Talk:World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

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COMMENTS on World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

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Homepage Discussion Page

Suggest new content sections/headings, post questions, general suggestions, etc., below. Click on the "Add section" tab next to "Edit" (at top of page) to open a new topic for discussion or on "Edit" to add to or comment on existing topics on this page.

Admin talk page

As it was discussed earlier, admins are welcomed to discuss admin-related issues at the Admin talk page.

Attract more editors to discussions

I'd like to propose to put a link to this discussion page, so the editors could come here and have a discussion about this wiki. How is that? --Vadim 11:24, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

I think this is an excellent idea. --Istioploos 13:02, 15 February 2016 (GMT)
Done. Restylings are welcomed! --Vadim 14:15, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

Blog Posts Related To This Location

  • What do you think of having a section at the bottom of the page for "Blog Posts Related To This Location" in which people can post a link to their blog, provided the page referenced is related to the page in question? This would make it very easy for cruisers to get detailed personal impressions, including photos, of the places they are researching? LifePart2 19:10, 5 May 2013 (BST)

Wrong link to Creativecommons.png

There is an img tag on every page here that refers to, apparently it should read as

It takes quite a while (c-ca 2.5 min) for this request to time out. Perhaps this is why on page edit a tool bar loads only after such a delay.

--Vadp 11:19, 9 February 2015 (GMT)

The little investigation revealed that the culprit is the MonoBook skin of this wiki: when you switch to some other skin there is no load delay and, for example, google map widgets load up swiftly.

At the very boItom of every page made with this skin there is a link to and the icon for this link is hardcoded to

    <div id="f-copyrightico"><a href="">
            <img src="" alt="C.C. 3.0 License" width="88" height="31" />

Apparently a fix this issue could be:

    <img src="/images/f/fe/Creativecommons.png" alt="C.C. 3.0 License" width="88" height="31" />

--Vadp 17:14, 10 February 2015 (GMT)

A workaround has been implemented -- see MediaWiki:Monobook.js. It seems to work fine in Firefox, Chrome and IE v.11 --Vadim 16:13, 19 April 2015 (BST)
A newer workaround was implemented at MediaWiki:Common.js. Although it is not able fully solve the problem for Safari --Vadim 15:25, 11 February 2016 (GMT)

Template:PartOf as a new "Navbar"

Santa Teresa Gallura test has a new feature which looks similar to the old Navbar at the bottom of a page (see Santa Teresa Gallura). In fact it's more than that, as it introduces a true article hierarchy from, say, a marina to a town, region, country, geographic area, the World. This hierarchy: (1) can explored and analysed by an user or an editor, (2) used by some software application, for example, to built a list of POIs for a whole region to be drawn at a chartlet or to allow user to transfer a set POIs to a chartplotter or some other navigation application.

As to it's visual presentation, then my feeling is that the top of the page could be a better location for it: once you open a page you'd be able to grasp some important information about the article at once, without scrolling a page: it's relation with other article, it's contents, then on the left -- links to a home page, wiki contents, etc. --Vadim 16:58, 10 February 2016 (GMT)

As I mentioned before, I am not sure I like the Navbar at the the top of the page. I think that users are by now used to see it at the bottom. Had we not had this history I would preferred it, like you, at the top. Having said that there were many mistakes in the Navbars of older pages. Many Germany pages in the North Sea also claimed to be in the Baltic, so its automatic creation will alleviate this problem.
As far as the Navbar aesthetics and position I propose that we give both arguments to the rest of the registered editors and go by the consensus. What do you think? --Istioploos 18:44, 10 February 2016 (GMT)
As per Istioploos advice the users are able to discuss it here --Vadim 14:17, 11 February 2016 (GMT)
I quite like the position at the top and it is a more logical position (as other editors have observed in the past), but I'd make two points: 1. It needs better graphical treatment, e.g. tabs as it looks like an editing mistake the way it is at present; and 2. I assume that Vadim is willing to apply this change across all the current Wiki pages for consistency. In the absence of either of these my answer would be no. ----Athene of Lymington 14:36, 11 February 2016 (GMT)
No problems, Gordon, with both of you points. Although #2 looks like a bit of challenge, but I wouldn't suggest this change without thinking of how to implement it. My feeling is that {{NavBar}} conversion could be automated, on the other hand I'm not quite sure about "Cruising Wiki Navigation" in its older, table, form. Perhaps categories creation would need some help, for the moment I don't see how to automate this process.
As for it's design, then my concern is not to overdo it. See, for example how it's made at the Wikivoyage. It's very simple there. Any suggestions? --Vadim 15:04, 11 February 2016 (GMT)
Take a look at the change I've made to your Santa Teresa Gallura page - I've just moved the navbar to the top. I'd be happy to do that with all the countries and pages for which I've been largely or partly responsible, namely Albania, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia. Assuming, of course, that Istioploos is of like mind and is prepared to do the same with Greece and Turkey etc. It's time I reviewed all these countries anyway to see if there are any areas I can update or improve. --Athene of Lymington 17:14, 11 February 2016 (GMT)
Thanks, Gordon. There is no need to make any changes at the articles, at least right now: relocation of navbar call can be done automatically, but I need to think a bit more on it. --Vadim 19:10, 11 February 2016 (GMT)

I've made some changes to make PartOf bar and horizontal TOC a bit more distinct. See Porto Santa Teresa Gallura test. How is that?

It looks good but there 3 problems: 1. If I click on "World" on the Navbar I get categories, 2. The "Santa Teresa Galleria" on the Navbar should not be a link but black like it was in the old bar, 3. At the bottom of the page it shows "Santa Teresa Galleria" as a category. --Istioploos 19:33, 14 February 2016 (GMT)
#1 changed as per your suggestion, I think #2 is not needed really as it repeats the title of an article -- it's mere repetition, #3 category at the bottom removed. Looks better? --Vadim 09:42, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

Also could you please have a look at Salerno test? Here a bot has turned Navbar into PartOf.

Yes it does that here and in Porto Santa Teresa... It looks like a nav bar but it is a Part of categories. Here I must say that I personally prefer the mire conventional TOC that is similar to the one in Wikipedia. --Istioploos 19:33, 14 February 2016 (GMT)

Have a look at Category:Articles needing PartOf category -- Salerno test is there!

