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Debatepedia:Community forum (technical)

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The technical section of the village pump is used to discuss technical issues about Debatepedia.

Debate software proposals and modifications, ongoing list:

Will and Marjan tasks:

  1. Move search box up to beneath the "navigation" box.
    1. The code isn't written for this to be done. The most I can do is put it on top. -William Wnekowicz 18:46, 29 November 2007 (CST)
  2. Create a "create new page" button in the navigation box between "editing policies" and "browsing guide". Link to Debatepedia:Creating new pages.
    1. This was a database issue. Changed in MediaWiki:Sidebar -William Wnekowicz 18:51, 29 November 2007 (CST)
  3. Move IDEA home up.
    1. This was a database issue. Changed in MediaWiki:Sidebar -William Wnekowicz 18:51, 29 November 2007 (CST)
  4. Citation templates.
  5. New debate functionality should be made more clear in relation to regular debate creation function.
    1. A bunch of changes here in the SpecialSearch.php file. Bypassing $wgMsg's for some outputs. Also fixed link for 'help' and changed link name to 'Navigation and searching' on help page. -William Wnekowicz 22:41, 29 November 2007 (CST)

Marjan tasks:

  1. Namespaces need to be activated.
    1. Backup Database
    2. Uncomment the namespace definitions in LocalSettings.php
    3. Run the /maintenance/Namespacedupes.php script from the command line

Structural software fixes:

  1. The references section should be made into one box with the following arrangement of double equal sections
    1. References
    2. See also
    3. External links
  2. Instructional cues should be deployed in new subquestion sections. (they are automatically deployed now only in the new debate pages.
  3. Six spaces should automatically exist separating, for example, ====Yes==== from the table code that appears below this for the now box. This makes it clearer that content should be added here.

More complicated fixes:

  1. Radio functionality.
    1. Most probably an issue with server settings. Works on preview page with the same files.
    2. Vinod fixed this. William Wnekowicz 10:53, 20 January 2008 (CST)
  2. Preview page.?
    1. What about the preview page?
  3. Background box pencil icon require clicking twice - Vinod.
  4. New debate creation vs. regular page creation should be clearer.
  5. Get rid of subquestion background boxes? Or is there a use?
  6. Question mark icon next to QuadOne icons (possibly in place of background box) that links to an explaination of the software.
  7. Table of contents should be automatic.
  8. Search function. Is something wrong with the search function, as Noel appeared to indicate?
    1. Most likely a problem with the search index from merging databases. Can be fixed by running maintenance scripts in the /maintenance folder.
  9. It seems that the QuadOne software doesn't work when the word "driver" is in the title of a debate. Does this have to do with the software "driver" or something?

Non-technical fixes:

  1. Taking steps to ensure that people are less likely to screw up tables:
    1. Spacing at bottom of content box between content and subsequent table code (four spaces)
    2. Table code cues.

Longer-term projects:

  1. Eliminate all visibility of the table code when editors click one of the pencil icons.
  2. Voting options. - One of the purposes of the site is to determine where users stand, or to get them to take a stand. One way of pressing this point would be to have them not just vote, but actually give the main rationales for their vote (this could be a window that pops down right under the vote circle/box); almost a test or check that individuals are actually thinking. This could then go into a new page, where all of the user’s positions/votes and rationales are presented in the respective pro/con format.

Other Changes Already Made

  1. Added "Translate" function to left sidebar. This is a script in the Monobook.php file that translates through Google. William Wnekowicz 15:14, 28 January 2008 (CST)
  2. Added SEO extension to help create custom titles, meta keywords, and meta descriptions on individual pages. It can be used by following the guidelines on the SEO page. William Wnekowicz 11:59, 4 November 2008 (CST)
  3. Changed the format of new debate page titles from Debate:Title to Debate: Title (adding a space). This separation of words should help in SEO. William Wnekowicz 12:01, 4 November 2008 (CST)
  4. Added a robots.txt file to eliminate unfavorable duplicate pages being spidered. This should help SEO. William Wnekowicz 00:28, 5 November 2008 (CST)
  5. Created a new sitemap at and submitted it to Google through Google's Webmaster Tools. The old sitemap was outdated from the times of Debatus. This should help search engines crawl the site properly and improve search engine traffic. William Wnekowicz 13:30, 13 November 2008 (CST)
  6. Submitted sitemap to Yahoo and added the link to it in the robots.txt file William Wnekowicz 21:53, 13 November 2008 (CST)
  7. RSS Extension added. Instructions can be found on the RSS page (also: Happy Pi Day) William Wnekowicz 11:37, 14 March 2009 (CDT)
  8. Email notification already exists in this MW version. This post is just to test whether the email is sending. Testaccount 11:58, 14 March 2009 (CDT)
  9. Add to Any Share Save bookmarking is added as an extension but it is not working. William Wnekowicz 12:32, 14 March 2009 (CDT)
  10. WikiArticleFeeds extension added but also not working. It doesn't output a proper feed. William Wnekowicz 15:06, 14 March 2009 (CDT)

See Also

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