[pmwiki-users] Re: Supporting different modes in default pmwiki

chr at home.se chr at home.se
Sun Aug 7 06:29:36 CDT 2005

On Sun, 7 Aug 2005, Thomas -Balu- Walter wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 07, 2005 at 10:30:59AM +0200, chr at home.se wrote:
> > * A ''reader'' uses the wiki site to find information and he is thus
> > * An ''author'' contributes contents to the site. He also reads pages,
> > * An ''administrator'' ... hmm, in addition to probably being an author,
> I am not sure wether I like this kind of split. In a Wiki a reader
> should usually also be an author. Having those handled differently will
> surely make it more difficult to have readers write content too.

First of all, I'm trying to make pmwiki *easier* to use, not more
complicated! So if that's the likely result from something like this, the
idea should definitely be scrubbed.

As for the proportions between readers and authors, I assume that varies.
* At wiki.lyx.org I've got >90% visitors. 
* At my work wiki it's more like 70% authors (it's a closed wiki)
But let's not get bogged down in that and let me state (with experience 
from wiki.lyx.org):

   I needs to be "easier" for people to add content.

One problem here is that (new) users feel intimitated and don't dare add
content, or think it's too complicated etc. This is separate topic, so let
me just say that I'm definitely not suggesting that the reader mode should
make it *more* difficult to edit pages.

Maybe I should phrase myself differently. Think of this as allocating the
screen real estate differently in the different modes. In reader mode,
*most* of the area is for reading pages and finding what you are looking
for. We'd have a single big alluring button/link called EDIT. In author
mode, we'd have several links for editing various pages and perhaps links
to markup documentation etc. Or maybe links to methods for spell checking 
the current page.

For example. A reader (that rarely adds content) will probably rarely
upload files to the wiki, so there's less need for links explaining how to
upload files or links to editing syntax. What a reader might like though
is a big search field, perhaps a button that restricts the search to the
current group or maybe even widens it to the entire web.

> How are you going to identify them anyway?

I was thinking that the modes would be easily visible on the screen,
perhaps as different tabs for the different modes (I saw this on some
skin, it looked nice).

Other than that, I expect this to be a setting specific to each user. 
Perhaps a cookie could remember your preferred mode, or it'd be passed as 
an argument (?mode=author)

> Being an admin I know my special (Site/)-pages and I know how to handle
> attributes and stuff.

Ah.. that gives me an idea of something that'd be useful in admin mode. 
Let the sidebar indicate the attributes of the current page, i.e. what 
kind of passwords it requires etc.

I hope you're now at least convinced that our goals aren't different. 
Primarily I'd like this discussion to focus on what kind of functionality 
the different modes should contain. 


Christian Ridderström, +46-8-768 39 44               http://www.md.kth.se/~chr

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