Wiki back online to editing

All research or scholarship questions
brettz9
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Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:28 am

Hello everyone,

I have some exciting news to offer... For those who have short attention spans, just check out http://bahai9.com which is now back online to editing.

For those who can spare a little more time, please continue reading... If you consider yourself a regular at this discussion board, I would strongly urge you to see the site above and read the following....

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The site has been around for a while, but we weren't able to open it again to editing until now. The site refers back to articles and the Writings hosted at http://bahai-library.com . While http://reference.bahai.org is the official source of the Writings (and we have used their works on site here), having copies on site here has the advantage of allowing us to integrate back to the wiki as well.

You may notice that while visiting pages such as those on the Writings at this http://bahai-library.com site that the top right-hand corner offers a link to allow you to add information for the given book--this is just the beginning of the integration I'm hoping we can have of the power of unity-in-diversity collaboration with the transformative power of the Holy Writings.

We were also able to upgrade in a way that the site now supports "Unicode" (UTF-8), meaning that we can include content in any number of different written scripts of the world (e.g., Arabic, etc.), all within the same page even (though we'll need to have some established/trusted reviewers if we end up having articles in languages other than English).

The main page is locked since it is prominent, so you can't edit that page (though you can suggest edits to it in a page linked from that page), but almost all other pages at the site can be edited by registered users (we are requiring registration to avoid spam mostly). Of course, the site is from a "Baha'i Point of View". Having our own site also allows us to create shortcut links like "ka:" to make a link to the Kitab-i-Aqdas. There's a reason why the word "wiki" (which means "fast" in Hawaiian) was applied to these sites! It's very easy to create links and add new pages! Wikipedia has become the world's largest encyclopedia and started only in 2001--will our site be comparable for the Baha'i community? Your participation will tell... :)

Other web resources such as the Baha'i-run http://bahaikipedia.org/ or the publicly-run http://wikipedia.org (which has some Baha'i articles) may be complementary to this site. There is no doubt a place for introductory articles such as these sites have, but again, http://bahai9.com is not meant as such a venue, but rather as a compendium of what the Writings have to say on a particular topic as well as links to secondary resources.

As the site explains, the policy at the site will almost exclusively be to rely on the Writings to speak for themselves, in the spirit of Lights-of-Guidance or the Baha'i World Centre Research Department's bulleted and cross-referenced synopses (see the Summary at http://bahai9.com/Writings_Buddhist_authenticity for an example of this--most of the others thus far are closer to the former), thus allowing someone who wants to know what the Writings have to say on a particular topic, to be able to find it for themselves. However, we can provide links to relevant resources such as study guides, if they do not overwhelm the site's focus (or of course lead to biased sites antagonistic to the Faith or institutions; genuinely neutral articles such as a link back to a relevant Wikipedia page is welcome, however, and should be educational--e.g., after reading the Writings on medicine, one can conveniently browse Wikipedia for a scientific/historic perspective on the articles--and perhaps in some cases even lead back to our site).

I really hope that the regulars here will make particular use of and contribute to the wiki so that we can build, in an organized and collaborative fashion, a powerful resource which can be referenced here in the future when the same topics come up here again (as they often do)--and be useful in and of itself)--especially as more people become interested in the Faith, as we need to be able to address their questions efficiently as well as doing so as well as possible.

Looking from the other side, the discussion pages at the wiki (while normally for merely discussing how to shape the article) can be used for asking questions, just as with this forum (but your question will be in a centralized place, rather than buried in some thread which may never be visited again--it also shows that you (I'm mostly speaking for Baha'is here) took a little time to research the answer first and might have found a gap in the wiki that needs to be filled).

Again, I really do hope you will take a look and consider contributing to the pages. If you have time to make a mini-compilation to answer someone's question here, why not amplify your work for future reuse by integrating your compilation into the wiki (but quotations with summarized headings--quotations alone are too large to be helpful for quick navigation and information-finding) or get in the habit of preparing your answer for the wiki and then respond to people here?

Please do take a look also at the quotations at http://bahai9.com/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD_wiki_quotes for quotations speaking to the power of our working together, as opposed to independently, as sometimes even dedicated Baha'is end up doing. I recall reading of a dream of 'Abdu'l-Baha where He was to have said to the effect that although in His dream the believers were playing beautiful music, it sounded cacophonous because of the fact that they were not playing in harmony with the other believers. I hope we can all work and play in harmony--it will be interesting to see how people can better organize the Writings and better draw our attention to its gems of Truth, and build positively on the work of others, as wikis are so capable of enabling...

Happy Ridvan!!!

Brett

BruceDLimber
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby BruceDLimber » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:11 am

brettz9 wrote:Other web resources such as the Baha'i-run http://bahaikipedia.org/ . . .


