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Sticky ***** You should not click on edit before typing in the comment box. If the comment box is blue, it means that you are in edit mode, and you are typing code in the comment box that should not be there... —DavidGrundler **** Sticky

So, what do people think of the new look?  

One problem I see is how much room is taken up at the top of the front page: 3 headers of limited utility, then a huge photo, then final we get to the point of the page.  On an iPhone in landscape orientation, this is even more annoying.

It also seems to me that references to "Recent Changes" have been removed?  Nothing of substance seems to link to it anymore.  (Please correct me if I am wrong).  As for the new look of that page, it seems unnecessarily spacious.

Wysiwyg.  Well, I won't dredge up that old debate.

--cp (No icon for signing?)  

The yellow notification banner pushes things down a bit, especially on mobile, so this will be a better after it's taken down in a week or two.  iPhone landscape mode - good point there! I'll look into tweaking it (the iPhone 5-6 landscape preset wasn't in my responsive design testing widget).  Recent Changes has been renamed "Activity," as "Recent Changes" was confusing to people. All old URLs to the Recent Changes page will continue to work forever.  --philip

I realize that the yellow banner is temporary.  I still think that three headers (it's three even without the yellow banner) plus a large photo takes up too much space for very little benefit.  As for the "Recent Changes" page, I don't care what it is called.  My concern was rather that there is no indication to new users that the page exists.  A search on "Activity" doesn't turn up anything, and nothing points users to the existence of the page (again, as far as I can tell).  Will this be changed?  --cp

There's a link in the navigation menu, just like there was for Recent Changes before, so I'm not sure what you're wondering? Or maybe you didn't see the link? -philip

I didn't see it at first, that's correct.  And my concern isn't for my own access, it's to let new users know about its existence.  Wikipedia uses the phrase "Recent Changes," so that name at least has the advantage of being recognizable to those who've used it a bit.  "Activity" could be anything -- it could refer to activities in Davis (biking, walking, skateboarding, etc.).  But what I am really missing is instructions on the Front Page, and elsewhere on the wiki for new users to check out the Recent Changes/Activity page.  I remember seeing those on the previous incarnation -- of course, now I can't go back to check... what I am asking for is that those instructions for new uses be restored, with links to the Recent/Changes Activities page.  That is, if we really want people to be that involved in the wiki.  Maybe you don't actually want people to have that degree of involvement.  --cp

I'm not sure what you're referring to.. We decided to rename "Recent Changes" to "Activity" exactly because more people click on it that way. "Activity" is a common metaphor on nearly all new websites, whereas "Recent Changes" is known only to a very small fraction of people who edit Wikipedia (about 80k globally). People are now much more well informed of activity, as they get emails when their user pages are updated and when pages they follow are updated. Editing a page will also prompt someone to begin following it. We'll be adding a small icon next to the activity tab soon to make it even more prominent. -philip

Since the name of the page seems to be distracting you from my main point, let's drop that issue.  (I disagree with you, but I'm not going to argue over the name of a page).  Once again, my main point is that there is nothing instructing new users about the page or directing them to it. I seem to recall that there was on the old wiki, but of course I cannot check that.  Being emailed about page changes is a great new feature (albeit also a very hidden one -- I would not have known to click on the star if you hadn't mentioned it here), but that doesn't inform new users about the Activity page.  --cp

I see what you are saying. I added a link for it on the front page, but the link doesn't work properly. I'm assuming that is because the "activity" page is a special page. -dg

There are way more indications of activity --  activity on the wiki, notes about how to contribute, a more prominent edit button, a way to follow and get updates of changes, and an actually human-usable editing process -- than there were before.  Also, a long block of text one the front page informing new users of site functionality (not that we ever had that before, so I'm really confused here) doesn't help much -- people don't read that kind of stuff and instead just try interacting with the site. We've tested this in video-recorded usability studies. For instance, if everyone read all the text on the site carefully then we'd never need the "add page" button, because the search box used to say "Search or add page." But in our testing, almost no one could figure out how to add a page. I'm not sure what's wrong with the current, prominent link in the navigation header, especially once it has an activity-esque icon in place next to it.  --philip

Who asked for a long block of text on the front page informing users of site functionality?  Certainly not me.  Those other ways of indicating "activity" are great, yes.  But only the Recent Changes (or "Activity") page gives one an overview of all of the changes.  I wouldn't think I would have to explain this, but wikis need to have people who keep an eye on things -- everything, not just their particular areas of interest.  In other words, "gnomes."  But I am starting to get the sense, between this and your disinterest in improving the functionality of the "Activity" page itself, that you would prefer that there were no gnomes.  You seem to think that a wiki can function just fine without them, but what I have seen is that with fewer and fewer gnomes, a lot of pages on this wiki have become a mess.  I think that we should be doing what we can to encourage more people to get involved with the whole wiki, but I see things headed in the opposite direction.  And that makes me sad, because (as I said in my edit comment) I live in Davis and find the wiki to be an important resource.  But I am seeing that resource get worse.  Pages that are easier to edit are all well and good and probably a change for the better, but that's not enough on its own to make for a good wiki in the long run.  --cp

