Browse Category by Features & Tutorials

Advent calender 22: Upload a new version of a file

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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.

Advent calendar 21: Mass deletion of articles

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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”.

For more information about this feature visit our helpdesk: https://help.bluespice.com/index.php/Nuke

Advent calendar 20: Use the ISBN in your articles

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!

Advent calendar 19: Multi-upload for images

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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.

Download the Commonist and read our helpdesk article to find out how to configure and use the upload client.

By the way, you can use Commonist for both – BlueSpice and MediaWiki!

Advent calendar 18: Statistical information on the wiki

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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.

Advent calendar 17: Moving the table of contents

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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.

Advent calendar 16: Wiki-related information and statistics – the User Dashboard

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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.

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.

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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

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>

 

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!