Mediawiki as coroparate knowledge database - questions :)

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Mediawiki as coroparate knowledge database - questions :)

dirk.westfal
hi everyone,
I`m currently setting up a wiki based on mediawiki to be used as it-knowledge
base and qm-system for technicians and endusers.

Skin change and optimization (like changing order of all sidebar elements),
disabling anonymous edit/registration and such went smooth.

But right now, I`m hitting some serious roadblocks, and unable to digg out
answers on the web, i`m asking here for help.

#1: different types of documents
There a several kinds of documents: specifications, install- and usage guides,
projekt plans, checklists and such.
Q: Is there a way to have a template per doctype?

#2: Own tags and influence on the search capabilities?
If i decide to use a 'homegrown' tag-scheme to markup different document types
(e.g. an extension that makes docbook - markup usable inside wiki-code), how
does this influence the search?
Is the <something> </somthing>- tag ignored but the content inside the tag
still made aviable to fulltext search?

#3:View/Search permissions by category?
Q:If i want to seperate techie and user information - would having seperate
namespaces for both and a common one (for general information concerning
both) solve that problem?
If an user starts a search it should only search the 'user' and 'common'
namespace, not the 'techie' one.

#4: Templates
Q: I`ve found very few templates/template examples for use in corporate wikis
- and zero information about 'default' templates already builtin in
mediawiki.
Perhaps i`ve been looking in the wrong places - any hints to template
examples/copy-pastable sets would be VERY great.

I have a LOT more questions, but I`m trying to fight them down on my own :)
If i get this project done, I`m planing to put a 'using mediawiki in a
corporate environment guide' online :)
 
Many thanks,
dwe
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Re: Mediawiki as coroparate knowledge database - questions :)

Rob Church
On 18/08/06, Dirk Westfal <[hidden email]> wrote:
> #1: different types of documents
> There a several kinds of documents: specifications, install- and usage guides,
> projekt plans, checklists and such.
> Q: Is there a way to have a template per doctype?

Use a different namespace for each document type and install the
Preloader extension. End blatant self-advertisement. :)

> #2: Own tags and influence on the search capabilities?
> If i decide to use a 'homegrown' tag-scheme to markup different document types
> (e.g. an extension that makes docbook - markup usable inside wiki-code), how
> does this influence the search?
> Is the <something> </somthing>- tag ignored but the content inside the tag
> still made aviable to fulltext search?

It *should* be.

> #3:View/Search permissions by category?
> Q:If i want to seperate techie and user information - would having seperate
> namespaces for both and a common one (for general information concerning
> both) solve that problem?

It's one solution.

> If an user starts a search it should only search the 'user' and 'common'
> namespace, not the 'techie' one.

Edit the default preferences and change the default namespaces-to-search.

> #4: Templates
> Q: I`ve found very few templates/template examples for use in corporate wikis
> - and zero information about 'default' templates already builtin in
> mediawiki.
> Perhaps i`ve been looking in the wrong places - any hints to template
> examples/copy-pastable sets would be VERY great.

There are no built-in templates. You can pinch templates from, e.g.
the English Wikipedia using Special:Export, or just copy-pasting the
source markup into your own wiki.


Rob Church
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Re: Mediawiki as coroparate knowledge database - questions :)

James Mohr-3
On Friday 18 August 2006 23:00, Rob Church wrote:
> On 18/08/06, Dirk Westfal <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > #1: different types of documents
> > There a several kinds of documents: specifications, install- and usage
> > guides, projekt plans, checklists and such.
> > Q: Is there a way to have a template per doctype?
>
> Use a different namespace for each document type and install the
> Preloader extension. End blatant self-advertisement. :)

Why? I though about doing something similar, albiet with different types of
documents, but I could not come up with a good reason for different name
spaces. The only cases I could come up with is when you have a spec, install
guide and project plan all with the same name. Each document can still be
grouped if id had a category of the respective type, i.e.
[[Category:Checklist]].  As far as I see it, creating and managing the extra
namespaces is unneed work, so I am curious as to what benefits you see.

> > #3:View/Search permissions by category?
> > Q:If i want to seperate techie and user information - would having
> > seperate namespaces for both and a common one (for general information
> > concerning both) solve that problem?
>
> It's one solution.

We have different customers and we want to limit the access they have. That
is, each customer can access only information that is specific to their
systems. However, the datacenter people can access any customer information.
As far as I can see, separate namespaces is the easiest way to do that.

One problem I see here is you have namespaces for document types and
namespaces for the category of use who access it. This potentially gives you:

techie_checklist
user_checklist
techie_project_plan
user_project_plan
etc...

So, you end up with M x N name spaces. This brings us back to the question of
why is it necessary to have different name spaces for each document type?

> > If an user starts a search it should only search the 'user' and 'common'
> > namespace, not the 'techie' one.
>
> Edit the default preferences and change the default namespaces-to-search.
>
> > #4: Templates
> > Q: I`ve found very few templates/template examples for use in corporate
> > wikis - and zero information about 'default' templates already builtin in
> > mediawiki.
> > Perhaps i`ve been looking in the wrong places - any hints to template
> > examples/copy-pastable sets would be VERY great.
>
> There are no built-in templates. You can pinch templates from, e.g.
> the English Wikipedia using Special:Export, or just copy-pasting the
> source markup into your own wiki.

Be careful of the word "template" in the WikiMedia-World. A template here is a
file that it is included automatically in another. If you are looking for
pre-define text (Vorlagen) then that is something different. We have
different starting text for different kinds of documents, although we did not
break them down as separate namespaces, each has standard text blocks. When
someone access a new page, they are given the list of document types and they
select the most appropriate one.

What we did was implement the multiple starting page hack. That is, when the
user inputs a new article title and the article does not exist, the user is
given a choice of about 10 different types of new articles to create (e.g
customer, hardware, application, troubleshooting, etc.). When the use
clicking on the link the start page is a template with a set of default
sections that are required for the give article type. There is also a "page
info" section at the bottom, which includes things like creation date,
creator, review date and so forth. We also have comments in the templates to
explain things to the user.

Also each of these article types have categories automatically included in the
templates. When the article is created, the categories are added.

The details of the hack are here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Multiple_starting_text_hack

There is also a list specifically for using the MediaWikie as a knowledge
base: http://groups.google.com/group/mediawiki-as-knowledgebase

regards,

jimmo
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Re: Mediawiki as coroparate knowledge database - questions :)

David Pace
>
> What we did was implement the multiple starting page hack. That is, when
> the
> user inputs a new article title and the article does not exist, the user
> is
> given a choice of about 10 different types of new articles to create (e.g
> customer, hardware, application, troubleshooting, etc.). When the use
> clicking on the link the start page is a template with a set of default
> sections that are required for the give article type. There is also a
> "page
> info" section at the bottom, which includes things like creation date,
> creator, review date and so forth. We also have comments in the templates
> to
> explain things to the user.
>
> Also each of these article types have categories automatically included in
> the
> templates. When the article is created, the categories are added.
>
> The details of the hack are here:
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Multiple_starting_text_hack
>
> There is also a list specifically for using the MediaWikie as a knowledge
> base: http://groups.google.com/group/mediawiki-as-knowledgebase



That's an interesting way to handle creating preformatted documents. I will
look into that.

What I did on my test server was install the inputbox extension and have it
preload placeholder text and markup into the edit page. Then I added several
inputboxes to the search results page.
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