Browse Category by Features & Tutorials

draw.io for MediaWiki and BlueSpice – create drawings collaboratively

A picture is worth a thousand words - show graphics in your wiki with draw.io. Picture: CCO Public Domain via Pixabay.
A picture is worth a thousand words – show graphics in your wiki with draw.io. Picture: CCO Public Domain via Pixabay.

Experienced and creative authors already got to know the diagram editor draw.io a long time ago. It is based on a web application, already developed by the company JGraph as free software, and it is already compatible with diverse applications like, for example, Confluence.

draw.io is also available for MediaWiki, making is possible to display processes, elaborate flowcharts and much more and in many ways. This fulfils the desire of many wiki users to create and present clear graphics like flowcharts, process chains and decision trees, working collaboratively in the wiki.

Continue Reading

WikiFarm: Software for centrally administering several wikis.

CCO Public Domain via Pixabay.
CCO Public Domain via Pixabay.

Administering several individual wikis is technically intricate because all too often, a confusing “wiki chaos” develops, which is difficult to take care of. In this area there is already a concept which has proved itself: the wiki farm.

Several wikis can be created, archived or deleted quickly and easily by using a wiki farm.  When creating wikis, the user has the option to create an empty wiki or to clone what is known as a “master wiki”. Such a master wiki can be already filled with content (e.g. handbooks), or contain files and configuration data, all of which can be transferred and supplied.

From a technical point of view, by using the farm concept, one can provide several wikis with just one wiki installation. The wiki software is only installed and saved once on the server and all the wikis use this installation together.

We have had an increasing number of enquiries from customers over the last few years for whom the best possible solution is provided by a wiki farm.  Many have the problem that a single wiki is no longer sufficient, because they need to reflect the most differing topics, languages and permissions concepts. In such cases, we always recommend the use of several wikis via our wiki farm solution.

Continue Reading

BlueSpice Featurelist 2016 online

Yesterday we published a new feature list. It was necessary to record the latest extensions. But we used the opportunity to mention a lot of important features that BlueSpice with MediaWiki as basis technology automatically includes: for example security features, many reporting functions and mobile device support.

These features have been neglected in the past, despite the fact that they show that MediaWiki is the leading system for collaborative knowledge systems for good reasons. Hallo Welt! assumed that these features are well known. Now we wanted to show that BlueSpice already includes in its standard what others advertise as an extra.

There are now 152 features grouped in 17 topics. We could have extended the list considerably, but we focused on the most important features in order to make decision-makers’ work easier.

This year Hallo Welt! will continue to expand  the extension pool of distributions and take important steps towards the integration of extensions. Of this steps our pro customers will benefit in the first place.

Moreover BlueSpice offers unique opportunities in order to develop its own products and customized solutions. These opportunities we will explain in more detail elsewhere, when it comes, for example, to the subject of technology partnerships.

Maybe another note: The feature list is not the same as the official extension list (software catalogue). The extension list shows which extensions are included in the distributions and are supported by us. The official extension list can still be found here.

Now I hope you enjoy studying BlueSpice features 2016. Comments and questions are of course always welcome.

MediaWiki extension ReplaceText compatible with BlueSpice

This little helper from MediaWiki enables administrators to search and replace words or text passages. The changes can be done in the content of wiki articles and in article titles. Fast and easy, because the modifications will automatically be made in all relevant articles.

  • Special page to search and replace single words or text passages in articles
  • Search and replace in article titles
  • Usage of placeholders and regular expressions
Choose a text that should be replaced
Choose a text that should be replaced

 

Form to replace text
Form to replace text

“Replace text” has been tested to be operational for MediaWiki and BlueSpice by the BlueSpice developer Hallo Welt!

Compatible with:

  • BlueSpice 2.23.x
  • MediaWiki 1.18.+

Where do you get this extension? You can download the extension “Replace Text” in the BlueSpice shop.

 

 

MediaWiki extension BreadCrumbs compatible with BlueSpice

With the MediaWiki BreadCrumbs extension it is possible to keep an overview of where you are in the wiki. The extension shows the path to the called up article and therefore provides orientation.

MediaWiki BreadCrumb: Article with navigation path
MediaWiki BreadCrumb: Article with navigation path

 

 

MediaWiki BreadCrumbs: Preferences
MediaWiki BreadCrumbs: Preferences

BreadCrumbs has been tested to be operational for MediaWiki and BlueSpice by the BlueSpice developer Hallo Welt!
Compatible with:

  • BlueSpice 2.23.x
  • MediaWiki 1.19+

Where do you get this extension? You can download the extension “BreadCrumbs” in the BlueSpice shop.

 

 

Create a wiki – tips for starting your own wiki

Creating your own Wikipedia is not at all difficult. It does not matter if you want it to concentrate on a specific theme, or if you want to create a wiki for your town or company; the basic considerations are very similar at the start. Here are some tips on what to take into account when you create a wiki. As it needs “green fingers” and a suitable environment. Although one only has a limited impact on group processes as an individual fan of wikis, there are a few elementary basic rules which will help.

 

Lobbypedia platform in Germany - mission "lobbying criticism"
Lobbypedia platform in Germany – mission “lobbying criticism”

 

Wikis need “missions”

Consider in advance what you want to achieve with your wiki. Is there a large enough target audience who are sufficiently interested? This is important, as you will need to find engaged authors who will fill the wiki with content and keep it alive. The “wiki effect” can only occur when the system is integrated into a larger overall context. This means that the wiki needs to help to solve pressing problems in a group or be a medium for constructive processes of change.

Wikis demand a great deal from those involved: They need to formulate their thoughts, independently develop organisational systems, create rules and keep to them. For this reason, wikis are only used when they cover a need and one can detect a practical use for the user. This can be a reduction in the daily routine work, particularly in businesses and other organisations. Alternatively it can be the simplification and acceleration of working procedures. It may also, however, be recognition from your colleagues or the creation of a collaborative working atmosphere. Wikis help, for example, to reduce the volume of circular mails. This leaves more time to concentrate on the more involved questions. The prime example, Wikipedia, owes its success not least to the circumstances surrounding it: Before Wikipedia, search engines did not really give a truly central starting point for internet research.
In public wikis, the relevance is often due to the importance of a theme of a (large) number of interested parties. Thus, for example, the Frankenwiki is a wiki which primarily appeals to residents of the Franconia. If there are enough authors within this group to create good content, then the wiki can aim for a wide impact and, for example, be valuable for tourists. Continue Reading

MediaWiki Images – What you need to know about uploading and inserting images

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. Continue Reading

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.

Advent calendar 23: Provide a dynamic view of the wiki’s category structure as a category tree

23-Advent-Calendar-Category-Tree

 

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

<categorytree>Top_Level</categorytree>

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.