You folks missed a trick, I fear!

It should have been called "Bahakipedia" instead!

Cheers! :-)

Bruce

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:43 pm

Hello Bruce and all,

I'm sorry, but I don't follow...

Brett

BruceDLimber
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby BruceDLimber » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:03 am

Simply a more elegant form of the name, IMHO. :-)

Bruce

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:40 am

Gotcha... Well, we're not affiliated with their site, but maybe they'd be open to reserving that name too!

Actually when I started http://bahai9.com a while ago, I thought of such a name, but wanted to avoid the confusion in thinking our site was trying to be encyclopedic. bahai-compendium.org might be more accurate, but it is a bit of a mouthful and possibly a little bit too formal sounding since the site is meant as a wide resource...

If you all have never tried out editing an article on a wiki, I really recommend giving it a shot... You can go to the "sandbox" page and just try it out (you have to register first to be able to edit though, again for us to avoid spam)... It's quite rewarding to be able to work with a resource which immediately becomes accessible to others like that, and in a format which does not expect everything to be hammered out perfectly at the beginning--just start a page, and others may be inspired to finish it. We can always very easily go back to an earlier version of the page if you mess it up (you can also preview to avoid even that), so no worries!

best wishes,
Brett

BruceDLimber
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby BruceDLimber » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:12 am

Greetings!

I've edited a number of articles on Wiki!

(The only things I still need to find out are how to submit an entirely new Wiki article and how to make a new entry that's purely a cross-reference to an existing article.)

Anyway, I'm involved in editing big-time because I'm part of the Online Baha'i Library Project and have edited/proofread a bunch of books for it. Indeed, I'm currently in the midst of formatting and proofreading a Baha'i encyclopedia nearly 400 pages long!

(I've also created and released extensive subject indexes for several of Robert Riggs' books on Biblical prophecies of the Baha'i Faith.)

Keeps me off the streets. :-)

Best regards,

Bruce

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:43 am

Hi Bruce,

That's really great to hear, but I don't see any edits having been made at our recent changes list. Are you editing our wiki at http://bahai9.com ?

I also didn't see any changes at David's wiki at http://bahaikipedia.org . Are you talking about http://wikipedia.org ? Be aware that that is a public site, and not a Baha'i-run one, though of course, that is cool if you want to edit it, bearing in mind their policies of "NPOV" (Neutral Point of View), etc...

As far as editing, assuming you're talking about a Mediawiki wiki (all of the three above are using Mediawiki software), when you click "edit" on any article page, the edit page that appears should have a link to explain how to do edits (similar to how there is a link explaining BBCode when you click to edit your posts to this forum). Our wiki has some possibly somewhat outdated help at http://bahai9.com/wiki/Help:Editing -- the more recent info at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing (not our site) is probably valid for our wiki as well, since that should reflect the latest software, and I downloaded the latest software just a few days ago. We also have some specific details on how to make brief shortcuts to link to the Baha'i Writings, as explained at http://bahai9.com/wiki/Using_this_Site_(Technical).

But to answer your specific editing questions:

1) You can create a new page by simply typing the page name in the URL and editing at the page that loads. However, that will likely create an "orphaned" page, meaning there are no links leading to that page (unless someone already placed links targeting that page, but hadn't yet created the page themselves--in that case, the next time the page with their links loads, those links will lead correctly to your page). So, you will most likely want to create your own link to your new page starting from some other page, to ensure people have an easy way to get to it and know that it exists.

You link to a not-yet-existing page, in the same way that you link to an existing page: [[page title here]]. That's it. After you click save and view the page, the wiki software will color such links in blue if the targeted page name already exists, and will color the links in red/orange if no one has created the page yet. If it is indeed a new page, it will therefore show up as a red link on the linking page. The advantage of such links is that you don't even have to create the new page right away. One can just specify a link before making the page or even needing to make the page at all--it can serve as a kind of request to others to start the new page. But if you do want to start creating that page to which you've linked, just click on the red link and you're brought there and given an opportunity to create that page right away. Really logical, and really easy--the technique has even been adopted for Sticky Notes type programs.

