[pmwiki-users] Using descriptions more systematically

christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com
Sun May 28 06:52:24 CDT 2006


My "wiki readers" often complain that it's too difficult to find pages, 
and to know what their purpose. I'm therefore experimenting on pmwiki.org, 
where I'm using descriptions to hopefully improve this situation. Here's 
what I'm thinking/testing right now:

* Introduce the conventation that pages should have a description.

   Encourage the authors to add a line or two describing the page when it
   is created. Maybe it'd make sense to let the edit page contain a
   separate field for the description of the page?

* Show the description of the page by default.

   With PmWiki's default skin (eg pmwiki.org), I think a natural place for
   the description could be somewhere at the top of the web page. For
   instance between the PmWiki logotype and the search field. Or perhaps
   below the action links. This is skin dependend of course. Right now I'm
   simply using GroupHeader to show {$Description}.

* Use pagelists that shows the description of each page.

   By using (:pagelist fmt=#description:) to generate a list of pages that
   also shows the description of each page, it should make it easier
   for the reader to look a list of pages and figure which one he should
   go to.

Right now I'm trying to do these things at


It looks promising so far, although I'm having some problems because it is 
not possible to place anything in a description. Or possibly, because it's 
not possible to show anything using just {$Description}. Take a look at 
these two pages for instance:


Any thoughts on how the situation can improved for these specific 

General thoughts, questions and comments are of course also welcome. 
I'd also appreciate more test cases being added to that group.


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

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