Browse Author by Angelika Müller
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Advent calendar 24: Create a category cloud

24-Advent-Calendar-Category-Cloud

The CategoryTree is a nice feature to list all categories and to give your users an overview of the topics in your wiki.  But if you are using BlueSpice, it also provides a tag cloud for categories, which looks more fancy and can be configured and designed like the minimum font size, the increase factor, background or you can exclude categories from the tag cloud. To include the standard tag cloud in an article, just insert

<tagcloud></tagcloud>

at the position where it should be displayed.

The style definition is placed in the opening tag, e.g. <tagcloud style=”background:black;”> and the definition of the output can be written between the two tags, for example:
<tagcloud>
exclude=products, templates
min_size=55

</tagcloud>

Read about the capabilities how to configure the tag cloud in our helpdesk article.

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Advent calendar 20: Use the ISBN in your articles

20-Advent-Calendar-ISBN

Some companies also use the wiki for the educational training of their employees. In addition to the advices in the article, it is helpful to list further literature there. The ISBN search of the wiki supports the interested user with the functionality to automatically link to the book in a bookstore you choose. You only need to specify the ISBN number (ISBN-10 and ISBN 13) in the list of literature for every book and a click on the number will lead the user to a special page, where he can choose a bookstore, e.g. Amazon or Barnes & Noble. After choosing one, it leads you right to the product in the bookstore where you can order the book.

There is also a special page – “Special:BookSources” – where you can type in an ISBN number, choose the bookstore and get the product page of the book there.  But if you want to insert this functionality somewhere in your article, you only need to mention the ISBN in the correct form there like:

ISBN 3540351507 or ISBN 978-3540351504

You don´t need any special tag or wiki syntax. As simple as it is – it will work!

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Advent calendar 15: Create and provide page templates

15-Advent-Calendar-PageTemplate

Page templates easen the process of creating new articles in the wiki, because they provide a pattern for the content. Users get a clue of what information is needed here and what is missing. The templates also cause a more homogeneous structure for articles of the same content area.

Here´s a description how to create and provide page templates:

Create a new page in the namespace “template”, for example “Template:Organization”. You can edit and format this page like usual – add headings, tables and boxes here to create the framework for the content, which should be added. After you saved the structure for the page, you need to make it available for your users.
You need administrator rights, because this must be done in the admin tab in the left navigation. There you will find the menu item “Page templates”. Click on the green button to add a new template and a dialogue opens.

BlueSpice223-PageTemplates-Add-template-en
Make a template available for all users

First, choose the name of the template (e.g. Organization) and add a description to explain the use of this template. The template name and the description will be shown in the selection, when someone creates a new page. Now, choose the namespace, in which the template should be provided. In the next drop-down menus, you can choose your template. In case of our example, this will be “Template” in the menu for the template namespace, and “Organization” in the menu for the template. Confirm your changes and the template will be added. If an user creates a new page in the namespace you assigned, he will get the possibility to choose the template and start writing with the given structure of content.

Choosing a template
Choosing a template
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Advent calendar 11: Style changes in MediaWiki and BlueSpice

11-Advent-Calendar-Style-Changes

 

If you are a specialist in CSS, you can change the look and feel of the Wiki. And you don´t need to change the code file to do so, thanks to the “MediaWiki:Common.css”. On this page in the wiki, you can configure the style like font size, color, spacing, images and more.

For example, if you want links to be displayed underlined, add the code

#content a{ text-decoration: underline; }

on the “MediaWiki:Common.css” page. Learn more about Common.css at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:CSS

In BlueSpice, the CSS markup can also be defined for namespaces. Visit our helpdesk to find out how to do it: https://help.bluespice.com/index.php/NamespaceCss

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Advent calendar 10: Create your own navigation with the “Focus”

10-Advent-Calendar-Edit-Focus

In addition to the main navigation on the left, every user can have an own individual navigation too. It is called the “Focus” and you can link your favorite pages or add useful tools there.

