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PICList Thread
'[OT] what about "wiki"'
2006\01\23@194900 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face
hi all,

this is one of the greatest list, I've ever seen,...
... yes first complementing ...
... then it comes ...
... ok, another compliment ...
piclist.com is one of the greatest sites,
but ....

I tried to contribute to the piclist.com twice,
and it was a terrible crime :-(
so I decided that I was too old for that ;-)

By coincidence I just tried to setup a "wiki-website" (if it's called
that way),
and in less than 15 minutes I had it running, wow ....
... it's use is easy, that even my grandma (if she would still live)
would be able to add her contribution.

So I asked myself (and this list) wouldn't it be time to move the
piclist.com
to some kind of wiki website ???

I've no idea how to translate all the valuable material that's in it now,
but there must be someone on this list who knows.

just a thought while I couldn't sleep ;-)

cheers,
Stef Mientki

2006\01\23@201540 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Stef Mientki   2006 Jan 23, Mon 16:49
> hi all,
>
> this is one of the greatest list, I've ever seen,...
> ... yes first complementing ...
> ... then it comes ...
> ... ok, another compliment ...
> piclist.com is one of the greatest sites, but ....
>
> I tried to contribute to the piclist.com twice, and it was a
> terrible crime :-( so I decided that I was too old for that ;-)

I don't remember hearing from you what the problem was? If there is a bug in
the website, I'd like to have the chance to fix it...

> By coincidence I just tried to setup a "wiki-website" (if
> it's called that way), and in less than 15 minutes I had it
> running, wow ....
> ... it's use is easy, that even my grandma (if she would
> still live) would be able to add her contribution.
>
> So I asked myself (and this list) wouldn't it be time to move
> the piclist.com to some kind of wiki website ???

!!! What on EARTH makes you think the PICList web site is NOT a wiki ???

I'm flabbergasted....

...Of course, PICList.com IS a wiki: it allows anyone to contribute to any
page and allows almost anyone to edit the pages.

It does NOT use some strange wiki text format and instead directly hosts the
text in HTML. Is that what confuses the issue? If so, what is the attraction
of wiki text over html? It isn't like HTML is too complex for embedded
engineers...

> I've no idea how to translate all the valuable material
> that's in it now, but there must be someone on this list who knows.
>
> just a thought while I couldn't sleep ;-)

Now I won't be able to sleep... <grin>

> cheers,
> Stef Mientki


---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
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PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2006\01\24@023642 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face
hi James,
I didn't want to upset you,
you are doing a great job,
but why making things more difficult then necessary ?

>>I tried to contribute to the piclist.com twice, and it was a
>>terrible crime :-( so I decided that I was too old for that ;-)
>>    
>>
>
>I don't remember hearing from you what the problem was? If there is a bug in
>the website, I'd like to have the chance to fix it...
>
>  
>
Well it was years ago, I don't think it was a bug,
but let's say I was too clumsy to perform the addition to some pages.
I contacted the moderator of those pages and he fixed it for me.

>!!! What on EARTH makes you think the PICList web site is NOT a wiki ???
>
>I'm flabbergasted....
>
>...Of course, PICList.com IS a wiki: it allows anyone to contribute to any
>page and allows almost anyone to edit the pages.
>
>  
>
According to wikipedia:
"A *wiki* (IPA
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet_for_English>:
[?wi?.ki?] <wee-kee> or [?w?.ki?] <wick-ey> (according to Ward
Cunningham <http://c2.com/doc/etymology.html>) is a type of website
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website> that allows users to easily add
and edit content and is especially suited for collaborative writing
<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_writing>."
So ok it's almost a wiki, but I cann't recognize the item "easily" ;-)

>It does NOT use some strange wiki text format
>
the number of used fontsstyles in an average wiki-page is less than on
the homepage of piclist ;-)

> and instead directly hosts the
>text in HTML. Is that what confuses the issue? If so, what is the attraction
>of wiki text over html? It isn't like HTML is too complex for embedded
>engineers...
>  
>
Well for me it is, ...
... we try to automate all kind of things,
to make it easier for people to use,
but we keep carving stones.

{Quote hidden}

Sorry for that, ...
but aren't new ideas (how stupid they may seem at first sight),
not the driving force behind science and engineering ?

On the other hand engineers are flexible enough to adapt to a changing
environement,
so let me try to make a new thesis:
"If it takes me less time to setup a complete new wiki-site,
than adding a few lines to an old wiki-site,
then there's definitly something wrong with me !"

cheers, and sleep well,
Stef Mientki

>  
>

2006\01\24@142901 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
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> >It does NOT use some strange wiki text format
> >
> the number of used fontsstyles in an average wiki-page is
> less than on the homepage of piclist ;-)

People really shouldn't be adding things to the HOME page of the piclist
site, but they can. And they have NO font styles to worry about.

There is a form at the bottom of the page, you type text in the box, you
press "POST." I've attached a screen shot of the actual form at the bottom
of the piclist.com homepage with some text entered and I drew in a cursor on
the post button. And if you click here:
http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/index.htm#38741.468587963 you will
see the result.

I mean... Really... How much easier do you want? How in the name of all that
is good, could that /possibly/ be any harder than learning to edit wikitext?

> > and instead directly hosts the
> >text in HTML. Is that what confuses the issue? If so, what is the
> >attraction of wiki text over html? It isn't like HTML is too complex
> >for embedded engineers...
> >  
> >
> Well for me it is, ...
> ... we try to automate all kind of things, to make it easier
> for people to use, but we keep carving stones.

So you find it somehow more clear that you must type [b]to bold text[/b]
than to type <b>to bold text</b> ?

A list must be:
* one
* two
* three

Because the html is just too much? HTML is
<UL>
<LI> one
<LI> two
<LI> three
</UL>

And in fact, you can get away with

<LI> one
<LI> two
<LI> three

But it isn't correct HTML.

If it helps, I can add little buttons above the form that put in the tags
for bold, italic, underline, list, numbered list, preformatted, etc...

> but aren't new ideas (how stupid they may seem at first
> sight), not the driving force behind science and engineering ?

Sure, but I can't understand how it could be that all my work to make the
piclist.com wiki interface /easier/ could have backfired and be seen as
/harder/. It just blows me away. There are children who post to piclist
pages. My daughter typed in a poem without my telling her anything about how
to do it.
http://allie.piclist.com

> On the other hand engineers are flexible enough to adapt to a
> changing environement, so let me try to make a new thesis:
> "If it takes me less time to setup a complete new wiki-site,
> than adding a few lines to an old wiki-site, then there's
> definitly something wrong with me !"

I hope you will keep talking to me about this so that I can try to
understand what is wrong with us (either you or I) that we do not see this
thing the same way. I'm not going to say that you are wrong, because you may
be right (how, I have no idea), but I will say that I have failed in a
really bad way to communicate to you (and perhaps others) how easy the
piclist wiki is to use.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@piclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



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2006\01\24@143719 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Tag changed back to [OT] as this has nothing to do with a PIC.


Xiaofan says:
> 1) I do not see an option to create a sub-folder.

There isn't one. When you register as a member, you get a folder and that is
where your files go. I do have a file based user interface that allows one
to create folders but I have not deployed it due to security concerns.

More to the point, I do not see any option wikipedia or any other wiki to
make a sub folder and I can not imagine the purpose.

> 2) I also do not see an option to attach a picture. I
> understand James has some concerns on binary files though.

