How many of you really use the wiki?

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by neptronix » Jul 06 2018 12:07pm

FYI, i just tried installing various google search extensions, but it broke the site.. multiple times.. because the extensions code is broken in each one..
Phpbb doesn't seem to be getting much support or love as of late. Oldschool 3.0.x had a google search extension that worked, but 3.2.x doesn't.

This would help with the whole 'where the frock is x' problem we have, because the default search is so freaking bad.
I'm still determined to getting that work as a solution..

Realistically we need a good search AND a wiki type thing.

I'm thinking that i have to fork phpbb. It's not something i've wanted to do. The phpbb code is a frocking mess and it will take a while to set up a development environment, etc. But there's a lot of stupid things that should exist in phpbb that just don't..
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by jonescg » Jul 07 2018 4:55am

I never use the wiki.

But then again, I also know how to use the search function properly :lol:

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by neptronix » Jul 07 2018 11:31am

I was never a fan of the wiki idea but it was worth trying to see how it went.

Our forum has two problems.
1) Searchability. Most people don't know how to do a google search for site:endless-sphere.com yourcoolsearchhere. We need the google search option back.
2) Our technical reference section. It's been unmanned, outdated, and disorganized for half a decade. Most forums keep their important data here.

I can't solve number 2. That's up to you guys. I can solve number 1 while i tackle some other issues our server has. And i'm starting work on that in the near future. ( not very motivated to do anything in this crazy humid heat, honestly! )
My first major build: 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The wheelie machine: 20" Rear Magic Pie II on a Trek 4300 MTB

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by nicobie » Jul 07 2018 3:16pm

neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 12:07pm


I'm thinking that i have to fork phpbb. It's not something i've wanted to do. The phpbb code is a frocking mess and it will take a while to set up a development environment, etc. But there's a lot of stupid things that should exist in phpbb that just don't..
That's probably a good idea.

As to wiki, I've never used it. It doesn't seem right that you have to spend so much time to gain so little.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by gammaray » Jul 07 2018 3:58pm

neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 10:20am
The one thing i don't like about a version control system like github is that someone needs to be responsible for approving push/pulls. That's a boring job i doubt anyone will be interested in.

Because of this, users can't edit the document and see the result appear on the web in realtime, as with wiki. So, contributing is less satisfying/encouraging.
That is the price to pay for static content which is precompiled and served
neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 10:20am
Using markdown instead of using a visual editor is a huge downside. The system needs to utilize TinyMCE, CKEditor, etc..
( wordpress uses CKEditor and my custom system also does )
Some text editors render markdown as you go. Visual Studio Code/Atom is such an example with the appropriate plugins. Its lightweight and we could provide easy instructions to do so.
neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 10:20am
Here's jekyll's documentation on how to edit posts.
https://jekyllrb.com/docs/posts/
Am i correct in thinking that you have to give users FTP access to upload files.. and that this is just basically a templating system?
Yes, but if we used some sort of version control (note that I tried to say we could be platform agnostic). After PRs, I could set up an automated build system to take care of the compilation, minification and deployment. I actually do that right now for various other projects. Git push, one minute later. It's live.
neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 10:20am
Also, Microsoft owns github now. What if they decide that the wikis need to go.. or just do the usual thing and start doing retarded things with their new intellectual property?
That's why I was leaning towards platform agnostic solutions. GitLab, Bitbucket are all viable alternatives. Not to mention if necessary, with a templating engine and build system, it would be trival to jump ship from Github to Gitlab. In fact, I've already done so for several projects.
neptronix wrote:
Jul 07 2018 11:31am
Our forum has two problems.
1) Searchability. Most people don't know how to do a google search for site:endless-sphere.com yourcoolsearchhere. We need the google search option back
If you're wondering how templated projects would solve this, I believe we can just hook in Google Search as an addon in some cases.
neptronix wrote:
Jul 06 2018 10:20am
There has to be some kind of 'wordpress lite' system out there.
After having used wordpress for 10 years now, I am sort of strongly against CMSes for mostly static content. Sure getting the Wiki into any templating engine will take lots of effort. But maintaining it afterwards will not be. It can be deployed easily, cached in CDNs, hooked into build jobs... I think a templating engine would be ideal in the long run. If something happens to us 10 years down the line, no one will have to chase for CMS vulnerabilities, PHP upgrades, or Database issues. Not to mention it doesn't get that much traffic. It *should* be lightweight.

