Since the beginning of 2015 we welcome service specialist marillabax as a partner at Hallo Welt!
With marillabax we develop a wiki that is not only functionally, but also matches perfectly to the content-related needs of service and support employees. The result of this partnership is called „b-know“, and it is introduced on CeBIT 2015.
Ms. Bax explains:
When companies talk about service and support, they often mean their telephone or e-mail hotline or when the service technician is solving problems right away.
This is why service is still considered as a necessary but unpopular cost center. Successful companies are demonstrating how service can be more than a cost driver – namely a customer oriented department which supports competitive differentiation and adds value to the company.
To achieve this, a lot of companies buy elaborative consulting processes or expensive training initiatives.
b-know is an internal, wiki-based knowledge platform for all service and support processes and the necessary expertise knowledge. With the help of b-know, companies can reorganize their service and position themselves as customer oriented. All concerned parties have quick access to the expert knowledge, handbooks or FAQ’s they need – this is knowledge management at its best.
b-know is available for three industries: IT companies, IT organisations and mechanical engineering. For those industries you will get predefined templates and best practices as a basis, which you can adapt according your needs. New processes can be easily implemented. With the help of b-know companies can profile their service organization much more efficiently, structured and with a higher quality. As a result they save costs and gain additional sales in service and support.
b-know is based on the wiki platform BlueSpice developed by Hallo Welt! and enriched with special service handbooks and contents from marillabax.
More information on the BlueSpice website.
Images and screenshots are an essential part of the content. The visualization of content supports the understanding and the motivation to spend time on the text. But how can I upload pictures in MediaWiki and how do I insert it in an article? I will show you three ways how to display the pictures in your article – one in an original MediaWiki and two in BlueSpice. Also I will give you some background information on images in MediaWiki.
1. Uploading and inserting pictures in MediaWiki
If you are using a “normal” MediaWiki, you need to do two steps on two different places in the wiki. First, you have to upload the image with a tool on a special page and then it must be inserted in the article(s).
There is a so-called special page, which enables you to upload an image. This special page can be found at “Special:Upload”. There is also a link in the listed tools, which are mostly located in the navigation. Open this page and you will see the uploading tool from MediaWiki.
Browse your files and choose the image you want to upload. Click “Upload file” to save the picture in your wiki. Keep the file name in mind – you will need it to find the right file when inserting it in an article. A good advice is, to name the file with a descriptive file name, which means that the file names describes what is seen on the picture. A file with the title “DIC2009.jpg” can hardly be found later and other users won´t know what kind of picture this is.
Inserting images articles:
This is the tricky part. Call up the article you want to insert the picture in. Switch to the edit mode and place your cursor at the position where the picture should be shown. Insert the following code there:
This is the first step – the image has been inserted in the article and is displayed there. Now you can choose between several parameters to configure the image, e.g. the size of the picture, alignment, if it should be shown as a thumb and so on. Decide what parameters you want and add it in the code, separated with straight lines (a so-called “Pipes”) after the name of the image. This is, for example, the code for a thumb with the size 200px, which is placed on the left side of the text:
left, right, center, none
Defines, where in the text the image is placed (text flow)
Thumb and frame
Set the size of the image in pixel (the picture will be scaled automatically)
Set a link (if no link is set, a click on the image automatically opens the meta page of the image)
Insert a description
The caption will only be displayed, when the image is configured as a thumb, otherwise the description will be shown by mouseover
BlueSpice is a free Open Source MediaWiki distribution. It is installed on top of a MediaWiki. The content stays the same, but BlueSpice is well-designed, user-friendly and brings along some useful additional features. In the gratis version BlueSpice free, inter alia the InsertImage dialogue. With this little helper, you don´t need to cope with the wiki syntax anymore. You can insert a picture very comfortable and it also enables you to upload an image directly in the article you are editing and without changing to the upload page of MediaWiki.
This is how it works:
Switch to the editing mode of the article you want to insert the image at. Click on the symbol for the InsertImage dialogue. An extra window opens up and provides an upload button. Click on it to browse your files and to choose an image file for uploading. You can also add a description or a category for the image. Confirm your choice with “OK” and the file will be automatically uploaded to your wiki. After this, you can also do further adjustment of the wiki in this dialogue, e.g. set size, alignment and linkings. Confirm with “OK” again and the image is integrated in your article.
3. Upload and insert images with drag & drop or copy & paste
This functionality also requires BlueSpice and in addition to this, the fee required package BlueSpice [paste image]. You can get it in the BlueSpice Shop or in the subscription BlueSpice pro.
Open the article you want to insert the image at in the editing mode. If you want to include a picture from the clipboard, place the cursor at the position where it should be shown and press Ctrl+v. Or choose an image file in your explorer, hold it with pressed left mouse button and move it to the appropriate position in your article. The InsertImage dialogue opens, like described in chapter 2. Define your settings for the picture and confirm with “OK”. The image will be uploaded and inserted in the article.
Meta page and administration of images in MediaWiki and BlueSpice
Images are usually uploaded and stored in the “file” namespace. Users often detect an uploaded image as a normal content article in this namespace. Click on an image in any article and (if there is no other linking) you will be redirected to this meta page of the image.