If we are missing some content that you think is important, (instructions on using Activity/Recent Changes, etc), can you just add in what you think should be included?  Its your wiki too.  --JT

It doesn't feel like it's my wiki.  In part, that's what I am trying to figure out here -- what role is there for someone like me in this new wiki, and to what extent I would have to fight the software and PN's vision (which I am trying to ascertain) in order to participate.  But I appreciate the sentiment, and want to thank you for adding a link to Recent Changes on... I think it was the welcome to the wiki page?  (On the old wiki, that would be easy to see.  On the new wiki, that change has already scrolled off the Activity page and requires more effort to find.  Another gnome-unfriendly feature).  --cp

I really don't understand what you're getting at here with respect to the Recent Changes and Activity page. We have an activity page up in the top navigation bar. It is exactly the same as "Recent Changes," only slightly better. It is literally the exact same page but contains even more activity.  If you're seeing changes "scroll off," just click "Show more" at the bottom of the page. Can you please explain what's missing? Everything that was there before is here now (largely, though there are bugs we must iron out), and things are easier for newcomers to use, easier for people to begin to contribute, easier for people to get notified when other people edit, and easier for people to watch changes. And all of these changes are and were designed to increase participation and, overall, get more people involved in various ways. For instance, by prompting someone to begin following a page after editing it we allow them to continue to engage with the page as it's edited weeks, months and years down the line.  We could obviously do even more, but I do not understand your characterization that we are somehow trying to make things less accessible - we've been working continuously to do the exact opposite. --philip

(Replying to PN, starting over here at the left margin because the indents were getting out of control).  I have already explained why I think that the new "Activity" page is not very noticeable to new users.  JT seemed to understand what I was saying, as did DG.  So, I am not sure why you are having trouble understanding what I am saying.  I wish that I could go back and compare the old wiki to the new in order to make my point, but obviously, that's not possible (at least for me).  As for the functionality of the "Activity" page, here are the problems that I see with the page (some of which I have alluded to already):

  1. The changes are much less compact on the page, requiring more scrolling to see them.
  2. Instead of including (by default) all of the changes for the last two days,  only a limited amount are included.  You have to click in order to see more changes, which is annoying.  
  3. If you click to a new page and then click back to the "Activity" page, the page does not remember that you had clicked to see more changes, and you have to do it again.
  4. There is no way to click through from one change to the next.  This is an extremely important feature and should be prioritized.
  5. Although it is nice to be able to see the changes in context on the page, you either have to scroll to find them or use the "Review Changes" button.  But the "Review Changes" button seems to have a way of breaking down what seems like one change into many.  It can thus be laborious to use.

Now you can get defensive and point to all of the good changes that there have been, as you've been doing.  It is true, there are a lot of good changes.  But the above problems making gnoming a frustrating experience.  You can take that as useful feedback to work on, or you can continue to be knee-jerk defensive.  It doesn't really matter to me, since you're giving me the same "you're not welcome" attitude that you've given me every since I started edited the wiki, and together with the other problems, it makes it highly unlikely that I'll be around much.  --cp

 

 A:KLSDJ:ALSKJD:LASKJDLASKJD:LKASJD:LKAJS:DLKJ

I had like 2 paragraphs written out on the above, I lost it due to forgetting to enable my NS on LW.org so when it reloaded the page it didn't keep my form info. FAKLSJDAL:SKDJ:ASLKDJA:SLKDJAS:LDJALJK

 

CP & PN you guys are both the same mental page missing each others points.

CP, PN views this from a developer standpoint cause he lives & breathes wiki code 8+ hours a day & is constantly thinking about very macro & very minor parts of this project

PN, CP is trying to explain what they see as shortcomings with the new system.  All my non gnome friends said ewww when they looked at the new 2.0 layout.

It will take time but in the long run we will grow to love the new format after all the kinks are worked out. This is basically open alpha / maybe a beta.

I want Activity to be denser, it makes keeping tabs on the wiki easier  Ditto, SHjerpe

 

still irked that I had to rehash very quickly the points I took the time to elucidate ["Daubert"]


I was surprised not to see any statistics on the User Statistics page. It is still written as if stats will display there...  I don't want to overemphasize, but these are important; I know that I've gone back into improving the site largely because I saw I could "catch" the number of edits contributed by someone whose name I recognized. Thoughts about that particular corner of the wiki? --DougWalter

You can check out an individual user's stats but clicking on their name and viewing their user page. If you click on the numbers displayed it will show a history of all of their edits.  --philip

So, to answer my own question, the User Statistics page is gone and won't be coming back as it was. I might be the only one to mourn it, but I will give you my opinion that this deletes one of the more tangible and salient aspects of Wiki community. My initial reaction is to feel a loss. --DW

A comparison "top N stats" page (a 'leaderboard?') may be coming back (wasn't removed intentionally, it's just been an issue of time).  There are other new views for stats, such as the Dashboard page. --philip

I'll check out Dashboard, and I'm not asserting that the leaderboard is essential. But I've been spurred to edit based on looking at the comparative stats, so I thought I'd mention it. --DW

The Dashboard does not appear to be working. Can this be fixed?

