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Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.02 20:41
by Rayanth
Hey everyone. Just thought I'd talk real quick about my current plans for the Wiki. Since I became Manager a month ago, I've been digging really deeply into all aspects of the wiki and working out an overall plan for how I want to guide it going forward.

I will keep the list of plans and accomplishments up-to-date on my Userpage on the wiki, at https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/User:Rayanth but I will also try to update this post as necessary if I get more details worked out.

In a nutshell, I have come up with a three phase approach for my plans:

1) Upgrade the Infrastructure
2) Lower the bar
3) Update all the things

(There are also some things that don't quite fit in with the Overall plan listed in Other on my userpage.)

Upgrading the infrastructure is important, and important to do first, as it will allow us to add some newer MediaWiki features that will make everyone's lives easier, as well as allow me to add some newer, friendlier Editors that don't work on our current version.

The biggest issues with this task are that the Skin system changed between versions so our current "theme" will completely break when we upgrade. I am solving this by putting together a TestWiki with copies of pages that are the most at-risk of breakage, built up with the current version we currently use; Then I can work on upgrading the TestWiki one version at a time, thoroughly testing it, and building instructions to hand up to my IT Overlord for implementing the upgrades.

The next phase is my true passion - Lowering the bar. I want to make it even easier for anyone who plays the game, Uni or not, to edit the wiki. This means simplifying the style guidelines, reducing the number of templates and "if you don't do this just right it breaks" that we have in play, and - possibly - allowing SSO login instead of Forum Registration (if possible). This will also include teaching some Uniwiki 101 classes and more outreach to generate awareness.

And that brings us to Updating all the things - the UniWiki is a well-respected resource throughout the EVE Online Community, but we're starting to accumulate a lot of outdated information. There's currently 104 pages marked as needing an Update and I am positive there are many more that have not been marked for it that still need it - Mission Reports alone, nearly half of the Mission Reports pages that were imported from EveSurvival still do not have the proper formatting applied, and many have incorrect information or the mission details have changed.

The more people I can get on board with editing, the more up to date we can be - and this approach, Upgrade, Simplify, Outreach is I think the best way to go about it. And I'd love to see us continue to be THE go-to resource.

Stay tuned, as we continue to dive into Phase 1 :)

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.02 21:43
by Flack Keikira
Is the issue with SSO vs Forum a technical one or a policy one? I'd be happy to try and help with the technical side, I've done MediaWiki hacking and CCP SSO work in the past.

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.03 02:36
by Rayanth
I am also very familiar with both - I don't think implementing SSO authorization itself will be difficult. There is an OAuth2 extension for MediaWiki, so it should be easy to configure. But I have not yet brought this idea to the higher management for approval, and I'm not yet certain how it will work for already existing forum-based accounts.

Ideally, I would want existing users to be able to log in with their forum account and choose to add SSO to it, to make it easy to link up. New users should be able to register either in the forum, or with SSO, and if desired add the opposite.

I will test all of that thoroughly before proposing it for implementation, but again, the priority remains on upgrading the software right now, to be able to make use of those extensions without issue in the future.

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.03 02:43
by Adree Jericho
Really digging on part 2, Lowering the Bar. Good goal!

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.03 12:46
by O'b Haru Sen
great! especially lowering the bar. all the best!

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.04 11:47
by Jameson Bolmara
Excellent plan and after 9 years of dealing with it and my personal "breaks" to it, I'm all for #2!!!

JB

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.04 15:29
by Shauny Tsero
With phase 2 phase 3 should be a quick and easy job :) good luck with it all!

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.05 13:09
by Bates Larsson
The biggest issue with SSO is not simply using it to get character ids, as that's simple. its the fact we link multiple technologies together and we need to be consistent across all those platforms, forum, wiki, mumble, portal etc.
Permissions need to be shared and due to the age of the uni things like LDAP would not work as not all the older code supports it.
We could make custom code for things but that then takes time and since we have members go through the uni very rapidly we could never guarantee updates to the custom code. it would end up being like the mapper where it started with good intentions but the devs are long gone now and we are left with unsupported code.
Thankfully the Wiki is not as permission heavy as the forum, for example. So we could use SSO and manually give people permissions since everyone can edit only a few need high perms.
My other gripe with SSO, the way CCP do it, is first they don't give back an avatar URL, yes you can use the char id to make the URL but most SSO plugins expect the url to be returned so once again that involves custom code, secondly there is no eve email address and that's also required by most plugins for authentification. The solution to that is to fake the email with the id or name but once again that's custom code.
Just one of the joys of working with ESI :P