To configure this personal navigation call up the page “User:USERNAME/Sidebar” to edit the focus. Link your most important wiki pages or use preconfigured functions like „TOOLBOX“ or „PAGESVISITED“. Save the changes and it will be shown in the focus navigation. You can find next to the main navigation. Just switch the tab on top of this menue.  A full description of how to edit the focus can be found at the BlueSpice helpdesk: https://help.bluespice.com/index.php/UserSidebar

Special hint: In the new version BlueSpice 2.23, editing the focus became much easier. Just switch to the focus naviagtion tab and you will see a pen symbol there. A click on this symbol opens the page for configuring the focus in the edit mode.

Editing the focus
Editing the focus
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Advent calendar 9: Use the spell checker in BlueSpice

9-Advent-Calendar-Spellchecker

The functionality to use the spell checker of your browser, is already included in BlueSpice free. What you need is to install the appropriate dictionary for the language you want in your browser. Those are available as addons. After you installed the dictionaries, you only need to activate the spell checker in the editing mode of your wiki article. Just open the menue of the spell checker with a simple command:

Firefox: Shift+right click
Chrome: Ctrl+right click

In this menue, you can activate or deactivate the spell checker, choose the languages and get suggestions for words.

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Advent calendar 2: Hide the Shoutbox

2-Advent-Calendar-Hiding-Shoutbox

The shoutbox is the place where you can leave article-related comments and it is shown below each article in the wiki. You want to hide the shoutbox? No problem. If you don´t want to provide this comment functionality at a certain article, just insert __NOSHOUTBOX__ in the wiki code of the article (it doesn´t make a difference if you add it on top or bottom of your code). Save the changes and the shoutbox won´t be shown at this article.
For administrators: You can also hide the shoutbox globally, so it won´t be shown in any case. Go to the admin preferences and open the tab “Shoutbox” in the “BlueSpice – MediaWiki settings”. You can also do some configuration here. Take a look at it!

And if you are an expert for the rights management, you can also have a look at the shoutbox rights “readshoutbox” and “writeshoutbox”.

Example for banners in a wiki
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New BlueSpice packages for advertising and ratings

We offer two new packages for BlueSpice.

1. BlueSpice [rent a link]

This is a package developed especially for public wikis, which enables you to display banner ads and directory entries in your wiki. It brings a manager for customers and banners, where you can also define campaigns with start and end date. Banner ads are displayed next to the article and can be assigned page-based. Also the rotation to show more than one banner on an article is possible. Also set direcotry entries to the articles. Those appear on an extra page, which is related to the article it belongs to. You decide, if the page is accessable by a link in the Statebar or in an extra tab on top of the article.

If you want to read more about [rent a link], visit the BlueSpice website. Or take a look at blueforge.biz, where you can see how it looks like. To watch an example for the directory entries, take a look at the BlueSpice article on blueforge.biz.

 

Example for banners in a wiki
Example for banners in a wiki

2. BlueSpice [rated comments]

With this new package, you get an star rating tool, to rate articles with up to 5 stars – like everyone knows e.g. from Amazon. In addition to the rating feature, the package enables the users to write comments and recensions, discuss contents and topics and exchange experiences.

Read more about [rated comments] on the BlueSpice website. An example can be found at blueforge.biz. Take a look at the article about “Gimp“. You can see the average rating and the number of evaluations next to the article title. Go to the bottom of the article to read the comments and to see how [rated comments] works.

Rate and comment articles
Rate and comment articles

BlueSpice demo reloaded – use cases and features in a new look

We keep the wiki evolution goin on! Not only by developing more extensions and functionalities, but also by making it easier for everyone to work with the wiki. The first step to encounter the BlueSpice wiki is to test it in our demo.  And this is where we started our redesign!

BlueSpice proudly presents

Use Cases and Features
Use Cases and Features

The new demo is already published in German language and comes with new features, use cases and short introductions how to use it.
The main page welcomes you to the demo and gives you a short overview of what you can try and where to find the pages and tools you need. With the overworked demo you won´t be lost in space at any time. Check out the new features – they´re all provided with introduction pages, which teaches you how to use the feature and leads you to the appropriate page in the wiki. We also prepared some use cases. Those are application examples show you how the BlueSpice features can be used for your company tasks. Of course, they are also provided with introduction pages to try it out for yourself.

 

The nice side effect of our redesign: The demo looks pretty good now!

BlueSpice demo
BlueSpice demo

Visit the BlueSpice demo to get an idea of it. Keep your eyes open – more features and use cases will follow soon, as well as an English demo!