Now, near the top of Salerno test you'd see "Create category hierarchy to Tyrrhenian Coast". If you follow this link it will create a category for Tyrrhenian Coast. At the edit box you'd need to replace <!-- insert name of next region level up here --> with the name of an upper region, Italy in this case, and so on. --Vadim 13:57, 14 February 2016 (GMT)

OK it seems I've made a bot that makes *all* the job automatically --Vadim 16:23, 14 February 2016 (GMT)
The bot need to create a Navbar. Categories are better be left to human judgement. --Istioploos 19:33, 14 February 2016 (GMT)
Categories that you have noted serve an auxiliary function. You've just caught me in the middle of editing -- now they are hidden --Vadim 11:45, 15 February 2016 (GMT)
I like the new look of Salerno test. Much neater and easier to navigate. In the past I've always had to put a link in the first paragraph back to the island/region/country page as many users want to use the Wiki to 'port hop' along a coastline when planning an itinerary. It's not necessary with this approach. Another challenge might be to try to engineer a neater approach to the tables of ports/islands on the country and region pages? My only other observation is whether removing the text for the chartlet and Panoramio icons may result in less knowledgeable users not clicking on them at all? --Athene of Lymington 10:02, 15 February 2016 (GMT)
* RE text for the chartlet and Panoramio icons. When you hover over an icon at the infobox it shows a tool tip. This gives a reader a hint, but it does not eat screen space. For chartlet hoover over infobox coordinates -- a link there opens a full window chartlet and see article's points there, like here. I reckon this feature is of great value for a casual reader. BTW Template:Chartlet allows to embed a small chartlet right into a page --Vadim 11:40, 15 February 2016 (GMT)
* RE tables of ports/islands on the country and region pages The only thing that I think of at the moment is simply to arrange ports/islands there not alphabetically, but following a coast line. --Vadim 11:50, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

I think I've made a point for some consensus on how TOC looks like. Now it is different in two skins: in monobook it's old style, in vector -- it's horizontal. Have a look at Santa Teresa Gallura test and Salerno test --Vadim 11:20, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

I find this arrangement very good. I tested these 2 pages in both skins. The Navbar now works as I expected it to work, looks good, and I have no problem with it being on the top of the page. I also like very much its TOC behavior in "Vector" where contents below level 3 are shown as a submenu. Bravo! --Istioploos 13:01, 15 February 2016 (GMT)

So, I'm about to apply new TOC and Navbar replacements. Any objections? --Vadim 09:16, 16 February 2016 (GMT)

OK then, implementing this change --Vadim 08:59, 17 February 2016 (GMT)
The change was implemented --Vadim 11:21, 17 February 2016 (GMT)
Looking at Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, etc. I see the following problems: 1. In both "Vector" & "Mono Book" the NavBar has disappeared. 2. While in "Vector" the TOC looks great, in "Mono Book" the {{TOCleft}} has been ignored and the TOC is at the wrong place. i.e. before anything else. I had spent a lot of time to place at a good location in almost every page that I had edited. --Istioploos 14:07, 17 February 2016 (GMT)
You're quite right Indian Ocean doesn't look good. That makes the things complicate --Vadim 15:53, 17 February 2016 (GMT)
Have a look at Indian Ocean now -- a page cannot contain two TOCs -- I think that's the best could be done in this situation --Vadim 16:08, 17 February 2016 (GMT)
Indian Ocean now looks fine in both "Vector" and "MonoBook"., thanks. But still NO NavBars unlike in Santa Teresa Gallura test, I guess these will come latter. By the way, if I restore {{Navbar| [[Indian Ocean]] }} on Indian Ocean it works fine in both skins and so does {{IsPartOf|Indian Ocean}}. --Istioploos 19:33, 17 February 2016 (GMT)

Do we want the NavBar to show the current page (in black) in addition to like of its ancestors? I think this is clearer. --Istioploos 19:57, 17 February 2016 (GMT)

Personally, I don't think that it's worth repeating a page name at the new "Navbar" as it's located now right below the page's title and simply duplicates it. I don't mind though if you'd like to stay it there. I've mended the template, so have a look.
Thank you, I do like this because it graphically shows the hierarchy. --Istioploos 14:34, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
By the way, have a look at Adriatic Sea. "Navbar" there is not hierarchical. In this case it lists the counties that *inside* the region. But as I wrote, there is no problem if you like it this way --Vadim 09:27, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
Looking in this page's history I see that I had added the countries. I agree that we should just stick to the hierarchy, so I changed it. --Istioploos 14:34, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
Good, as you could see from the that page code I was trying to implement in Template:IsPartOf a workaround for this practice --Vadim 14:49, 18 February 2016 (GMT)

Aegean Sea

It looks rather distracting for me that lump of history there. Would not be it better to put a link to Wikipedia instead? --Vadim 09:38, 18 February 2016 (GMT)

Maybe you are right. But it has much more relevant information than what is given in Wikipedia. Do you think we can just put the history in a separate page? --Istioploos 14:43, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
A separate history page would be just fine! --Vadim 14:50, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
BTW perhaps you've noticed that I've already put an imagemap from this article to a separate page. I think (a) that way it's safer for an imagemap to survive this article future edits (b) the article's become a bit more readable. I've done this actually because the edit page was whimpering about the article could be too long as some browsers allow max. 32 Kb of text to be edited. --Vadim 15:06, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
I did notice the change in image map. That is good. We can protect Aegean_Sea/imagemap and unprotect Aegean Sea. I also transcluded Aegean Sea history. Not sure if that makes the page shorter. If it does not we can just make See page. --Istioploos 16:25, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Personal Notes

Following our recent exchange, take a look at what I've done to Santa Teresa Gallura and the link to a separate 'Comments' page. I think this might help encourage more contributions to the Wiki from less confident subscribers. On occasion the admins would be able to pick up updates from here and use them to edit the main page where the contributor hasn't had the confidence to do so. I've done this in the past for several subscribers and it does show that the admins are willing to undertake active mentoring.

