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Suggestion Suggestions (Long Term: New Front Page, etc)

Discussion in 'Forum News and Staff Communication' started by LordSquishy, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    Post here..
     
  2. ete

    ete

    I like what's going on here. It's always a pleasure to see a community with responsive technical support and improvements being made, especially the way you guys have coped with the recent massive surge of traffic. I've also lurked a bit and the higher ups seem to make consistently sensible decisions and agree with a lot of my philosophies on how community sites should be run (open finances, rules requiring reasoning behind them, good system of oversight, etc).

    I'm a moderately experienced mediawiki tech guy (founder of the Pokemon Online wiki (stats) and the Alpha Centauri wiki, operator on Wikiapiary). I've been travelling around Asia for the last seven months but will be getting back home with access to decent internet in around a month. There's a bunch of projects I'm considering picking up on my return, but I like having lots of projects and this place seems cool so if there's interest I'd maybe like to do some work here.

    Do you guys want a wiki?

    I can give you one and make it awesome*.
    *editors required for real awesomeness.

    Rundown of features I'm thinking about:
    • Single Sign On so no need for second account/autologin with xenforo account - Definitely doable, the necessary extensions exist
    • Custom tag on forums which lets the content of a wiki page be included in a post - Pretty sure this is not too hard, and would be awesome for any indexes or things which it would be good for multiple people to have edit access to.
    • Templates and category structure - I can set up whatever's needed and show anyone who wants to learn how to work wikimagic.
    • Plenty of fun extensions - Most wikis miss out on so many awesome tools. We can avoid that. Also gadgets.
    • Reasonably good performance - A wiki is never going to be low-resource, but I've found a good list of tweaks and tricks which should make it run as lightly as it's practical for a wiki to. I would be comfortable covering hosting costs for the wiki for the foreseeable future.
    • Archive of fiction. Would need a few archivists to populate it, but could be made very fun (mainpage with recently updated fictions, categorization, other fun things).
      • Longer term a bot to help auto-archive stories is feasible, especially if this feature ends up being implemented.
      • Tools for limiting edits to page authors+staff are available, as are tools which require review of changes for certain pages.
    • Full Semantic MediaWiki integration, for structured queryable data (all hidden in templates so easy to use).
    • Possibly page for each character/civilization with a bunch of links to feats/calcs, for easy reference in debates and fiction.
    • If we use the foreground skin with color tweaks, something quite pretty and responsive on large or small screens.
    • Having a well-equipped wiki around and ready for any project which needs it.
    I'm open to requests, suggestions, and questions. If anyone wants to chat with me in real time I hang out on #wikiapiary (irc.freenode.net) quite a lot of the time. I'm happy to visit your channel to talk if you have one. Edit: Found it. Added #svcommand to autoconnect, and am there now.

    To be clear, this is not something I'd start work on until I get home at the earliest, maybe plus a few weeks until I've got enough free time to really focus, so early-mid August. Probably ~2-3 weeks preparation towards launch depending on how many editors chip in, how much planning has been done beforehand, and what things exactly are needed pre-launch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
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  3. Durabys

    Durabys Mier-r-r-ow!

  4. ete

    ete

    @Durabys That kind of content could fit well, though it would be much better for someone who's been part of the community for longer than me to write it. I'd be happy to help with formatting and organization though.
     
  5. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    @ete, what would your plan be for SSO across the forum and wiki?
     
  6. ete

    ete

    @LordSquishy: This extension looks like it should work (wiki accounts are autocreated for users logged into the forums, attempting to create account/logging in on wiki redirects to forum login). Some commenters seem to have trouble getting it to work or minor bugs (works fine except for a warning message at end of each MW page), but also some fairly recent ones have no problems so I'm guessing there's a way around whatever issue is causing problems. I've set up a MW-SMF bridge before for the Alpha Centauri wiki and had to track down a few issues there, so hopefully would be able to get this working properly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  7. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    My concern is that that seems to have the MW hosted on the same server as the XF installation. How difficult would it be to move the MW install onto a separate server?
     
  8. ete

    ete

    @LordSquishy I'm not certain, but I think it may work fine on a separate server. I don't have access to download that code since I've not bought a copy of XF so can't see how it works, but from how other bridge extensions work I would guess that running it on a separate server is okay so long as it's on the same domain. This extension may work differently however, in which case I'm not confident I would be able to get it working fully on a separate server. Maybe by disabling the activity/notification parts, but it's something I'd have to fiddle around with. There are a bunch of other more general external auth extensions which could be adapted for basic SSO integration, and I'd ask/google around to see if anyone else had solved the problem.
     
