to the cookie and make the search code this:
accept "Search: " to lcSearch
do case
  case lUserPrefSearchAND
    lcSrch = upper( StrTran( alltrim(lcSearch), ' ', '" $ upper(cWikiPageText) and "') )
    select * from wiki where "&lcSrch" $ upper( cWikiPageText )
  case lUserPrefSearchOR
    lcSrch = upper( StrTran( alltrim(lcSearch), ' ', '" $ upper(cWikiPageText) or "') )
    select * from wiki where "&lcSrch" $ upper( cWikiPageText )
otherwise
  lcSrch = lcSearch
  select * from wiki where upper(lcSearch) $ upper( cWikiPageText )
endcase

This should only get the performance hit of a single macro expansion, right?
It would be great if we could get the XML of a page that wasn't full of HTML. For example, output exactly what is stored in the record, no added BRs or Ps, but put XML tags around the words that are supposed to be links. Like in _ Xml Request Possibly use a tag for the "- ---" too. That way we could parse it out and do some neat things. I was trying to create a Wm L gateway on my server to teh Wiki, but the XML you serve isn't very useful there. The drawback, any HTML on the page would need to be well formed. But with housekeepers and people trying to view the pages, they can be fixed when they're discovered. -- Mike Helland
When you create the HTML to edit a page, please do a (pseudo code, I'm just guessing how your code works): StrTran(lcPage, "&", "&Amp;")? That's because, even if you load "≪" in an HTML Textarea, the browser still parses it into "<". So, after you edit a page with that markup, and save it, you are going to be chagnign the content of the page (usually for the worse). By changing the "&"'s to the HTML equivalent ("&Amp;") before you send it to the browser, it will turn out right. (mixed case used here to prevent rendering) -- Mike Helland

What clicked: you have ≪ saved as the page, but you know that the browser's edit box will change it; so changing it to something (&Amp;Lt;) that the browser will change back to what you want it to be (). In other words: strtran() flips it, the browser flips it back. - CFK
pull the title of the page from the database so that the Camel Case is as hoped. example: Wiki Wish List not http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~wikiwishlist. Why? because sometimes I want to enter a URL, if the expected page comes up, cut/paste the URL. As it is now, the page that comes up looks funny. "fixing" the url for me would be nice too, but no biggie. -- CFK
Not a real problem of course, but when I (in Edit) uncheck the "Include page in ..." the date retains, but the topic is updated with my name; supposing everybody is "watchting" for response having his/her own name viewed in the list, now my name is there where I only corrected a typing-error. To me it's logic that the person who changed the text doesn't come forward too when unchecking.
Never mind this one; it's a stupid idea after all (will allow for really "hidden" amendments, which IMO we all don't like). -- Peter Stordiau
Is it a stupid idea to have a #-directive in which we can enforce the date-changed due to the Recent Changes list ?
This, because it may happen that one (ok, me) forgets to uncheck the concerning Checkbox, and a one-character uninportand change goes to the top again, leaving it with nobody finding the amendment. I realize it's a bit dangereous, and a "back to the previous date" would be even better I think ...
Come back on this one too; never mind. -- Peter Stordiau
Any ideay why after some time (?) my (given) name turns into an IP-address again ?
What if I'm working on two locations (IP's) ? (I do that). When I encounter this, I go to the Who Am I page again which doesn't show anything anymore. -- Peter Stordiau
The Who Am I name you provide to be used in place of your IP is stored as a coookie with your browser. So, if you switch machines (or browsers), or clear your cookies, you'll have to re-establish the Who Am I name again. - ?lc


Okay, thanks Lauren, but when I have two machines, one at work, and one at home, the Cookies will remain connected to the Browser-instance I'm useing in both situations ? (sorry I don't understand this). -- Peter Stordiau
Yes, cookies are small text files stored on your local machine. So, you'll have to set your Who Am I twice, one for work and once for home. You can think of the Who Am I form as a service for helping you set cookies on your machine. It does not store anything on the wiki server. These cookies are set to persist even after you close your browser, they should "stick" until you erase you cookies. - ?lc
Thanks again. But let me make myself more clear : I entered at both sites my cookie-stuff and whether the both sites have to do with it (probably not !), after a while my cookie has been eaten. IOW, something must be deleting it, and I'm not that. I keep all in mind, and try to find out what it is. Thanks. -- Peter Stordiau

The Wiki does nothing with Cookies other than create and read them. It does not delete them. Wiki cookies are set to expire 12-26-2009. Therefore something on your end is deleting cookies.-- Steven Black
Steve, during the "gold mining" for the FAQ I found WikiPopularPages. It seemed to me as a document that was built from a report produced by some process you run. If so, would you consider turning it in an online process to be run whenever WikiPopularPages was hit (like List Categories, Alphabetic Topic List, Find etc)? -- Fernando Alvares
Steve, I found the "Fading New" tag very usefull when tracking changes to documents. Would you consider making a change in the "last step" of the process? Suggestion: red for 3 days, orange for 3 days, grey for 4 days (as it is now), and then it will show the date the comment was posted (something like [02/28/2001] in a suitable color. May I suggest to keep it gray) so you could see the the "age" of the posting.

