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RoboWiki Renovations

A few weeks ago, PEZ, Fnl, a newcomer who spawned the discussion, and I (Voidious) started some initial discussions about doing a serious overhaul of the RoboWiki. It seemed like the only logical move would be to bring that discussion to the wiki here. I think everyone would agree that the wiki could use some cleaning up. Here are some of the main points brought up so far.

I'm sure there's so much more to talk about, so let's hear what you guys think. We've got a lot of smart and enthusiastic people around here right now, so I'm sure you've all got plenty of great comments on the above and ideas of your own. =)

-- Voidious, PEZ, and Fnl

Everything you list sounds like a good idea, particularly #2. I would think that there need not be a specific effort to move everything from the existing wiki; chances are that the recent content will reappear on its own on the new site. As you point out, much of the current stuff is outdated, and it is entirely possible that the new wiki will have only recent material because only recent visitors will move their posts. -- AaronR

I think it sounds great. Especially having a better search feature (I've thought about suggesting a new search feature, but haven't gotten around to it yet). As for hosting the site and rumble - don't shoot me here - but I think it would be great to have google ads or something like that to support the site. I don't really know how that works ... if it oversupports the site we could even think about buying/renting dedicated rumble servers or something like that. Or subsidizing Fnl's efforts, or paying a thank-you to PEZ/Pulsar. Or flying everyone to a beautiful/tropical location to have a big lan party ... -- Simonton

My initial response is that there would be a lot of bias. Robocode is more of an art than a science, and someone putting together a composite information page is going to take what they percieve as valuable aspects of the discussion to paint their summation. Overall it sounds like a lot of work. I'm not really familiar with Wiki structure in general as this is the only one I've used much, with the occasional visits to the encyclopedia one that I use so infrequently that the name escapes me. -- Martin

Oh - and another comment I have - which is kind of prompted by martin's statement above but not entirely related - separating content from discussion sounds like a great idea, but I have a reservation or two about the idea of having dedicated editors. Just assigning people to specific areas to make the conversion from one wiki to the other would be fine, if enough people are up to that endevor, but I think after the conversion everyone should have equal responsibility for everything. I can't back that up with anything other than I feel like that would be better. I, for example, would not care to be an editor, but I do care to organize a page here & there. If that section had an editor, I would not feel like organizing it, but would just complain to myself about how unorganized *that* guy's page is. -- Simonton

I'd be all for a Forum to do actual discussions and leave the Wiki for actual knowledge archival. And yes, it took me a while to start using the changes button for finding the actual discussion. Too bad the Repository forums are so destroyed - that's where we used to do all the talking. --Miked0801

Trac has full Subversion capabilities in addition to its wiki and bug tracking systems. If Trac could be set up in such a way that everyone gets access to their own little Subversion repository, it would be AWESOME. -- AaronR

MediaWiki? predefines a discussion page for well, discussion. --Chase-san

I agree with the discusssion separation from the actual knowledge...just the way wikipedia does it --Starrynte

I am also very fund of MediaWiki?, which we are using at my job, especially because you can do fixed pages and put the discussion for it seperately, which I think is benificial for our purpose. ;-) I really miss this feature in the RoboWiki. I would be cool if I could put ALL the online documentation for Robocode on the Wiki knowing that I will not be changed, unless a person with the right knowledge do it. If something is wrong with the documentations, then people can state that on the discussion part, and then the "fixed" paged could be updated the right person. --Fnl

I'm sorry for taking so long to start contributing to this discussion. At first, I wanted to let it go a few days, because I had so many comments I wanted to make and I didn't want to just dictate the whole conversation. Then I had a couple really hectic weeks and just didn't find time to comment. Anyway, just a note to say this stuff is still gonna happen and I will comment some more soon. Some great input from everyone so far! -- Voidious

I think the RobocodeRepository is dead. The site has been down for hours with the error: JspTagException (java.sql.SQLException): Access denied for user 'robocode'@'localhost' (using password: YES). Apparently their server can't access their own database. =) Anyway, this is why we need a new repository to go with the new wiki! -- AaronR

I have a half-finished repository and RRAH server all-in-one replacement, if someone wants to help work on it. I have two versions: originally I did it with J2EE but then redid it with ruby on rails. They're both about equally complete. I figure I'll probably go forward with the RoR? version, but if someone is a J2EE expert and wants to work on the J2EE version, I'm open to doing that. I also grabbed the roborumble.org domain name about a year ago, to load that software onto when it's done. So if you're interested, let me know. --David Alves

Speaking of domain names, how are we going to move the wiki setup? How about a two step process:

  1. First, we grab robowikirenovation.net and oldrobowiki.net. We start setting up the new wiki at robowikirenovation.net.
  2. When the new wiki is finished, we move the existing wiki to oldrobowiki.net, move the new wiki to the present robowiki.net, and change robowikirenovation.net to redirect to robowiki.net.

