Wiki Development Checklist

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Revision as of 21:47, 6 January 2008 by James (talk | contribs) (responses.)
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This page is for discussion of ideas for developing both this Wiki and the Manual Wiki , and for monitoring progress of these developments. Relevant topics include security issues, bug fixes and enhanced functionality through installing additional extensions.

The points noted apply to both Wiki and Manual Wiki unless marked (W) for this Wiki only, or (M) for Manual Wiki only. Please move items to the Done section of this page when agreed changes have been implemented.


  • (W) reCAPTCHA  has been implemented for this Wiki for new user registration and in the event of "brute-force" password cracking. It's also implemented for anonymous edits that contain new external links, but currently anonymous editing is already disabled - if you try to edit without being logged in you get "You have to log in to edit pages". Given the protection above, should we relax this restriction? Would it encourage more useful edits than we have now? Manual Wiki is already locked down so that all registrations are pre-approved by a sysop.
    GA will write some help text for users who have difficulty with reCAPTCHA and provide some alternative registration method. ReCAPTCHA would seem to offer some difficulties for blind users, even though an audio file can be played to hear a set of digits to enter. For example, you can't tab into the place where you click for the audio file, and the ALT text "Get an audio challenge" over the audio button is hardly clear what it means. Similarly you can't tab to the Help button. GA will also seek further advice from CMU as to the options for navigating without a mouse.
  • Is there any automated way of removing inactive/blocked accounts? There are relatively few active users, but dozens of inactive/blocked ones which make it difficult to find "real" users.
  • Should there be some way of recording the IP address of account holders - or is this hidden somewhere?
  • System pages (Special:Allmessages) are in Special pages for all users so anyone could change them. Should they not be in Restricted Special Pages?
  • A Regex spam filter is needed for standard text, not just links in text.


  • (M) Some mechanism is needed to (at the least) translate the 1.4.0 Manual, and ultimately also important Wiki documents that are linked to in our FAQs. There is a strong case for moving the FAQs themselves into the Manual Wiki where they can be updated more easily, the only real argument against which is the current lack of a translation mechanism. Crude "online-only" solutions would seem to be possible even now, e.g. create translated pages with an appropriate suffix and link to them on a translated Manual home page with the same suffix.
    Obviously the shell is in English, so would you get round that by creating a new domain using a translated shell, or something like that? Is there some way to automatically create duplicates for existing pages with various suffixes? What about issues exporting and converting to HTML only a subset of Manual pages for the particular language?

Feature Enhancements

  • Not being able to have an image and have that image link to an article page or web page when you click on it is a weakness in MediaWiki. At present, it only links to the description page for the image. There are workrounds for internal links (e.g. put a redirect on the image description page and hide the redirection text), but no easy workrounds GA is aware of for links outside the Wiki.
  • Multiple file upload at a time 
  • (W) It would be nice if you could choose to be notified (by the yellow flash when you log in) not only when your user talk page is modified, but when any page you are watching is modified. Otherwise you have to rely on the email service, or hang out on recent changes or on your watch list.
  • (W) Uploading and playing audio media (including MP3 if possible). Are there any security implications?
  • Syntax highlighting 
  • adding texvc  so we can support <math> tags. Also see this discussion .
  • Tables - Either install the TableEdit  extension or add standard MediaWiki support for a Tables button on the Edit Toolbar. If the latter is done, add superscript and subscript buttons in the Edit Toolbar as well.

Restrictions and Possible bugs

  • Bug (in MediaWiki?) : cannot upload files with .png extension but have to change it to PNG. GIF is blocked, is it a real security risk?
    • GIF is a proprietary format. I'm fine with us continuing to block it. --User:James.
  • Bug (in MediaWiki?) : <span style="line-height">tags rejected as spam though this string is not in our current filters.
  • (M) Unable to scale images with normal syntax of "[[image.png|60px]]"
  • Cannot easily and possibly cannot at all make images clickable other than to link to the image page.
    • This restriction has been discussed on media wiki.

Alternatives to MediaWiki

Is MediaWiki the best software, and if not are the problems porting to another Wiki insuperable? For example, it's only one feature, but Dokuwiki  (GPL) supports images being clickable links to any external page you like. A feature list comparing DokuWiki with MediaWiki is here . That table says MediaWiki supports "image links" but it does not seem to do so out of the box.

    • I'd be very wary of trying to move at this stage because of the time cost in fixing up 'minor differences'. Clickable images would be nice to have for the glossary. For the downloaded manual we can add them in a post-processing stage. We can live without them for the live site.