2) As far as a "new entry that's purely a cross-reference to an existing article", if you mean a page that just automatically redirects to another, you do that with the following code alone in the page: #REDIRECT [[The page name to which you are redirecting this page]]. If you think you might want to elaborate further on the cross-reference, and not immediately redirect people, just keep it as a regular wiki page. Wikipedia takes this approach with "Disambiguation" pages which provide links in one place to more specific uses of a term (e.g., there could be a Disambiguation page for "House of Justice" which led to "Universal House of Justice" and another which led to "Local House of Justice/Local Spiritual Assembly", "Secondary House of Justice", etc.). Pages can also be given categories, but I won't lay too much on you at once... :)

Btw, that's really awesome that you're working with the Sacred Writings project. My big hope is to see us rebuild our former web resource and create a new browser extension/program which automatically downloads the latest copies from the official repository on some periodic basis, and also gives the opportunity for wiki information alongside each such book, or even alongside each paragraph in the book, also allowing sophisticated searches of the very semantically rich "tagging" information which that project is adding to the texts (and other things too like word-by-word translations, index entries, etc.--so much to do!!)

best wishes,
Brett

Sen McGlinn
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby Sen McGlinn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:15 am

" http://bahai9.com is ... a compendium of what the Writings have to say on a particular topic as well as links to secondary resources."

I had been working on the same idea and I just posted the first compilation on a page attached to my blog: http://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/compilations/church-n-state/

Feel free to take this compilation for use at bahai9.com

What I have done is link each quote to the Bahai Reference library. The plan is cut each quote down to the kernel, just so long as it is recognisable, with the idea that users should use the compilation as a memory prompt but do their actual study and draw their quotations from the Reference library version.

I would think that the texts in the reference library are more likely to have stable URLs over many years than those at Bahai-library.com.

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:56 pm

We are also seeking to boil quotations down to how they apply to the given topic page, while also linking back to the Writings. We are also aiming to ensure that each topic page has a sufficient number of quotations to convey a complete picture of the topic, and not post out of context, etc.

Another thing I should note is that, although some pages do not yet enforce this policy, we're really trying to get Lights-of-Guidance-style quotations for each quotation to allow for quick scanning, without needing to reread a still potentially long quote to know what the relevance to the given topic page was.

While links to the reference library indeed should have more stable URL's (though I really hope we never change the URL's here either, especially to the non-dynamic pages with the Writings), when posting at bahai9.com using shortcut links (e.g., [[kap:1]] to link to paragraph 1 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas) as is recommended and generally enforced at our site, although the site currently leads back to bahai-library.com (since, as I mentioned, those sites can in turn lead back to the wiki), we just need to change one line in our database to redirect those links instead to page 1 of the Aqdas at the reference library site (or somewhere else, if there were a reason). The database entry takes into account the variable portion of the URL, so it will also work for links to paragraph 2, 3, etc. However, at the present time, we think it will be advantageous for our users to be able to go back and forth easily between the bahai9.com and bahai-library.com pages, especially as in the future, I hope we can program bahai-library.com's Writings pages (and possibly others) to optionally allow displaying the Writings with the wiki page alongside the Writings.

Brett

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Thu May 07, 2009 8:32 pm

I just had one further thought on making a more permanent and flexible scheme for linking to the Baha'i Writings: creating our own Uniform Resource Name (URN) (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Resource_Name for technical details if you're interested). (Quick FYI: both URLs and URNs are a subset of URIs.)

These are used already for things like "linking" to an ISBN (e.g., urn:isbn:0451450523). A site which wishes to reference an ISBN may wish to allow users to find the book easily (i.e., via a link) but without committing to endorsing or confining users to a specific site (e.g., Amazon). With such links, the user/browser can decide how and where to process the link (e.g., to go to Amazon, open up a local copy of the book if present, etc.).

If the community can agree on such a syntax, we could thus make links like urn:bahai:aqdas-en:par:19 and then the client (e.g., browser) could determine (e.g., by user preferences) how and where to translate that into an actual location/action. For example, it could be made to optionally lead to the http://reference.bahai.org site or http://bahai-library.com, to a local (updatable) copy, etc.

If the community could standardize on such a URI type, one could save such links in all one's files linking to the Writings and not worry about URL's changing. The only trick (and it's a big one) is ensuring that browsers have support (whether through a plugin like https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1940 , through fall-back JavaScript, or built-in browser support--obviously ideal).

Perhaps we should just stick with ISBNs, but those are specific to a particular edition, and one might not wish to be committed to a particular edition.

best wishes,
Brett

BruceDLimber
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby BruceDLimber » Fri May 08, 2009 7:56 am

Brett, hi!

Since you mentioned Lights of Guidance, it may interest you to know that this is one of the books that the Online Baha'i Library project has been working on, preparing it for online release. I know this because I was one of the folks who did an editing pass on the whole book a while back.

I don't know whether it's been fully prepared yet or whether it's been released, but you might want to check into this as a clean online copy of it is definitely in the offing!

Regards, :-)

Bruce

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Fri May 08, 2009 8:51 am

Thanks, Bruce. Looks like you must have learned a lot from going through Lights like that, even if you couldn't afford too much time to read each one for meaning carefully.

Rather than trying to deal with things one by one, I'm really aiming to develop a system (as a Firefox extension and HTML5) which can display and utilize the TEI documents of the Writings (what the Sacred Writings project uses) and check for updates itself.