  9. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    Hmm, okay. And what system requirements are there for MW?
     
  10. ete

    ete

    @LordSquishy: PHP 5.3.2 or later, a vaguely modern DB (MySQL or MariaDB recommended, but a bunch of others will work), one of a long list of common webservers, ImageMagick or GD if you want image scaling, and a few other specifics (TeX for math formatting, sendmail for email). Low necessary RAM/memory (256 MB/80 MB is listed as sufficient), though it'll need more when it gets traffic. Full installation details.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  11. Xon

    Xon Cabal Arm Commander Director

    Location:
    Empyrrean
    Looking at the plugin, it would require a copy of the XF code-base to be on the same server. It loads the XF application into mediawiki to call some bits.

    The original developer of the bridge did write an API which the developer could update the bridge to use. Likely requiring a payments.
     
  12. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    Hmmm. I wonder how problematic this is.

    I honestly looked over that resource...and I have no idea what it does,

    How difficult/expensive would it be in code/development time to implement this kind of SSO? And could it be usefully extended from MW to other platforms (Wordpress, Drupal, what have you?)
     
  13. Xon

    Xon Cabal Arm Commander Director

    Location:
    Empyrrean
    It would mean you aren't so much as running MediaWiki as a separate site but as part of the forum. So if the wiki gets hacked they have full access to the forum database.

    The API probably has enough permission to-do stuff to the forums, that it doesn't matter.

    :p

    There is a Wordpress/Xenforo bridge by the same person which appears to be working.

    Making a Drupal share credentials with Xenforo would be easy, but true SSO (ie shared login cookie) is something I'm not sure about.
     
  14. nightblade

    nightblade Banned Forever Banned

    Can you guys try and fix the issue with copy pasting in google chrome always being in plain text?
     
  15. Xon

    Xon Cabal Arm Commander Director

    Location:
    Empyrrean
    This is dependant on both TinMCE and a 3rd party addon being update, not much that can be done for the moment.

    Using a different browser, or pasting from word rather than text copied from chrome may help.
     
  16. nightblade

    nightblade Banned Forever Banned

    I may be missremembering but I'm pretty sure it's been like that from day one.
     
  17. Xon

    Xon Cabal Arm Commander Director

    Location:
    Empyrrean
    The default Xenforo editor, by design, strips formatting. And there are no options to change that.
     
  18. Zooboss

    Zooboss The White Tree

    Location:
    Minas Tirith
    Is this related to not being able to copy paste from mobile chrome?
     
  19. Would it at all be possible to get a SB skin theme for this place? I'm so damn used to that color scheme and I know I'm not the only one.
     
  20. Wakka

    Wakka Shadow Cabal Man in Black

    Location:
    California
    I doubt the administration would turn it down if offered as a gift. I doubt that they'll buy and/or spend the time to make one until they deal with their current issues.
     
  21. ete

    ete

    @LordSquishy @Xon Although it's not ideal, I don't think that this bridge needing to be on the same server necessarily means it should be ruled out, MW runs some of the largest sites in the world and is about as battle-tested as you get security wise. Resource use seems like a more notable concern, but upgrading the main server should more than compensate (I would be comfortable contributing if that's wanted). I very much doubt the wiki would use more than 10% of the CPU/Bandwidth of a forum this active unless it got hugely bigger than I'm expecting.

    If same server is a dealbreaker, using an extension which lets XF work as a OAuth or OpenID provider (like the API one Xon linked, or maybe this one with some tweaks) it'd be possible to set something up with this extension, or a modified form of one of the specific OAuth ones, but it would not be tied as closely with XF so there'd be no recent wiki activity feeds or other fun bits.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  22. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    Im more concerned about scalability and having the wiki on the main site host seems problematic in that sense.
     
  23. Vashon

    Vashon Banned Forever Banned

    Or just have a different website on a different server with links between both. But please for the love of internets, no ads. Please. Unless its absolutely necessary.
     
  24. LordSquishy

    LordSquishy Probably Not A Producer

    We are discussing the feasability of another server right in this conversation, Vashon...
     
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  25. Vashon

    Vashon Banned Forever Banned

    Isn't traffic the main concern for cost? Or would another website have the 150 ish $ charge anyways? I can't imagine thee wiki would eat much traffic, Ianland has had a wiki for years and faced no problems...but Ian probably has a physical server, what with him hosting pics and all.
     
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