I'd agree that "Discussion" pages associated with each article look like a good place for posing personal notes. Perhaps a (html) form to fill in would be useful, like they do at Wikivoyage to add and update their listings (aka POI) (look for a small 'edit' piece after each listing at --Vadim 14:44, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
This exactly what I was thinking. But I would still leave the bullets for any one that want to add their brief comments there. --Istioploos 14:52, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
The Wiki already has an 'edit' after each section. My concern (based on mentoring experience!) is that subscribers are often reluctant to use it because they see all these unfamiliar symbols on the edit page and discover that if they inadvertently move or delete one during the editing it wrecks the page format. Believe me I've had numerous such discussions with new subscribers and wound up being asked to edit the page myself using the information they supplied. What I want to see is an easy 'information drop' where subscribers can input such information under a clear set of headings. The admins can then use it (when they get time!) to update the page and in the meantime the information is there for all other Wiki users to see. I mentioned the Cruising Association app, CAptain's Mate (see for basic(!) info), which has been hugely successful in the three or so years since it was launched simply because it's so easy to use. I wish we had even a tenth of their regular contributors for the Wiki! --Athene of Lymington 17:06, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
I understand your concerns quite well. While you implementation idea is not so clear for me. Do you want to create a separate 'Comments' page for each article? That's why me, and think Vasilis, to use "Discussion" pages as they are already there, so why not to let the users to dump their stuff there. Perhaps you'd need to setup some prototype for this. I'll have a look at demo you posted -- promise! --Vadim 17:32, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
Yes to a separate 'Comments' page. I have no objection to the Discussion page but it's simply not used for page updating and I'm not sure it was ever intended for that. I think we have to make it EXTREMELY simple if we want more subscribers to start contributing and a form directly linked to each page would enable people to do that. Take a look at the prototype and CAptain's Mate video to see what I have in mind. None of us is immortal and I fear if we don't encourage more subscribers to contribute the Wiki will wither on the vine. --Athene of Lymington 17:59, 18 February 2016 (GMT)
I had a look at the demo and I think that "Discussion" page could do the thing. For me it would be absolutely fine if users would post their personal experience, comments on the page's theme and discuss it.
"Discussion" page is simply a feature of Mediawiki engine and how to use this feature is completely up to agreement between the members of a community which uses this engine. Currently the feature is virtually not used. But if the users are able to discuss the matter they reading/writing about, then it would form I reckon a real community around this wiki.
"Discussion" page has a useful "add topic" feature which would allow to make a new section (aka post) easily. You just need to make sure each post goes into a separate section and has a Subject/headline filled in. You wouldn't need to worry too much about formatting though.
BTW do you see at the edit toolbar a whitish POI icon? Did you try it? A similar technique could be used at a talk page as well to ease filling in some input there. --Vadim 12:25, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
I think that the "Discussion" page is a good place for adding lengthy descriptions of user experiences in a port or island. The bullet under "Personal Notes" should be for short notes. It could easily made to point to "Discussion", as in Santa Teresa Gallura. --Istioploos 13:17, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
Can I make a suggestion to resolve this one? I propose that we take a country - let's say Croatia, since I now spend most of my time there - and modify all the pages as I've recommended to include this new easy 'Comment' feature. I'm prepared to put in the time to do this, unless Vadim can write a script. Let's then review it after a decent period (say six to nine months) to see whether this approach has encouraged more active contributors to these pages or not. Because the clear evidence is that neither the existing page edit function nor (even less) the 'Discussion' feature is encouraging Wiki subscribers to get involved. We're not having too much difficulty signing people up; it's getting them to contribute that's the problem. --Athene of Lymington 15:26, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
Can you make one page by yourself to have an idea? Then I'll see what could be done to deploy it. Perhaps also some explanatory note needs to be put somewhere --Vadim 15:48, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
Sorry, Vadim - maybe I'm being a little obtuse here. The Santa Teresa Gallura page is basically how I would see this working. I don't envisage much more elaboration than that as the mission as I see it is to keep things as simple as possible. As regards the content I anticipate people adding, it's basically the kind of brief 'information drop' that CA members use in CAptain's Mate if you have viewed that (although slightly more structured by the headings and bullet points). As for an explanatory note, yes indeed - I would envisage that, assuming this approach is seen to work, then we would put some explanatory text on the home page and also include it in the welcome email that all new subscribers receive. However, that's for the future once this approach proves its worth. --Athene of Lymington 16:44, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
So after
==Personal Notes==
you'd like to put
Please click on [[Talk:{{PAGENAME}}|Comments]] to add your personal experiences or comments following your visit.
Correct? For every page in Croatia. This should not be too difficult provided that ==Personal Notes== exists at every page there --Vadim 17:06, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
Take a look at what I've done for the Jelsa page [[1]]. I notice (belatedly) that all these island and port pages actually have a tab for 'Comments' rather than 'Discussion', so I see no reason why we shouldn't simply link to that and put the headings and bullets on the existing comment page. You'll see I've put the invitation right at the top of the page so no reader can possibly miss it. The only other change I'd like to see is to perhaps put a box round this text like the 'Contributors to this page' box at the bottom. If this doesn't get people contributing then I fear nothing will. --Athene of Lymington 17:57, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
MediaWiki:Talk appears to control what's written there. I've changed it from "Discussion" to "Comments", but it didn't come up at vector skin. Surprisingly it worked in monobook --Vadim 18:38, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

I do NOT like it up on the top of the page. I propose an alternative that keeps the original notes section and directs to "Discussion" for extensive notes and comments. Please see User:Istioploos/Jelsa. --Istioploos 18:53, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

I must say I'd rather keep it simple. I prefer the text at the top of the page, as per my draft for Jelsa and if we agree to put it there it really makes the Personal Notes section further down redundant. I also don't want to confuse people with different routes to input their comments. Either they feel competent to edit the page themselves (unfortunately, that's rare) or they click on the 'Comments' link and then go straight to a separate page. I think it is important that the 'Comments' link is the first thing they see on each page, as they may not read down as far as the existing 'Personal Notes'. --Athene of Lymington 22:51, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Sorry Gordon, I made a mistake on my previous note here. I actually do not like at all the way it looks at the top of the page and bold,no less, in Jelsa. It puts preeminence on discussion (Comments) over the real information of the page that is where the harbor is, how to navigate, etc. Personal comments or discussions being opinions and/or personal stories should be quite low on the page. Please do take a look at User:Istioploos/Jelsa. --Istioploos 23:05, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
* I've made a few alterations on text labels. Like Discussions -> Comments, etc. Also check for tooltips. Also in "comment" editing mode look for custom note above the edit box. Comments are welcome, but it's a bit difficult to find out if anything else could be done there as Special:SpecialPages looks like a garbage dump.
* I'd agree that a welcoming note in bold font is a bit of exaggeration and affects readability. A note at ==Personal Notes== would look less obtrusive. Anyway, we love readers who manage until the end of an article!
* More over, I'd suggest the ==Personal Notes== section would only contain a note directing them to "comments" page: (1) a person would not become confused whether to put comments right at the article or at the comments page, (2) the article would look less slovenly if it does not contain improperly formatted text --Vadim 11:01, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
I agree with this last point. I'm happy to go through the Croatia pages (and other countries if we agree to roll this out right away) to transfer any existing comments from ==Personal Notes== onto the new comments page. I still prefer the welcoming note at the top of the page, however, as I view encouraging more people to contribute as the number 1. priority to keep the Wiki relevant. We have 1,500 subscribers signed up but only a handful contributing. However, I'll bow to the majority verdict. --Athene of Lymington 11:40, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
If "Personal Notes" section would only contains a note directing to comments then it could be replaced with a template call like {{Comments}} (see Jelsa). In this case I could make a script which would automate a bit of work for you.
With a welcoming note at the top of a page I'd suggest we'd try without it first and see how it goes. Then if results are unsatisfactory let's try to put it on --Vadim 12:05, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Ok let us try changing the ==Personal Notes== and see if we like it. --Istioploos 12:59, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Not quite clear on what you mean, but I'm happy as long as the words We welcome your contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to add your personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit appear somewhere on the main page - the more prominently the better. Anyone can read and use the Wiki, but those who register should be both willing and encouraged to input content on these 'Comments' pages. --Athene of Lymington 14:34, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
OK Have a look at Jelsa and World_Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki --Vadim 15:26, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
That's fine, Vadim - we're almost there. Just two points: when you click on 'Edit' and the tabs come up you see both a 'Comments' tab and an 'Add comments' tab. I think the second 'Add Comments' tab needs to be removed if possible. Also, the welcoming note is fine when you first go to the 'Comments' page but is different when you click on 'Edit'. Perhaps on the 'Edit' page all we need is Please include your comments under the appropriate heading if possible and don't forget to include your signature and timestamp at the end (fourth button from the right). --Athene of Lymington 15:45, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Gordon, 'Comments' and 'Add comments' are different things. While the former is a mere link to the 'Comments' page, the later adds a named section there (like one we see at this page). It allows to structure comments with different sections. Each comment will go to a different section, like at that demo you showed me. What do you think?
The 2nd part of your suggestion ('Edit' page) is implemented --Vadim 16:24, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
I do like this. Both Jelsa and World_Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki look good. I particularly like the change of the tab from "Discussion" to "Comments". Bravo Vadim! --Istioploos 16:30, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
I'd just as soon lose the 'Add Comments' altogether. I think it's simply confusing. The way the page should work, in my opinion, is that you get taken to the 'Comments' page by either clicking on the tab on the main page, as at present, or the link under = Personal Notes =. We could just leave the 'Comments' page completely blank, but I feel it's helpful to try to get contributors to structure their comments a bit. We don't just want: Lovely place. Met Vasilis and Alice here for a meal and had a great evening - no matter how true that may be! By the way, the heading on the 'Comments' page when you click on 'Edit' still needs fixing (see my suggested text above). --Athene of Lymington 16:47, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

