WikiEducator Goes Green
All of the WikiEducator and WikiResearcher wikis have been updated to Mediawiki 1.23.3. This long awaited update was delayed because our old LiquidThreads (pre Version 1) did not cleanly migrate to the current LiquidThreads V2, so we needed to understand the undocumented schemas involved and build a tool to do the transfer so that we did not lose any historical threads. Because it has been a long time since the last upgrade, some of the extensions that we used to use are now obsolete. Much of the functionality can be duplicated with newer extensions and building some widgets might permit recreating other old functions if necessary.
The major new feature is the new VisualEditor which provides an improved editor for beginning wiki editors. This improvement should make the transient inconvenience worth enduring. --JimTittsler 06:55, 03 September 2014 (UTC)
The AddToTable widget allows users that may not be comfortable with wiki syntax to add a row of "data" to an existing table on a wiki page. It creates a button that pops up a form with entry fields for the various columns of the table. It has an auto mode where it uses the column headings as the form field labels, but it also allows the original table author to specify a variety of form elements including user, name, date, timestamp, country, selection of specified options, and radio buttons for selection of a small number of options. When the user populates the form and clicks Submit a new row is added to the table (either at the top or bottom of the table as desired). --JimTittsler 03:53, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
In 2010 we agreed to try adding a navigation button to simplify sharing WikiEducator content on social media sites. Unfortunately the implementation has some privacy and technical limitations. Most users that frequently share content via social media have browser extensions, bookmarklets, or other preferred tools. I've eliminated the button from the sidebar navigation. If you would like to restore it for your WikiEducator use, you can add the line:
Link to Row
The Widget:LinkToRow allows you to create a URL that will direct a user to a particular row of a specified table on a WikiEducator page. It requires an id parameter that references the DOM id of the table. If you click on a row in the table, the browser location will be modified with a hash string that points to that row. You can then share or post that URL which will scroll directly to that row for visitors. (Note that this presumes that rows above the one referenced are not added/deleted, because it points to the nth row of the table. If your table is mutable, use a URL for the current instance of the wikipage (see the Links in the navigation bar). --JimTittsler 01:50, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Over the years we have developed a variety of techniques for theming content authored in WikiEducator. I've posted a longer blog post summarizing some of the possible methods.
These are important considerations because they separate the authoring and presentation. Some of the schemes further separate the learning pathway through a collection of resources from the resources themselves, encouraging potential reuse. --JimTittsler 04:54, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
This year we have made two upgrades to the WikiEducator server infrastructure. In March, we moved the main instance to a faster server at Amazon Web Services. And now in April we have moved the main database server to an SSD-backed system, further increasing the responsiveness of our server. --JimTittsler 04:00, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Migrating from Moodle
Since the WikiEducator and OERu courses are currently being delivered directly from WikiEducator, we have disabled the WikiEducator Moodle instance. The content is archived should it ever be useful. --JimTittsler 00:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)