The tutorial explains: email or ftp it to me and I will review it and then
put it up. My concern is that I will be an unwitting host for porn. This has
happened at wikipedia and it happened to me once in the early days. I have
nothing against porn as long as it's creation and viewing involve consenting
adults, but that is hard to verify and the bandwidth is killer and without
making any money from it ("participating in the revenue stream") it is not
something I can justify. Actually, I have a hard time justifying porn in
general, but that is a moral issue.

> 3) I forgot the html file names I created and I do not see an
> option to find them back.

Anytime to make a new file, a link to it is posted to your member home page.
If you erase those links, you can still do a search for your member ID.

> I think there are many IT experts in PIClist and they sure
> can some out with some good ideas to make PIClist.com even better.

And I would be very happy to hear them and even happier if someone with ASP
code experience would volunteer to help implement them.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
jamesnewtonspamKILLspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2006\01\24@152452 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
> > 2) I also do not see an option to attach a picture. I
> understand James
> > has some concerns on binary files though.
>
> The tutorial explains: email or ftp it to me and I will
> review it and then put it up. My concern is that I will be an
> unwitting host for porn. This has happened at wikipedia and
> it happened to me once in the early days. I have nothing
> against porn as long as it's creation and viewing involve
> consenting adults, but that is hard to verify and the
> bandwidth is killer and without making any money from it
> ("participating in the revenue stream") it is not something I
> can justify. Actually, I have a hard time justifying porn in
> general, but that is a moral issue.

I forgot to mention, I have a script around here somewhere...
http://www.piclist.com/techref/jsdraw.asp that allows you to bit draw a
small picture. I want to increase the size of the canvas or allow the canvas
to access many parts of a larger picture, but it could be used to add
diagrams to the site without uploading pictures.

It slows down pretty bad on loading when you increase the size of the canvas
http://www.piclist.com/techref/jsdraw.asp?h=32&w=32

My general idea is to allow the creation of icons (e.g. transistor,
resistor, pic) and then allow the placement of those icons with standard
DHTML into a document that becomes the over all picture (schematic, flow
chart, diagram)

Include a java applet or ActiveX control that can edit / display and
simulate in a very minimal way, electronic circuits or diagrams. It's been
done in Java and ActiveX, but I would love to avoid Java.
http://www.vidyut.com/sunit/JavaOOPDraw.html
http://www.15seconds.com/issue/971214.htm Active X controls in ASP pages.
http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Wikilearn/EditingATWikiDrawSketch A Java
applet that can edit and save SVG standard web vector graphics data.
http://math.hws.edu/TMCM/java/xLogicCircuits/index.html Nice little applet
that allows one to "iconify" or "expand" circuits and save them to build
more complex circuits.
http://weblab.sourceforge.net/ Java based applet or stand alone program for
circuit drawing combined with a server based simulation engine.

Any JavaScript genius out there have other ideas?
http://www.piclist.com/techref/language/java/script/dynimg.htm

I have another interesting page at
http://www.piclist.com/techref/language/html/graphic/vectors.htm that might
lead to something neat...

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam.....piclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2006\01\24@160827 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face
hello James,

I don't think it's usefull to discuss tastes here on this list,
but to see that I'm not the only one who finds it difficult,
just search for my backname and watch those 2  pages carefully for yourself.
(for that 1 line on the xcsb page I spent more than an hour, maybe even  ;-)

Maybe it's improved the last years, I didn't try it anymore.
I promise I'll try again in the future,
now knowing that I can come in contact with you,
if I don't succeed.

(btw I removed text and images, because I was not allowed to send such a
large message ;-)

cheers,
Stef Mientki



2006\01\24@163408 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Stef Mientki  Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 12:47
> I don't think it's usefull to discuss tastes here on this list,
> but to see that I'm not the only one who finds it difficult,
> just search for my backname and watch those 2  pages
> carefully for yourself.
> (for that 1 line on the xcsb page I spent more than an hour,
> maybe even  ;-)

The entry you made for XCSB was more difficult due to YOUR desire to
"brightly" advertise the item. If you had just entered the items in text, it
would have been very easy, and even the list could have been pretty simple.
I gave the example for a list in HTML before, but a google for "HTML List"
would have shown it in a few seconds.

Lets look at the HTML you ended up with:

<B><U><FONT color="#ff0000" size=+4>XCSB</FONT></U></B> optimising
structured BASIC compiler
<BR><A
href="http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB">http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB</A>
         
<UL>
<LI>PIC LITE edition is free for non-commercial personal use
<LI>source level debug facilities available
<LI>generates fast native optimised executables not interpreted byte code
<LI>supports 14 bit PIC core (this includes 16F84, 16F628 and 16F877)
<LI>provides many 'C' type capabilities such as pointers and early out
logical operators
 </UL>

Now, the bold and underline would have been no easier in a wiki. They would
still require the [b][u] and the ending tags in reverse order [/u][/b] after
that.

The font color and size tags were really not necessary and any time you
spent on that can be charged to advertising.

The link would have been made for you if you had entered your URL into the
field underneath the main box at the bottom of the web page. That is the one
that says "Link? Put it here:"

The list of features was not really necessary to have in a list, but if you
wanted it that way, the <UL> <LI>.... </UL> tags are really not that hard to
find are they?

If people really want, I can add a little translator that converts any lines
starting with a * into a <LI> and puts a <UL> before the first and a </UL>
after the last.... Finding the first and last may be a bit tricky... Lets
see...

Replace $\* with $\<LI\> which is dead easy

Then replace $[^<][^L][^I][^>](.*)\n\<LI\> with $1\<\/UL\>\<LI\>

and replace \<LI\>(.*)\n[^<][^L][^I][^>] with \<LI\>$1\n\<\/UL\>

Does that look right? Regexp gurus?

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
EraseMEjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTpiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com

2006\01\24@163603 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue, Jan 24 at 14:29:
> My general idea is to allow the creation of icons (e.g. transistor,
> resistor, pic) and then allow the placement of those icons with standard
> DHTML into a document that becomes the over all picture (schematic, flow
> chart, diagram)

So you recommend Dia - http://gnome.org/projects/dia/ - and allow
uploading the xml files it creates, removing any bitmap data and
unsuported library objects. :)  Of course, that's limiting too.
Actually, almost any solution is limiting.  Except human moderation of
uploads, which is the most flexible solution that requires no speaicl
user-side software.  Just set up a script that allows an image to be
uploaded to a staging area, and which returns a unique URL that the
uploader can use in his wiki page.  Until the image is approved, the
script returns an appropriately-sized "image pending approval" image,
but then post-approval the actual image is returned, possibly after
being tweaked by the moderator.  It'd be trivial to allow the image
display script to filter based on referrer, and pretty easy to set up
a web-based management system for image approval.  Also, jpegs could
automagically have their quality level turned down to a reasonable
level, pngs could be compressed, weird formats could be converted,
etc.

Basically, you need an image proxy.

Also, that javascript image generation stuff is just weird.  Entirely
too weird, IMHO.  No one should be doing anything that complicated
with ECMAscript or any of its implementations (including
spidermonkey). :)

--Danny

2006\01\24@165409 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face


James Newton, Host wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Sorry that's not my line,
the only line I added was the line with my name ;-)
But see above the line of Bert van Dam, he didn't neither succeed in
adding a link.
The other page I also wrote just 1 line !!
(btw AFAIK, most wiki have normal rich editors on board)

cheers,
Stef Mientki

{Quote hidden}

2006\01\24@165739 by olin piclist

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:
> If people really want, I can add a little translator that converts
> any lines starting with a * into a <LI> and puts a <UL> before the
> first and a </UL> after the last....