I guess I've made it pretty clear where my preferences lie on this topic.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 07 2018 4:01pm

neptronix wrote:
Jul 07 2018 11:31am
1) Searchability. Most people don't know how to do a google search for site:endless-sphere.com yourcoolsearchhere. We need the google search option back.
The google search finds some things that the forum search won't, but:

Keep in mind that even that doesn't find everything, and it finds too much in many cases, and because it is a site search, it won't accept many modifiers, and won't accept quotes for exact phrase matches. I don't know why it doesn't work correctly with those things, but it doesn't.

You can't search only a specific subforum, either--soemtimes you may know where in general a bit of info might be, but not which of many similar threads. Can't search a limited time range either, or for stuff by a specific author. (the forum search does let you do these, to an extent).

Also, google frequently changes how their search responds to various things, and whether it does at all, so any forum search depending on it can't be relied upon ot find the same things every time.

It also assumes you're looking for stuff you didn't actually put in the search terms, and ignores things you did put in. *sometimes* it will show a "must include (searchterm)" link on some of the searches, and sometimes it only says "missing (searchterm)" with no way to make it find it, even if you put the correct boolean operators, or even quotes, in the terms. (this happesn with site search or otherwise).

It also depends on google having actually cached all of the site data, every post/page, so that it has the data you need to search in the first place. (since it does not live-search the forum, AFAICT).

I've got really good google-fu, but that doesn't help when they change things or break them.


If there's any way to simply modify the existing search so it doesn't ignore things like punctuation, common words, especially those with only two characters (we have a LOT of two letter abbreviations that are important to get the right search results), then it would actually work much better than google.

I realize that as-designed, it would have to build a bigger index, but if the search could be altered to do a live-search of the actual post database, it would no longer have to index at all, and the search would be able to find anything at all that actually existed.

I'm sure it is nowhere near as simple to do as it sounds. ;) But it would certainly be worth the effort of doing it. (and if it was port-able to other PHPBB forums, they'd probably appreciate the new ability, too).

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by gammaray » Jul 07 2018 4:05pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jul 07 2018 4:01pm
I realize that as-designed, it would have to build a bigger index, but if the search could be altered to do a live-search of the actual post database, it would no longer have to index at all, and the search would be able to find anything at all that actually existed.

I'm sure it is nowhere near as simple to do as it sounds. ;) But it would certainly be worth the effort of doing it. (and if it was port-able to other PHPBB forums, they'd probably appreciate the new ability, too).
Ugh this really makes me mad. Discourse was able to do something like this because it also used an in-memory cache to speed up such searches. When I did a test migration to discourse, search was pretty good. Too bad images and a bunch of old links broke and didn't magically migrate over.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by neptronix » Jul 07 2018 4:54pm

We can't make an understanding of team software development technologies a prerequisite for writing articles in our technical information repository.
'compile, deploy, push to git' aren't part of a writer's workflow.
Wiki already has a high enough learning curve for an average user.
Useability comes first, otherwise we don't have content to worry about porting from one platform to another in 10 years. :)

Amberwolf, modifying the existing phpbb search engine to work well is a huge task.. and there would be a huge hit in performance from making it work harder. The big problem is that we have 7 gigabytes of text.

It would be easier to make google the default search option but also allow the internal search system as an option. Very few people need or use the advanced features.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 07 2018 6:08pm

If the advanced features actually worked, and worked like they need to, I (and others that do use them) could easily find the information people need, and point directly to it, or even copy it to reference posts or whatever wiki replacement we come up with, if any.

A part of why I never went back to the wiki to make full articles instead of a bunch of links is that I could never find just the stuff I really needed for it.

Is also part of why I don't usually provide a link to the actual data someone needs, and just tell them they can search for it, or give them the list of results from a basic search, because I don't have the time to read thru all the results the search comes up with to find the thread I remember it being in. :/


Because the advanced features dont' work they way they need to, people don't use them.

If they *did* work, and were easy to use, it's likely that people would actually use them.


(this is an argument I always hated to have with the Cakewalk programmers during beta testing--they'd say that nobody uses some buggy feature anyway, so they wouldn't fix it, or they'd jsut take it out. But if they would've fixed the bugs, people would've used the feature! Instead, functionality would be lost every time they did that, because there would then be no good way to do something that you used to be able to do, or that you should be able to do, and *almost* could.)


I get that writing (or rewriting) search engines is a really really hard task, because all of them really suck. If it were easy, they wouldn't.



Anyway, since I and others that can't really help in the work to make anything happen, and can only describe and test and use the functionality, what we think doesn't matter. It's entirely up to the people that are going to do the work to decide what work to do.