Final comments on Personal Notes

OK I'm a bit lost between the suggestions. Having both Jelsa and World_Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki. Could you please put your latest comments here? --Vadim 18:03, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

I'm happy with both, with the exception of the following changes to Jelsa: 1. lose the 'Add Comments' tab altogether. I think it's simply confusing to have tabs for both 'Comments' and 'Add comments'; 2. when you click on the 'Edit' button on the 'Comments' page, I'd suggest the heading should read: Please include your comments under the appropriate heading if possible and don't forget to include your signature and timestamp at the end (fourth button from the right) rather than the present heading. --Athene of Lymington 23:09, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

It's not possible to remove 'Add comments' completely. You can only change text label there: MediaWiki:Addsection. Now it's emply, so the defaul label is displayed ("+"). Similarly for Talk page header: MediaWiki:Talkpageheader. For Talk page Edit header: MediaWiki:Talkpagetext. BTW the "signature" button is 10th from the left, you shouldn't count from the right as some more buttons could be added/removed --Vadim 09:55, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
I have already agreed with these changes but I came across a problem. What are we going to do on pages that already have user comments? Add the agreed notice and leave the existing comments or move them to the talk page? In either case the notice has to be changed to alert future viewers that there they have to click not only to add comments but to view existing comments. --Istioploos 04:16, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
I've suggested to move old comments to respective "Comments" pages. Gordon seems to think positive about that. --Vadim 09:55, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Good point, Vasilis. I'll redraft the text on the Jelsa page as an example to also alert users to visit the Comments page. If Vadim can transfer all the comments via a script, that's fine. If not, I've already volunteered to go through all the pages I've created or substantially edited to transfer the comments manually. By the way, I understand the '10th from the left' issue, but is it possible to move the signature stamp to be the first tab? Otherwise, it's a bit of a struggle to count up to ten across on a small screen device. --Athene of Lymington 11:21, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
'10th from the left' issue is a bit tricky one. At the monent I have no idea how to fix it. Meanwhile. I'll do something about a script --Vadim 13:39, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
How about instead of '10th from the left' we put the icon?
I had such a though. But don't you think people start clicking on it istead of the button? --Vadim 15:40, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Could link the button to the action of the tab? --Istioploos 15:53, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
By the way the edit tab bar it is now double with icon first, 6 more icon, and then the old tab starting with bold.
This must be gone by now. Try to clear your browser cache --Vadim 15:40, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
It is gone. --Istioploos 15:53, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
I think there's merit in Vasilis' suggestion. Couldn't we put the icon in the heading as follows: Don't forget to include your signature and timestamp at the end either by clicking on the "signature" button (icon here) in the toolbar below or adding --Athene of Lymington 15:57, 21 February 2016 (GMT).
Done --Vadim 16:54, 21 February 2016 (GMT)

The bot is ready

So I'm running it on Croatia, am I? --Vadim 15:43, 21 February 2016 (GMT)

I'm fine with Croatia. Could we agree Montenegro and Italy as well, since that would engage at least 5-6 of my fledgling editors. --Athene of Lymington 16:00, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Croatia done. Montenegro and Italy -- no poblem --Vadim 16:09, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Montenegro and Italy done as well. I think that's enough for today! --Vadim 16:43, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Thanks, Vadim. Brilliant. You've earned a rest! Perhaps tomorrow you could add Albania? My little clutch of fledglings seem to mostly cruise the Adriatic, and Albania would complete the test area nicely. Shame I can't send you a cold beer via the web but technology hasn't advanced that far yet...--Athene of Lymington 16:50, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
Albania done. For a couple of days I wouldn't be able to run a bot --Vadim 16:56, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
I see that the ports of Albania & Croatia are done. The msg is fine, bravo! Questions: does the bot move existing contributions? how about notes in Countries do we need another bot?
The content from personal notes (if there were any) were moved to the corresponding comments page under "other" section. I'm sure what is you 2nd question about --Vadim 10:35, 22 February 2016 (GMT)
I think Vasilis is pointing out what I've also observed - that the 'Comments' pages on the Italy, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia country pages haven't been changed, although the island and port pages have.--Athene of Lymington 10:49, 22 February 2016 (GMT)
Ah, the country pages are not in Category:IsPartOf Croatia, etc. So, they need to be processed separately --Vadim 11:48, 22 February 2016 (GMT)
Ok that makes sense. So we can manually put a country into the its category so that is part of itself and run the bot on it again. By the way Vadim, how do I run this bot? Where is it located? --Istioploos 13:29, 22 February 2016 (GMT)
There is no need in manual putting countries into self categories -- that's done by design: Italy, Croatia, etc pages are in Category:IsPartOf Mediterranean. In this particular case they been processed by pointing the bot to particular pages instead of a category. --Vadim 11:39, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
As for the bot, it is located at my computer. To have it installed at yours you need to deploy Pywikibot kit first somewhere at your machine --Vadim 11:39, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
Right, I've been through all the Croatia island and port pages and they now all look fine. It was necessary, since for some reason the bot hadn't worked on a few of the pages and I had to change them manually. I've also assigned all the existing comments on the pages to the appropriate category to show users how it's done. You'll see I've also modified the Page Usable template to further help in directing users to the Comments page. The navbar at the top was an absolute Godsend in doing all this work! I'll start on the other countries tomorrow. --Athene of Lymington 17:43, 22 February 2016 (GMT)
Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Italy country pages -- done, plus Slovenia --Vadim 11:26, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
revision as of 01:26, 24 February 2016 looks fine for me --Vadim 11:05, 24 February 2016 (GMT)

Leros Anchorages

I have reverted two changes here from "Poi" back to "Poi3" because Poi is a level 4 and these anchorages should be level3. --Istioploos 15:05, 18 February 2016 (GMT)

Yet another chartlet

I've made yet another prototype for yet another chartlet: MediaWiki:Ol3-test. This is quite different implementation from the current one.

The major difference that it's supposed to show POIs on Safari as well. It's far from being finished, but please have a look --Vadim 17:02, 18 February 2016 (GMT)

It seems to work well in Safari in both "Vector" and "MonoBook". --Istioploos 16:34, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

TOC block location

I'd suggest that as a rule {{TOC block}} should stay at the top of a page, like it was done with the latest change.

