Hacking Days Extras

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It seems that the current Hacking Days facilities are going to be insufficient to accommodate recent interest in mediawiki hacking. Due to this, to discuss non-core mediawiki stuff, we will indeed have to go out to enjoy the MIT Media Lab and the Boston summer... Since nobody enjoys a technical meeting with too many people, we're going to try to break down into groups of ten or less, and divide up to try to maximize the impact of hacking days for those not currently involved in pressing server infrastructure concerns.

  • What would you like to get out of Hacking Days?
  • What cool project ideas do you have?

OpenWetWare (http://openwetware.org/)

OpenWetWare is a MediaWiki-based effort to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology and biological engineering. OpenWetWare started in an MIT Biology lab one year ago and has grown to include 60 academic labs from 24 institutions around the world. OpenWetWare has provided a forum for publishing the day-to-day research information that is unavailable in traditional, peer-reviewed journals and has become an essential tool for many of the participating labs. We are extending the MediaWiki software, and have developed a number of new tools specifically for scientific collaboration. (from Ilya)

MediaWiki Extensions for Education

At the Electronic Learning Communities lab at Georgia Tech, we've been working on MediaWiki extensions to support classroom use. Often, even teachers who have used wikis for years find it difficult to keep classes organized and assess student work on a wiki. We've added a basic set of teacher tools to help. We have also added basic support for citing, storing, sharing, and evaluating information resources, which is important for academic writers. The younger the writers, the more support they need in negotiating the wiki interface, so there are some interface changes we've made in response to early user testing. The software goes into high schools this fall. I'd like to find out how the features we've been developing could be of more use to the broader mediawiki developer community and how we can improve the code as we prepare to release it.

If there are others who are interested in extensions for academic contexts, maybe we could have a discussion at some point. --Andicat

You folks at Georgia may be interested in the the ideas in Wikiacademia, a wiki I put together for my academic courses which has a user interface very similar to MediaWiki's, though many of the underlying assumptions are quite different. I'm presenting a poster on it this weekend. I'd be interested in seeing your work - is the code available? -- Jim Mahoney , Marlboro College
Hey Jim, looks like an interesting site. One of the things we are trying to do is keep it so that the focus of the wiki is on students producing content, and keep the "school-i-ness" of it in the background. So the goal for me is to make the site mostly like a regular wiki, unless you happen to be taking a class that's contributing to it. There has actually been a form of wiki in use at Tech since 1998 for class management and whatnot, but it's pretty basic (Coweb). Hopefully I'll find you soon... :-) I can show you what we've got. The code is kind of a mess and I'm quickly realizing I need to prioritize a public release. --Andicat

What I'd like to get out of Hacking Days

I am pretty disappointed that the "non-committers" are going to be segregated from the "main track" of the conference, especially if simulcast arrangments cannot be set up. I would be surprised that the MIT Media Lab could not accomodate this.

That said, while I am most likely not a "committer" by the core Wikimedia community's standards, I do maintain a corporate Mediawiki instance and work on extending Mediawiki on a daily basis. Here is an list of some of the things I hoped to have covered:

  • MediaWiki database structure - Improving efficiency, thinking for the future
  • MediaWiki API - a discussion of the API entry points and feature dependencies would be helpful, although the Zend Developer Studio's eclipse-like autocompletion provides a nicer way of learning the API than sifting through the documentation...
  • Custom namespaces in mediawiki - I've developed a hackish extension for managing namespaces, converting 'pseudonamespaces', etc. along the lines of m:Help:Namespace_manager, but also included access restriction to the namespaces built into the UI. I was hoping to get insight on why the namespace implementation is structured as is, to discuss alternate implementations of the extension, and see what the core developers have in store regarding this.
  • Document Management through Mediawiki - What would it take for a more user-friendly, stable content management system to be built into Mediawiki?
  • Discussion extensions people are working on, suggest/undertake new ones
  • Views of the development team on other wiki competitors (twiki, etc) and mediawiki ports (dekiwiki, etc)
  • more notes to come..

I can only attend the Wednesday/Thursday sessions. Look forward to meeting you all there! -Jtravaglini 17:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Something that would be really useful for me is a WikiMedia common authentication API. Someone authenticates themselves on wikimedia, and this allows for my wiki to use that authentication. What would make this especially useful is a block list so that someone blocked on wikimedia would also be blocked on other wikis that use WikiMedia authentication.

Roadrunner 03:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


Mediawiki in Enterprise, Private namespaces etc.

There are two sessions you might want to attend at the main conference:

Please keep in mind that Wikimedia Foundation is a not-for-profit focused on Free Knowledge. The mediawiki technology can be used for "content management" but it is appropriate that this be secondary to the free knowledge focus. Does this seem reasonable? Our site http://freelogy.org uses private name spaces for academic work in progress prior to publication and release under GFDL. I'm very interested in talking with you about your efforts with private namespaces. Please contact me if you'd like to talk about this in the overflow rooms at the medialab. I'm sure we won't be as isolated as you think. --AlexanderWait 07:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)