I'm not likely to try editing pages on piclist.com, so nothing I say about
this is terribly relevant.  However, it seems to me that trying to get fancy
by automatically interpreting text that might be intended to be HTML is
asking for trouble.  Someone is going to start a line with * and then get
pissed off when the thing automatically decided on its own to make a list.
I know my attitude would be "If I wanted a list I would have made a list,
$%*#$%@& !".  Think of it as an idiot filter.  Do you really want people who
don't even know basic HTML editing your web site?

I think I only once tried to add something to a page.  Entering the text was
no problem, but it showed up in an unexpected spot or there was no way to
put it in the right spot if I vaguely remember correctly.

My problem with the piclist.com general pages (not the list archive) is that
it was impossible to understand the overall structure and where any one page
was within it.  This was a few years ago so things may be different now.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\24@170635 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue, Jan 24 at 15:37:
> Now, the bold and underline would have been no easier in a wiki. They would
> still require the [b][u] and the ending tags in reverse order [/u][/b] after
> that.

Actually, the wiki I use does ''bold'' and '''underline''', and
most I've worked with don't use bbcode in general. ;)

> If people really want, I can add a little translator that converts any lines
> starting with a * into a <LI> and puts a <UL> before the first and a </UL>
> after the last.... Finding the first and last may be a bit tricky... Lets
> see...

It'd be easier if you used a state machine which remembers whether or
not it's in a list.  If it's not in a list, it appends a <ul> to the
first line it finds that begins with *, and proceeds to do a
s/^\s*\*(.*)$/<li>$1<\/li>/ (presuming perl processing a line at a
time) until that doesn't do a replacement, in which case you put a
</ul> in front of the line which wasn't subject to replacement and
switch state back to "not in a list".

> Replace $\* with $\<LI\> which is dead easy
>
> Then replace $[^<][^L][^I][^>](.*)\n\<LI\> with $1\<\/UL\>\<LI\>
>
> and replace \<LI\>(.*)\n[^<][^L][^I][^>] with \<LI\>$1\n\<\/UL\>
>
> Does that look right? Regexp gurus?

Does your regexp environment of choice not support negative
assertions?  Using three extra chars for each negative entity seems
bad, if for no other reason than legibility. :) Either way, the second
one will throw away a non-<li> tag preceding a line with an <li>.  You
probably want to include the tag in the group both in regexp2 and 3 as
well as including the newline in regexp2, like this:

replace \*([^\n]+) with <li>$1</li>
replace ([^<][^L][^I][^>].*\n)<LI> with $1<UL><LI>
replace (<LI>.*)\n[^<][^L][^I][^>] with $1\n</UL>

Though that'd look prettier if you used line start 'n end anchors and
found a way to do a negative assertion - kinda like (!<LI>).  Of
course, then you'd have to use $1$2 instead of $1, etc...

--Danny, amused that he complained about someone making a regular
expression illegible...

2006\01\24@172809 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Danny Sauer Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 13:36
> James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue,
> Jan 24 at 14:29:
> > My general idea is to allow the creation of icons (e.g. transistor,
> > resistor, pic) and then allow the placement of those icons with
> > standard DHTML into a document that becomes the over all picture
> > (schematic, flow chart, diagram)
>
> So you recommend Dia - http://gnome.org/projects/dia/ - and
> allow uploading the xml files it creates, removing any bitmap
> data and unsuported library objects. :)  Of course, that's
> limiting too.

I would hate to invest in a solution that requires the users to download and
install an application.

{Quote hidden}

Yeah, that is more or less what I do now, except with less automation. Just
email or ftp the picture and I'll put it in your images file. Just FYI, it
will get put in /images/member/<your member ID>/

> Basically, you need an image proxy.
>
> Also, that JavaScript image generation stuff is just weird.  
> Entirely too weird, IMHO.  No one should be doing anything
> that complicated with ECMAscript or any of its
> implementations (including spidermonkey). :)

<grin> I kind of agree, but the nice thing is it just works... No download,
no OS issues, it just does it. Weird browsers are still an issue of course,
but if you live on the bleeding edge...

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
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PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2006\01\24@173553 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Olin Lathrop Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 13:58
>
> James Newton, Host wrote:
> > If people really want, I can add a little translator that
> converts any
> > lines starting with a * into a <LI> and puts a <UL> before
> the first
> > and a </UL> after the last....
>
> I'm not likely to try editing pages on piclist.com, so
> nothing I say about this is terribly relevant.  However, it
> seems to me that trying to get fancy by automatically
> interpreting text that might be intended to be HTML is asking
> for trouble.  Someone is going to start a line with * and
> then get pissed off when the thing automatically decided on
> its own to make a list.
> I know my attitude would be "If I wanted a list I would have
> made a list, $%*#$%@& !".  Think of it as an idiot filter.  
> Do you really want people who don't even know basic HTML
> editing your web site?

I'm almost ashamed to say that this is true... I originally chose HTML over
wikitext because I figured the people who would use the site would most
likely already understand HTML or be able to learn the basics in about 10
seconds.

I don't mean to imply that people who don't understand HTML are dumb,
because I don't feel that is true. And you really don't need to know HTML to
post to a page on the site. But it does tend to weed out the people who
would otherwise edit the pages and maybe not do a great job of it.

> I think I only once tried to add something to a page.  
> Entering the text was no problem, but it showed up in an
> unexpected spot or there was no way to put it in the right
> spot if I vaguely remember correctly.

Yep, people who contribute to a page don't necessarily get to edit it. You
/can/ register, take ownership of a page and then edit it if no one else
owns the page. Otherwise, it is up to the current owner to "edit in" your
post. This is one difference between piclist.com and most wikis. But the
wikis are starting to limit user access so I think I was ahead of the game.

> My problem with the piclist.com general pages (not the list
> archive) is that it was impossible to understand the overall
> structure and where any one page was within it.  This was a
> few years ago so things may be different now.

No, it's worse now. The issue is caused because the site is so big that
almost any structure breaks down quickly as more data is added. This happens
at wikipedia as well. The solution is better cross linking and that is
something that I could use help doing. The same form that is used to add
links to other sites can be used to add links within the site and I would
appreciate anyone adding appropriate links between pages that should be
connected.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
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2006\01\24@174237 by olin piclist

face picon face
> I'm not likely to try editing pages on piclist.com, so nothing I say
> about this is terribly relevant.

I was curious what all the fuss was about, so I looked for a place I could
enter some random comment as a test.  If it didn't make it on the page, no
big deal.  I decided to mention my interrupt template routines on the page
about PIC interrupt source code
(http://www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/ints.htm).  Here are my comments:

1 - The page is awfully busy and visually confusing.  There were no less
than 6 separate little windows sortof like popup ads, although they didn't
pop up and only some were ads.

2 - The middle of the page apparently contained a dialog of people asking
questions and then people answering.  It seems dots started new posts, but
sometimes there were dots with nothing behind them for no apparent reason.
Sometimes it would say "so and so asked..", other times it would just have a
question.  Sometimes questions were indented, sometimes not.  All this led
to the visual confusion.