While, as it was pointed out, some pages with big imagemaps like Indian Ocean do require it to be put after them. The majority of the pages with {{infobox}} look ugly under vector skin if {{TOC block}} is located after {{infobox}}. See, for example, Diaporos vector vs monobook, while if {{TOC block}} as at the top then the both skins look better: vector and monobook. In the later case it shopuldn't be anything between {{TOC block}} and {{infobox}} --Vadim 09:50, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

You are right. The problem is with pages that retain a level 2 top header. I changed Diaporos by moving the {{TOC block}} under the header but before the {{infobox}}. It looks better in vector but still not perfect. Please take a look.
The only other solution is to get rid of the headers. Gordon and I have been removing most of those. The ones that are left are either with a different spelling (usually an accent), a clarification (island in the Diapers case), or explicitly adding "(Port of Entry)".--Istioploos 13:06, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
Thanks, Vasilis. BTW Perhaps it's better to rename the page to "Diaporos Island" so the 1st heading will be right as you wanted. --Vadim 14:24, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Port of Entry

For Port of Entry we could make some sort of {{Port of Entry}} banner and put it right below {{IsPartOf}}. Different spellings simply could start the 1st sentence of an article like it was done at Diaporos or at wikipedia wikipedia:Alghero --Vadim 14:24, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

I renamed Diaporos to Diaporos Island. It looks much better. For a Port of Entry case see Pythagorio, can this be improved? --Istioploos 20:10, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
How is about this is to be put to "Navbar". see Pythagorio --Vadim 11:35, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
That is even better. We should then get rid off {{Port of Entry}}. --Istioploos 12:57, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Sorry for making you trouble, but after some reasoning I think you were right: it would be semantically better if "(Port of Entry)" indication will go to infobox rather than to IsPartOf. Infoboxes are designed to provide some information about a location while IsPartOf gives an information about page's hierarchy. It can be implemented a similar way: by portOfEntry parameter --Vadim 11:48, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
After some more thinking although logically you are right about belonging to the Infobox, I prefer where you put it in the navbar. This is because it is at the top of the page and very visible. I have already changed all the ports in the Black Sea, Turkey, Greece, and part of England to reflect this. So maybe having done this work colors my opinion... --Istioploos 13:36, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
See Torregrande test, for example. For me it looks good. I'll go through the ports you've changed --Vadim 13:57, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
Another possibility with old 2nd level header with a different name than the page name is to remove it and then use the parameter "| name=" of the InfoBox to specify the name variant. See Loutro. --Istioploos 21:46, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Article name

For me a "fully qualified" name of a page (where it's applicable) looks better. BTW if you need to use a shorter name in links, then a redirect can be created, so Diaporos and Diaporos Island both work fine --Vadim 11:35, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

Ok. --Istioploos 12:57, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Perhaps it would be useful (if possible) to make page name same a at the Wikipedia. Please have a look at Vathy, Samos and {{Wikipedia}} there --Vadim 15:16, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

The problem is that yes "Vathy, Samos" while correct the port being the main port of the island of Samos, it is redundant because the heir achy shows that. The Name "Vathy" was the old name of the port and it is still used. It was changed in the 60s to "Limin Vatheos" (harbor of Vathy) and then in the 90s to simply "Samos". Old charts show it as Vathy and recent charts as "Samos". So it is best to call it "Vathy or Samos". --Istioploos 16:50, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
I see. I though (by inertia) the article of about the city, but it's about the harbour. But there is already an article Samos.
Should this harbour article be called "Port of Samos" or "Harbour Samos" or even "Harbour Samos, Vathy", etc., etc.?
In Wikipedia they use mechanism called Disambiguation which is not (yet) used here. What they do -- they choose one name for an article. Then in its text they list alternative names. They also make redirects from these alternative names to the article proper --Vadim 18:26, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
I gave this a lot of thought. I left it as Vathy, Samos, changes a little the aka explanation, and made a redirect to it Samos Port. --Istioploos 15:09, 21 February 2016 (GMT)


Just in case you did not find it already: Some simple mass replacements can be done via Special:ReplaceText --Vadim 16:48, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Maybe we can put this useful function in the "toolbox" (left side), but maybe that will open a can of worms. --Istioploos 19:32, 19 February 2016 (GMT)
I believe it needs to be used with a great care. --Vadim 11:42, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Yes, you are right, we leave it alone. --Istioploos 12:52, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

Mailing to subscribers

Once we are all happy with the page changes to make contributing easier, should we consider doing a mailing to all subscribers to encourage them to become more active? We could also advise them of the plan to upgrade the Wiki software in the near future in case someone is willing to help with the task. Any thoughts? Is it possible to carry out large-scale mailings like this? By the way, this discussion page was a great idea; cigar for Vadim! --Athene of Lymington 15:51, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

I am not sure it is possible to e-mail to all subscribers. But if it is we should finish all these structural revisions, update "help" and tempale docs before we email.--Istioploos 16:57, 20 February 2016 (GMT)
Agreed. Would Andy know if this is possible and how to go about it? It should be possible, since it says on the Privacy page: The email address may be used by The World Cruising Wiki to communicate with users on a wider scale.--Athene of Lymington 17:11, 20 February 2016 (GMT)

If you wish not notify every user then I'd suggest to leave a note at every user's page instead:

  • it's less obtrusive (if someone doesn't want to receive email he didn't receive a notification),
  • will not reveal you e-mail address,
  • will not trigger an e-mail swarm, but rather prompt the users to their talk pages,
  • it can be automated

But how is about piloting this "comments" pages for sometime, and perhaps fine-tune them first --Vadim 10:11, 21 February 2016 (GMT)

Good point and it's less likely to cause offence. The keen ones are likely to respond and the less keen ones would probably ignore an email anyway. Regarding piloting, what I was planning to do was to contact a number of subscribers that I've been quietly mentoring to ask them to try out the new 'Comments' approach and see how they get on with it. Perhaps you and Vasilis could do the same if you have one or two subscribers 'under your wing'. Though I guess in this case we'd probably need to roll this out across the whole of the Wiki rather than running a test on just one or two countries. Or are we happy to go to straight to that stage? --Athene of Lymington 11:31, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
By the way, the main thing I would like to test in this trial with subscribers (I have eight that I've mentored for Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Greece) is whether they just dump their contributions under the ==Other== heading or attempt to structure them as per the headings. When the Cruising Association launched 'CAptain's Mate' they attempted to be too prescriptive, with a detailed form contributors had to fill in. They initially got around 200 contributions a year. They then went to a 'blank page' approach and now get over 2,000 a year. I'm hoping that our approach is a sensible compromise between giving people complete freedom in their contributions and encouraging them to structure their comments a bit.--Athene of Lymington 12:13, 21 February 2016 (GMT)
I've taken the liberty of amending the Welcome New User template [2], although this doesn't appear to be the current one, to reflect the new 'Comments' pages and endeavoured to shorten it a bit. See what you think. --Athene of Lymington 14:50, 21 February 2016 (GMT)

Updated Infobox and POI templates

I believe their new features will be found a very useful for users of this wiki. They are also important for wiki's own further development.

The thing is that besides of a number of visual changes (see Santa Teresa Gallura test, Porto Santa Teresa Gallura test). They also include some metadata which allow the information from infoboxes and POIs to be processed and re-used automatically created pages and reports.

For example, 2 features are currently implemented:

  • a new chartlet which displays POIs and infobox locations and their descriptions on a map
  • Download KML feature (see toolbox at the left side of Santa Teresa Gallura test page), which allows a reader to download the information mentioned above and transfer a set POIs to a chartplotter or some other navigation application.

The Infoboxes and POIs were already discussed to some extent with Istioploos. Some of his suggestions were integrated in the templates.

His major point was that new POIs did not appear at the table of contents (TOC). Now I've found a workaround even for this issue: by now the new POIs are visible in the TOC.

A new chartlet had an issue that did not allow POIs to be shown in Safari browser. This issue is also fixed at the even newer version of chartlet: CruisersWiki:Chartlet, which is currently under development, but it will be finished quite soon.

