User talk:BrentSimpson/Archive2007

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

thanks for reminder

Hey Brent - thanks for reminding me about updating my user page. Been meaning to do this for months - and you've managed to prioritize my time this morning to do this. --Mackiwg 19:42, 14 January 2007 (CET)

Ghost busters

Agreed - will launch a concerted effort on my end to encourage users to compete their user profiles with the community groups I have contact with - eg VUSCC. I sent an email to the FLOSS4Edu group encourage folk to complete their profiles.

--Mackiwg 23:05, 14 January 2007 (CET)


Hi Brent -- Wayne asked me to add a new template to Wikieducator and let you know about it. It is called Activity2. It has two arguments so that the activity can be "named" similar to the Activity iDevice in eXe.

Cheers Rob

-- Kruhly 21 February 2007

Quiz Template

Hi Brent -- I had a look at the Quiz Template and the Sandbox on Wikiversity :-) I'm very excited that they are able to render buttons and editable text boxes. It looks like they have javascript running on their site ... to my knowledge it is not running on WikiEducator so that could be the problem. I agree that asking User:Eloquence for help is the best way to proceed.

Kruhly 08:22, 22 February 2007 (CET)

I don't know what you or User:Eloquence did but the ABCD template and ParserFunctions are working today :-)

Kruhly 06:25, 23 February 2007 (CET)

Hi Brent, Strange. The example I looked at was the ABCD template; however, it does not work today (ParserFunctions still do). I checked my browser history and I did visit the page yesterday (not the Wikiversity page) ??? My thoughts are that the ColBreak template is not the only problem. Because the following code does not use ColBreak and does not render properly (ie the expand button should be visible and not the comment).

<div class="NavFrame" style="clear:left; text-align: center; border: 0px; width:200px"> <div class="NavHead" style="background-color:transparent; text-align:left"> A</div>

<div class="NavContent" style="text-align:left"> Wrong </div> </div> <div class="NavEnd"> </div>

Do you have access to check if the configuration variable $wgAllowUserJs in LocalSettings.php is set to true?

Kruhly 07:40, 24 February 2007 (CET)

ABCD Template

Hi Brent --Does the ABCD template work for you? It was working for me yesterday after User:Eloquence fixed it up. Today the Expand/Collapse is missing when I'm logged in but it works fine when I'm not logged in???? Also I have created a new template Template:Reflection2 that uses some code from Template:Reflection and Template:ABCD. It seems to be having the same problem.

Kruhly 09:08, 5 March 2007 (CET)

Rob: ABCD seems to be working for me now, as does Reflection2 except for that Reflection2 is always in the expanded state when I visit. From what I remember they're basically a hack on the TOC expand/contract functionality - if that helps. brent 01:15, 6 March 2007 (CET)

Brent -- I figured out why my account was not working for ABCD, etc. I had the second editing preference (Enable section editing by right clicking
on section titles (JavaScript)) checked. When I unchecked it everything went back to normal. I see Reflection2 expanded on the template page (as you do) but when I use it :in a page it works correctly (ie contracted to start). Kruhly 00:02, 7 March 2007 (CET)


Hi Brent -- have you seen Wikiquiz. Check out the Example that shows multichoice questions with radio buttons and checkboxes. Really great! Kruhly 00:02, 7 March 2007 (CET)

Just sent User:Eloquence a request to install m:Wikiquiz. Rayc at Wikiversity says they are in the process of beta testing it, and would like it if we could beta test it as well. Kruhly 07:59, 7 March 2007 (CET)


You are now a sysop and bureaucrat (bureaucrats can make sysops). You should be able to give other users sysop or bureaucrat status through Special:Userrights.--Eloquence 02:58, 12 March 2007 (CET)


Cool Brent! I just added a feed to my profile page. Now to start aggregating content... hmm where to start? YahooPipe then bring the final feed over to a page. Have you heard of Feedbooks? See Alen Levine.

Youtube, Googlevids, and Flickr

Template Issues

Hi Brent -- I tried the link on [1] inside the Modular template and it works without a problem. I assume there are many other instances where our current templates hiccup when they are passed complex arguments. I have asked if anyone a wikiversity knows what setting/config they used to get the singleton </div> tags to render as html but no response so far. Any thoughts on how we could reconfigure wikied so the modular templates work?