3 - I assume that typing something below with QUESTION selected would add
another question to the list.  It is totally non-obvious how one would
respond to a particular question though.  I truly have no idea how to do
this.  Fortunately I don't care.

4 - Now I wanted to test adding something to the page.  I thought I'd just
post a link with a quick note that there are some interrupt template
routines there.  One of the post type choices was LINK, which I assumed
would add something to the "See:" section above.  There was a box labeled
something like "link, put it here:", but then I wondered how to get the
comment after it added.  Should I type it right after the link?  Probably
not, since it's probably going to turn anything in that box into a HTML
link.  Should I type it in the box above?  Maybe.  But then why is there a
separate box for just the link, and why does it appear after the comment
box.  I don't know what this will look like, so I'll pass on trying to
create a link.

5 - Instead of a link, I tried to create a comment.  I figured everything I
type in the box would get added as a bullet item in the "comments:" section.
So I typed a comment, including a HTML <A> tag to include the link, then
clicked the POST button.  The browser refreshed and I was wondering what my
comment would look like, but it wasn't there.  Poof, gone!  Is that because
it is pending somewhere waiting to be approved?  But I still don't know what
it will look like or if I made a typo or something else is wrong.

If I had been trying to add something to the site for real, I'd be walking
away in disgust mumbling "screw this" to myself.

On the other hand, I've never attempted to add something to a wiki so I have
nothing to compare this experience to.  Having anyone be able to add to a
knowledge base is a cool concept, but also opens a lot of questions.  To do
it effectively you need to have some control over placement on the page,
formatting, etc.  But the more power you make available, the more some
dirtbag will use it for vandalism, spam, or whatever.  Having everything
moderated will fix that to some extent, but also makes it non-automatic and
greatly increases the cost.  I don't think there is an easy answer.

My personal answer is to post things on my own web site where I can make
them look the way I want to.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\24@174757 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 1/25/06, James Newton, Host <RemoveMEjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com> wrote:
> Olin Lathrop Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 13:58
>
> > My problem with the piclist.com general pages (not the list
> > archive) is that it was impossible to understand the overall
> > structure and where any one page was within it.  This was a
> > few years ago so things may be different now.
>
> No, it's worse now. The issue is caused because the site is so big that
> almost any structure breaks down quickly as more data is added. This happens
> at wikipedia as well. The solution is better cross linking and that is
> something that I could use help doing. The same form that is used to add
> links to other sites can be used to add links within the site and I would
> appreciate anyone adding appropriate links between pages that should be
> connected.

Oh yes Olin points out one of the biggest issue I have with PIClist.com.
The other is the speed of searching the list archive (so I use google
instead).

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\01\24@174802 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Danny Sauer  Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 14:07
> James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue,
> Jan 24 at 15:37:
> > Now, the bold and underline would have been no easier in a
> wiki. They
> > would still require the [b][u] and the ending tags in reverse order
> > [/u][/b] after that.
>
> Actually, the wiki I use does ''bold'' and '''underline''',
> and most I've worked with don't use bbcode in general. ;)

Wow, that is even more cryptic in my mind. If I were going to do that stuff,
I would probably try to find a good regexp to do *bold words* and
_underlined stuff_ as well as /italicised text or whatever./  I'd use - for
bullet points at the start of a line and # for numbered lists.

But as Olin points out, that could be just as confusing if it were not
expected.


{Quote hidden}

Much better idea. But I don't think I'll implement the idea anyway.

{Quote hidden}

Ahh yes, thanks for the fix. Good grief, I even had $ and ^ reversed in my
head.

> Though that'd look prettier if you used line start 'n end
> anchors and found a way to do a negative assertion - kinda
> like (!<LI>).  Of course, then you'd have to use $1$2 instead
> of $1, etc...
>
> --Danny, amused that he complained about someone making a
> regular expression illegible...

Sort of an oxymoron huh? From
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/language/regxs.htm Some people, when
confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now
they have two problems. --Jamie Zawinski, in comp.lang.emacs

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
spamBeGonejamesnewtonspamBeGonespampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



2006\01\24@175825 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 1/24/06, Olin Lathrop <TakeThisOuTolin_piclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTembedinc.com> wrote:
>
> On the other hand, I've never attempted to add something to a wiki so I have
> nothing to compare this experience to.  Having anyone be able to add to a
> knowledge base is a cool concept, but also opens a lot of questions.

As an example, here is a Wiki that I run for car guys that are working
on reverse engineering GM's ecms:

http://wasabi.dynu.com:8080/wiki/index.php/68HC11

I have to regularly clean it out when a spam bot hits it.

Feel free to edit it, but note that your IP address will be listed
publicly if you do not create an account.

I also have a semi-private wiki for some group disassembly work where
the only thing an anonymous user can see is the login page.

Alex

2006\01\24@180731 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue, Jan 24 at 16:50:
> Danny Sauer  Sent: 2006 Jan 24, Tue 14:07
> > Actually, the wiki I use does ''bold'' and '''underline''',
> > and most I've worked with don't use bbcode in general. ;)
>
> Wow, that is even more cryptic in my mind. If I were going to do that stuff,
> I would probably try to find a good regexp to do *bold words* and
> _underlined stuff_ as well as /italicised text or whatever./  I'd use - for
> bullet points at the start of a line and # for numbered lists.

Others did that - I think they used the quote thing because it was
easier to stick in the regexp, but it seems silly to make user
interface decisions based on one's dislike of escaping chars.  Eh, the
formatting stuff's all in a popup.

Upon checking that popup, it seems that twiki actually does the *bold*
and _italic_ thing (underlines = no good, since links are suppoed to
be underlined).  Maybe I was thinking of Trac's wiki component, or
something else.  Or maybe that was just something horrible I thought
up one day and no one actually does it - I just don't remember now.
The point is, there's a link at the bottom of every "edit" page with
the most common few formatitng examples and a link to a popup with a
more complete table showing the different formatting methods.  I think
that's handier than any creative markup language.

I'll actually use the wiki to mark some text up sometimes, and then
copy and paste the HTML.  I'm really that lazy.

> Ahh yes, thanks for the fix. Good grief, I even had $ and ^ reversed in my
> head.

I wondered about that, but figured the $ was just a delimiter you were
using or something. :)

--Dany, whose day job involves writing complex regular expressions on
a daily basis, but who still agrees with JWZ's opinion

2006\01\24@182024 by olin piclist

face picon face
Alex Harford wrote:
> As an example, here is a Wiki that I run for car guys that are working
> on reverse engineering GM's ecms:
>
> http://wasabi.dynu.com:8080/wiki/index.php/68HC11
>
> I have to regularly clean it out when a spam bot hits it.
>
> Feel free to edit it, but note that your IP address will be listed
> publicly if you do not create an account.

I have no intention of messing with your web site, but I was curious what
the interface would be.  I clicked "edit this page" or something like that.
It appears that I could have really messed up your page in a major way.
That sounds like a dangerous cabability to make available to anyone.  The
syntax however was unexpected.  There were lots of double brackets [] and
apostrophies ' all over the place.  I got out of there fast.  I went to a
smaller section that was mostly text and clicked EDIT.  This time the text
sortof resembled what was displayed but there were still a bunch of
unexplained triple (yes, three in a row!) apostrophies.  I thought maybe
this was some secret handshake wiki thing, so I clicked on "editing help".
That brought up a new window with a bunch of fluff all around and some text
saying "there is currently no text in this page".  Well actually there was
quite a lot of text, but none of it had anything to do with editing help.