Having said this I'd the proposed features to be implemented across the whole wiki --Vadim 13:15, 24 February 2016 (GMT)

Looking at Santa Teresa Gallura test, Porto Santa Teresa Gallura test I have the following comments:
  1. I particularly like the smaller infobox Porto Santa Teresa Gallura test, not 100% sure of the Santa Teresa Gallura test but I could get used to it.
  2. I would change the sequence of the items in both; the "other maps" should be the last of the 3.
  3. I propose we implement these infoboxes on new pages and on pages that we visit to edit in the future rather then using a bot to change all the pages.
  4. "Show links" and "KML" work fine.
  5. POIs show well on the TOC but although the TOC submenu indicates so it does not transfer.
Altogether good work. --Istioploos 14:21, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
#2 Done
#4 Fixed
For #3: These infoboxes and POIs are not a new templates, they are rather new versions of current infoboxes and POIs designed by me earlier. They are "drop in" replacements: no bots are required. The old template invocations will continue to work -- they would just look "new". The documentation for them would need to be updated with a few new parameters if any.
I'd suggest to go this way. Please have a thought. I think otherwise having old and new versions simultaneously could make our fellow editors rather confused --Vadim 15:51, 24 February 2016 (GMT)
It looks like the reasoning behind the change is quite clear. Having this is mind a new version of Template:Poi was installed in the wiki --Vadim 15:14, 1 March 2016 (GMT)
New versions of Template:infobox family was installed at the wiki --Vadim 09:58, 2 March 2016 (GMT)

Edit toolbar button order

It seems the issue has been fixed. You may need to clear your browser cache. Please report back --Vadim 18:32, 24 February 2016 (GMT)

Future of the Wiki - a viewpoint


It is with no small regret that I have decided to relinquish my admin status on the World Cruising Wiki. I have given this decision quite a lot of thought over the past few days and I have concluded that it is the best decision for the future of the Wiki. While I am happy to continue as a contributor (at least, for Croatia, where I now cruise), I feel I can no longer take an active part in the Wiki's future development.

I signed up for the Wiki in 2010, following which I undertook the reworking of the country and port pages for France, Spain and Portugal over 2010-11, with much early guidance from Lighthouse and Istioploos as I found the editing (and particularly page creation) process initially very complex. I addressed Corsica, Sardinia and all the Italian islands in 2012-13, creating or fleshing out most of the port pages, for which little or no content existed. From 2013 I worked with Istioploos on Turkey and Greece, updating content and photography for many of the islands and ports for which data was lacking and revamping the Sea of Marmara section to add detailed entries on the harbours there.

In 2014 while based in Ionian Greece I revamped all the islands and ports, with revised content and new photography, following which in 2015 I completed the major task of building the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania sections, for much of which there was again very little existing content, creating entirely new pages for the majority of the harbours. Lector, si monumentum requires, circumspice.

I write this not out of self-satisfaction but to demonstrate that I have committed a great deal of time to the Wiki and, I believe, developed an acute sense of its strengths and weaknesses as a result.

So, it may seem illogical that I have decided to reduce my involvement at this point. However, by resigning I feel able to offer my candid views on where the Wiki has failed and the challenges it must address if it is to survive and flourish.

My thoughts were crystallised by a message I received from [3], a subscriber I signed up in 2014 and whom I had re-approached following the recent change of the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania pages to test a new approach to encouraging more contributions. His experience is by no means exceptional and is, I believe, why we have around 1,500 subscribers to the Wiki but almost no regular, active contributors if you exclude the admins. His message is below (I've omitted his personal details as I haven't asked permission to reproduce it here):

HI Gordon,

Thanks for your email.  How are you finding cruising north of Greece?

I confess I stopped uploading to the Wiki some time ago.  A number of updates I made were reverted back to their original (out-of-date) content within a week or so of me making the amendments.  I sort of got the impression someone wasn’t happy about having their original postings modified - I could have got it wrong but that’s how it came over.

Anyway,  it is without doubt that the Wiki is a very, very good idea.  Pilot books by their very nature are often out of date before they even hit the shops and the CA’s Captains Mate is held back because, for some reason, they don’t want to be seen competing with printed books.

Personally, I am very grateful for the ‘accurate’ information you always leave in the wake of your visits and I am only too willing to pass on my findings too for others to benefit so will look forward to the new style submissions. Not sure I can remember my passwords etc., so a bit of digging is in order to get up and running again.

Fair winds

Best regards


Time and time again over the past five years I have witnessed subscribers sign up then wade in to edit the pages (after all, the Wiki does encourage them to 'Grab the page and build it!). They find, inevitably, that the formatting is quite complex and the templates not easy to manage without messing up. So, either they get immediately discouraged or they do their best and the result is exactly what one would expect from a pilot book if several people scribbled notes all over it. The admins then spend time patiently trying to restore order without de-motivating the new subscriber (not always an easy task and sometimes I wonder that I myself survived as a newbie!).

It seems there is a general consensus that the Wiki should develop into an authoritative and credible alternative to the numerous pilot books that, because they are in print form, are invariably months or years out of date. To achieve that, however, the content needs to be well-written, accurate, up to date, consistent in presentation and credible. In my view this will prove impossible to achieve if every subscriber, regardless of experience, skills and even knowledge of English, is encouraged to edit at will. The result will be, and indeed already is in places, a 'dog's dinner' and the admins will continue to spend their valuable time restoring pages instead of filling the numerous gaps on the Wiki or mentoring new editors.

You'll notice that I have made a distinction here between subscribers and editors and that is at the heart of the change that needs to take place in my view. I no longer believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to 'Grab a page and build it' because experience shows that all too often they lack the necessary skills. It's like turning a novice driver loose on the freeway without a single driving lesson. I believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to input their comments or updates on the new 'Comments' page but only be allowed to change the 'Last visited' section on the main page until they have earned their spurs. Once a subscriber demonstrates the necessary commitment and skills – and after a suitable period of mentoring by the admins - then and only then should they be given editor privileges and let loose on editing and creating new pages. To me, this is a win-win situation, since less committed or capable subscribers would still feel motivated by just submitting comments and updates while more competent and experienced ones would feel privileged to be invited to become editors. It wouldn't be difficult to implement at this point since there are virtually no regular contributors and it could be done in conjunction with announcing the new easy-to-use 'Comments' facility to existing subscribers.

I know this 'three-tier' approach, with admins, editors and contributors, is controversial and it is unlikely to achieve much traction at present, but if the Wiki is to achieve the status and quality of content that I believe it can it will require a move in this direction.

Meanwhile I wish the Wiki and its remaining admins every success for the future. I hope this note may help focus discussion on the measures needed to ensure that success.

GORDON KNIGHT--Athene of Lymington 14:45, 25 February 2016 (GMT)

An open letter to Gordon

Hi Gordon,

You made me quite surprised by your decision.

I mean at this very time when we started to discuss things and to try to make something changed.

I've helped you with your "Comments pages" project -- Do you mean that my work should go now down the drain?

If you don't agree with someone, then that's not a reason to through away all what you have done for the wiki.

Bring your points to discussion, bring other people to discussion to defend your position or to find out some new solution. That's the nature of wikis!

