my most galaxybrained small thing:huge effect opinion is that the Wikipedia Vector skin was a catastrophe for digital culture. Wikipedia, always an encyclopedia first and wiki second, introduced and innoculated a generation of people to wikis in a way that completely de-emphasized all the radical parts of wikis to appear like an encyclopedia. NO ONE KNOWS about "what links here," "wanted pages," or talk pages. so both the graph structure and dialogic reality of wikis is LOST. !/
taken in context with the historical moment, nupedia-> wikipedia's rise in the early 2000s, as a time when people still mostly interacted with individual websites, people were introduced to Wikipedia, not meatball wiki. so as geocities morphed into myspace into Facebook, there was no alternative (but forums) to creating your own digital space. Because people did not see wikis as the infinitely malleable cultural space they are, we got social media
the practice of wikilinking is transformative if you experience it like a wiki head. as you write, you [[wikilink]] your way through [[basic concepts]] that you know will be [[wanted pages]] at some point, so in the act of communicating you are also building the structure of information around you. by properly representing inlinks and outlinks, you completely explode the problem of "where does this information go:" because you will always be able to find it one hop out
@jonny I am unclear about this discussion. The way I see vector is that raw editing of infobox, templates are extremely dated concepts when every other editor(except competent MD/LaTeX) editors have adopted WYSIWYG. Even .MD is moving in WYSIWYG mode and latex is used much of the time for a single line of maths.
Vector skin feels a lot cleaner to me than it's predecessor, you can go back to the classic of course(I understand the power of defaults).
interesting, this sounds like everything2, where each page could have multiple individual versions of it. how were delimiters between words/phrases done? and what was the notion of "page" titled under? or I may be misunderstanding
whoa and overlaps??? like if you had
multiple links to pages
And [[multiple links]], [[links to pages]] and [[multiple links to pages]] it overlaid all 3??
@jonny Also, that every wiki has to be basically Mediawiki. I've had this discussion about Emacs Wiki a few times.
yes definitely. I think the wiki community from the very start has always struggled with deployment and implementation. that many contemporary program languages are strongly reorienting around packaging and dependency management, npm is so influential, etc. is because it has been the missing development stage for most technologies. like wards wiki was some totally custom script that only ran on his machine right?
that they are reorienting...is no accident**
like mediawiki, even though it's still unnecessarily hard to install and configure, is still extremely simple to deploy: download some sql files, have an SQL daemon running, and done from any PC
@jonny It's true. Also the reason why my latest wiki is packaged for the language (in my case this being CPAN for Perl).
like I completely agree that is infuriating and have experienced it many times myself, but it does beg the question why it is easier for them. inertia yes, but the "edit but I can't see it until I build/save it" model is scary for a lot of people. files are easier to reason about than wiki pages because they are "there," where wikis have relied on being self-organizing with page, rather than navigation as the prime UX element, etc.
I have had luck with integrating with process: writing in word and then converting with pandoc is an easier switch for some people. with Mac I have a lil automator action thing so you can right click and convert to wiki and then just copy and paste. even being able to work off a cloned filesystem is easier bc they can edit files locally and sync rather than use browser tools which often feel flimsy.
what wiki software interests you? like what should I check out that does things differently? I have mostly read wiki code from a historical perspective
@jonny I develop Oddmuse where it is important to me to be very hackable via extra code in config files and "modules". Sadly all outside of CPAN, but hackability has allowed me to do:
emacswiki.org and oddmuse.org (classic ephemeral half-organised documentation)
campaignwiki.org (namespaces: each game gets its own wiki)
communitywiki.org (a bit more forum like with the discussions and the little avatars)
But also special purpose sites I wanted to experiment with (didn't go anywhere):
Phoebe started out as a Gemini wiki which offers the same kind of hackability but all of it well packaged with Perl modules, and using a web framework that includes its own web server.
No longer of interest
This one was written in Raku back when it was still called Perl 6 and I was thinking about the future:
This one was written in Go so I could learn the language:
Both were abandoned because I could not see an easy way to add local markup rules in a config file that would end up being well integrated in the rest of the parser.
@jonny But that is the normal process of denerdyfying any cool thing out there, no? To become popular, it first has to become shallow and boring.
there is some amount of need to get it out of the hands of zealots and into the hands of many! but I don't think it necessarily always needs to lose its core features to do so. I think this one was a specific feature of the cultural evolutiom of wikis through an encyclopedia, which they are very good at, but the encyclopedia they created obscured the culture it was born from
@jonny Personally, I was always on the "wikipedia is not a wiki" side of that culture, so to me it's just an accidental remnant of a movement that died independently of it, killed by the SEO phenomenon. Since radical openness was one of the features wikipedia rejected, it was somewhat immune to that, and so it survives.
I've been editing Wikipedia since over a decade and I don't know what you're talking about :(. I don't even know what a vector skin is..
Don't worry, I don't need you to explain, I could easily search the web if I wanted to. I'm just saying that even relatively experienced wikipedians don't know about whatever awesome things you're describing. Quite sad.
it's the default way Wikipedia looks ❤️❤️ (now with Minerva as the mobile skin). idk if they have any other ones enabled, but on most mediawiki instances you can go to your user settings and select a skin. see tweeki as another example of a different era of web design (not exactly the best) applied to mediawiki
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