DispersiveWiki:Community Portal

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Revision as of 03:05, 31 July 2006 by Pblue (talk | contribs) (Summary of bibliography changes I made last week.)
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I guess this is as good a page as any to discuss the general Dispersive Wiki project, at least for now. You can sign your name and timestamp by writing three or four tildes ~~~ at the end of your message, and use : at the start of a message to indent. Use == (title) == to start a new topic. You can "watch" this page by clicking on the tab at the top so that you can be notified whenver there is some new discussion here. Terry 01:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

For instance, here is an example of indenting. Terry 01:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Chopping up into smaller articles

I think we should split the big pages into smaller ones, to take more advantage of hyperlinking. At some point I'll also try to set up categories as is done in Wikipedia (which should presumably be our model for most things here. I've set up a rudimentary example of what I mean by this at the Other equations page, though many pages are still broken or not cleaned up at all. Terry 01:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)


What shall we do with the bibliography? It is hard to edit and hard to link to. I am thinking of moving the references to the page in which they are cited, instead of collecting them in one enormous file. This may cause a reference to be cited in more than one place, possibly with slightly different bibliographic data, but this should not be a problem. On the plus side, it makes it easier to find relevant references, and it should be relatively easy for a new user to update a reference or add a new one. Terry 01:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Another possibility is to put each article on its own page. This could allow direct linking to the article and leave space for annotations and remarks on the article. One could also include links to mathscinet and arxiv. Colliand 16:55, 28 July 2006 (EDT)
This idea has advantages and disadvantages. One big advantage: because each article has a centralised location, any updates to the article (e.g. changes in publication status, or other annotations) only needs to be done once (this is important if the article is cited all over the wiki). Also, it will be easy for new users to update or otherwise edit an existing article. Disadvantage: it becomes harder for a new user to add a new article to the system. We may need to explain a step-by-step process (or have some sort of front end). Of course, new users can put down the references in any other way, and someone can always later move them to conform to whatever emerging standard we decide upon. Terry 00:24, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

There is also the issue of how to create a standardised naming system for these article pages. As you can see in the existing bibliography, I tried to assign two letters to each author and give a year, but this quickly led to all sorts of special exceptions and other headaches, and I didn't quite know what to do with preprints which did not yet have a year of publication. We could have an anarchic system in which each reference gets assigned whatever name the user who adds the reference sees fit to give, but this makes the references harder to locate, and also leads to the remote possibility that an article might be duplicated. On the other hand, it will be difficult to convince everybody to adhere to a complicated naming standard. Perhaps some sort of automation (either by an explicit front end for entering in references, or various cleanup robots) may help. Fortunately it is very easy to rename articles (and have links move accordingly) and so perhaps these issues will not be too serious, though it would be good to set down some minimal (evolving) standards to prevent utter chaos. Terry 00:24, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

Incidentally, I think the bibliography issue is the main issue we have to decide upon before the wiki is ready for wider distribution. Aside from minor corrections and for a few very enthusiastic editors (I hope we get some!), I expect the bulk of contributions from other PDE people to come from bibliography updates, so it would be good to have some sort of system in place for accomodating that first. Terry 00:33, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

OK, I think Jim's suggestion is probably the best one. For simplicity we can just use the existing reference names as the names for the wiki pages which contain the reference. Example: KnPoVe1989. I do like very much that we can now easily annotate each reference with commentary, links, etc. As an example of how the linking would work, see Kadomtsev-Petviashvili equation. I have also set up a category to hold all the reference pages, as well as some pages on naming conventions and reference management policies. What now needs to be done is the rather tedious task of moving each individual reference in the legacy bibliography page to its own page, as well as relinking all the citations. Perhaps some automated or semi-automated procedure would be better than doing this all by hand? Terry 15:38, 30 July 2006 (EDT)

Pieter Blue has fixed many of the links for the bibliography. I believe Pieter also knows an automated way to switch the bibliography items into separate pages. A different solution we should consider is to install the Biblio package. Colliand 22:16, 30 July 2006 (EDT)

I missed the discussion here and tried to simulate the old webpage as closely as I could. Each entry on the bibliography page is now a tier 5 subsection (=====) and can be linked to with [[Bibliography#key|key]] . Most keys are of the form {author abreviation}{year}{optional letter}. I'd suggest that we stick with this format, using capital letters, Au2005A, for preprints, and lower case, Au2006a, for published. A comment <!-- previously Au2005A --> can be used to record outdated keys. People can fix outdated links as they encounter them.
This combines the ability to link to bibliographic references, to annotate each entry, and to see all references on a single page. Of course, making each reference a page in the "Bibliography" category would achieve the same results. If we do decide to switch, it would probably be best to make the decision before chopping up the pages too much, since simple semi automated systems must be applied page by page.
A few keys were not of the standard form, and a few links were previously broken, I'm going to try to fix all the links in the upcoming week. Pblue 23:05, 30 July 2006 (EDT)


I've started putting in some categories into the Wiki; they provide a convenient way to dynamically index all pages associated to a single topic, and can themselves contain content of their own. Any page can have as many categories as it wants, so please feel free to design your own categories as you please. In the worst case they can always be merged or otherwise cleaned up. Terry 00:24, 29 July 2006 (EDT)


Another useful Wiki feature is redirects. If a page contains nothing but the line

#REDIRECT [[some-other-page]]

then it will automatically redirect to some-other-page. This is useful for merging two otherwise redundant pages, or dealing with a concept that has many spellings or variant names, or with two topics which for some reason are being treated on a single page for now. Terry 00:24, 29 July 2006 (EDT)