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Doug
post 28 Apr 2012, 21:16
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Model Rail Forum has a wiki for documenting recurring topics, tips, methods and advice: the Model Rail Wiki

Aimed at beginners and seasoned hobbyists alike, it is there for all to use. Hopefully we can develop it into a resource that can be shared even beyond this forum.

Note: For now, the wiki is not integrated into the forum software - perhaps that may come later (I'll see if and how it can be done - To add and edit pages you will have to first create an account using your MRF name and password (it should come up automatically if you have set your browser to remember passwords)login to the wiki - then once the account is created, login and edit. You do not have to create an account to read, search and browse the wiki (in effect, it works just like Wikipedia).

The Main page (as with any wiki page) is a work in progress. I just put a few sections as an example. If other members have a better idea on layout, lets discuss and we can work on it.

Feel free to take charge of a section and create a basic structure, then add content.

Lets keep it part of the forum: - add links to relevant forum topics.

Note the 'Discussion' tab on a page is not to discuss the subject matter (use the forum for that), but rather to talk about issues relating to the page itself: who is championing it, issues, ideas, plans for the future etc. Use this topic to discuss issues relating to the wiki.

To get to the wiki, there is a link on the menu bar of the forum, just under the logo on the top left of the screen, or click the link below.

https://www.modelrailforum.com/wiki or http://www.modelrailwiki.com

User's guide is here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Contents

Editing help is here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing


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7113
post 28 Apr 2012, 21:32
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I shall endeavour to ensure that anything I add is accurate and factual.

A good idea, more power to your elbow Doug.

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dwb
post 28 Apr 2012, 22:26
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The wiki software has the look and feel of the one we use at work. I suspect we will need a "Quick Start" guide page on the Wiki for creating content - in the past I have not found the way the help is laid out or expressed particularly helpful or clear.

Here's a Quickstart guide to creating a new page:

Go to the sandbox. Type

CODE
[[New page title]]

Then click "Preview"

When the preview page comes up, the sandbox will show "New page title" in red. Click that and you will be taken to the screen for creating a new page.

It's a simple but to me non-intuitive process and you have to read a lot of help text to work out what to do.

One of the things we do have at work is a category tree. I find this useful for grouping related topics together. It's separate from any other ordering mechanism so it doesn't interfere with article writing. Pages can be put in multiple categories.

To start the category tree off, we need to come up with some kind of skeleton structure for the first two or three levels. Once it's up and running I think it will sort itself out through use.

I've already created a "root category" page but rather than just rush off and create a bunch of categories on my own I thought it would be a good idea to collect some suggestions for the top level first.

To keep the "bickering" to a minimum I think that alternative methods for doing things should be presented with no indication of goodness / order of merit etc. The only requirement should be that the descriptions are accurate. I'm thinking particularly of techniques such as ballasting, point control, point wiring which can generate more heat than light when the different camps take up position to defend their method as "the one true way". Leave people to decide for themselves what suits them.

A question for Doug - What's the policy on off-site links?

I think that's enough to think about for now.

David




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Doug
post 28 Apr 2012, 23:13
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Links? Well I've added a few. I suppose you can give them, but don't just point the visitor to Joe Bloggs' page that has a good point wiring diagram. If you are going to talk about point wiring, do it yourself and use either your own images or images that have the right usage rights for you to re-use.

You can upload images and files. And you don't have to be a Plus+ member to do so wink.gif But image uploading is a multi-step process. You are uploading an image into the database for yourself and others to use.

David, please feel free to work on a category tree. Modify the Main page as you see fit.


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Chinahand
post 29 Apr 2012, 02:40
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So far so good.

I manaed to create my account, log in and even made some small entries. Nothing drastic, just a couple more headings in the 'Before You Start' section. This could turn into a real Modeler's Treasure Trove.


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dwb
post 29 Apr 2012, 08:58
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QUOTE
Links? Well I've added a few. I suppose you can give them, but don't just point the visitor to Joe Bloggs' page that has a good point wiring diagram.


For suppliers we could provide a link to the Forum's Resources page and maybe our current advertisers as well? A way to get some click through acknowledgement?

<edit>Scrub the resources suggestion - I can't find the page of links to Manufacturers we used to have.</edit>

David


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MikeDunn
post 29 Apr 2012, 09:37
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Doug,

It may be an idea to have an index too, A-Z ? I'd suggest starting this soonest, if you agree, as starting later will be an absolute bear to bring up-to-date ...

The Wiki looks like one I was involved with for an OU course; never liked that tongue.gif Hope I find this better !