Other way to do it could be: [New 02/28/2001], then [02/28/2001] and finally [02/28/2001]. -- Fernando Alvares

This is an excellent, excellent suggestion!-- Steven Black
A list (could be a wiki page of words) of "special words" that don't get parsed as empty wiki pages, or what ever you call it when a Camel Case dosn't have a page behind it. For instance vfp keywords that are compound words like SqlSetProp. Yea, I know that I can do < ig>SqlSetProp< /ig> but i'm lazy. -- CFK
Add last modified by to each page ?jMM

Yup, expect to see this soon, as well as DIFF capabilities too.-- Steven Black
Instead of the Display Rows and Columns texboxes on the edit page, use a combo with the most common screen resolutions and format the page to fit the resolution. Better yet use Browser Hawk to detect the resolution. ?jMM

I've got an eval of Browser Hawk and expect to see this soon too.-- Steven Black
Please don't take away the Rows and Columns choices... Some of us don't read web pages maximized and like to have custom sizes. - wgcs
Steve, Is there a chance that we might see a delphi.wikis here? -- Reinaldo Di Tota
If you agree to be its initial Volunteer Housekeeper and to promote it as widely as you can, then yes, sure. It takes about 10-minutes to set up.-- Steven Black.
Great! I've met Reinaldo at one of our common clients about five years ago, in south Brazil. He is really a fine person, and a great technician too. You are spreading the wiki wiki philosophy down here. -- Fernando Alvares
Steve, maybe I┤ll try with delphi.wikis. I think that the overall wikis┤s format matches the expectations of those who are looking for information, and also discussion. I recently found this community, but I enjoyed it at the first moment. To promote such a site should not be so difficult. To give my contribution to start a new community would be a pleasure. What do you think? -- Reinaldo Di Tota

All I need to start a Delphi wiki is a little icon to go at the top of the page :-)-- Steven Black
Steve, would be possible for you to tell the story of the Wiki birth ? (How did the idea come about, the first steps, the support required, the problems faced, and some "hows & whys" of the implementation).


Probably all the lucky people that know you in person already know that, but I think that many of the anonymous ones like me, would be pleased to have this information.
Here could (perhaps) become a place, for you and many others, to explain the way to implement internet applications in a practical manner for those (like me again!) that, I am sure, attend this forum but had not yet the opportunity to embrace this "new" (for us) technology. Fernando Alvares

Good Idea. I just created Getting Into Internet Programming for such information.-- Steven Black

Please, think about this wish, you are doing I very nice and great job, and you can count on my humble support (if you ever need) ! Fernando Alvares
I just noticed there are two copies of the Using ADO topic.. one in the VFP transclusion and one in WIN_COM_DNA. They are almost identical... But not quite. I know this is a feature of transcluded wiki, that a topic could be this, could be that, or could be Both. Is it possible for a topic to be included in BOTH namespaces? I thought that was what transclusion was all about, but I can't find a way to "put it back together" so that there is one topic Using ADO belonging to both namespaces. - wgcs
Steve - can the Find function be externally invoked and return the result as XML? It would make it way easy to do an add on that would support the oft asked for AND and OR functions in find. -- ?df
Sure! Try this, a search for "XSL" returned as xml-- Steven Black
http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~Topictextsearch~XSL~&mode=xml
Check out Wiki Advanced Search to see the technology in action. -- df
[clipped from Wiki Line One Directives] It would be nice if the titles of redirected pages were suffixed with Redirect or External or something (eg ClassDiagramsRedirect) so it would be clear that this is a link which takes us away from the WIKI.
How about a shortcut to jump from Read mode to Edit mode, that puts the cursor in the Edit window where it was when reading the page? Laurent Dujat
That's not possible, I'm pretty sure, even with a modern browser...
Immediate email notification when subscribed pages change. Most of the time, I've already been back to visit the Wiki before I am notified of an update to a subscribed page. - WF
In doing this, consideration must be given to housekeepers like me who may save pages multiple times before we "get it right." Otherwise you would get 7 messages about the same page. -- Cindy Winegarden
Good Point. -- WF
Cindy's dilemma (which I suffer from as well) could be alleviated somewhat by a cookie that remembers the last setting of the "include in Recent Changes list" setting. -- ?lc
Well, I could implement hourly notifications. That way if a topic is evolving quickly people could stay on it and it could, in theory, stabilize sooner, possibly with fewer loose ends.-- Steven Black
I think e-mails should be tied to the "Include page in Recent Changes list. " - if it isn't worth including there, don't send anyone any e-mails. But now we place a burden on the housekeepers to turn it off if they do multiple saves. So this adds to the cookie idea. or did I just restate the same thing? -- ?CFK
Or... Send e-mails as fast as you can, and let the recipient set up filters/rules/folders to orginize the flood of e-mails.
Or... only send the e-mail after 5 min of inactivity on a page.
Or... send the e-mail when a different page is touched by the same ip address. -- ?CFK