At least James lets you type in the HTML without a secret decoder ring
required.  Of course if his system hadn't swallowed my post I could tell if
it came out as intended, but that's another story.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\24@184006 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 1/24/06, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com> wrote:
> Alex Harford wrote:
> > As an example, here is a Wiki that I run for car guys that are working
> > on reverse engineering GM's ecms:
> >
> > wasabi.dynu.com:8080/wiki/index.php/68HC11
> >
> > I have to regularly clean it out when a spam bot hits it.
> >
> > Feel free to edit it, but note that your IP address will be listed
> > publicly if you do not create an account.
>
> I have no intention of messing with your web site, but I was curious what
> the interface would be.  I clicked "edit this page" or something like that.
> It appears that I could have really messed up your page in a major way.
> That sounds like a dangerous cabability to make available to anyone.

Yes, that's a common reaction.  But you must remember that there is
full revision history for every page, and I monitor the website for
changes.  That's the tradeoff for wikis, a 'guiding hand' to monitor
changes, fix formatting, etc.

> The
> syntax however was unexpected.  There were lots of double brackets [] and
> apostrophies ' all over the place.  I got out of there fast.  I went to a
> smaller section that was mostly text and clicked EDIT.  This time the text
> sortof resembled what was displayed but there were still a bunch of
> unexplained triple (yes, three in a row!) apostrophies.

To the uninitiated, it can be confusing.  And unfortunately the syntax
changes across different wiki sites.  IMO MediaWiki is winning in the
popularity contest since it's used by wikipedia.org but others may
disagree.

> I thought maybe
> this was some secret handshake wiki thing, so I clicked on "editing help".
> That brought up a new window with a bunch of fluff all around and some text
> saying "there is currently no text in this page".  Well actually there was
> quite a lot of text, but none of it had anything to do with editing help.

I guess I should fill in that page... :)  Oops, I just did.

Alex

2006\01\24@185916 by olin piclist

face picon face
Alex Harford wrote:
> I guess I should fill in that page... :)  Oops, I just did.

I had wondered before how wikis were edited, but never cared enough to look
it up.  My first reaction is yucc, what a mess.  It seems like the
overriding design criteria was that it not look like HTML.  With HTML being
a standard, easy to type, and widely understood we wouldn't want that!  No,
it's much better to make people learn yet another different markup language
because they might get scared and run away if we call it HTML.  So we'll
call it Wiki and of course we'll make it different so that we can say it's
not HTML.  Even if the end result is no simpler and probably more confusing,
at least people won't have to edit HTML.  Whew, they'd never get that.  Oh,
wait, we can't think of silly cutesy syntaxes for things like centering, so
well have them surround the centered text with <center> ... </center>.  Good
thing we're not using HTML though.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\24@190054 by Stef Mientki

flavicon
face


Alex Harford wrote:

{Quote hidden}

But you can require a login isn't it ?

{Quote hidden}

I've richedit plugins for wikis, didn't try it myself yet, but will do
this week.
And what a about drawing;
 http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/TWikiDrawPlugin

Stef Mientki

>  
>

2006\01\24@204035 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Oh my... Yes, there was a bug in the web site that prevented unregistered
posters from seeing their comments on the page after posting. Oops. That has
been fixed.

Your post was NOT lost, and has been edited into a nice place on the page.

Further comments below.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\01\24@204408 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Olin wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue, Jan 24 at 18:01:
> I had wondered before how wikis were edited, but never cared enough to look
> it up.  My first reaction is yucc, what a mess.  It seems like the
> overriding design criteria was that it not look like HTML.  With HTML being
> a standard, easy to type, and widely understood we wouldn't want that!  No,
> it's much better to make people learn yet another different markup language
> because they might get scared and run away if we call it HTML.  So we'll
> call it Wiki and of course we'll make it different so that we can say it's
> not HTML.  Even if the end result is no simpler and probably more confusing,
> at least people won't have to edit HTML.  Whew, they'd never get that.  Oh,
> wait, we can't think of silly cutesy syntaxes for things like centering, so
> well have them surround the centered text with <center> ... </center>.  Good
> thing we're not using HTML though.

That's the common technical person's reaction - "why not just make
everyone use HTML".  There are two problems with that.  One is that
people are scared of programming, and they think that HTML is
programming.  The other is security - it's tough to make sure that
people aren't doing malicious things with HTML without doing something
like stripping all tags but a few known good ones.  But when you do
that, you end up having to set up a complex parser (either yours or
someone else's) and limiting people to some relatively simple markup
tags.  But they still have to follow html rules - closing tags, etc.
That's why I went with twiki when I needed to set something up for
everyone at the web development firm I worked at.  Not everyone knew
HTML, and expecting them to learn it was too much.

Play with it in their sandbox at
http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Sandbox/WebHome

HTML is a lot of typing.  To make a simple 3x3 table with a single
first column in HTML:

<table>
<tr>
   <td colspan="2">one</td>
   <td align="right">top</td>
   <td align="left">bottom</td>
</tr>
<tr>
   <td align="center">left</td>
   <td align="left">right</td>
</tr>
</table>

Whearas with twiki I just do

| one |  top | bottom  |
|| left | right  |

Which one do you think a non-technical user finds less intimidating?
What's the deal with the second row only having two <td> tags?  How do
I insert a row?  Etc.  It's pretty easy to tell someone to put more
whitespace on the left if you want the text right-aligned, and put the
pipes next to each other to continue the column from above...

How about a bulleted list?

<ul>
   <li>one</li>
   <li>two</li>
   <li>three</li>
</ul>

v/s

* one
* two
* three

With HTML, there's a *whole* lot more typing, and a lot more complexity
for the user, IMHO.  A well-designed wiki markup uses basically the
same thing as someone would do when they're laying stuff out in a
plain text file.  The idea is to use a simple markup that doesn't get
in the user's way.  Sure, if we all used LyX, there wouldn't be a need
for all this stupid crippled markup - we could use a *real* markup
language.  And honestly, I tried getting the people to use HTML.  That
was the first round.  Everyone hated it.  *I* hated it, and I designed
the stupid thing.  So I desinged a different markup with a
well-dcumented, limited set of tags, and it was good.  So I tried
again with twiki, and people used it.  It's still used internally at
that company, as well as for public consumption in some parts.

twiki, in particular, does allow for security from the site level down
to the individual page level.  That was the other reason I settled on
that particular product...  And you can use real HTML with the right
plugins, bypassing the wiki junk if you want to. ;)

Oh, and James, if you're reading this far down, look at the
TwikiDrawPlugin http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/TWikiDrawPlugin

--Danny

2006\01\24@204749 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
>
> I had wondered before how wikis were edited, but never cared
> enough to look it up.  My first reaction is yucc, what a
> mess.  It seems like the overriding design criteria was that
> it not look like HTML.  With HTML being a standard, easy to
> type, and widely understood we wouldn't want that!  No, it's
> much better to make people learn yet another different markup
> language because they might get scared and run away if we
> call it HTML.  So we'll call it Wiki and of course we'll make
> it different so that we can say it's not HTML.  Even if the
> end result is no simpler and probably more confusing, at
> least people won't have to edit HTML.  Whew, they'd never get
> that.  Oh, wait, we can't think of silly cutesy syntaxes for
> things like centering, so well have them surround the
> centered text with <center> ... </center>.  Good thing we're
> not using HTML though.
>

Oh yeah! What he said...