Cheers Rob -- Kruhly 05:53, 15 March 2007 (CET)

Using Begin_Template_XYZ and End_Template (or similar naming convention) seems like a straight forward way to eliminate the passing of 'most' of the complex content via an argument. I would like to see it working on WikiEd before we decide to change everything because there may still be some other issues (for instance, alerting the TOC when the template is in "action"). To do this I think we need to sort out the singleton </div> problem as a generic End_Template or even specific ones have to render it properly to close a Box, Class, etc. That's where I don't have enough experience with Wiki or HTML Tidy to be helpful ... ie I don't know if we need a rebuild, a change of config, etc. -- Kruhly 07:51, 15 March 2007 (CET)
Hi Brent -- I tested the singleton </div> tag (ie Template:Boxed_Activity_End) on Wikipedia as well. It renders as html like it does on Wikiversity. Also a singleton </h1> renders as html on both Wikipedia, and Wikiversity but as unicode text on WikiEd. I have asked User:Eloquence if the common behavior on Wikipedia and Wikiversity makes it any easier to track down why it is not working on WikiEd. -- Kruhly 06:59, 16 March 2007 (CET)
Brent, I got your url to work in one of the original non-modular templates. The problem was not the ? but the = . When there is an = in an argument to a template the parameter name must be referenced explicitly even if it is 1,2, etc. (see [2]). I have also had some luck getting the non-modular templates to appear in the TOC (see Template:Activity for more details). Cheers Rob -- Kruhly 21:55, 17 March 2007 (CET)

Hi Brent, I just had a quick look at Editing Preferences and Skins that break Template:MCQ, Template:ABCD, etc. Enabling "Enable section editing by right clicking on section titles (JavaScript)" in the Monobook skin is the only preference that causes problems for me (both at wikied and wikiversity). All other skins break the above templates independent of editing preferences so it sounds like the NavHead, NavFrame, NavContent, etc are only in monobook?? Any idea how we could make them common to all skins? -- Kruhly 22:50, 20 March 2007 (CET)


Thoroughly doing my wiki-newbie head in but hear goes. I agree. Wouldnt it be nice to let the TALO Google run itself and actually action and rpovsion learners using this wiki and other wiki's to grow the TALO idea without burying the concept in another threaded erk. How do we progress such things Brent my friend and how the heck can we get the newbies like me involved without learning yet a nother code language - perhaps somehting like what Chris has developed - Superuser with thout the user bit attached ....another erk

Your thoughts as I chase these conversations around the universe !!!!

Thanks for the plug, Brent and I have been collaborating for quite a while now, mainly using irc. Hopefully he will bring Wayne up to speed with that and my involvement with Learnscope. With COL dropping funding for Australia?, I'm more inclined to focus on Wikiversity though I'm happy to promote Wikieducator to educators. The tutorials on Wikieducator are a great resource for learning how to use mediawiki. Using firefox and this extension makes things easier.Chris 17:08, 17 March 2007 (CET)

Flash objects (Magnifier and Slideshow idevice)

Brent - can you send me a copy of the flash object (i.e. the .swf files) for the Magnifier iDevice used in eXe.

I'm afraid I can access this because there is not a working install of eXe for Ubuntu. Also, would you be able to go back to the emails when I was toying around with the slideshow iDevice and see if you can get me a copy of the Slideshow .swf object. I want to play a little with these objects as potential widgets for MW educational features.

Cheers --Mackiwg 02:20, 18 March 2007 (CET)

Welcome template for WikiEducator


In relation to our upcoming work on the Community portal - we must also think about implementing a Welcome template. Wikiversity have done a sterling job - see:

Can we create a generic todo list for this kind of thing on WikiEducator. In the near future we're going to need a little work on structure, structure, structure for WikiEducator.

--Mackiwg 19:07, 21 March 2007 (CET)


Hi Brent -- I made Template:MCQ that can take multiple questions and have only two choices. I put a quick example in your User:BrentSimpson/Sandpit. Feel free to improve the syntax. I hope it helps. Kruhly 06:43, 25 March 2007 (CEST)

I was thinking of having a parameter to Show/Hide the hint so I have modified Template:MC_Question. If you are fine with the decoration and layout you could add |ShowHint=0 to your MC_Question calls to hide the hints. Kruhly 20:13, 25 March 2007 (CEST)

New TOCs for Newbie Tuts

Brent, the new links from the help page for the Newbie tuts are a great improvement.

A while back I started developing a clickable TOC's that would target specific subsections in the Tuts -

See: Index

I'm wondering whether we could integrate this idea with a more elaborate table layout somewhere on the help page - see for example Wikipedia

--Mackiwg 23:16, 26 March 2007 (CEST)


tag : flnw2 :-)--alexanderhayes 06:14, 30 March 2007 (CEST)

Michael Coglan is going along to FLNW because hed like to explore ;

1) What impact does the Internet have on the lives of people and communities that we will visit?