Or let modifications be previewed before saving. -- Trey Walpole
Now that we have Email notification, what about the ability to send an email that adds to a Wiki topic? That way, programs could be written that automatically update Wiki topics and vice-versa. -- Andrew MacNeill
Do you have a use case for that? :-) -- Steven Black
Only that what I'd really like to be able to do is send a WIKI REQUEST message that returns an entire topic on my hand-held gizmo and then allow me to send updates to it (all without a wired connection) -- Andrew MacNeill
Instead of (or in addition to) the last changed date being used as a title, how about a new field for a topic's summary, definition or "title text". ( Or just grab the first line of the text, or have a directive within the text; less changes this way). When reading a page, sometimes clarification of a term is needed, but clicking away and coming back breaks the flow. If all that is needed is a simple definition, then the user can get it without leaving the page.

Append the topicNames, last changed date, ip, and summary line to the end of each page. -- ?CFK
I like this idea, Carl. I like this a lot. I'd prefer a #SUMMARY: line one directive, something like that, but I think we're on the right track here...-- Steven Black

I think grabbing the first line of text up to a CR or X chars is best. Keeps the UI simple. I would want it displayed as part of the page. Displaying it on lists might be nice too. For speed, copy it to a char field on save. -- ?CFK
I was thinking of capturing these X chars only if they are bold...
That would make this a hidden feature... it wouldn't be used by anywhere near as many people if they have to do something special for the summary to work or show up at all. If it's just always the first line or first line up to XX # characters, that would work for every topic, and would gently press people toward putting a quick summary at the beginning of each topic -- wgcs
Steve, I have noticed quite a few topics that show up in the recent changes that appear to have no changes made. This can be the result of a newcomer "trying out" the edit function, then clicking Save and leaving the checkbox for Include page in Recent Changes list. How about NOT updating the modified date if the parsed and converted text ends up exactly the same as the currently stored text? This would make it a bit easier for proofreaders and also save considerable time and frustration for everyone who watches "recent changes" regularly. -- David Stevenson
That's a good one, David. Simple. As soon as I get back from Germany I'll put this in.-- Steven Black
Steve what about adding a few features to make this place feel more like a community?
a) allow user to assign their name to 1 or more IPs so that it is easy to see who has edited what
b) a list of the top 10 posters (wiki editors)
c) an option to see who is currently on the wiki (say made a hit in the last 5 minutes).
This is defintely more touchy feely stuff to build a community and certainly not necessary for the operation of the wiki. -- Evan Delay
Some of these things are not really possible. There is no log-in process planned for this wiki so anything involving identity has to be defferred or ultimately shelved. People's IPs change (I'm calling in from Germany today) so IP identification is always rough at best. I think there is an undelying community happening here, but it's very subtle. Certainly there is great collegiality over on the Wiki Wiki Web without any of these features, but they have been around for several years. Let's see if time eventually yields some of the touchy-feely aspects you describe. I think it will.-- Steven Black
This one might be a little tougher, but I'd love to see some type of "Auto Category" feature. It'd be a convenient way to create a category for a group of related topics that are not in a category. For example, do a Find on Use Case and you'll get a number of hits. Some are in the UML category and others are not. It'd be really cool if the find page had a Create Category button that would automatically add Category (Search String) to the bottom of each page it found. -- Mike Feltman
I'd also like to see a New Categories page that listed categories created in the last ten or so days. I know this might be tough since I don't think the actual category names are currently stored anywhere. I think this would be a good feature because the creation of a category usually indicates a lively topic. -- Mike Feltman
Steve, I'm now agreeing with an earlier suggestion that we need to be able to turn on/off hot link parsing throughout the page (not just a single topic switch at line 1). Take a look at the huge table Marcus posted as Naming Conventions Objects. I had to turn off parsing on that, or every example tried to become a topic and it looked lousy. But of course, and real links at the bottom of the page get ignored, like categories, etc. -- Randy P
Yup, I agree. Gimme a couple of days and it'll be there. By the way, Peter Herzog's wiki at http://www.foxuser.net uses [##] and [/##] tags to turn general parsing off and on, and I think we'll do the same thing here. -- Steven Black
Category Wiki Admin
( Topic last updated: 2008.04.09 03:54:18 PM )