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by gammaray » Jul 08 2018 1:17am

neptronix wrote:
Jul 07 2018 4:54pm
We can't make an understanding of team software development technologies a prerequisite for writing articles in our technical information repository.
'compile, deploy, push to git' aren't part of a writer's workflow.
Wiki already has a high enough learning curve for an average user.
I completely overlooked this point when giving the suggestion.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by neptronix » Jul 08 2018 8:52am

gammaray wrote:
Jul 08 2018 1:17am
I completely overlooked this point when giving the suggestion.
It happens. You're thinking like a programmer over there :mrgreen:
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by nicobie » Jul 08 2018 2:55pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jul 07 2018 6:08pm
It's entirely up to the people that are going to do the work to decide what work to do.
I agree and also thank the people doing it.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by asterysk » Jul 13 2018 10:56am

I'm new to the Forum and went immediately to the Wiki ! Maybe its just me but I find that the quickest way to digest a lot of new information is in the Wiki.

Personally I would be really grateful if you are able to rebuild the Wiki database.

As an aside, it won't be too far in the future until it will be possible to put a ML Chatbot front end on a Wiki and tap into the wealth of knowledge contained in it using a friendly interactive front end, however, obviously this requires a functional Wiki !!

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by sotaro » Jul 14 2018 3:49pm

I don't think I have ever used the Wiki but I need to as I know very little. Reading posts is very time consuming and the learning rate is slow.

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by GotToFixIt » Jul 16 2018 2:06pm

I knew of the site from some research on E-Bikes, but didn't join until today and commenting on the wiki was one reason.
I would have used the wiki if it had been available.
I respect the amount of work all of this takes. Was a bit saddened to hear of the issues with the site code, I'm not a coder but have been on many boards that used it, administering one before the hosting site was sold to TapTalk and we closed it.
In some ways, a topic link index "might" be the easiest to manage.
I know the orientation isn't the same, but with Verizon dropping support of the Yahoo! groups, many are moving to the https://groups.io A site created and supported by the creators of the Yahoo! Groups. No idea if a migration would be possible or worth the effort.

Good luck and best wishes,

Ron

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 16 2018 10:52pm

An email group type thing is not very useful for the purposes of ES, especially for something to store info in like a wiki.

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by neptronix » Jul 18 2018 10:41am

Yeah, that's a downgrade.
And a machine learning chatbot would dampen the community aspect of this place. The real value of ES is our members! Besides, how good can a chatbot really be?

I'm still open to other ideas on some kind of CMS that we can selectively give members access to, and allow them to put together articles and such. I'd like to to be better and easier to edit than wikipedia/mediawiki though.
If anyone wants to take up the torch on researching that, go for it.

Well, it's hot, nasty, and polluted here in salt lake city, so i am prioritizing what brain power i have to the day job that pays me. I'll be back to get some work done next month.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by Njay » Jul 18 2018 6:57pm

I guess Wordpress (almost "barebones", avoiding install of N plugins etc etc) is a flexible platform with easy (and shareable) management.

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by travaglione » Jul 22 2018 5:24pm

I like Wiki.
I like that it is a more organized tool which makes a helpful learning tool for persons with limited experience with ebikes.
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by multifrag » Jul 25 2018 2:13pm

It's a shame wiki platform didn't work out. It was a good tool to send newcomers for more info on the subject.

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by LockH » Jul 25 2018 2:52pm

Reference Wikipedia regularly... just don't trust anything I see on the web. :wink:
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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by wturber » Jul 25 2018 3:08pm

LockH wrote:
Jul 25 2018 2:52pm
Reference Wikipedia regularly... just don't trust anything I see on the web. :wink:
Why not? There's lots of good info on YouTube for instance. :^)

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by nickatnoon61 » Aug 04 2018 7:16pm

I was just there (YT) and "left" a "right" comment! L0L

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by trazor » Aug 06 2018 12:36am

As an example, I'm on a new project and need this https://endless-sphere.com/w/index.php? ... less_Motor

and this

https://endless-sphere.com/w/index.php? ... _chart.jpg

That kind of content is what really fits the wiki.

neptronix, what is the plan? if the wiki is gone, can you publish the last backup tarball to the community?

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Re: How many of you really use the wiki?

Post by Alan B » Aug 06 2018 1:26am

I looked at WikiMedia software some years ago when choosing a wiki. Not a good choice. Not sure what is a good choice today, but might be worth a new search.

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