Let me just add this: The POINT of a web site in my humble and very much in
the minority opinion is to display INFORMATION. The formatting, style of
presentation, layout, colors, CSS, etc... Is just a distraction from the
INFORMATION which is primarily in text (some pictures or graphs). I can see
the need for bold, italic, underline... Links need to be set off a bit,
yes... Headings, ok... But in the middle, there should be lots and lots of
plain old text. In black and white so I can read it.

But I seem to be alone in that...

---
James.


2006\01\24@212010 by Marcel Birthelmer

picon face
The text isn't useful if it's not presented in a digestible format. Look at
(good) technical books, especially ones that are not purely geared towards
professionals - most of them have lots of section breaks, diagrams,
subheadings, seperate boxes of content, etc.
I'm sure there is information there SOMEWHERE in this jungle of text, but if
I'm looking for a particular set of information, it's important to be able
to tell in a short amount of time whether or not I will be able to find the
answer(s) in there. If not, I may just hit google and try elsewhere.
(I'm not trying to sound unappreciative; like everyone else I like the
piclist, but there is a strong case to be made for function-WITH-form)

On 1/24/06, James Newtons Massmind <EraseMEjamesnewtonspammassmind.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\01\24@214824 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
James wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Tue, Jan 24 at 19:49:
> But I seem to be alone in that...

Yup.  http://www.dannysauer.com/

--Danny

2006\01\25@021919 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> <table>
> <tr>
>     <td colspan="2">one</td>
>     <td align="right">top</td>
>     <td align="left">bottom</td>
> </tr>
> <tr>
>     <td align="center">left</td>
>     <td align="left">right</td>
> </tr>
> </table>
>
> Whearas with twiki I just do
>
>  | one |  top | bottom  |
>  || left | right  |
>
> Which one do you think a non-technical user finds less intimidating?

The last one. But I'd never use it, because I would have to learn yet
another structure. Maybe, just mabye I'd jump to the efferort if
everyone who does not use HTML used the same syntax, but as it is now
there are too many different syntaxes. For instance: bbcodes, wikipedia,
piclist (or are some of these the same?). And at least two formats for
my work.

You'd have to ask yourself whether it is important that a non-techie
finds something less intimidating. The ratio of tech/nontech on things
like piclist and even the web in general are not what they are in the
'normal' world! And with those nice syntaxes: where is defined how I
write ( one | top ) as it is, for instance for a C expression? It does
not matter that that is less common, in the end I will have to learn
that anyway.

I work for two departments of my school (informatics and electronics).
The school has no standard information sharing system, so both
departments have a totally different system. Of course they both can do
all sorts of wonderfull things, but I already know HTML so I just make
my own webpages. On my own server. Why that? For one thing the school
recently changed its name from HvU to HU, so not it is changing all its
server names. Which will make all pages unfindable through google for
some time. Apparently they don't want to be found ...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\25@021919 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But in the middle, there should be
> lots and lots of plain old text.
> In black and white so I can read it.
>
> But I seem to be alone in that...

You are definitely not alone in that.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\25@063734 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Marcel Birthelmer wrote:

> but there is a strong case to be made for function-WITH-form

Funny to read this here :)

When I was young (in the 60ies), (some, of course) US textbooks were (in
Germany) /the/ example of how to present technical matters in a useful and
easy to digest manner -- function-with-FORM, so to speak :)

The main elements that made the good examples different at the time were
not so much in the structure of the text itself, but mostly in the
graphical presentation. Use of colors (not too many), appropriate use of
bold and italics, page layout, diagrams, borders around text -- all these
and other graphical presentation elements in the function of helping
understand (that is especially without cluttering the page). At the time,
that was a revolution.

Then of course came the dark age of the ASCII purist, glorifying the lack
of means for a more appreciable presentation :)

Gerhard

2006\01\25@073054 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Wouter wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Wed, Jan 25 at 01:21:
> You'd have to ask yourself whether it is important that a non-techie
> finds something less intimidating. The ratio of tech/nontech on things
> like piclist and even the web in general are not what they are in the
> 'normal' world!

Yes, you have to know your audience.  There are several situations
where one's audience is liklely to not already know a particular form
of markup.  For something trying to reach the widest possible group of
people, you also have to take into account that the fastest growing
segment of Internet users are unlikely to know HTML, and are likely
non-technical.

> And with those nice syntaxes: where is defined how I
> write ( one | top ) as it is, for instance for a C expression? It does
> not matter that that is less common, in the end I will have to learn
> that anyway.

In the example I was using (twiki), you'd write it just like that.  A
table requires the line to start with a pipe.  If the line doesn't
start with a pipe, it's not a table.  Just FYI. :)

> For one thing the school recently changed its name from HvU to HU,
> so not it is changing all its server names. Which will make all
> pages unfindable through google for some time.

So they're taking the old names offline, instead of providing a
permanent redirect to the new pages?  That's only like 3 lines per
virtual server name in Apache, using mod_redirect, and then old links
still work until the DNS records expire...

--Danny

2006\01\25@074356 by olin piclist

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:
>> Sometimes it would say "so and so asked..", other times it
>> would just have a question.  Sometimes questions were
>> indented, sometimes not.  All this led to the visual confusion.
>
> Some people share their name, others don't.

I don't think I want to hear from anyone not willing to identify themselves.
Of course I don't know how to enforce that.  I can't see on that page how
someone is supposed to identify themselves anyway.  There is a box to enter
an email address, but that seem very different than asking for someone's
name that is writing a question or whatever.

> Sigh. Maybe I should move the link box above the comment box? Then
> people type the comment in the link box. Ah well... If anyone else has
> any ideas.

That whole section needs to be re-thought in my opinion.  Things should
appear in the order they need to be used.  The POST button at top should be
a SUBMIT button at the bottom.  The link box should come before the comment
box, but it should be clear that the link box is only to be used for
link-type posts.  Perhaps instead of the selection of the post type at top,
have 4 separate submit buttons, SUBMIT COMMENT, SUBMIT LINK, etc.  I don't
know the right answer, but visual clarity is important.  So is giving people
a good feeling they know what is going to happen before they do it.

>> My personal answer is to post things on my own web site where
>> I can make them look the way I want to.
>
> Also a good idea, but then your comments are off on their own and not
> mixed in with the comments of other people. There is something to be
> said for context.

Maybe adding links that point back to my site is a good answer.

> Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write up the feedback, it has
> improved the site and I appreciate it.
>
> When you feel like it, try again. The experience should be better.

Maybe I'll try posting a link to my PIC development environment once I
figure out exactly where that should be.  A quick look didn't find a good
place, but I admittedly didn't spend much time on it.  Part of the problem
is that every page seems to have a specific topic and there doesn't seem to
be a good place to add information for a catagory that doesn't yet exist.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\25@080105 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamEraseMEmit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamKILLspammit.edu]
>Sent: 25 January 2006 12:45
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] what about "wiki"
>
>
>That whole section needs to be re-thought in my opinion.  
>Things should appear in the order they need to be used.  The
>POST button at top should be a SUBMIT button at the bottom.  
>The link box should come before the comment box, but it should
>be clear that the link box is only to be used for link-type
>posts.  Perhaps instead of the selection of the post type at
>top, have 4 separate submit buttons, SUBMIT COMMENT, SUBMIT
>LINK, etc.  I don't know the right answer, but visual clarity
>is important.  So is giving people a good feeling they know
>what is going to happen before they do it.

