Enhancing User Input

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I would like to share ideas about wiki usage for school material collaborations. I am starting a project on my university and we want to provide the students with a wiki based on opensource licences so that they can work together and create good quality school materials. It would be great someday have classes where students would benefit from notebooks (or maybe tablets) and a wireless network, and then they would take notes together using a wiki-like interface.

We thought about using our own servers because we intend to make MediaWiki extensions to enhance the students experience, although, it seems to me that Wikia is a place where enhancements through extensions are welcome. Maybe someone at Wikia would like to share ideas about the possibilities for these extensions, too.

This page is intended for discussing new alternative (extensions enhanced) ways of user input in MediaWiki. I am specially thinking about math input and similar stuff, but feel free to include here anything that you think that could be easier regarding input methods.

For example: easy table editing (probably in a WYSIWYG way) would be useful too.

I am not heading straight to coding by now. I just want to brainstorm a bit about what would be nice to enhance and how. I have once started coding a AJAX math editor for MediaWiki but I have stopped since I was not really sure about the specs I would be following. So, here is the place for writting specs proposals for input enhancements.

In many of the cases, there is already some kind of markup but a front end WYSIWYG is still unnavailable.

Even if the following topics seem to be too much specific, they are important for deeper adoption of wiki-tools.

Tables[edit]

Simple WYSIWYG editing needs to be implemented.

See my Extension:TableEdit. It's experimental but may be worth a look - JimHu 14:52, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
See Category:Table extensions for more. -Eep² 17:08, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Math[edit]

LaTeX is not userfriendly. It should be kept as backend markup, but there should be a graphical user interface as intuitive as possible for math input.

Subject specific input[edit]

Chemistry[edit]

wikiTeX provides some markup for chemistry. There should be implemented a front end for easy chemistry input.

Engineering[edit]

There are lots of specific diagrams that could be supported. This sections requires some future research.

Feel Free to Add Other Topics

This is just the first draft

Usability[edit]

To help people (e.g. students or non-IT persons) aggregating knowledge, there has to be done some work.

A good start is the VisualEditor, I also recommend using the Semantic MediaWiki Extensions to create easy-fillable forms for users who want to contribute to the content of your wiki.

Feel Free to Add Other Topics[edit]

This is just the first draft