Right now I'm working on a general purpose Firefox extension which aims to let a person click on a special kind of link leading probably to a "manifest" file (using a language called METS) which indicates a group of files to be grabbed and installed locally (e.g., the Sacred Writings) if they are not already (and without cluttering your desktop with zip files, etc.). After this, the same such links, instead of downloading all over again, should be able to simply show a range of verses, a display of optional additional columns related to each verse, and/or display the content with custom styling (fonts, colors, etc.) for the work(s) already downloaded.

Thus, you could share with others or bookmark a link for yourself which will display (or search) the Writings just as you intended. It should also check periodically for updates to ensure it has the latest version of the files. I hope for this to be a tool of use to the wider community as well, working for database or XML content.

I hope we can do the same for a website as well, but a website is more limited in the complexity of searches that can be performed safely (and doesn't allow as much as a browser extension like Firefox does).

There's quite a bit of work to go, so prayers (or programmer references) are appreciated!

best wishes,
Brett

Truth
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby Truth » Sat May 16, 2009 10:02 pm

Hey Brett,

Can you confirm i edited the dreams section of applied psychology?

I noticed that you haven't linked lights of guidance quotes due to licensing issues? So i copied your style of quoting.
No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Sat May 16, 2009 10:28 pm

Thank you!!!

I'm so happy somebody took me up on my plea for someone to try it... :)

If I hadn't linked to Lights of Guidance, it was just an oversight... We were informed (see the notes in the top-right of http://bahai-library.com/?file=hornby_lights_guidance ) that anyone wishing to republish its contents, can do so for free if they offer it freely (like our wiki), or otherwise pay a 10% royalty.

Linking is not prohibited even to copyrighted works, unless we're being deceptive in some way (like claiming they endorse us), so please DO make links, that's very helpful...

However, it'd be ideal if we could link both to the corresponding wiki page as well as to the book it references. For example, there we can link to our wiki page about Lights of Guidance, as well as link to the page in the book here at http://bahai-library.com . While the link you created worked just fine (congratulations on your first wiki page!), there is a shorter syntax for making internal wiki links. Just surround the text in brackets like this: [[Lights of Guidance]]. That will make a link to the page if it exists (in this case it does), and if not, will make an orange link so the next person who clicks it will have an opportunity to create the page themselves.

If you go back to click to edit that page again (without saving it unless you make another change), you can see this "code" in use. If you want something to try, try turning "Shoghi Effendi" into an internal wiki link...

Let me know if you have any other questions...

Again, thanks so much!

best wishes,
Brett

Truth
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby Truth » Sat May 16, 2009 11:51 pm

Sweet as, just wanted to make sure i was getting it right before doing some more, thanks Brett!
No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

brettz9
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Re: Wiki back online to editing

Postby brettz9 » Sun May 17, 2009 12:06 am

Truth, in addition to my last post just now, I finally made some shortcut links for Lights of Guidance. Now instead of using a URL, you can just do the following to make a link to a Lights of Guidance numbered item.

Code: Select all

no. [[logn:1739|1739]],


or, even better, just:

Code: Select all

no. [[logn:1739|]],


...where the content in double brackets makes a link, and the pipe symbol (|) separates the link (the first part) from the text that will appear, or, if there is no text, the text between the colon and the pipe will be used. In this case, since we want "1739" to show as our link, we can use the the shorter second form as it will be auto-converted to the first form (neither will print "logn", btw).

If you wanted to make a link out of the whole phrase (including "no."), you could do this:

Code: Select all

[[logn:1739|no. 1739]],


...which is less ideal, as you have type a little more, but it shows how link text is shown. But for URLs, as you discovered, a link is separated from its text by a space instead of a pipe, and you surround the whole thing with single brackets only. So to link to a page number with a URL, you could do it this way:

Code: Select all

[http://bahai-library.com/?file=hornby_lights_guidance_2&chapter=2#334 334]


...but if there is a shortcut, it's better to use the shortcut. The shortcuts can be found at http://bahai9.com/wiki/InterWikiMap (just added)

You can also make a shortcut link to a Lights of Guidance page number:

Code: Select all

p. [[log:515|515]]


...or, better:

Code: Select all

p. [[log:515|]]


Usually paragraph numbers are more preferable than page numbers, as they tend to be stable across edition, but in the case of Lights of Guidance it doesn't matter much since it seems item numbering gets changed between editions, so page numbers can work too--also page numbers may be helpful in the case of a very long paragraph--the page number brings them closer to the right section, and also allows more even parsing, such as if you want to show the items in a table, side by side with comments, etc.

The most current tips on editing which should apply to our wiki should be at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing

best wishes!
Brett


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