The other thing that the changes need to be discussed with the community and implemented on a basis of consensus.

That's quite right that currently there no real live community here, but let's put an effort to make it!

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!

--Vadim 15:35, 25 February 2016 (GMT)

Hi Gordon,

I am devastated by your decision. I suspect that our disagreement on the wording of the "Page Outline" and "Page useable" notices was the catalyst for this. I may have come too strong and have unintentionally offended you. I am very sorry and please, please accept my apology.

Over the years you have been maybe the most valuable contributor to our wiki having done heroic work not only on the places that you have visited but researching and adding good information to others as well.

I do agree with what Vadim wrote.

Please do reconsider. Either way I hope we can remain friends.

Vasilis --Istioploos 01:37, 26 February 2016 (GMT)


Thank you for the apology, Vasilis, but you didn't really offend me. Anyway, your response was very gracious and I thank you for it. Of course, whatever my future involvement in the Wiki we shall remain friends. After all – I still owe you and Alice a dinner!

What our exchange did, however, was bring into sharp focus what I personally believe lies behind the failure of the Wiki. I believe we must call it that, since in the seven years since it started it's failed to be widely adopted by the cruising fraternity and it's only a few dedicated souls like you, me and lately Vadim that have kept it alive.

Not only do we see distressingly few updates to existing pages, but apart from the new pages I created for Palau and Portisco recently there haven't been any new pages created (as far as I'm aware) since 2012, which is tragic in view of the huge content gaps on the Wiki.

The problem is, if things stay as they are, we will remain locked into a vicious circle, whereby the more subscribers we encourage to contribute the more work the admins will have to do to correct errors on pages. No matter how tactfully we do it, we will wind up deterring contributors who would otherwise be perfectly happy to post updates but do not have the confidence to edit straight onto the pages and certainly not to create pages themselves.

See the email below which I received yesterday from Fair Game. While it's a sample of just one, I think it's a view that would be widely endorsed by the majority of subscribers:

Hi Gordon,

I think your ideas are spot on and hope your contemporaries are willing to move forward and take the Wiki to a new level.

I will gladly supply comments for editing by admins.  Some pages such as the Vounaki one are totally out of date and need to be re-built from the ground up.  I am more than happy to provide accurate info and let someone, who enjoys sitting at the computer, do the handwork.  I confess that once on board I tend to lose interest in computers, emails, and other such things that remind me of what work used to be like.

Kind regards


Fair Game

I know that to two old software hands like you, Vasilis and Vadim, the templates are bread and butter, but for most people they're not. What's more, I believe the people we need as contributors and editors are not ones with an extensive computer background (we've already got those!) but ones with a journalistic, copywriting, editing or design and photography background who can create good quality content.

You may think that I've become adept at using the templates after five years, but you'd be wrong. I create new pages by copying all the formatting from a nearby existing page and then editing the content to create the new one. It's easier this way to avoid inadvertently changing the layout and the existing content provides a model for the content required on the new page. Obviously, it's vital to choose a page that is perfect in layout and consistent with the template, otherwise there's a danger of replicating errors (which has happened from time to time!).

I'm not alone in this. See the comment below from Haiqu in response to my recent posting:

Your comments make a lot of sense. Although I haven't had a chance to contribute much recently I do remember the steep learning curve, and I came in as a skilled programmer with 35 years in the computer business. For the "average Joe" I have to agree that without guidance and mentoring they can only make extra work for those with the requisite skills.

So, I come back to my original point: I don't want to be spending most of my time on the Wiki correcting pages which have been mangled by subscribers who are encouraged to wade straight into page editing without any preliminary training or experience. What I certainly don't mind is mentoring selected subscribers who have shown themselves able and willing to create good content and are keen to take the next step towards editing and creating new pages. As I've said before, I see this as a potential 'win-win' situation, encouraging the more committed and talented subscribers without deterring others for whom the Wiki is of just passing interest.

I'm not sure where this leaves us. If the admins are not persuaded by my arguments, then the only other suggestion I can make is to conduct some wider research with subscribers. However, I'm fairly confident that Fair Game's viewpoint is not atypical and that there would be few objections to not having to wrestle with the templates from the start. --Athene of Lymington 15:52, 28 February 2016 (GMT)

Comments to Gordon's proposal

Gordon has raised a very important point about CruisersWiki. That is that although we have many registered users only a handful are active contributors. I agree with Gordon that one of the causes, but not the only one, is the difficulty in editing the wiki.

I will start my response with a personal history. While cruising in the Med some 30 years ago there was no online info on ports etc. I like all other cruisers was relying on pilot books. The problem was that the books were not up to date and they did not provide some info of interest to be such as (where to get fuel, wash clothes, eat, get groceries etc.) So, I kept a note book with this additional info. While cruising I met fellow cruisers who often asked me about these practical "extras." To help them I transferred all my notes, organized by port, in a my computer and then every year copied them to CDs. After that when cruisers asked for info I handed them a CD and only asked them to send me an email or letter with recommended changes and additions especially on ports that they had recently visited. I promised that if the did so, I will mail to them next year's revised CD. All I asked was some small effort, no computer skills were needed. I was to do all the work, and at my expense. In 4 years while every one was pleased and praised the CD I only got ONE response to my request for new info.

Fast forward to CruisersWiki. Here I thought was the answer; easy to edit, reaching a wide worldwide cruiser audience, self correcting etc. But as Gordon and other, have pointed out this wide audience has not translated to wide contributor participation.

Wikis like Wikipedia were designed to be "easy to edit" but this has proven to be not so quite so. Wikipedia administrators introduce templates. This helped but up to a point. Nevertheless thanks to many dedicated administrators Wikipedia is a success. So, what are the differences between CruisersWiki and Wikipedia? Here are some:

  1. Size of audience. Wikipedia's is huge, ours is limited to people with a special interest i.e. cruisers.
  2. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, ours is limited to register users. This was implemented by Lighthouse to limit spam and vandalism.
  3. Wikipedia has many active administrators we have only a few.

Although I believe that a consistent look and feel of CruisersWiki is important and have spent a lot of time maintaining it, new information from somebody who has been there is the most important. Again there is a strong lack of this. Precious few have contributed new material, Gordon being a very prominent exception.

Gordon in Future of the Wiki - a viewpoint above proposes a 'three-tier' approach, with admins, editors and contributors. This will make CruisersWiki even more restrictive and, in my opinion will tax our few (and getting fewer) administrators even more.

I do not have a great faith in this but maybe we could ask our users that do not want to directly edit the wiki to email to the administrators their proposed changes.

Finally, let us keep open this discussion. I do hope that Fair Game , Haiqu, and others will join this discussion. --Istioploos 13:49, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

Three points

Just a few points on Istioploos' comments, then I'll shut up and let others have their say.

Firstly, I'd point out two other differences between the World Cruising Wiki and Wikipedia. While anyone can edit articles in Wikipedia, they do in effect have a two tier system for contributors, since anyone can edit without registering (only their IP address appears) or they can register and then have a proper user name. Meanwhile, Wikipedia can afford to let all and sundry pile in and edit at will since they have no less than 1,300 admins to correct errors (not to mention 70,000 editors to police one another), as Istioploos points out. Also, the structure of the articles on Wikipedia is very simple, unlike the structure of our Wiki pages. Editing is therefore much simpler and in visual editing mode it's genuinely WYSIWYG (which with the demise of the Rich Editor the Wiki is not).