Anyone have a better idea?

-- AaronR

Why not just do robowiki.net/old or old.robowiki.net? No need for a whole other domain name... --David Alves

Here's another round of comments from me...

-- Voidious

I vote for using talk pages. Having a forum would de-couple discussion from specific wiki pages, right? I'm just not ready for that kind of paradigm sift :). But other than that, I think we're ready (except for having the server?). If you ask me, I say just set up media wiki and let's get started! -- Simonton

(Edit conflict) Here's my opinions/responses to what you just posted:

Edit: maybe we should have a link to this page on the Robo Home? As has been pointed out, few newcomers watch the Changes page, but they make up the majority of users (and opinions!).

-- AaronR

LEt me have a round!


So is the consensus basically this (please reply yes or no)?

If there are no problems, I say we get started!

-- AaronR

I say yes on all those things. I just have three things to add:

-- Voidious

Hostgator is reliable, and they actually respond to you! (gasp). Its what we use over at tfsnewworld, they offer insane bandwidth, storage space and domains. They offer shared (which is cheap) and deticarted which is not (what did you expect?). They be here: http://www.hostgator.com

Right now for shared, swamp, 1000 gb of disk space (yes thats 1 terabyte), Unlimited bandwidth and unlimited domains all for $12.95. Heh, okay enough with horrible bad sales pitch.

At any rate its almost cheap enough I could afford it.


If you need help with the annual payment for the new Wiki, I am interrested in paying some or most of it. :-) --Fnl

In case it already didn't seem urgent enough to get the repository replacement working, I just thought I should point out that the existing repository has been completely nonfunctional (not even showing the homepage) for something like two days. =( -- AaronR

A replacement will be up shortly. --David Alves

Alright dudes - I've been tinkering with MediaWiki? over at roborumble.org and I think I've got things setup to the point that we can all start working on migrating (and re-organizing) content. I really like MediaWiki? so far, it's great. Once we're sure that the host can handle regular usage (not that I'm too doubtful, but you never know), we can see about getting robowiki.net pointing to the new host and make it our new home. I've migrated a few things and tried to get a handle on some of the ways things can be re-arranged on the new wiki, so you can look around to get an idea of some general stuff, but there's still like 99.9% of the content to go. =)

Check it out at: [testwiki.roborumble.org]. And please please please check out the [Migration] page I setup. =) There's also a ton of great info at [MediaWiki.org] about how to use the features and syntax of MediaWiki?. Luckily, a lot of basic syntax from UseMod? is the same as MediaWiki?, but certainly not all.

-- Voidious

I love photoshopping, if you like David I can create a bunch of flags, and assuming I can get access (I doupt it, but I am already a webmaster / sole programmer of tfsnewworld.com), depending on whether your using tomcat or php for the system I could add in the new countries aswell. however i'll leave any base functionality to you (since you programmed it and probably have things planned). Also I have a prototype of my own rumble-server working, its not online but uploading and rankings work (just no detail display yet, but thats simple enough). Server-side scripting is my true medium. --Chase-san

David, I have the flags for you, not every one there is of course, but a good start. [1] --Chase-san

i would like to see a real reaction system, instead of this editing stuff. and i would like just some color and style, instead of those white pages with blue links. what about word press, and just give the default user rights to make pages and posts. --pipin?