2) Are there ways our skills, knowledge and experience as knowledge workers/ networked educators can enrich the lives of those we meet?

3) Are there ways the skills, knowledge and experience of those we meet can enrich and inform what we do as (networked) educators?

4) Is there scope for ongoing cross cultural collaboration for the mutual benefit of TALO members and those in the communities we visit?

What would you add here ? - --alexanderhayes 09:21, 30 March 2007 (CEST)

Hey - any chance you can flesh out your fifty word blurb in the FLNW page ? :-) I'm coming back over to ENZED in September for Leigh's wedding - beer ?

Beers on for September but seriously.........we need some Wayne magic coming back in conversations . Is COL behind this initaitive and if so can we get some names up in lights so to speak ? Looking forward a long, lengthy chinway with you soon --alexanderhayes 16:56, 2 April 2007 (CEST)

What out for sub-page links in the restructuring ...

Hey Brent,

The restructuring is going to make a huge difference to finding our way around the wiki. We have the problem with sub-pages created with the slash argument misbehaving in the new locations.

Easily fixed - What about a special category for fixing broken links. We can then start a community help project to fix broken links - identified by the use of a special category for this purpose.

Just that we don't want to forget about fixing these links on the pages we've moved.

Cheers --Mackiwg 21:39, 31 March 2007 (CEST)

Wayne, I'll keep this in mind and try to make sure that anything that gets' moved also moves any subpages. Hoping that we can do this without too much moving around. brent 21:43, 31 March 2007 (CEST)

Is the new box premature!

Hey Brent,

The new navbox is looking cool - but am wondering whether we shouldn't roll back until we've had a little time to get the 2nd level pages sorted.

The release early approach has the advantage of encouraging folk to get the new pages finished - and I would love to start. I have an overloaded weekend - and I'd prefer if folk don't link to an outdated about page etc.

We also need to run checks to see if what links if any get lost from the new navigation.

My vote is to roll back until we've had some breathing space to get the about pages. FAQ's etc sorted.

What do you think?

--Mackiwg 09:06, 1 April 2007 (CEST)

Thanks brent

Hey thanks Brent - I'm juggling many balls at the moment.

I like the progress on the Main box 150% better than what we had. We're nearly there. I'll get in next week and give a little help. I've got this &*^%$ deadline tomorrow for a piece Ken wants me to write. I'm using this to document some of WikiEducator's history - See: Very draft paper - this may get us some more profile in the blog sphere - hope I don't provoke too much ...

--Mackiwg 09:25, 1 April 2007 (CEST)

Additional idea for Main page box

Brent - just so this doesn't get lost - We must have a link for research. There are at least 3 prospective PhD students who want to do some substantive research work around WikiEducator. COL already has already registered the wikiresearcher domain - but its far to premature.

PS - I like your visioning stuff. Good work!


Hi Brent,

I work for an open educational resource project OpenLearn which makes material from Open University courses available online under a Creative Commons licence.

I'm really interested in wikieducator and would be interested to know if you think wikieducator would find our resources useful? How does the licencing of wikieducator work, can third parties use the material for commercially? I know this is the case with Wikiversity.

Best, Stuart--Jinky32 12:21, 23 April 2007 (CEST)

Before we chat on Gizmo

Brent - before we chat tomorrow,

Please take a look at Flagged Revs

Create an account on the wiki above and play a little - this will help our discussions.


--Mackiwg 06:42, 9 May 2007 (CEST)

Added some feedback on the LD boiler plate

Brent - have played a little with the boiler plate - see my feedback here:

General questions

Had a little time on my hands this morning - so better quality feedback.

I'm wondering whether from an organisation perspective whether we shouldn't keep everything which is not free content in its own name space?

Projects are for the thinking and planning about free content. So perhaps there should be a project name space. For example:

Similarly - network nodes are not free content or projects, they are nodes which facilitate free content development.

Without being prescriptive (this is a wiki ..;-) ) I think that it would be useful to think about guidelines or criteria to distinguish between:

  • Content
  • Projects &
  • Networks

I also think that these things evolve. For example, when FLOSS4Edu started - it was a project, now it seems to be evolving into a global network.

  • How should the community decide about these things in the future?
  • How does a user know whether to list their idea under a project or network, or go straight into content development?

I like the way WikiEducator is evolving bottom up and that the activity on the wiki is determining its structure rather than the other way arround.