Try again: Dashboard

Front page: When I open it on iPad, it works fine. Well, there is this long list popping up: "Explore", "Food and Drink", "Davis Orientation", "UC Davis", "Computer and Internet". The layout that follows is incongruent in length. On the computer, the page is much more balanced. I don't think it's a problem, but if somebody can make the tablet versions more balanced? I think the front page should be shortened extensively: much less links, so the front page stays manageable. 

I see what CO means: 

The "Recent changes" is now "Activity" as I see it. 

General: There is no preview option anymore?

Constantia Oomen

I think I can tweak the "Explore" list to look better on iPad. Could you email me a screenshot of where it looks weird? --philip

Yes, I will e-mail you a couple of screenshots. Thanks. Constantia


2014-12-28 01:05:07   I don't seem to have my old DW user page anymore. :( —jefftolentino

Nor I. Well... most of the time, as I briefly found my old one earlier. Also, I type this in some non wysiwyg mode. -jw

 Better now.  thank you!

 

Won't let me log in, won't let me create new account, doesn't recognize my email.  --Don Shor

I'm guessing your old email address may not be active anymore. Shoot me an email and I'll connect your new email address to the account. --philip


2014-12-28 05:08:41   On iPhone 5, the amount of scrolling I have to do to navigate the site is often highly excessive. It would be nice if there was something like an option for "non-mobile" view.

I won't go as far as to say the site is unuseable, but it's definitely frustrating for us iPhone users. I love the mapping features however and appreciate the amount of effort that was put into the redesign.

ScottMeehleib

Can you give an example of a page that isn't looking right on iPhone? I think you might be seeing pages with really long "info" tables (e.g. with hours in them), which may not be optimally formatted right now. --philip

    The page I access the most often is ["vegan"]. It takes at least ten long swipes from the base of the screen to the top to get to the beginning of the comments section. I guess this has to do with autoformatting on the relatively narrow iPhone screen. I would just much rather prefer seeing a bulk of content at once and be able to "pinch and zoom" more often than make a lot of  constant swiping with my thumb. Maybe there could be an option to reformat someday to make it more similar to however it looks on a desktop PC (I have only tried on iPhone so far since it is my main way of accessing the Internet.) I understand that this is still a very early preview, but I just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Thanks for listening. --SM

I think the problem here is actually just the sheer amount of content.  The mobile view is much more readable than the old view, which would require continual swipes left and right to read text, rather than downward-swipes. But if you were trying to get to a specific section of a page, or get an overview, it's harder on pages with lots of content.  One possibility would be to automatically collapse sections of content and group them by heading, a'la what the Wikipedia mobile site does, e.g. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tree_genera (on a mobile device). The dilemma with this is that unlike Wikipedia, we don't have very-very consistent formatting between pages (e.g. an introductory paragraph following by a series of section headings), so this wouldn't work on all pages..hm. --philip


2014-12-28 19:06:51   I am getting a fair number of 500 Server Error messages as of a few minutes ago. —JabberWokky


2014-12-28 21:51:13   I'm still getting lots of 500 server errors if I zip around the wiki, just viewing. Mostly viewing changes. —JabberWokky

Next time you see, can you send me a time & URL? I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary on our error dashboard (which is supposed to log all 500s). Update: I see now, this is on the page diff stuff which doesn't go to our error logger. I'll take a look. Should only be happening on select pages for now. -philip

I'm 90% sure it was only while clicking the Changes button.  Or rather, when I paid attention, that's when it was happening (I wasn't sure if it was related to the switchover, as you still have the notice up).   —JabberWokky


2014-12-28 21:53:49   At least it is keeping me logged in. Yesterday I was in and out. —CovertProfessor


2014-12-29 09:15:09   In general, I really like the changes. I understand the need to tie all of the local wikis together, and provide options like a global "local wiki search." I hope the bookmark page feature comes back. —DavidGrundler


2014-12-29 09:19:08   IS there a way to view pages that have been deleted if they only have one entry? For example, I was curious about the just deleted HDR photography page. I cannot see a way to view the old content without reverting to the first draft... https://localwiki.org/davis/HDR_photography/_history/ —DavidGrundler

Yup! Just click the first date when in "Info". Click star icon to follow a page, good. -Philip

Thanks.  Was the star just added, or was it already there and I am oblivious? -David

It was there, but will hopefully become a bit more obvious when a counter of # of followers is eventually added later on.