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.05 18:11
by Rayanth
all valid points, and ones I've had to overcome in my own EVE tools development. So I think we can agree for right now to say "We'd like to do it, but whether we can pull it off easily and without high maintenance overhead remains to be seen") :)

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.18 16:20
by Erwin Madelung
Rayanth wrote:The next phase is my true passion - Lowering the bar. I want to make it even easier for anyone who plays the game, Uni or not, to edit the wiki. This means simplifying the style guidelines, reducing the number of templates and "if you don't do this just right it breaks" that we have in play, and - possibly - allowing SSO login instead of Forum Registration (if possible). This will also include teaching some Uniwiki 101 classes and more outreach to generate awareness.

Why is it necessary to be logged in to edit the wiki? In the "normal" wiki this is not necessary. This would significantly lower the bar for anyone who has never been part of eve university. I also noticed that the number of protected sites is increasing. This is very much against the general spirit of a wiki. Usually, sites only become protected because of vandalism. I can't see why any page should be protected without vandalism. Even for eve university related pages it is simply the job of the relavant people to keep an eye on "their" pages.

Rayanth wrote:And that brings us to Updating all the things - the UniWiki is a well-respected resource throughout the EVE Online Community, but we're starting to accumulate a lot of outdated information. There's currently 104 pages marked as needing an Update and I am positive there are many more that have not been marked for it that still need it - Mission Reports alone, nearly half of the Mission Reports pages that were imported from EveSurvival still do not have the proper formatting applied, and many have incorrect information or the mission details have changed.

A good number of edits could in theory be automated. I recently noted that the changes to the FAX hulls which happened nearly a year ago have not been updated in the wiki. Such things could be done automatically by pulling the data from CCP.

Re: Current Plans for the Wiki

PostPosted: 2019.07.19 09:05
by Rayanth
Erwin Madelung wrote:
Rayanth wrote:The next phase is my true passion - Lowering the bar. I want to make it even easier for anyone who plays the game, Uni or not, to edit the wiki. This means simplifying the style guidelines, reducing the number of templates and "if you don't do this just right it breaks" that we have in play, and - possibly - allowing SSO login instead of Forum Registration (if possible). This will also include teaching some Uniwiki 101 classes and more outreach to generate awareness.

Why is it necessary to be logged in to edit the wiki? In the "normal" wiki this is not necessary. This would significantly lower the bar for anyone who has never been part of eve university. I also noticed that the number of protected sites is increasing. This is very much against the general spirit of a wiki. Usually, sites only become protected because of vandalism. I can't see why any page should be protected without vandalism. Even for eve university related pages it is simply the job of the relavant people to keep an eye on "their" pages.


I have been considering both ways on the protection - primarily, I'm just keeping up with what there was before me. There are only a handful of people who regularly monitor the Recent Changes list, and that increases the amount of damage someone could do with vandalism before it gets noticed and has to be undone. I'm not aware of any incidents in the past where this has been a problem, but I don't feel it's up to me to change all that. We presently have 83 protected pages, and a good chunk of those are users on the banned-users list.

Erwin Madelung wrote:
Rayanth wrote:And that brings us to Updating all the things - the UniWiki is a well-respected resource throughout the EVE Online Community, but we're starting to accumulate a lot of outdated information. There's currently 104 pages marked as needing an Update and I am positive there are many more that have not been marked for it that still need it - Mission Reports alone, nearly half of the Mission Reports pages that were imported from EveSurvival still do not have the proper formatting applied, and many have incorrect information or the mission details have changed.

A good number of edits could in theory be automated. I recently noted that the changes to the FAX hulls which happened nearly a year ago have not been updated in the wiki. Such things could be done automatically by pulling the data from CCP.


I have given a lot of thought to automating some information on the Wiki, but it's really not as feasible as it sounds. "Just link it up with ESI" is easy to say, but the behind the scenes code needed to integrate MediaWiki into ESI-API to automate data pulls is a huge tasking. an Extension would have to be written, in (shudder) PHP, given permissions to directly edit the database so if there's any sort of glitch it could completely wipe out entire pages...

Or it could be set up to query directly on page load, but the amount of additional server load that could place on the already burdened Wiki server could be very problematic.

The best option, really, is to build an external tool to do it. MediaWIki has a robust API, so it's not beyond the realm of reason. Give API access to an externally hosted setup that can handle the load of the ESI queries and validating info and then writing the page and submitting it through the MW-API to the database.