PS - I like the idea of one link for humankind re Wikiversity - go for it.

--Mackiwg 18:13, 19 May 2007 (CEST)

Funding proposals & other stuff

Brent - I've created Funding_proposals - the metawikieducator stuff just doesn't make sense and don't know why I created this page. I will progressively move relevant content over. My question - should funding proposals be a main like on the menu bar to be consistent with the "Purpose of Wikieducator" on the Mainpage - or should this be inserted somewhere on the second level navigation.

Wayne - yea, that sounds good. I think that funding proposals should stay as a link in the purpose section (not sure if that's what you meant). While on the subject I think the link to free content on the front page should not go to the site. It's a bit confusing. I've got another idea of trying to replicate some of what is on that main header box, in the navigation sidebar on the left so that it's essentially always present. Are you really tied to Random Page? and can I move Donations to the Community box on the left? brent 21:35, 19 May 2007 (CEST)
Nope - I think that the random page is not that relevant for WikiEducator. Also no problems with moving donations to the navigation side bar - although I see that this is already done <smile>. We should create a new page for free content. A short description of what this is - a link to the tutorial on free content, and a link tp As a community of association - I think that its important to convey that we subscribed to the free cultural works definition. Good point that it may be a bit confusing to a user being sent off to the definition without the context. --Mackiwg 22:28, 20 May 2007 (CEST)

I've also added a category for Work in Progress in the corresponding template so we now have a listing of all the pages using this template - a one stop shop for all pages under development.

Yea, that's a good idea. I'll use this in the Community Portal page. brent 21:35, 19 May 2007 (CEST)

I've also done a little work on Using_WikiEducator

--Mackiwg 21:12, 19 May 2007 (CEST)

Greetings again.

Hi Brent ,

Just noticed that you've dropped back to virtual participant in the proposed ( and stagnant ) FLNW2 initiative. Wondering whether you and I could have a chat sometime regarding initiatives afoot here to bring NSW LearnScope and the AFLF essentially into WikiEducator for a bit of a spring clean. Would love some feedback on our site and whats growing under our feet here in the big OZ--alexanderhayes 10:22, 21 May 2007 (CEST)

Hi Brent, Just to say WOW that new help page is stunning, must have taken quite a bit of work. Thanks, and well done! --Phsi 09:16, 23 May 2007 (CEST)

Thanks Phsi! I appreciate it. Yes, i've been a busy boy lately :-) brent 09:19, 23 May 2007 (CEST)

Flash Slideshow demo

Hey Brent,

Thanks to [User:Kruhly]]'s hack on eXe's flash magnifier - I've got the slide show with audio flash object working in WikiEducator - User:Mackiwg/My_sandbox

--Mackiwg 22:44, 26 May 2007 (CEST)

Review of Welcome template

Hey Brent,

With WikiRandy we've started a WikiNeighbour initiative. I've had a bash a creating a welcome template.

Would you mind reviewing the text - and if you have any ideas for making the layout of the help links pretty - go for it!

Watch out for radical changes - have already started using the template.

Cheers --Mackiwg 03:26, 30 May 2007 (CEST)

Collapsable boxes again and rss

Hmmmm, the collapsable boxexs here: do not seem to work on my end?!? I don't see any hide/show link except in the TOC.

Also I can;t seem to be able to get the rss feeds to quite work: User:Phsi/Sandbox3 should generate a feed but is empty! ditto for Practice:Feeds which is a copy of a part of the community portal.

The reason I'm trying to figure out how to generate feeds, is that I want to capture a feed of a manually made TOC and using css put it horizontally in a template for creating a nav-bar.

Philip --Phsi 15:33, 13 June 2007 (CEST)

Phillip, i made a modification to your feed syntax and got it to work ok. The opposite tag <rss> does not, unfortunately, support atom so you'll need to use RSS if you want to use that in WikiEd. There's more on the RSS tag here, and the feed generator, here: brent 22:17, 13 June 2007 (CEST)

Hi Philip, Are you using the monobook skin? From memory the expand/collapse only works with monobook and there are some preferences in monobook that break it as well. Do you see the Expand/Collapse link in Template:Reflection2? I have notes somewhere on what preferences break it and will look for them when I get a chance. I hope this helps.
Rob -- Kruhly 18:04, 13 June 2007 (CEST)
The question about MCQs on the list got me to look at this again, and i'm still in the same situation. I am using monobook, but I do have a modified monobook.js because I installed the wikEd scripts ( If you can confirm that both Feeds and Collapsible boxes work under a standard Monobook, then probably the problem is with wikiEd. I wonder what is broken? But I think wikiED is pretty Wikipedia specific.

