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Group Wiki Plugin (not a release, but in progress)

  • Hi,

    For a project I’m currently working on I’m co-developing a group wiki plugin implementation. This builds on the work already done by the CUNY Academic Commons guys (I used their instructions for user integration and have updated their wiki activity plugin to support BP1.2 and better filtering) but we wanted to make the wiki feel more like a group component than a standalone wiki with nothing more in common with BP than a shared user base.

    As such, it will work like so:

    Built for BuddyPress 1.2 (using the new theme, once it hits trac)

    Each group can create a number of wiki pages on creation.

    These pages are tied to the group so only those within the group can edit them (and further security settings allow for control of viewing outside of the group).

    The wiki editing and viewing is all done within the buddypress site (as per the other group components).

    Integrated FCKEditor for wiki editing.

    Most backend functions hidden from the users initially.

    Global wiki directory that will work in a similar way to the current group directory and link to the group wiki homepage for each group.

    We’re hopfully adding a few other features to help group admins manage multiple groups/wikis at once too.

    I guess that this won’t exactly match up to what everyone wants from a wiki plugin but our current needs are to provide a better environment for our students to perform group work online. Buddypress has been really beneficial for student communication but without a better wiki integration we are starting to struggle to support decent collaborative projects…Hopefully this will address that.

    Our deadline for the project is end of Jan/Feb and hopefully I’ll be able to release an early alpha version to testers before that (if anyone is interested?).

Viewing 23 replies - 26 through 48 (of 48 total)

  • Fairweb
    Participant

    @fairweb

    Glad I could help as well.

    Don’t forget to adjust user’s rights on blogs when a user is added or removed from a group.

    Good luck and yes please, let us know how it goes.


    Boone Gorges
    Keymaster

    @boonebgorges

    Something like wp-wiki is limited in a couple ways:

    1) It doesn’t have ready-made discussion pages

    2) It doesn’t make the page history public

    For many uses of a group wiki, neither of these is necessary. But a full-featured BP wiki plugin will have both.

    I think (1) can be cobbled together without too much difficulty, either through the creation of a parallel post for each wp-wiki enabled post (an attractive solution, because the discussion page can be wiki-enabled too) or through the use of comments (attractive in its own way, as the metadata is already in place, and you might be able to leverage something like CommentPress.

    Feature (2) is a bit more complicated, because wp-wiki uses page revisions for versioning. You’d have to move them out of the Dashboard and built analogs for “cur” and “diff” for it to be really useful and wiki-ish.

    Like D Cartwright says, it’s likely that making wp-wiki work will require as much development time as starting with a full-fledged wiki and making it work with BP. There’s probably a real market for both solutions, since a simple BP plugin will be very easy to use for beginners, while power users might want the functionality of MediaWiki


    Leah
    Participant

    @gezan

    @D Cartwright @nexia

    no, no, of course. Just thinkin out loud and all that.

    Like your thoughts on how to implement it. Focusing on usefullness instead of wiki geekiness. Good work!

    @Gezan

    No worries. I would love to be involved in a project similar to your suggestion – so perhaps it’s something we can run parallel :)

    @Boone Gorges

    It’s looking like we’ll be going that route for now. I think we’re likely to end up with something far more useful (to start with) but I agree – there is definitely a call for a basic wiki plugin and something more fully-fledged…I’d like to be involved with the development of both :p

    If you would like to chat about the development we did with mediwiki sometime I’d be happy to go through it with you and provide the partial code. It might be enough to provide a spark of interest/development attention from people. I will warn you that it’s in an awful state though – it’s just me playing with things and trying to get a rough solution working before later refining.


    Leah
    Participant

    @gezan

    @D Cartwright

    What are your thoughts on Confluence besides being proprietary and in your case part of Blackboard?

    @Gezan

    It doesn’t seem too bad as far as wikis go (reasonable amount of features, not too cluttered with whatever theme we’re running) but the integration with Blackboard is quite lacking, mostly in the group management department, which is exactly where i’m hoping we can improve things by using BuddyPress.

    Just thought I’d give people an update.

    1) As discussed, we moved to making use of inbuilt wordpress functions as much as possible and hence avoid the nightmare of trying to make mediawiki work in a way that is ‘nice’ with buddypress.

    2) We’ve taken inspiration from the following plugins: front-end-editor, bp-groupblog and wp-wiki. We currently aren’t using any of the code from these, but many thanks to the authors of these plugins for their very informative code.

    3) Work is progressing very nicely. Sadly we probably won’t have a working beta before xmas but I’m going to post up a few screenshots next week with some luck. In the meantime, here are two to whet your appetite slightly:

    Group Wiki Create Screen

    http://linktart.co.uk/_files_/dev/wiki1.png

    Group Wiki Home Screen

    http://linktart.co.uk/_files_/dev/wiki2.png

    Please note: Our designer hasn’t re-styled these pages yet so bits of it look quite rough. Apologies about that. Functionality-wise we’re probably about 50% of the way there, with a few placeholders here and there until we can finish things.

    Any thoughts? I realise that there isn’t exactly much to go on at the moment :) I should also probably again mention that we were looking for quite a simple wiki plugin for our students, not a fully blown wiki system…

    Two thoughts.

