Activity search/browse on wiki (was violent activities)

Jameson "Chema" Quinn jquinn at cs.oberlin.edu
Fri Jan 18 15:49:18 EST 2008


I'm rescuing this concrete suggestion, since most people probably have the
'violent activities' thread in their killfile by now. (Sorry about that, I'm
as guilty as any of adding personal anecdotes instead of productive
contributions).

The problem: have a community-maintained list of activities that is viewable
and/or searchable in different cross-sections based on need. It should
integrate well with the wiki, so probably the first place to look is for
mediawiki extensions.

There are several that might help:
1. You could do an evil hack by combining page inclusion with the
well-tested PageFunctions (for variables declared at the top of an including
page) and ParserFunctions (for using in templates that can hide themselves
depending on the variable values). This would involve hacktastic,
hard-to-maintain work for each new slice view you wanted to implement.
However, if you keep things simple (all, unproblematic, core), this would
not be too hard, and populating it could be done by anyone able to copy and
edit wiki templates.
2. The WikiDB extension [1] appears to be a beta version of precisely what
is wanted here. From quickly browsing its homesite, it appears to be
working, but possibly too buggy to slap onto a wiki as large as the OLPC
one. Significantly, it does not guarantee that the databases it creates will
stay in sync under rarer operations (restoring deleted pages...), nor does
it appear at first to have a way to regenerate its databases if they do get
hosed. Go have a look if you're interested and tell us what you think.
3. Semantic mediawiki is a heavyweight replacement version of Mediawiki with
some tools that, while they are not precisely what we want, would work for
this issue. The focus is more on browse than on preconstructed views
integrated with a wiki page - I think that for us the latter would probably
be better. Probably overkill.

[1] http://www.kennel17.co.uk/testwiki/WikiDB
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