A "preview" button would be a good way of helping to give that good feeling.

Regards

Mike

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2006\01\25@080704 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> In the example I was using (twiki), you'd write it just like that.  A
> table requires the line to start with a pipe.  If the line doesn't
> start with a pipe, it's not a table.  Just FYI. :)

There is no way out. I would still need to know how to start a line with
a | that is not to be interpreted as a table.

>> For one thing the school recently changed its name from HvU to HU,
>> so not it is changing all its server names. Which will make all
>> pages unfindable through google for some time.
>
> So they're taking the old names offline, instead of providing a
> permanent redirect to the new pages?  That's only like 3 lines per
> virtual server name in Apache, using mod_redirect, and then old links
> still work until the DNS records expire...

Apache? And you also assume they know how to use it? You must be
kidding.

Some bozo simply decided that we have a new name and hence we must be
known (only!) by that name. Even if the techies knew how to handle such
a situation properly they would no be allowed to do so.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\25@081927 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> For something trying to reach the widest possible group of
> people, you also have to take into account that the fastest growing
> segment of Internet users are unlikely to know HTML, and are likely
> non-technical.

That's perfectly OK if that group is indeed your audience. But you might
have to consider that you are scaring away a very specific group (let's
call them the HMTL-literates).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\25@102520 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 1/25/06, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> James Newton, Host wrote:
> >
> > Also a good idea, but then your comments are off on their own and not
> > mixed in with the comments of other people. There is something to be
> > said for context.
>
> Maybe adding links that point back to my site is a good answer.

In the blogging world, that is called a 'trackback', and can be done
automatically.  Unfortunately this requires both websites to
cooperate.

Alex

2006\01\25@110606 by olin piclist

face picon face
Alex Harford wrote:
> In the blogging world, that is called a 'trackback', and can be done
> automatically.  Unfortunately this requires both websites to
> cooperate.

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  How could some automatic process
possibly know which pages should be linked to and put an intelligent comment
by the link?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\25@132026 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 1/24/06, James Newton, Host <EraseMEjamesnewtonspamspamspamBeGonepiclist.com> wrote:
> Stef Mientki   2006 Jan 23, Mon 16:49
> > hi all,
> >
> > this is one of the greatest list, I've ever seen,...

Yes, for software guys. Take a look and see what's happening when a
serious question about PLL loop is on the air. Topic like EE:
74HC4046 loop filter calculations. Zero answers.


> Now I won't be able to sleep... <grin>

No problem James. You prove you're a human and not an allien.
take a tea with lemon and go to sleep.

friendly,
Vasile

2006\01\25@141845 by olin piclist

face picon face
Vasile Surducan wrote:
> Yes, for software guys. Take a look and see what's happening when a
> serious question about PLL loop is on the air. Topic like EE:
> 74HC4046 loop filter calculations. Zero answers.

There are several good reasons for that:

1 - The post was tagged incorrectly, so most people never saw it.

2 - The question was very specific to a particular chip.  Anyone who has not
actually used that chip wouldn't have much to say.

3 - Someone who can't even be bothered tagging a post correctly is clearly a
waste of time.  Fortunately we have the list server to apply this basic
intelligence test for us and not pass on untagged posts.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\25@144840 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Wouter wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Wed, Jan 25 at 07:11:
> > In the example I was using (twiki), you'd write it just like that.  A
> > table requires the line to start with a pipe.  If the line doesn't
> > start with a pipe, it's not a table.  Just FYI. :)
>
> There is no way out. I would still need to know how to start a line with
> a | that is not to be interpreted as a table.

Why are you starting a line with a pipe? :)

If you just need the one pipe on a line, then just type it.  If you're
gonna use more than one pipe on a line, you have three options.
Option 1, figure out why you're typing a line with multiple pipes
whose first char is a pipe, and change your line around.  Option 2,
type something on the line directly above that line - if not preceded
by a blank line (or if not the first thing on the page), the table
will not be a table, it'll be treated as a continuation of the
previous line.  Option 3, surround your text with the
<verbatim></verbatim> tags which inhibit twiki processing inside of
the tags, since you're probably entering in code anyway.  Yeah, it's
HTML-ish, but one tag's easier to remember (and document) than the
eleventy billion tag and parameter combinations available in real HTML,
as well as how those tags behave differently under different browsers.

> Apache? And you also assume they know how to use it? You must be
> kidding.
>
> Some bozo simply decided that we have a new name and hence we must be
> known (only!) by that name. Even if the techies knew how to handle such
> a situation properly they would no be allowed to do so.

Oh, I thought there was some modicum of competence somewhere in the
decision making chain.  Foolish of me to assume such a thing, I guess.
:)  Feel free to anonymously suggest that they contact me so they can
do this properly. ;)

--Danny

2006\01\25@145428 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Wouter wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Wed, Jan 25 at 07:25:
> > For something trying to reach the widest possible group of
> > people, you also have to take into account that the fastest growing
> > segment of Internet users are unlikely to know HTML, and are likely
> > non-technical.
>
> That's perfectly OK if that group is indeed your audience. But you might
> have to consider that you are scaring away a very specific group (let's
> call them the HMTL-literates).

Carrying on my running ad for twiki, I'll point out that twiki
supports HTML markup and javascript out of the box.  On the "Twki Text
Formatting" popup which is linked from every edit page, there's a link
visible without any scrolling which says "using HTML" and which links
to the part of the document which explains any caveats to using HTML
formatting (basically just watch out for blank lines and try to
conform to XHTML-1.0 transitional).  So, run twiki and don't scare
anyone off - except for the people who hate everything regardless. ;)

--Danny

2006\01\25@150234 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Olin wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Wed, Jan 25 at 10:26:
> Alex Harford wrote:
> > In the blogging world, that is called a 'trackback', and can be done
> > automatically.  Unfortunately this requires both websites to
> > cooperate.
>
> That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  How could some automatic process
> possibly know which pages should be linked to and put an intelligent comment
> by the link?

It's not fully automatic, typically.  It's more like citing a
reference (manually), and the page which is cited automatically
generates a reciprocal link to the site which referred to it.  Except,
instead of just a citation, it can just be a manually entered related
blog entry.  Or at least, that's how I understand it - I don't use any
of the "social networking" stuff on my blog.  For that matter, I
generally don't even like referring to the blog as a blog - that term
just irritates curmudgeonly ol' me.  It's a single-user bulletin
board, or a notepad - but not a blog. :)

--Danny

2006\01\25@162410 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
A fairly quick implementation/example of this would be if James had
his server do a google search for each of his web pages periodically,
then post the results at the end of each page saying, "The following
links refer to this page, and may yield further information on this
subject:"

The google search would be:
link:www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm
for the programmer's page.

Thus if you add a link to the programmer page above, then eventually a
link to your site is added automatically to the programmer page.

But trackback is usally used in blogs so the bloggers don't have to
work to see how many other bloggers picked up their story and
propogated it.  It's a prestige thing in many cases, and yields no
useful information for the viewer, as far as I can tell.

I don't know that it would be particularily useful for the piclist,
especially since it could easily be abused.  If someone thought it was
useful, then I'd simply suggest a link on each page to the actual
google search link:www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm
rather than mining the results and adding them to the page.  But then
Olin's page would never become a link on the piclist without someone
adding it by hand.

So in this case it's not particularily applicable.

