Browse Tag by MediaWiki

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 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 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.

Advent calendar 5: Hide the table of content

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If there are more than two headings, the wiki will automatically show a table of content at the beginning of an article.  You don’t want the system to display this index?

Then put __NOTOC__ at the beginning or end of the article in the wiki code and there won’t be a table of content anymore.

Advent calendar 4: Display a RSS feed in a wiki article

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If you want to keep your users up-to-date and provide them the latest news and information from an external site, the RSS feed is the media of your choice. And you can also use this great functionality to display the news in your wiki. Just get the URL from the RSS feed from the website you want to import. In our example, we took the RSS feed from our BlueSpice blog. And here comes the example:

<rss max=4 highlight=”MediaWiki BlueSpice”>https://sandbox.kulturbanause.de/old-blog-bluespice/feed/</rss>

Put the URL between the rss-tags. Additional variables can be used, to configure the output on the page. “max 4” means, that only the last four news will be displayed and “highlight=”MediaWiki BlueSpice” marks the words “MediaWiki” and “BlueSpice” wherever they appear in the text. This is how our example looks like in the article:

 

RSS Import in BlueSpice
RSS Import in BlueSpice

There are more variables to configure the output. Find out more in our helpdesk article about the RSS import: https://help.bluespice.com/index.php/RSS_Import

And there is also an extra portlet in your dashboard, where you can display the RSS feed, too. Open your user dashboard and add the “RSS-Feed” portlet. All you need to do now is to click on the cog wheel icon and insert the URL in the dialogue. Save it and get the latest news!

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Advent calendar 3: Changing a page title without moving the page

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Sometimes it can be useful to change the title of a wiki article, but without moving the page. This means, that the URL stays the same and all links that refer to this site remain active. Only the title in the content will be displayed differently.
For example: You created the page “Prices” as a subpage of “Products”. The title will be shown this way “Products/Prices”. You don´t like it, because you only want “Prices” to be shown as the page title? Just use the variable  DISPLAYTITLE  to define any title, which should be displayed. Here is the code, according to our example:
{{DISPLAYTITLE:Prices}}

There are lots of use cases for this feature, e.g. if you want to shorten a very long title, if you want to hide the prefix of a namespace (like turning “Portal:Quality Management” into “Quality Management”), and so on. Or also if you want to overcome the MediaWiki obstacle of the mandatory capital letter (for example an article about the “IPod” looks much better if you change it to “iPod”).

Attention: Please take into consideration, that it could confuse your users when they are looking for the article. They keep the title in mind, but can´t find it because the wiki system is still using the real title of the page.