En:WP rewiring

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Deconstructing the tools

Some writing from the Chief Technical Officer of the WMF:

  • coauthor (proceedings), 1992: "Newthink: An Orwellian specification language for real time safety critical systems" [1]
  • coauthor, 2017: "Reclaiming U.S. Defense Leadership on Innovation: Three Priorities for the New USD(R&E)", Heritage Foundation

UC Berkeley

  • Donald Duk's Chinese History teacher: "The man I studied history under at Berkeley authored this book. He was a spell-binding lecturer." (Donald Duk, 1991)

Toolz for finding authorial rights & responsibilities

Developing more than the current attitude of "healthy skepticism" concerning WP is necessary, particularly for en.wiki. Teachers could fairly simply construct wrappers around assignments related to Wikipedia. For example, a good exercise would be teaching how to use the tool WikiBlame (revision history search which actually assigns credit not blame) in order to find the author of a specific sentence within a WP article. For example to find out who added the bit about concerning Cubans to Jill Stein's page, I skipped 25 versions, ignored the first 50 and suggested checking 5000 versions. (Pushing the skip number up increases the likelihood of finding what you are looking for relatively quickly, I think.)

Likewise it would be good practice to encourage newbies to read a different history page than the chronological revision history provided by default, favoring instead the one given by the WMF-Tool Wikihistory.


The results of this tool should be read with caution however. For example, I have more edits to the page Jill Stein (by far) than any other editor. To conclude from that fact that I wrote the page on Jill Stein would be quite erroneous, as most of my edits were a product of my naive sentence-by-sentence editing style. It is only by comparing the first and second editor's contributions (1 | 2) to that page with yet another WMF tool (sigma) that the history becomes clearer concerning who wrote more of the page.

Students might even suggest a simple improvement to wiki-architecture... on the "view history page" why not remove the link to each page contributor's WP user page (which if not very useful, other than for counting the stars on their barn), one can always get there from their talk page. Instead, provide a link to their contributions to the mainspace page the reader is viewing. This would be a chance to talk about variables.


Misc. Tech. Notes

Note on BBcode

The BBcode-Mediawiki extension page is archived out of shame:  here's what it looked like prior to archival.

Note on HTML Rendering

On this Mediawiki page, I learned that just by typing ?action=render at the end of an address, it will publish HTML for you to save if you so desire. It even works on Wikipedia hoax pages. ^^

It must be said that the HTML produced is thick with handles (classes and such).

Also on HTML enabling (and the dangers that implies), cf. [here]


MediaWiki ↹ HTML (links)

here's a short procedure for converting external Wikilinks in a document to HTML using PRCE (Perl regex cheatsheet):


]] with @
[[ with §; which gives §OutBoundLink@
] with µ
[ with £; which gives £InternalLinkµ
| with
External links: MediaWiki ↪ HTML
replace £(\S+) (\S+)µ
with <a href="\1">\2</a>
External links: HTML ↪ MediaWiki
replace <a href="(.*?)">
with [\1
replace </a>
with ]
internal links

Strip references / text from Wiki

Unnamed References

Search for: \<ref\>.*?\</ref\>

Replace with:   

Named References

Search for: \<ref.*?>

Replace with:   

Strip text leave blue-links

Search for: ].*?\[

Replace with:

This does leave some manual work...