--Phsi 08:43, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

Hi Phsi, I looked in my notes and the only editing preference that broke the javascript navigation bar was: "Enable section editing by right clicking on section titles". You can confirm that collapsible boxes work with the standard Monobook by visiting the page(s) when you are not logged in. Cheers Rob -- Kruhly 09:07, 6 July 2007 (CEST)
They Work when i'm logged out! But that option is disabled on my profile ... so it must be the custom Monobook.js that is breaking things. In any case, Collapsible boxes that break when a MediaWiki option is enabled arn't quite ready for prime-time. BTW toggleTOC still works ... maybe we can re-adapt that bit of js.

--Phsi 09:21, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

Hi Brent

Hi Brent I'm in Wellington - where R u?

brent 05:31, 13 August 2007 (CEST)

--brent 05:32, 13 August 2007 (CEST)

Making internal links

Hi Brent,

Thanks for the feedback - I looked at the internal links page, and it's not clear to me.

If I want to link something to something in the wiki, then according to the instructions, then I would do something. How does the wiki know where to direct the link?

--wikirandy 00:11, 24 August 2007 (CEST)

Randy: if the text that you use to create the link correlates to a page in the wiki that already exists then it will just be a link to that page and will be coloured blue. The wiki software checks all links to see whether they already exist or not and colour codes accordingly. In the example you used above, because the page "something" doesn't exist it's red. This is also how you create new pages in the wiki -- you create a link to a page that doesn't exist; the you follow that link and start editing. If you want to link to a page that already exists, but you don't want to use the actual title of the page as the link you need to use the | or "pipe" syntax. So, for example if I want to call the link to the Wiki Pasifika page something like "work in the pacific" i'll need to use a | character and the syntax will look something like this:
[[Wiki Pasifika|work in the Pacific]]

which will appear like this: work in the Pacific but as you will notice the link actually goes to the Wiki Pasifika page.

brent 00:26, 24 August 2007 (CEST)

creating internal links

Hi Brent,

OK, I get it took me 10 minutes to figure it out!!

Believe me, I felt kind of stupid that I couldn't get it - not dissimilar than the feelings I've witnessed in interviewing people about their 'experience' with the Wiki. Many people - who say that they're really busy, just drop the wiki entirely, because they can't get passed it. Also, because people feel professional in other parts of their lives, they're just not interested in going to something that makes them feel like crap.

I think we can do a better job of the documentation, and in helping people along. For example, I did find the screenshot very helpful - but I think that it should be one of the first things to look at (i.e., the "Show Me How"), because that's why the person is there in the first place.


Randy --wikirandy 00:54, 24 August 2007 (CEST)

eXe or direct entry onto the wiki

Hi Brent,

When people are making lesson plans, are they using eXe or directly entering text and images onto the wiki? It's not entirely clear to me.

--wikirandy 17:25, 1 September 2007 (CEST)

Randy - not quite sure what you mean. eXe is actually an application that you can download and install on your computer for the offline creation of eLearning content that can be put up as a web site or imported into a Learning Management System (you can download it here if you want a play: We have often thought about how we could integrate eXe more closely into the MediaWiki platform, perhaps by having a wiki text export .. but as of yet this has not been done. eXe can 'import' pages from WikiEd or many other MediaWikis by using the 'wiki article' iDevice from within eXe. brent 18:40, 1 September 2007 (CEST)
Brent, thanks for this - I've made some changes to the FAQ, to reflect your comments. It's clarity like this that will make future messaging / communications more effective. --wikirandy 20:13, 1 September 2007 (CEST)

You're right the TOC feature is causing the problem


You're right - it is the TOC feature that's causing the problem. See - User_talk:Mackiwg - happen to know that the Objective template (singular) does not have the TOC feature.

If you can find a workaround to fix the spacing using the TOC feature - that would be great. If we cant find a solution to fix the spacing - I'd prefer to drop this feature.

Appreciate the feedback - this had me stumped.

Cheers --Wayne Mackintosh 00:34, 18 September 2007 (CEST)

Test: Nesting the TOC template in the div

I tried moving the TOC template inside the div of the pedagogical template. Definitely the culprit causing the the space - trying to figure a work around is beyond my skills, perhaps you'll figure something out. --Wayne Mackintosh 00:39, 18 September 2007 (CEST)

There are no threads on this page yet.