    1. I love you (and your team).

    2. The pages should maybe go in a vertical list rather than horizontal. Just thinking that you’re going to run out of space if a group has more than a handful of documents. Perhaps the page view template is still in progress.

    1. Lol, thank you :)

    2. Yeah, the pages list definitely needs work. In some ways a vertical list would be nice/better but I’m not sure of the best way to do this. We were considering an ‘index page’ but I have concerns about the users needing extra clicks to get to places…so..hm.

    I guess index + breadcrumb might work… Hmmmmmmm :)

    I’d be fine with an index / directory page. That page could perhaps even use sorting / filtering (at some point) similar to the BuddyPress directory pages in the latest default theme… i.e. most active, most recent… my wikis, all wikis… etc. And if you’re leveraging WordPress functionality… another way to organize the wikis would be by tags and categories… perhaps with a sidebar widget and a dynamic directory page depending on which tag / category you click on. Lots of ideas :-)

    We’ll have a sorting mechanism but some of the extra stuff is beyond the scope of this project (deadline is sometime in Jan/Feb). I’m probably going to continue working on the plugin in my spare time however…


    bpisimone
    Participant

    @bpisimone

    1 Thought so far. I love you too (and your team). More thoughts whenever we’ll see more of this :)


    21cdb
    Participant

    @21cdb

    This is absolutely great news for everyone who wants to use buddypress in the fields of education. Thank u very much for sharing with us. Is it all working on the frontend, or does the user has to enter the wp-backend?

    Thoughts:

    1. A searchable “wiki” directoy page would great.

    2. Tags would be great – with a sidebar tag cloud widget on the directory page.

    3. I also like ur idea of vertical “page” listing.

    What a great xmas present :)

    Hi again,

    Everything is done through the frontend – our students and academics absolutely hated the backend (and I tend to agree – at least in regards to buddypress doing pretty much everything through the frontend aside from blogs).

    1. Wiki directory page is definitely on the cards but we’ve not started working on that yet. Probably something for the new year :)

    2. Tags would be nice but I suspect something that will come later too sorry…

    3. I’ll discuss the idea of a vertical page listing with people more next week. I suspect it’ll be put on the back-burner until we’ve got most of everything working properly though. (e.g. whatever the rest of the team have already partially completed will be the way we go for the next week or two).

    I think a directory page might make more sense than a sidebar list. What happens once you have 100 documents? Also, it would really make sense with the rest of the BuddyPress world. You could have tabs for “all documents” and “my documents”. You could have sorting by “active”, “recent”, “popular”. etc. And you could have “search” of course. Maybe not to start… but you know… Phase 2.

    And how could anyone hate the WordPress backend?! It’s awesome!!! Show them Joomla… then their heads would truly explode. But I understand how being taken into a completely different interface would be jarring. And I think it’s a huge bonus that this will all work on the front end. Nice.

    Lol.. nice point regarding Joomla :) We’ve said similar things in the past too. The WP backend is just a bit overwhelming for new users, despite it being a million miles better than Joomla’s.

    For our courses the students are likely to only have 2-5 wiki pages so our design has been with that in mind to start with. I agree that to be practical for other uses we need to change that though. I’ll see what we can do.

    Cool. It’s a great start anyway! Better than what we have now. Which is to say… nothing :)


    21cdb
    Participant

    @21cdb

    Everything is done through the frontend – our students and academics absolutely hated the backend

    Thats exactly what we experienced with our beta testers and what makes me even more excited about ur development.

    So far i have one more question. On the screenshots u posted i saw a line

    Any future page creation/deletion can ONLY be performed by group admins.”

    I’m a little bit concerned that this won’t encourage users to post new pages. I’m afraid that people will be more likely create a new group to see their pages up instead of searching for a suitable group where there page would be fit in?

    I see your point but unfortunately having group page deletion/creation controlled by group admins is something that is a requirement for our project. Once we get the plugin code out there though, I’m sure that either myself (in my spare time) or another plugin developer will be able to quite quickly expand the capabilities of the plugin to suit more situations.


    D Cartwright
    Participant

    @aekeron

    Hi everyone.

    Just thought I’d give people a heads-up (in the hope of getting some testers) and let you know that we should hopefully have a demo site for people to play with by Friday this week. I then hope to have a beta version of the plugin available to some people on here a week or two after that.

    I’ve posted a rather rambling update in reply to David Lewis here:

    https://buddypress.org/forums/topic/message-all-group-members

    There’s a few images of how the site is working at the moment and some details on the state of development.


    nig3d
    Participant

    @nig3d

    I WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT IT

    PLEEEEASE


    ajdinb
    Participant

    @ajdinb

    I’m also available to test so let me know when beta is out. I’m testing MediaWiki WPMU SSO plugin and also found this https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wiki-append/. Having a group wiki is something I was looking at and I’m glad to see this one. My initial idea was to create a NameSpace in MediaWiki for each group. Of course there is user permissions issue.


    Damon Cook
    Participant

    @damoncook

    can’t wait! I’ve been looking for this for a long time. Thank you, thank you!

Viewing 23 replies - 26 through 48 (of 48 total)
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