2014-12-29 13:34:23   I have a question that is a suggestion as well. I noticed people are editing and only their IP address is showing up, no name whatsoever. Maybe the edit policy should be changed into a known identity thing? So only those people can edit who are logged in with their known identities? Just a suggestion. —ConstantiaOomen

YES.  --Judith

I'd say that the domination of IP addresses and lack of real names is a huge loss to Wiki community. These changes might make sense in the context of building many LocalWikis, but it is killing what made DavisWiki a community that I participated in. Just as there's now no dashboard that shows me how close I am to passing Graham Freeman or Amelia Carlson in # of edits, this change disconnects us from each other. -DougWalter

This is something we're testing right now.  Our goal is to increase the number of people contributing. We have found the requirement to first create an account to be a significant enough barrier to contribution that many opt to forgo an edit rather than create an account first.  When editing without logging in first, people will see an increasing number of messages asking them to log in and create an account, and we've found that after making >2 page edits, people almost always create an account.  In the past, many who wanted to make a one-off edit simply created an AccountWithAMeaninglessName.  It may be worth tweaking this, e.g. allowing an "edit" to happen but keep it in limbo until the person creates an account or logs in.  -philip

Thank you for that explanation, of intent and of process. I think you'll want to monitor this, because there's a loss that I complained about -- but if you're seeing high rates of account creation once people "get started," then I'll admit that the results justify the change. -DW


2014-12-29 16:33:54   Is there a way to go through a series of changes on a page, as there was on the previous layout? Am I missing something? —CovertProfessor

As far as I can tell, there is no easy way to jump from one revision to the next comparing changes between them. -DG

That's too bad.  That's a really important feature for making it easy to track changes.  How hard would it be to add that feature, do you know?  Any plans to add it?  --cp

This would be pretty easy to add, but it's just an issue of time and priorities (like everything else).  You can always select more than one edit in the Info view and compare changes across versions that way, too. -philip
 

I really liked being able to scroll through the revisions-by-version and look forward to its eventual reinstatement.--Judith

As would I.  In general the ability to monitor changes seems limited.  I am having trouble watching edits, and I've gotten an email remarking on the same issue.  In at least two cases spam slipped past myself and others who would normally catch it quickly.  I've been hoping it was a familiarity issue, but I think it's still not as easy to track changes, even as I get proficient with the new interface.  (Also, spell checking for me lights up red, but when I right click, I get the option to Paste). -jw
 


2014-12-29 16:44:58   Another question: There are a number of missing pages that can be seen as broken links from the Wiki Community page. Will those pages eventually be brought over? And has all of the history of deleted pages been brought over, or was some of it left behind? —CovertProfessor

All history, even from deleted pages and files, has been brought over, yup. --philip

Looks like that was an artifact of the import where a variable didn't populate properly. (At least that is my guess). I think I corrected it. -David

Yes, the "sub-page style" relative linking isn't supported anymore, and there was a bug on the import. This seems to have affected only a handful of non-content pages (e.g. Wiki Community), it is best to go ahead and fix the links by hand where you see them. If I have time I can write a script to fix them, but I'm guessing there's so few they could be fixed by hand in around 15 minutes. -philip


2014-12-29 16:49:31   My grocery store comparison got FUBAR'd pretty hard. Anyway that can be repaired? —jefftolentino

      https://daviswiki.org/users/jefftolentino/Grocery_Store_Price_Comparison

Let's start tagging these table pages with "table needs reformat." I may be able to run a script, but I've been fixing the few I've seen so far by hand but may be easy to automate.   -philip


2014-12-29 18:18:53   Before, when we had a hierarchical page structure, such as this page, "Big Changes of December 2014," being a child of "Wiki Community," we could click on the parent page in the header to get to that page. Now, if I click on the "Wiki Community" portion of "Wiki Community/Big Changes of December 2014," it is all one hyperlink that redirects back to this page. How hard would it be to split that URL automatically like in the past, or add an "up one level" link? —DavidGrundler

It may make sense to support this kind of thing again in the future, but for now it's treated like any other page so the links in the heading aren't split up automatically. (Sub-page style division of pages like this are confusing and encourages people to begin trying to categorize all pages into a hierarchy) It's fine in select cases, as was used on those Wiki Community pages, but in those cases it's easiest to just make a manual link to the "Wiki Community" page at the top of the page, at least for now.   -philip


Sublists (lists within lists) are not sufficiently indented.  See, e.g., New Year's Day.


2015-01-09 11:48:47   I'm 100% sure you administrators won't follow up on this (granting it, I mean), but I would definitely prefer a light green background text color (of highlighted areas) instead of that light yellow. The green is in the "localwiki" logo to and furthermore, it would be the appropriate counterpart for the red color that notifies a removal... Green is the color of Davis too, with all these beautiful trees here: the little, magic city covered in green.... Well, I will keep on dreaming. ;-) —ConstantiaOomen
 

In what context--revisions?  When I highlight within the page with my mouse, I get black text within sky blue rectangles. --Judith

 

- Hello Judith,  this is what it looks like now:

And this is what I would prefer (or a similar color green):

:-)

ConstantiaOomen

You want the "messages" class in the style sheet set to have a background color of "light green."  That would be up to one of the wiki admins...