-Adam

On 1/25/06, Danny Sauer <RemoveMEpiclistKILLspamspamdannysauer.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\01\25@164532 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > There is no way out. I would still need to know how to
> start a line with
> > a | that is not to be interpreted as a table.
>
> Why are you starting a line with a pipe? :)
>
> If you just need the one pipe on a line, then just type it. (snip)

I wasn't asking for the exact instructions how to avoid this. I was only
pointing out that for every transformation a 'real' user will have to
learn it all.

> Yeah, it's
> HTML-ish, but one tag's easier to remember

no, because I already know them

> (and document)

no, beacuse that has already been done

> as well as how those tags behave differently under different browsers.

I admit *that* is a real PITA.

> Oh, I thought there was some modicum of competence somewhere in the
> decision making chain.  Foolish of me to assume such a thing, I guess.
> :)  Feel free to anonymously suggest that they contact me so they can
> do this properly. ;)

You still don't get it. If someone in the chain knew how to do it
properly he would be forbidden from doing so, so he would soon leave in
frustration.

Somewhat related: we want to make an 'exhibition' website part with
students projects. Thinks like H-bridge designs, processor/video-gen in
VHDL, etc. But for some stupid reason (that no-one realy seems to know!)
we can't do that in any official way.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\25@181938 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Wouter wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] what about "wiki"' on Wed, Jan 25 at 15:47:
> I wasn't asking for the exact instructions how to avoid this. I was only
> pointing out that for every transformation a 'real' user will have to
> learn it all.

And the point of the directions was that, in the common case of a
single pipe in a line preceded only by whitespace, there is nothing to
learn.  It just works.  As with most common-case situations in a
well-desinged markup language, things just work.

> > Yeah, it's
> > HTML-ish, but one tag's easier to remember
>
> no, because I already know them

So it's "as easy" rather than "easier" in many cases, and only one
click away in the others.

> > (and document)
>
> no, beacuse that has already been done

What I meant by ease of documetation was that a well-designed
casual-use markup language can be thoroughly documented in a single
page which someone unfamiliar with the markup could read and start
using in a matter of minutes.  HTML, simple as it may be, is not that
markup.  It takes weeks to master just the basics, esp. if someone's
working with it less than often.  I've helped teach HTML to smart
people who are non-programmers before, and it's always the same
reaction - "this is hard to remember".  The difference between tags
and attributes seems to be a big stumbling block for many.

Regardless, the discussion I'm having is whether it's worthwhile to
develop a new markup language for a general-purpose community-edited
site.  There are a few edge cases where everyone in a given community
knows HTML, but in most comunities that's not the case.  Even here,
where everyone has some level of technical aptitude, I'll bet there is
a large segment of the readership that does not already have mastery
of HTML.  Heck, someone used a font tag on piclist.com, when the font
tag has been deprecated for at leat two *major* revisions of HTML and
several years - they should have used a span with a style attribute.

So, in light of the observations that *most* communities do not have
universal HTML fluency, why not come up with a simpler markup that's
easy to learn for everyone?  Because of the one or two obstinate
people who insist that their brain is far too valuable to polute with
another markup syntax?  There are two solutions there.  One is
implemented by twiki, at least, and probably others - allow both,
providing an option to those who aren't already a member of the html
illuminati without limiting the few who can't change their ways.  The
other is to say "screw you, too", since that kind of person generally
won't be happy with any solution, and will just complain about
something else.  Best to get rid of them from the beginning. :)

Or I suppose there's a third option - just use HTML, and get a big
friggin mess created because half of the people who think they know
HTML really don't know jack about how to create clean, editable HTML
that someone else can contribute to later, and the other half will
make things so complex that the first half will just break it when
they attempt a contribution.  Unless the content's so simple that it
never mattered in the first place...

> You still don't get it. If someone in the chain knew how to do it
> properly he would be forbidden from doing so, so he would soon leave in
> frustration.

This is a university, isn't it? ;)

> Somewhat related: we want to make an 'exhibition' website part with
> students projects. Thinks like H-bridge designs, processor/video-gen in
> VHDL, etc. But for some stupid reason (that no-one realy seems to know!)
> we can't do that in any official way.

"Students".  Yup, definitely an educational institution of some sort.
You're right - I got out of working in IT (non-student) at an academic
institution as soon as I could.  Man, academic beurocracy gets in the
way of *everything*.

--Danny

2006\01\26@021424 by Wouter van Ooijen
face picon face
> And the point of the directions was that, in the common case of a
> single pipe in a line preceded only by whitespace, there is nothing to
> learn.  It just works.  As with most common-case situations in a
> well-desinged markup language, things just work.

Probably correct, but irrelevant. For me to work with something like
that I'll need to know the hard cases too.

> So, in light of the observations that *most* communities do not have
> universal HTML fluency, why not come up with a simpler markup that's
> easy to learn for everyone?

Because the next community will likely come up with yet another simpler
markup. HTML has at least 'one' other use: the rest of the www.

> [about html-only literates] Best to get rid of them from the
beginning. :)

thatr might be the best choice, but be aware that you are making that
choice.

> > You still don't get it. If someone in the chain knew how to do it
> > properly he would be forbidden from doing so, so he would
> soon leave in
> > frustration.
>
> This is a university, isn't it? ;)

Yes. The support sections of it. The teachers world is almost exactly
the opposite: you can do whatever you want in your classes, as long as
the students don't complain too hard no-one is going to investigate.

> Man, academic beurocracy gets in the
> way of *everything*.

see above: the don't harm the *education* that much, which makes it fun
to do.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\01\26@084017 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> Because the next community will likely come up with yet another simpler
> markup. HTML has at least 'one' other use: the rest of the www.

This all assumes that HTML is well-defined and relevant. It's not. There's
not one HTML definition that's relevant. Either it's well-defined, then
there's no browser around that uses it so it's not relevant, or it's what a
specific browser uses, then it's not well-defined.

Fact is that you don't want to allow all of HTML in such user-contribution
pages. You only want to allow a specific subset of HTML. You'd have to
document that specific subset just like you'd have to document your special
wiki markup language, and I'm pretty sure that /this/ documentation would
be way more complex.

This discussion was about tables. You probably know how many tags are
related to tables and how many attributes are defined for them. That's
quite something. So do you want to allow headers? Or maybe not... width
attributes in percents and pixels? Maybe, or maybe not... maybe better in
percent only? Or in percents and points? Do you allow embedded CSS? Or
style attributes? Or other formatting attributes?

You may write simple, clean HTML marking up the content structure. Another
one may export his Word files to HTML, paste that in and expect it to work.
It won't, of course... But both would likely have to rework their HTML to
fit the exact limitations of the site as documented in the huge "allowed
HTML" document :)


One sad fact of HTML is that it often needs to be tricked to be shown
correctly (or similarly) in different browsers. Using user HTML verbatim
doesn't make that easy; using a special markup allows even for later
adaptations to new browsers and browser versions. The other fact is that
some definitions in HTML are relative (to surrounding definitions) while
others are absolute (think font sizes, for example). Again, using user HTML
verbatim doesn't allow a consistent use of relative vs absolute
definitions. Using a different markup that then gets translated in a
controlled way into HTML is one way to ensure a minimum of layout
consistency, and I'm sure you can find more problem zones for consistent
layout than the two above.

Look at the wikipedia. I'm positive that the layout would be a /lot/ less
consistent if they didn't use a markup language that then gets translated
into consistent HTML.

Gerhard

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