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Advent calendar 15: Create and provide page templates

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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 14: Describing code syntax in the wiki

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A wiki is a place for documentation in general, but sometimes it is also used to describe how to use the wiki itself. For this reason – and also for other computer code-related descriptions – you will need to display code snippets to explain how something works. But how to do this without getting an error of the wiki syntax? Especially if you want to give an example for wiki code – it won´t work, because the wiki interprets it as a functionality, link or markup.
There is a very simple trick: just let the wiki know, that the next characters are no wiki code. You can do this with the <nowiki>-tag. Here is an example:

<nowiki><bs:countcharacters></nowiki>
or
<nowiki>[[Special:Version]]</nowiki>

The wiki won´t show the number of characters or set the link to the special page, it will just display the text between the tags in your article.

Especially for computer code, there is an additional <code>-tag. This formats the text with a light grey background and another font to highlight a code snippet. Combine the two tags to display code in an article, e.g.

<code><nowiki><bs:countcharacters></nowiki></code>

 

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Advent calendar 13: Hiding the StateBar

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Sometimes information in the StateBar isn´t necessary or even not wanted, for example at the main page or portal pages. Here you can hide the statebar by using this behaviour switch __NOSTATEBAR__. Enter the edit mode and change to the wikicode mode. Now insert __NOSTATEBAR__ at the end or at the beginning of the page and save this change. The StateBar won´t be shown at this article anymore.

The StateBar shouldn´t be shown in any article of the wiki? Don´t worry, you don´t have the set the behavior switch in every single article. You can also deactivate the StateBar globally. But: You need to have administrator rights for this, because it is a setting in the admin preferences.  Switch to the admin tab in the main navigation and then go to
Preferences -> BlueSpice -> BlueSpice-MediaWiki settings -> Status bar
and uncheck the box “Display Statebar”. The StatBar is deactivated in the whole wiki now!

 

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Advent calendar 12: Count characters, articles and users

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You want to display some information about the number of articles, characters of an article or users of the wiki? You don´t need to look for this data or count it manually. BlueSpice provides the functionality to display this automatically generated information wherever you insert special kind of tags. Just place the following commands in an article, where the statistics should be shown.

  • Number of characters of an article:
    <bs:countcharacters>ARTICLE_NAME</bs:countcharacters>
  • Number of articles:
    <bs:countarticles />
  • Number of users:
    <bs:countusers />

The statistic about the characters can also be configured to display the number of words or pages of the article. Read more about how to configure the mode in our helpdesk article: https://help.bluespice.com/index.php/Count_Things

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Advent calendar 11: Style changes in MediaWiki and BlueSpice

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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”

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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

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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 7: Activate the WYSIWYG as default

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Did you know that in the user settings every user is able to activate the visual editor by default?

So if you are a „WYSIWYG-worker“ you should enable the setting „visual editor“ in your user preferences in the BlueSpice tab. Everytime you enter the edit mode of an article, the visual editor will show up first.

On the other hand, if you are constantly working in the wikicode, you should disable the default use of the WYSIWYYG editor.

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Advent calendar 6: Changing the links in the TopBarMenu

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In BlueSpice you have a second navigation at the top of the page. This area is named TopBarMenu. Wiki and blog are set and linked by default but as an administrator you can set different internal or external links. It is also possible to structure links as a dropdown.

Open the page „MediaWiki:TopBarMenu“ and enter names of internal wiki pages or external links.
This is how you build up the links:

* Systemtitle|URL|Displaytitle

URL can be a name of a wiki article or an external link.

For example:

* Wiki|Wiki
* Blog|Wiki Blog
** BlueSpice Blog|https://blog.blue-spice.org|BlueSpice Blog
** Hallo Welt Blog|https://blog.bluespice.com|Hallo Welt Blog

In the wiki admin preferences at the section „menu customizer“ you can define e.g. the number of nested layers.