Of course. CO

 Nope.  It's solely up to the software devs.  In the old software, wiki admins could help control the style and color for the local community's tastes.  In the new one, they can't.  (There's pretty much only page locking available).    -jw

You can change the table color by right-clicking on the table and going into the cell properties area.  -philip

  • That particular table uses the CSS class "messages" so it matches other messages on the wiki. -jw

2015-01-13 03:43:40   I am getting a solid "500 server error" on the home page, and have been for awhile now. Anybody else getting that? Just go to daviswiki.org, and it errors out. —JabberWokky

  • There was a caching issue, it looks like. Should be fixed now. Also FYI, if you see a big server error type issue it's best to shoot me an email as I'm likely to see it faster that way! -philip
    • Can we assume things are stable enough to treat stuff like that as an emergency?  You still have a disclaimer up at the top of each page saying that there might be ongoing slowdowns and that you're still working out the kinks.  I'm giving everything plenty of space as a result, and didn't want to escalate when you've forewarned us to expect issues for awhile. -jw

2015-01-20 21:07:49   Oh wow, the site looks totally different now. OK. I have to say that Activity looks like the worst designed Recent Changes page that I have ever seen. And I looked at a lot of different wiki software before launching my latest wiki, so that's coming out at the bottom of about 20 wiki engines. I'm seeing only 4 changes per screen, and they're not divided by day or otherwise organized. Or, as a friend of mine put it, "It looks like an oversized RSS feed at 400% zoom."

On an iPhone I see uh... well the Davis Wiki logo isn't even visible in landscape on the first page, that's something. Not really surprising since the Davis Wiki community isn't as important as the Localwiki brand. If I scroll down, it's 2 changes in landscape and 3 in portrait orientation.

And the whole thing is a huge use of gray with not much color. This low-contrast display gives my eyes the blahs. Can the Davis Wiki admins change the style sheets a bit to add some color? I'd do it myself, but the user CSS feature seems to have been removed.

The site needs a huge amount of UX help, though at least the fonts look pretty good. —BrentLaabs

  • And the Comments box no longer preserves line breaks.  Is that construed to be a feature? -BL

2015-02-09 00:53:54   On business pages, how do you move photos up next to the table? There’s just empty space. On older pages, the photo positions were preserved but on pages I created after December, there’s white space next to the table. I don’t see the photos until I scroll down. Otherwise, the design is much easier and user-friendly. Thanks! —WendyWeitzel

 

 


2015-03-18 00:10:40   I'm used to some of the changes, but overall am not enjoying Davis Wiki as much these days. e.g. I tried to use the add comment box on this page but that took me to an error page. In order to enter this, I went to source to cut and paste from prior comments, attempting to follow the style. I'm sure there is documentation that would tell me how to accomplish the same thing, but in the past it seems much more intuitive. I still find reading the activity page and navigating the changes a pain, too many clicks and screens needed to get an overview. It seems as though these changes may have also changed the culture. The edits seem more like social networking, less community information and help.  Are more promotional edits getting through because it takes such effort to monitor?  I'm still hooked though, sue h


2015-03-18 13:09:11   Test comment page —ConstantiaOomen


2015-03-18 13:10:01   Adding comment works just fine? —ConstantiaOomen


2015-03-18 13:12:12   Now I am confused, why does it say it's 1 PM? It's 11 AM in Davis, California. —ConstantiaOomen

Comments  It may be a glitch or perhaps changes are in progress.  Now I don't see the "add comment" box that took me to the error page. However, when I entered text in the blue comment box and saved changes I was sent to the same error page.  It states "Looks like something went wrong and we're unable to display the page you requested.  Please try again in a few minutes."  Sue h  Now I see that the comments were applied in spite of the error message.


2015-03-18 15:36:37   You should not click on edit before typing in the comment box. If the comment box is blue, it means that you are in edit mode, and you are typing code in the comment box that should not be there... —DavidGrundler  Thanks David.  I'm sorry for the destruction.  Sue h


2015-03-18 15:43:49   How about the time, David, shouldn't be Davis time be the standard time in Davis Wiki? Thank you, typing this at 1.42 PM Davis time. —ConstantiaOomen


2015-05-26 18:44:57   I read the activity daily, but only notice fewer than a dozen regular gnomers and wonder if the readership has also diminished greatly since the new format was installed. The data is so outdated now that I suspect it is no longer as useful as it once was. —SueHjerpe

Nope, there's been no decline. Views are actually up significantly, particularly on mobile. -philip

 Wikipedia changes (see New York Times link)seem similar to what is happening to the Davis Wiki -Sue

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/can-wikipedia-survive.html?ref=opinion


2017-01-10: Yay.  Our working software is traded out for dysfunctional software and we are abandoned.  I am so inspired to donate.  