Welcome to the wiki, pipin! I think the reason for doing a wiki instead of wordpress is that it makes it easier to explore. As long as we're good about making phrases like HeadOnTargeting link to the appropriate page, people that are new to robocode can browse from page to page, reading up on things that they don't know about easily. Also, my experience with WordPress? (I made the theme for http://csclub.cs.sjsu.edu and do some moderation of posts there) has been that making posts is great and easy, but making pages and linking them together is not as smooth, and certainly not as easy as the double square bracket way of doing things in a wiki. --David Alves

Cool, I really like the initiative with roborumble.org as a replacement for the old Robocode Repository! --Fnl

Regarding the new Wiki.. where should I begin with migrating the stuff for the old [Online Help] into the new Wiki? I will probably give it a textural face lift (update the information) for the new Wiki. ;-) --Fnl

Must we keep record what pages already are migrated and being migrated, or should we more-or-less follow the 'wanted pages' on the new wiki. Not that I have much time to contribute to the migration, but every little effort helps. -- GrubbmGait

Am I doing the migrating stuff right? (migrating Melee stuff mostly for now) --Starrynte

Found this in [Help:Section] at the Wikimedia MetaWiki:

For each page with more than three headings, a table of contents (TOC) is automatically generated from the section headings, unless:

When either __FORCETOC__ or __TOC__ (with two underscores on either side of the word) is placed in the wikitext, a TOC is added even if the page has fewer than four headings.

With __FORCETOC__, the TOC is placed before the first section heading. With __TOC__, it is placed at the same position where this code is placed. This allows any positioning, e.g. on the right or in a table cell. In old versions of MediaWiki?, it also allows multiple occurrence, e.g. in every section (However, this seems only useful if the sections are long, so that the TOCs take up only a small part of the total space.).

-- AaronR

I am now putting new, active content on the new wiki, rather than here. Is that something the whole community would like to do? All I'm doing right now is updating my movement research and RoboResearch, not migrating any old content. I would love to see everyone follow suit. MediaWiki? provides some nice features; in my opinion it's worth the (slight) learning curve. The only problem is that it doesn't have enough content to really replace this wiki yet. Did people generally give up on the migration, or is that effort just temporarily dormant? Not that I'm asking anyone to start doing it (since I myself am not), I'm just curious. -- Simonton

There is something called "school" which is preventing me from helping on migration at the moment...but when I am not busy with school I can hopefully help with migration --Starrynte

I was going to make the move, but then I saw the Recent Changes page was basically a giant spam-reversion log... Is it better now? I think that migrating everything over will be challenging, especially since many nuggets of wisdom are sprinkled in conversations throughout the current wiki. --Darkcanuck

I've (finally!) disabled anonymous edits at the new wiki, so we should be good to go re: wiki-spam. If nobody objects, I think we'll point robowiki.net at the new wiki sometime soon and turn this one into a read-only archive. Then we can migrate content as we see fit, and we'll also always have the old wiki intact for reference, so we can even choose not to migrate some stuff without it being lost forever. Sound good? -- Voidious

Was bored, and had a few free minutes, so here goes: (Based off UseMod? v1.0 - the 2003 release)

Under sub BrowsePage?: (note: hxxp --> http)

  if ($id eq 'RoboRumble/Participants') {
    print $q->redirect( -URL => "hxxp://testwiki.roborumble.org/w/api.php?action=query&format=yaml&prop=revisions&rvprop=content&rvlimit=1&titles=RoboRumble/Participants");
  } else if ($id eq 'SomeOtherPage') {
    print $q->redirect( -URL => "hxxp://testwiki.roborumble.org/wiki/Some_Other_Page");
  } else if ($id eq 'Changes') { # Yes, even the RC comes through here
    print $q->redirect( -URL => "hxxp://testwiki.roborumble.org/wiki/Special:Recentchanges");
#Added before this:
Under sub BrowsePage?:
  $fullHtml .= '<div class=wikitext>';
## Added one line:
  $fullHtml .= '<hr><h3>Look for this article on the new wiki <a href="http://testwiki.roborumble.org/wiki/Special:Search/'.$id.'">here</a></h3><hr>';
  $fullHtml .= &WikiToHTML($Text{'text'});
  $fullHtml .= '</div>';
Under sub DoPost?:
  if (true) { # <-- Change the condition
    &ReportError(Ts('Editing not allowed for %s.', $id));
-- Nfwu

I think the new wiki should be placer here (At robowiki.net) and the old one put in a different subdirectory or simular with a link form the new to the old, I think this would better motivate people to update the new wiki. --Chase

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Last edited September 20, 2008 21:33 EST by Chase (diff)