Here you will find information on resolution and size, as well as links to the articles the image is used at. By the way, images and files are also versioned, so on the meta page you will find the versioning for this image. If you click on “Upload a new version of this file” you can upload a new file with the same file name and overwrite the old image with the new one. The image will be updated automatically in every article it is used at. Of course you can also do a roll-back.
In MediaWiki there are also special pages that create special lists related to images. Just call up one of the following special pages by inserting them in the URL behind the slash e.g. “mywiki.com/index.php/Special:Upload”
Spezial:Upload – Call up the upload tool
Special:MostLinkedFiles – List of files that are used very often
Special:ListFiles – This special page shows all uploaded files of the wiki. Search for certain files here.
Special:NewFiles – This special page shows the last uploaded files
Special:UncategorizedFiles – Shows files without an assigned category
To find out more on the technical administration please have a look at mediawiki.org.
In BlueSpice and MediaWiki you can display the category system as a category tree. With the category tree, the user gets an insight into the structure and the yet available categories and articles. To insert a category tree into any wiki page please use the categorytree-tag and one of the existing categories from which the category tree shall start. In this example it is top level
There is also a special page for displaying the category tree – just call up “Special:CategoryTree”. This page provides a form where you can type in the category you want to be shown. You also have the choice whether all pages of the category, only the category (with subcategories if available) or all pages except the files should be shown.
For more detailed information and attributs for the categorytree-tag please have a look at mediawiki.org.
If you click on an image, which is uploaded and linked in your wiki – you will be redirected to the meta page of this file. Here you can discover a lot e.g.
size of the image
meta information of the image
you can see on which pages the image is used
and it is also possible to upload a new version of this file
Especially this last point is very important not only for images but also for files. Because if you have a new version of this file, which might be linked or used in several other pages, just click on „upload a new version“. Afterwards upload an „updated“ modification. Now, in every page this file is used, the new version will be shown – you don’t have to edit and update every page.
So you avoid spamming your wiki with too many files that might be named like „photo-account-manager“ „photo-account-manager-new“…. Just replace the original file with this functionality and you have replaced the file. Like you know it from the version history of articles, also the files have their own version history with the time a version has been uploaded and the user who did that. In the same way as you do it for articles, you can also rollback to a former version.
Not only Wiki gardeners of public wikis need to clean-up their content. Also wiki gardeners of company-internal wikis should do a regularly maintenance work. For example when users create a lot of test pages, because they don’t know that there is a sandbox. To delete one page after another is very laborious – therefore you can use the MediaWiki extension „nuke“ (that is also included in all BlueSpice versions) to delete several pages at once. You can also make settings for this extension e.g. limit the deletion for a special namespace, user or articles that include a certain word.
This functionality is provided on the special page “Special:Nuke”.
The standard feature for uploading images in the wiki is only for single uploads. But this is very laborious, if you need lots of pictures, which should be available in the wiki. A small and free program solves this problem and helps for this task with an multiple upload feature – the “Commonist”.
The tool was developed as an upload client primarily for Wikimedia commons. But you can configure it with the path to your wiki(s). The images will be uploaded in the wiki you defined automatically.
For BlueSpice administrators, there is a special page that provides several statistics and diagrams. Call up the page “Special:ExtendedStatistics”. Here you can start different statistical queries like number of users, pages, content pages, edits as well as edits per user and search queries.
Once you have choosen a query you will get the possibility to define e.g. the range of date, resolution, namespaces, categories, users and other settings that are related to the query. Click on “Create a diagram” to see a visualization of the statistical information. Afterwards you can export the diagram as a svg or png file.
By the way – in the admin dashboard you will also find some of those statistics.
Furthermore, you can configure the “Extended Statistics” in the admin preferences. Exclude single users from the statistics (e.g WikiSysop) or raise the number of steps.
In MediaWiki and BlueSpice the table of contents will be shown at the very beginning of an article, when there are more than three headings. If you want to place it somewhere else, choose a position in the text and insert __TOC__ to display it right there. The same command will also force to display the table of content, even if there are less then four headings in the article. If you use __TOC__ several times in the text, it will ony appear at the first word’s position.
In the other case, if you don´t want a table of contents, meantion __NOTOC__ somewhere in your wiki code and it won´t be displayed, no matter how much headings you used. __TOC__ overrides the __NOTOC__ command, if you are using both in one article.
BlueSpice provides a user dashboard for every user, which supplies so-called “portlets” with several information and statistics. This portlets can be activated and placed in the dashboard individually. You can choose from 10 different portlets (for some of the following portlets, further settings can be made) :
RSS feed: Import any RSS feed you want e.g. the BlueSpice blog.
Calendar: Display a calendar with a marker on the current day.
My edits: See a list of pages you recently edited and call up a page by clicking on it.
Most edited pages: Have a look at the list of most edited pages, sorted by their edits, to see which pages are regularly updated or which topics activate users to contribute.
Most viewed pages: The list of the most viewed pages, sorted by their views, may indicate which topics are very popular for users. Maybe this is a hint which pages are that important that they should be linked in the left navigation.
Most active users: Get to know who is very engaged in the wiki by using the list of the most active users, sorted by their edits.
Your responsibilities: Get a list of pages you are responsible for to keep an overview of your tasks.
Number of users: Statistic of the number of users.
Number of edits: Statistic of the number of edits.
Number of pages: Statistic of the number of pages.