  • Sorry about the upcoming wall of text :) Obviously this is disheartening to read but maybe we can have more of a dialog if we give each other the benefit of the doubt. I understand many people feel ownership of DavisWiki. I think this is a good thing!  But when it comes to keeping the site running (as in the software, hosting, fixing issues, backups) it continues to be the work of a handful of volunteers. For the vast majority of its 12+ year existence so far it has been one guy, more or less, who has put in countless hours of hard work and gave up huge sums of his own money over the years to make sure it continues to exist and continues to be free for everyone. The same people who created the "working software" (which, as our first effort, was hugely problematic to use and difficult to maintain) also wrote the "dysfunctional software" (which has downsides for some but allows hundreds of communities to benefit rather than just Davis). The software can be better, it always can, but my point is, someone has to actually make it better and do these things to run the site. Even with 100% donated labor it takes money to run it. Not a huge amount, but the hope is the communities which benefit from the site will help to keep the lights on. —MikeIvanov
    • What you are leaving out is all of the people who offered feedback and assistance to Philip and were rebuffed.  Those people have largely now all walked away.  We could be in a much better situation now if it weren't for his hubris.
      • Thank you for engaging, I do appreciate that. Obviously what we are also leaving out is all the feedback that was solicited, received, and implemented, but maybe was not the feedback you offered. Are you a software engineer or designer, by profession or hobby? LW is an open source project, so if you care to get involved there are always constructive ways to influence the direction of the project. But feedback alone is not assistance. It creates work, even just to process it, it is often negative or prescriptive to the point of being insulting to the person doing the work, and it rarely provides obvious solutions that everyone agrees on. We can't know where we could be if things were different, I think it's pretty hypocritical to say we can. I mean, we could all just be using Facebook and Yelp for everything, had LW never happened. Or maybe no one outside of Davis would have a wiki. I don't know if either of those scenarios are worse or better to you. Let's move forward, shall we? —MikeIvanov
        • Yes, I do have expertise in this area, as did many of the people who had donated hundreds and sometimes thousands of their hours to editing the wiki, but who were rebuffed.  Given that, I and those people are not likely to get involved now.  We tried and we were told our input was not welcome.  All the things that have happened to the wiki were successfully predicted by the people who had the most expertise with editing the wiki in the long term - as opposed to you and Philip, the people who developed it initially and then for the most part walked away, only to appear every now and then (like now, when you want money)..  So, if you were insulted, sorry.   I realize that constructive criticism can be hard to accept. You have been pretty insulting and dismissive in return.  But you reap what you sow.  Your flagship wiki, the Davis Wiki, is out of date, many of the pages are a mess (either from a bad translation from the old wiki or from the difficulties in using the current editor), and there are only a couple of people who actively edit the wiki.  Believe me, none of this makes me happy.  It's the loss of a great resource.  The Davis Wiki could have been great, but you and Philip had too much hubris to work with the people who had the most hands on experience.  I would love to move forward, but I don't see any reason to see that the future will be different from the past.
          • I can see your point about not being heard after donating lots of time to editing the wiki. I am sure there were many mistakes and can only say that we really tried our best to do what we thought was right in the long term. And yes, not "right for Davis Wiki" as it was at some point, but right for all the communities which did not have access to a resource like this. In some sense it is obvious that trying to optimize a platform for many communities and many users would negatively impact individual existing communities and users, in the short term, one hopes. But the reason I want to have this dialog is to try to understand your current feelings and goals, and to convey the disconnect I feel when talking to you. What is it you hope to accomplish by trolling? I pointed out that you could help steer by working on the software. You seem to think the fact that you edited the wiki, became an expert at it, and had a lot of ideas to share was contribution enough. I am saying it was not. Not because your ideas aren't good or because I disagree with you or I arrogantly think I know better than you do about wiki software. Only because you are not the one helping build it. Look at the content. It is built and influenced by yourself and many other people who spent countless hours editing. Those who edited more left more of a mark and decided the direction. I'm just saying it's the same with open source software. You build the thing you want to exist. In the meantime the software continues to be open source and the content continues to be freely available if you want to build something better. —MikeIvanov
            • Thank you for admitting that mistakes might have made.  That is the first such admission I have heard - certainly never heard anything of the kind from Philip.  I have no doubt that you were doing what you thought was right.  That doesn't mean that hubris and lack of consideration weren't involved.  You ask, "What is it you hope to accomplish by trolling?"  Well, I hadn't thought myself to be trolling.  Trolling is when you say things that you don't really believe in order to get a rise out of people.  My original comment above was a genuine expression of my astonishment at your hubris in coming to Davis for money, yet again, after systematically ignoring and denigrating us.  And now your big suggestion is that, after many hours of volunteering on the wiki, after being rebuffed, insulted, and ignored, after seeing software installed that (by your own admission) isn't a good fit for our community, after watching the wiki deteriorate as a result, that I devote many many more hours (which is what it would take) of additional volunteering time, all on my own, so that I can what?  Tilt at some more windmills and have some folks who are sure they know what is right undo my work?  Sorry, no, that's not going to happen.  Only a fool would do that.  (And what if I didn't have the expertise to help?  You'd say I didn't know what I was talking about and that my contributions were not enough??) . If I had any "motive" in making my original comment, it might have been to see which regular editors turned up to reply.  So far I count a whopping two: David and Judith.  Not enough to run a functioning and up-to-date wiki. (I should say that I appreciate their continuing service to the wiki in the face of everything).