Mike
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dwb
post 29 Apr 2012, 13:58
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I've created a "Contents" category and created text to link to it from the main page. At work we have a "Category Tree" thing in the left hand column which we can use to navigate our tree.

I've also created a "Glossary" category. I've not created text to link to it but it does have some entries.

I did all this work by creating an article on how to wire a three way point. You can get to it via the "Recent Changes" link on the left or through Contents / Track / Points / or Contents / Wiring. You will notice that I created "side items" on route, not all of which have been completed yet - so feel free wink.gif

There are sure to be some typos in there, so if someone's bored by the weather, do take a look.

You will also notice that the articles are very OO focussed but that's because it's what I know. We want proven ideas in the Wiki to help people along.

It's stopped raining here, so I fancy a coffee....

David


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Brian Considine
post 29 Apr 2012, 17:44
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Well, I'm probably the only one with negative thoughts - the basic idea of Rays is excellent, but as for these resourses being "elesewhere" I'm not sure at all - too much time to hop from one to the other, certainly until the Wiki page(s) can be incorporated into the forum it seems a bit cumbersome & making the forum look far to fragmented, & once a forum starts to get fragmented it suffers.

Personally, I would have preferred the resourses to stay "on forum" with "volunteers" to look after them.
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dwb
post 29 Apr 2012, 19:41
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Ok. I've completed the set of pages that were spawned by starting from "Wiring a 3 way point". They are tied together by the Contents category and not at all integrated with the narrative that Doug started. I don't see why both approaches cannot be used with crossover via references where appropriate.

I've also added a "not proof read" category for those articles you would like someone to sanity check, in this case the "Wiring a return loop"

Before I go off on another odyssey like today's - very much one thing led to another - what do people think? Have I wasted my time? Is the structure ok? Is the information a load of horse's doings?

Some graphics, especially some animations, would definitely make things a lot clearer but drawing is not my strong point.

David


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kiwionrails
post 29 Apr 2012, 19:51
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I personally think what you've done so far is absolutely excellent, as you may have seen I've expanded on the 'laying Track' part to include the articles you wrote smile.gif

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Cameron(Kiwionrails)


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Long funnel ...
post 29 Apr 2012, 21:12
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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 29 Apr 2012, 18:44) *
Well, I'm probably the only one with negative thoughts - the basic idea of Rays is excellent, but as for these resourses being "elesewhere" I'm not sure at all - too much time to hop from one to the other, certainly until the Wiki page(s) can be incorporated into the forum it seems a bit cumbersome & making the forum look far to fragmented, & once a forum starts to get fragmented it suffers.
Personally, I would have preferred the resourses to stay "on forum" with "volunteers" to look after them.

Brian, the way I see the Wiki in relation to the forum is that it is (to use a bit of jargon) "a portal" so that very frequent oft-repeating kinds of request threads can have answers all ready on hand - and these "canned" answers can consolidate and grow as we add to them.

As I see it, the forum will remain a wonderful place to cruise around in enjoying folks doing extraordinary things underground (at Birmingham New Street), building amazing working semaphore signals with the world watching over their shoulder, or just sitting at home wrestling with all those hallucinating Fannit Penguins.

Look at it from the other end of the portal - someone just wanting basic stuff about baseboard construction, readying a drafty garage, or going from DC to DCC can find our love of Penguins and bickering difficult to comprehend at first.

LF&T
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dwb
post 29 Apr 2012, 22:07
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QUOTE
he way I see the Wiki in relation to the forum is that it is (to use a bit of jargon) "a portal" so that very frequent oft-repeating kinds of request threads can have answers all ready on hand - and these "canned" answers can consolidate and grow as we add to them.


Same here. It's a way of distilling all the great ideas and methods that get mentioned in threads which then sink into the sediment of all the other stuff we talk about. As I wrote in the introduction to one of the pages - the Wiki is not the place to discuss the relative merits of various methods / items, that's what the Forum is for. Perhaps we should have a section in appropriate pages which link back to good discussions which have been had on various matters?

The appealing thing for me is the ability to cross reference various terms. That way we can concentrate on the particular item at hand but have other detail just a click away.

David


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dwb
post 29 Apr 2012, 22:13
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QUOTE
I've expanded on the 'laying Track' part to include the articles you wrote


smile.gif

David


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dwb
post 3 May 2012, 18:26
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I've added a category on items related to "Contributing to the Wiki".

One contains my thoughts on the different types of articles it might contain and how they could be organised.

The second is a brief FAQ to provide quick answers which eliminate the need to wade through the help just so you can perform a simple task.

Click Contributing to the Wiki and pick the section you'd like to browse.

We still need a forward / introduction style front page of the kind you find in a reference book. My language skills are somewhat lacking here.

David


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