User talk:Ob.helm

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Easy update of main page[edit]

I've built two German Wikis, one for the Democratic Turkey Forum and one for the Turkey coordination group (cogroup) of Amnesty International (AI) in Germany. The site of the cogroup was a specific challenge since all groups of AI had been asked to adopt their layout (look) to that of the International Secretariat or the section of their country.

In both cases the goal was to create a site that could be maintained by people without any knowledge of how to create and edit pages for the Internet.

Solution for the DTF[edit]

The front page of the Democratic Turkey Forum already existed when an update was necessary to tell visitors that a major event had happened. I wanted to place that information next to the table of contents. I created a table with two columns, one for the table of contents (TOC) and one for the box with the fresh information.

I could have included the new information into the second column directly, but for people not familiar with tables in MediaWiki I found it easier to make a template by the name of Neues and put this in the second column of the table. The source code looked like

 | {{Neues}}

It was enough to say that the box with the template Neues (another table) had the width of 90%. Such a box could look like

<div align="center">
 {|cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" style="width: 90%; font-size:100%; border:2px solid #0000DD;
 | <big>'''Title'''</big>
 | Text for fresh information
 | new line<br> another new line

Solution for the cogroup[edit]

At the beginning there were several challenges in adjusting the layout of the site of the German cogroup on Turkey to the sites of the International Secretariat or the German section of Amnesty International. Both sites use a yellow banner on top of the page and have links and titles highlighted in yellow.

The skin Gumax[edit]

With the skin Gumax you can achieve a complete different look of your private wiki. This includes the possibility of a banner on top instead of a logo at the left upper corner. Further changes to the navigation as well as the search box etc. are also possible. The highlighting of links etc. should be easy for any skin.

According to the preferences of the cogroup I placed the navigation on the left side. The main task now was to arrange the front page like the samples from the headquarters or the section. Instead of creating several boxes (no idea how that can be done), I used a table with mainly two columns and two rows. That looked something like

General Information

Latest Information

Text A Text B

Recent News (1)

Recent News (2)

Text C Text D

Filling the boxes[edit]

For a more or less automatized update of the front page I used the Extension:DynamicPageList and later also the Extension:Inputbox. It would certainly be possible to fill the boxes manually by replacing the text. It would also be possible to mark the passage of any new page that should appear on the main page as an introduction. You could use the formula of <noinclude> and </noinclude>as described on this page which would load the remainder of the page or you use the opposite blocks of <onlyinclude> and </onlyinclude> to mark the text that you want to appear on the main page.

Yet you still would have to go to the main page and call the section of the new page, which means correct spelling of the title, double brackets etc. To do all this might be too difficult for beginners and time consuming for everybody.

Therefore, I decided to call the new page and specific sections of it using the Extension:DynamicPageList. The first thing you need to do is to establish a new category . For the example lets call the category "New". To introduce a new page on the main page it has to belong to the [[Category:New]] which can be placed anywhere on the page. Instead of the blocks to include or exclude the new page gets specific headlines (they mark the sections we want to include). In our example, we want an image and some kind of an introduction to appear on the main page.

We could take = Image == as one headline and == Intro == as another. At the end we need another headline which could possibly be == Main Text == (this is necessary to mark the end of what should be included).

The parameters of DynamicPageList (DPL)[edit]

Now we are ready to call the newly created page on the main page. The parameters of DPL could look like

 <dpl> //opening line
 category=New //DPL is told to look at pages in this category
 mode=userformat //offers the opportunity to determine ''ordermethod''
 ordermethod=firstedit //the choice should be made according to the first edit
 order=descending //saying descending we get the last one
 count=1 //display one means only the last one
 </dpl> //closing line

At the place where we placed the script the clickable title of the new page would appear.

For the other sections we would have to include one line before "count=1"

offset=1 //for the second "best" page

For the remainder we would take offset=2 and offset=3.

To get the image and the part of text we want to include we need the following lines between the opening and closing DPL lines:


Again we have to use offset= for the second "best", third and fourth "best" entry.

One step further[edit]

To make things easier for those who would make the updates I went a step further. I prepared a page that contained the main structure of the new page (headlines and the link to an image). With the help of the Extension:Inputbox a new page to appear on the main page can now be created by writing (copying) the title of the new page into a box and clicking the create page button. Let's say the sample page was called "Current" the parameters of the extension would look like


All that people updating such a site would have to know now is