              • Of course mistakes are made, it's inevitable and hardly needs to be said. But I think you're still ignoring my main argument, which is whoever builds a thing decides how to build it, and you can help if you can or you can build your own thing, or you can sarcastically troll. I don't mean that you don't believe what you're saying, I mean that what you're saying is sarcastic and meant to elicit resentment or an argument rather than anything constructive. Despite saying all the negative things and how you wouldn't invest any more time, you continue to come and look and comment. Is that not trolling? If there were any regular editors looking at this I would not blame them from abstaining because these arguments are pretty soul sucking, at least for me. It's never an honest discussion but some kind of point by point takedown of a misconstruction what I said. For instance, I never said the new software isn't a good fit for Davis, just that it wasn't optimized for a one-off site for the time and place the way the original software was. It is meant to be inclusive of all communities and all types of users, not just those who are used to the old software. It still can be optimized in many ways, but someone has to do the work. You agree that we did what we thought was right but somehow also seem to ascribe malicious intent. You also seem to have a misconception about the banner at the top, which applies to all LocalWiki sites, not just Davis Wiki. Literally only people who use the wiki and may therefore benefit from its continued existence see the message. —MikeIvanov
                • "It's never an honest discussion but some kind of point by point takedown of a misconstruction what I said."   Ha, that's exactly what you've done to me.  "I mean that what you're saying is sarcastic and meant to elicit resentment or an argument rather than anything constructive."  False, I have already said that I was just expressing my frustration.  I think I'm allowed to do that.  I didn't seek an argument with you; you sought one with me.  And frankly, I'm done with it.  This will be my last comment on this subject.  "Despite saying all the negative things and how you wouldn't invest any more time..."  False - I never said that I wouldn't invest any more time.  I have been editing the wiki for a long time and have continued to do so, albeit not nearly at the same rate as I used to.  Why?  Because I live here and I use my own edits as a resource.  What I said was that I didn't have the time to invest in programming software, especially given my previous experiences with you and Philip, which have not been improved by this exchange.  "For instance, I never said the new software isn't a good fit for Davis,"  Sorry, I thought that was what you'd said.  My mistake.  I actually think it's true.  "You agree that we did what we thought was right but somehow also seem to ascribe malicious intent."  False again.  I said that you exhibited hubris.  I never accused you of having malicious intent.  I see that same hubris exhibited now. But not to worry, you've succeeded in making me wish that I'd never had any part whatever in this project, which I suspect you're happy about, having constructed a false image of me and then feeling good about chasing the demon off.  So much easier than looking in the mirror.
                  • I am seeing it's pretty difficult to have this discussion in this manner, clearly it's not coming across that I mean no disrespect. If you knew me you'd know I am not dismissive and probably introspective to a fault. I am glad that you use your edits as a resource, that's always been the primary reason for this whole thing. I'm open to chatting over email or on the phone if you want to reach out mivanov @ gmail dot com. —MikeIvanov
                    • You have a strange notion of what it means to be respectful and not dismissive if it includes accusing people of trolling.  I'm not sure what chatting over email or phone would accomplish.  I'd ask you a similar question to what you asked me: what do you hope to accomplish?  Unless there is a rebuilding of the wiki community, all the software changes you make will have little or no effect.  And I don't see how you rebuild the community given the lack of personal investment (that is, investment in talking with persons) and the ties that have already been severed by those who in the past could have been tapped.
                      • I hope to understand and to learn from this.
                        • Then I recommend you call Jabberwokky.  I can't think of a person who is better situated to talk about what this wiki, and wikis in general, need to function effectively.  I also think, as he indicated in a recent comment below, that he knows how many of the former editors feel about what went wrong, so he can offer a broader perspective.  And I suspect he has some ideas of how to begin creating the "honest and non-embittered list of practical issues and proposed solutions using hindsight" that he mentions.
                          • Not a bad idea, but JW has my number, has called me in the past and we have talked, and he has always understood the "belling the cat" problem as you see him describe it here. I think there is mutual understanding there. —MikeIvanov
                            • Interesting.  I wonder if he thinks that the concerns he has raised and others have raised (that he is privy to) have been understood.  I suspect he does not think so.  If you really "hope to understand and to learn from this", then you could and should call him.  Or maybe you just want to grandstand.  It's up to you.
                            • I haven't talked to JW in a while and I have no idea if he has any interest in discussing this. I reached out and made it clear I would be happy to discuss it, but like I said from what I have seen on this page JW understands the challenges and tradeoffs involved in building something like this. Kind of awkward to wait on someone else to represent your viewpoint, so I'll repeat that you are welcome to get in touch with me.-MikeIvanov
          • By the way, you and I may totally agree on many things, for instance anonymous edits without logging in. But because the person who builds the thing decides how it gets built I would never insist it must be done my way. Just try to contribute the best I can. —MikeIvanov
            • I am not insisting that it be done my way.  I am saying that the suggestions of me and many others with hours of hands-on experience were systematically ignored and denigrated.
              • I am sorry they were denigrated, but trust that they were considered and not ignored. It's a problem of time management, I think, more than anything. —MikeIvanov

