MediaWiki talk:Sidebar

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Content of Useful Links Sidebar box

Gale 10Sep08, 02:01 UTC: So I think it's time for GSoC to go from here, what should replace it? Developer News, Feature Requests, Category:Digital Audio Technology to see if it gains any interest, or just remove the GSoC link?

James: OK. I figured you were just planning to actively maintain 'Developer News' during GSoC? If you plan to continue doing it, then I think replacing 'GSoC-2008-Projects' link by 'Developer-News' link would be appropriate. If not, then Feature Requests.

Gale: Replaced with link to Developer News. I said I would review this page after GSoC. As it's actually far easier to do now GSoC is over, I currently plan to continue, as a PR effort and slanted to be of some casual interest to non-developers too. If anyone thinks this is a waste of time, or it should be written by someone else and more technically slanted, I'd be interested to know. If my slant is the way to go, then I don't think with hindsight the amount of GSoC detail it had was appropriate, but got the idea I needed to do this as material for the GSoC Alphas page. Maybe next time insist that the individual project pages are better maintained so that they are used as the basis for Developer News and the Alphas page?

  • James: Agree about having better maintained project pages. We'll be more forceful about it with students next year, clarify it as a requirement in the sign up form. One problem we had with project pages is that they are 90% controlled by the students. Students tend to be underaware of (e.g) issues with their project on other platforms. So to counterbalance the Alphas page needs to be more strongly based on mentor/team experience not just on what the student has seen on their own. That says to me there needs to be a stated review process for Alphas - probably as a minimum each mentor responsible for listing their own student's progress for that alpha and responsible for ensuring that it has been tried on other platforms if they didn't do so themselves.
  • The readership of Developer News was quite low during GSoC. I'd guess it was mostly read by people who lurk on Special:Recent Changes. One reason to feature a news item heading on the Proposed Front Page is that the front page does get read. It then helps get across that this is a live active wiki. In your shoes I wouldn't continue with Developer News in its current form (weekly summary updates) with it getting the current readership levels. Probably I'd switch to just more 'interesting' announcements when they happen.


Past Discussion

Gale 02May08, 17:21 UTC: James, as you know I have extremely strong reservations about linking to GSoC 2008 Projects in the sidebar. ...If we wanted to add non-system pages to the sidebar so people could find them easier, then say Lame Installation is a far stronger candidate for users. The Wiki you mentioned that does this did not appear to have a link to its GSoC projects in the sidebar when I looked.

We decided on a separate box under "Navigation" called "Useful Links" containing links to Tutorials, Tips, Release Checklist and GSoC 2008 Projects.

Gale: I assume the GSoC link will go after GSoC finishes? Although I'd personally find the link to Release Checklist useful, that's no good reason to have it. I don't think it would be used much except out of one-off curiosity. Maybe leave "as is" for a while and see what ideas come to us. A "Developer Links" box and some other "User Links" box (not called that) comes to my mind....

The box titles were capitalised. To change all the Sidebar boxes, the main.css file had to be edited and loaded back to the server.

James:..Once projects are complete, yes the GSoC 2008 Projects link will change. I don't want more boxes, and I don't feel having more GSoC links in the box helps.

  • Gale 16May08, 17:34 UTC: Still don't really think Checklist should be there or that having it will encourage more developers to look, but I think four links is a reasonable number for this box, and it's currently number 4. If we can keep it going, isn't a link to Developer News of more general value, possible with its text being "Latest news"?