Fortnightly update – 29 September 2012

Hi,

This is the fortnightly update, detailing what we’ve done since the last fortnightly update, which was published on 15 September 2012 and what are our plans for the future.

Recent updates

Since our last fortnightly update, four bug tickets were closed.

Two wikis were imported to ShoutWiki:

Cook879 was promoted from intern to a full customer support staff member. Welcome!

What are we currently working on?

We’re planning on releasing a quarterly report, featuring statistics about the past quarter (Q3) on Sunday, 30 September 2012, which is the last day of the third quarter.

Past targets which are yet to be completed are on our roadmap, but in addition to those, we’re planning some cool new stuff, such as:

  • better support for mobile devices
  • the new skin mentioned in our last fornightly update
  • and naturally, some cool new wikis!

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding these features, as well as what we could do to make ShoutWiki even better! If you have a great idea for a feature, a suggestion or just general feedback, let us know — either in the comments section of this blog post or via the contact form.

BugZilla

Please report any and all software bugs you may come across to on our BugZilla to help us in getting them fixed and improving ShoutWiki!

—-
On behalf of the ShoutWiki staff,
– Solar Dragon
ShoutWiki Customer Support Team

2 thoughts on “Fortnightly update – 29 September 2012”

  1. Hi again. Thanks for replying to my comment concerning your last blog post, Sept. 15, 2012. What is the largest active English-language wiki on ShoutWiki? I want to check out in English the possibilities and customizations of a large active wiki.

    Is Vector the latest skin in a standard MediaWiki installation? Is the latest standard skin always a free skin on ShoutWiki? I prefer to use the latest standard skin. What is the largest active English-language wiki using the latest standard skin?

    Do any ShoutWiki wikis have nested hover menus in the sidebar or topbar as their means of navigation. That is what I prefer. Does that require a MediaWiki extension, or is it part of standard MediaWiki? For more info see:
    *http://cannabis.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Nested_hover_menus
    *http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Category:Menu_extensions

    Can you easily import a large wiki from Wikia? I, and others, would seriously consider forking to ShoutWiki if it were easy. I would hate to think about doing it though, if it would require manually uploading thousands of images again.

    The main page (http://shoutwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page) does not say anything about whether ShoutWiki can import wikis.

    Is this the right place for public discussion about this? I did not see any links to current discussion linked from the main page. I want to be able to point others to the answers I get concerning my questions. I am sure many people are interested.

    1. The largest English-language wiki on ShoutWiki is the Star Wars Merchandise Wiki, which has 942 content pages. WikiGardener comes close with its 935 content pages.
      However, the largest English-language wiki that is active is the Fish Hooks Wiki, which has almost 600 content pages (597 at the time of writing).

      Vector is the current default skin in a vanilla MediaWiki installation; Monobook, Modern, etc. are still an option, though. I’m not able to provide a definitive answer to your question “Is the latest standard skin always a free skin on ShoutWiki?“, simply because I don’t believe that MediaWiki’s default skin will change often. Maybe by the time web 3.0 has become a reality and has been that for many years, maybe then MediaWiki will change its default skin accordingly. MediaWiki has existed for over ten years and during that time, the default skin has been changed twice; once from standard to Monobook, and more recently, from Monobook to Vector.
      Now, answering your question about the largest English-language wiki using the Vector skin as their default skin is equally or maybe even more difficult. While Vector is the MediaWiki default skin and also the skin used by Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects by default, the Monobook skin is still the most popular on ShoutWiki. The 66 active wikis which have Vector skin as the site default skin are either non-English, private or (currently) rather small.

      Nested hover menus are the standard on the Monaco skin, which is used as the site default skin on many wikis, of which one is the Fish Hooks Wiki. There is also a JavaScript “gadget” that provides a similar feature to the Monobook skin, and it probably works in the Vector skin (though I haven’t tested it with Vector); for a live demo of the gadget in question, please take a look at Halopedia (a third-party wiki not hosted by ShoutWiki). Ciencia Al Poder is the author of that JavaScript gadget.

      Like I wrote to you on 21 September 2012, imports are relatively straightforward for us to do. No-one has to reupload any media files, as we have scripts to easily move those over! We at ShoutWiki believe that you should focus on building the wiki and let automated scripts to take care of tedious tasks, such as moving files over.

      You’re right about our main page not mentioning anything about wiki imports. The reason for that is that wiki imports are a relatively marginal thing, at least for the time being. As our quarterly report for the past quarter, Q3, shows, 217 wikis were created on ShoutWiki during that time, and of those, only less than 10 were imported from other hosts. Naturally we hope to improve the service so that a lot more wikis are created on ShoutWiki and thus more wikis would want to move to ShoutWiki, but we cannot make wikis move to us; we can only build the service, spread the word and hope that people will give us a go.
      We do, however, have a page about moving to ShoutWiki and what its benefits are, but it isn’t linked to on the wiki — it probably should be! In the past, we’ve pointed interested people to that page, so that they’ve been able to evaluate whether ShoutWiki is better for them than their current host. Given that there are plenty of other MediaWiki hosting services out there and that we aim to be the best, that page should be given more prominence in various places; maybe even on the main page. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

      I have nothing against us discussing these issues here, but this might not be the best venue for important discussions like these, because the majority of users are not aware of these discussions taking place in a non-obvious place such as the comment section of a blog post. Despite that ShoutWiki Hub doesn’t (yet) have a place for important, project-related discussions, it might be even better to have these discussions on-wiki, so that a wider audience would see and be able to take part into them.

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