2017-01-11Now there has been a small spate of ridiculously overdue formatting tweaks.  Should we be impressed?

  • In the time it took to complain, you could have made a useful edit. —DavidGrundler
    • And I do make the occasional edit.  But the software makes it too hard to do much more than that, and there is too much to do.  It's overwhelming.  The Davis Wiki editing community has largely dissipated.
      • I understand your frustration. However, it is hard to take your concerns seriously when they are posted anonymously. You talk about "community," but you hide your identity.   —DavidGrundler
        • Perhaps complain to those who implemented the tools that allowed for editing without a login.  I imagine that anyone who spent any amount of time editing the wiki can guess who I am.  Believe me, I tried very hard to be part of the wiki community, but I can only beat my head against a wall for so long.
          • I lament the loss of the "preview edit" button; I think keeping it would have greatly reduced the amount of blocks of tiny edits by new users who appear confused.  I am not this ^ anon.—JudithTruman
          • As a two cents note on "can guess who I am," I can narrow it down to a few names by writing pattern, but it's a not uncommon sentiment among a larger number.  I am not willing to leap to the problem being purely a tech issue -- especially when the person doing it is doing it, which is critical above all else -- but there has been a de facto mismanagement of this wiki platform.  I say this not to complain or even really blame, but merely as a statement of premise... and I have great sympathy for one specific reason.  A project like this is/was somewhat uncharted territory, so I'm very tolerant of mistakes in management.  I suspect from following along from the sidelines that there was an acceptance of guidance and direction from Big Names and industry zeitgeist that turned out to be a poor fit to a semi-unique and extraordinarily organic project like this.  An honest and non-embittered list of practical issues and proposed solutions using hindsight might be a good thing at this point; if only to see how much work there is to do and how much shared vision remains.  And then the far more difficult question of who is actually willing to bell the cat.  Which does include hitting the orange button, one way or another.   -jw

    Error when trying to edit map: _edit:1 XMLHttpRequest cannot load https://localwiki.org/davis/map/_get_osm/?display_name=Auburn+Drive%2C+Davi…lifornia%2C+95616%2C+United+States+of+America&osm_id=10746907&osm_type=way. No 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource. Origin 'https://daviswiki.org' is therefore not allowed access.

    Thanks for the bug report. This has now been fixed. If you have other bug reports, you can always report them here, where they can be more easily tracked and commented on. -PhilipNeustrom


    2017-01-13 16:14:29   I'm using my personal page as a catchbasin of hard-found format templates, and references, more than I am using it as an about-me page. The primary tweak I *really* want on here is a mandate back to named-user accounts rather than IP-only stuff, because sometimes I forget to log in and then it looks like some random human is doing major tweaks. The secondary tweak I want is "create page" to have a second dialog box: "okay, is what you're going to create a page about a business, an individual, a point of interest, a charity (etc)" that would create a new page in template format rather than the existing "what do you know about PageName." To be honest, I go to Yelp these days to look at food photos rather than keep track on here regarding all the openings and closings within the restaurant scene. Yelp gets populated with information faster and better than we are doing it. I do not have the tech to walk around downtown in my free time and call on all the businesses to introduce the wiki and do an instant-quickie page for each storefront (I rock a flip-phone). Is there any LUGOD/Wiki hybridization these days? I assume there is no longer Farmer's Market tabling. I don't see publicity flyers in places I shop. When was the last WikiBBQ? —JudithTruman


Mike, There have been several interactions I've watched since this conversation picked up again that I've had questions about. Someone came and in their unfamiliarity with the wiki messed up the What Species Is This page. It was reverted, but no outreach to the person that was trying to find out about turtles occurred. I'd like your input on how the system supports other editors in reaching out to new folks. That outreach use to occur, but was slightly hindered by the previous software. My perception is that it is totally shut down by the current version of the software. Similar things have happened with the Doug Arnold page. Let us know what your (those who have control) plans are for facilitating communication between contributors so that community can be built.

I think you're suggested (based on an earlier comment?) that folks should have to first log in to make an edit (or, when someone edits prior to logging in, we 'freeze' the edit until they log in or create an account).  I agree.  Details here.  The current behavior was an experiment in getting more people to edit (we found when testing that many would abandon making a small improvement once they saw they had to create an account first) and remains in place not because someone thinks it's a fantastic idea, but rather because someone just has to put in the work to fix it.  People will get emails when e.g. their user page is edited, so if folks are forced to log in before editing, communicating with them becomes a lot easier. -PhilipNeustrom