Secondly, I'd encourage anyone participating in this discussion to take a look at Active Captain [4]. One needs to create an account to see how it works in detail, but if one logs in and clicks on any 'marina' (they don't seem to use port as a designation), it brings up a set of simple tabs for General – Navigation – Dockage – Fuel – Services – Reviews which users can click on and easily input text to. A simplified version of this is what I have proposed for the 'Comments' page that we have now attached to all the Italy, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro pages as a test and it is to this that I would propose that contributors should first be directed until such time as they (and we) feel confident in their editing capabilities. I suspect that if the test proves anything, it will be that the overwhelming majority of contributors over the next few months will prefer to input their updates and comments to these pages anyway and leave the admins to edit the main pages.--Athene of Lymington 18:38, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

Thirdly (and belatedly) there's one other vital difference between our Wiki and the others. No-one is likely to make life-changing decisions based on what they read in Wikipedia or Wikivoyage. But if someone places inaccurate information on the Wiki it could cost another cruiser their boat or even their life, since the Wiki aspires to the authority of a pilot book and people will rely on the information if it's credibly presented (maybe unwisely, but then people do it). I clearly recall a new subscriber editing the information I had prepared on the approach to Preveza, suggesting to cruisers that they did not need to stick closely to the entrance channel - a suggestion that, if left unaltered, could have had some unwary Wiki user aground on a lee shore in the prevailing NW winds.--Athene of Lymington 17:34, 7 March 2016 (GMT)

for #3 -- Apparently some kind of disclaimer should be put at the main page: Not for navigation as (1) this wiki is not an official source, (2) by it's nature a wiki can contain (and contains) some incorrect information. You must be naïve if you think otherwise. This is a sailor's obligation to asses information adequately. First of all decisions must be based on official sources of information, even these are sometimes inaccurate. Any other information must be valued as secondary: life-changing decisions must not be based on these sources. --Vadim 11:31, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
Putting a disclaimer in the main page is an excellent idea. Not only the this wiki but well known pilot books have some times errors. Any prudent sailor does not really on these sources 100%. One of the reasons we have the "Last Visited & Details Checked" section is this. Unfortunately Gordon and few other diligently update this section. Nevertheless it is still a good indication when someone was actually there. Let us think of simple wording, not legalize, for this disclaimer. --Istioploos 13:26, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
No,Vadim - I'm not naive. But some cruisers are and we owe them a duty of care. I clearly recall someone on Cruisers Forum last year claiming that he found the pilot books so out of date he relied on the Wiki, web searches and blogs by other cruisers. If I didn't think that the Wiki had the potential to be more credible than the pilot books I'd never have signed up for it in the first place. --Athene of Lymington 15:05, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
Sorry mein French, Gordon. I did not mean that you're naïve, but someone else who puts blind trust in information he finds on the Internet. So, if you go beyond the limits of the channel then you're on your own, otherwise you're on your own anyway! --Vadim 16:29, 9 March 2016 (GMT)

Not Wikipedia, but Wikivoyage

Wikipedia is too far from this wiki, but Wikivoyage is quite similar to it. They don't have that many editors/admins like the former. Usually you'd notice one or two admins patrolling its articles. Have a look. they are doing quite well (no need to register though).

BTW I think that Comments page still a good option for someone who doesn't feel confident to plunge into fully -fledged editing of article. May it be the first step for a future editor? I'm not sure though if such a page needs any structure at all --Vadim 19:24, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

Not for long

Sorry, I didn't shut up for long! Wikivoyage is indeed a better comparison, and it's interesting that they also have a good WYSIWYG 'visual editor'. Do you think the proposed Wiki software upgrade will enable such a thing for our Wiki?

I don't disagree with your point about structure for the 'Comments' page - but let's see in the test if everyone simply posts under the 'Other' heading. My only intention was to try to suggest the kind of information that's most useful for other users (and to help the admins in updating the pages) in the hope that people wouldn't just post personal opinions. --Athene of Lymington 23:07, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

Yes, Wikivoyage is a much better comparison. And yes again, it has a good WYSIWYG editor, same as Wikipedia. Which we do not. We only had the so called "advanced editor" that completely mingled the source MediaWiki code. That had created a lot of problems with new users. Also, both Wikivoyage and Wikipedia rely very heavily on templates (of the {{}} variety which we too have been trying to introduce. I too hope that the expected upgrade does happen real soon. --Istioploos 15:35, 1 March 2016 (GMT)

Following Along

I haven't had time to do much more than follow along with the discussion. I'm out of the water at the moment with my boat up on the hard in Malaysia getting some work done, but once it's back in the water I'll be cruising the Gulf of Thailand a bit more and adding to the wiki pages around that area.

I think that whatever we can do to encourage more editors is good, and we have to be aware that everyone has different preferences and different capabilities. Personally I hate WYSIWYG wiki editors, for me it destroys the entire feel of wiki editing with too many mouse clicks and so on, but each to their own.

Delatbabel 02:34, 2 March 2016 (GMT)

A view from a potential contributor

Below is a comment I have received from Hogesinwa as a contribution to this debate. What I draw from this is that the invitation to post comments needs to be even clearer if we want users to spot it (I'd favour the invitation being placed at the top of the page rather than the bottom, as you know). He also appears to prefer a WYSIWYG editor.

Hi Gordon,

I had a quick look and tested to make a comment (I didn't actually leave one as I didn't know what to write but went into the editor). A few immediate feedbacks from me:

1- I would have completely overlooked that tiny little italic link 'comments' if I would'nt have got your email initially (hence I was actively looking for it). I actually nearly gave up looking for it at some point due to slow internet here in the Caribbeans. So you might want to maybe think if you find a way to make it more obvious, otherwise I am not sure people would use it.

2- I still think it is lengthy to find and add things to the wiki. I am not familiar with the wiki you use as your basic structure but I think there are more user-friendly ones out there (Wikipedia is dead easy to use) and those are the ones people like to use and contribute to. I always said (back when I worked as a web consultant) that whatever you do online needs to be intuitive to use, no lengthy 'how to' manuals.

Having said that I still think you are doing a great job providing this platform for us cruisers (THANK YOU!) I know how much work goes into it such a project.



It looks as a rather illustratory example: a reader was directed to a comments page, but he did not made any comments. What does it mean? It means that the reader is not interested (yet) in contributing. That's noting wrong with that at all. If someone is not into adding into a wiki, then there is no point in looking for how to contribute there --Vadim 14:18, 6 March 2016 (GMT)

I think the reason he did not contribute is that I directed him to the Comments pages of the Italy, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro sections and, while I know he has cruised parts of the Med, I don't know whether he feels able to contribute anything to those particular pages. Anyway, I think the real point is that he doesn't find it easy and that's what puts him off contributing (and why register if you don't intend to contribute?). In the absence of any other valid research into why people are subscribing to the Wiki and then not contributing I think we must take seriously the few reactions that we do get. --Athene of Lymington 17:31, 6 March 2016 (GMT)


Gordon gave me a pointer to this discussion, as I had previously expressed views on the structure of this Wiki.

All I would add is this, I think something with the complexity in both style and editing of this Wiki has had its day. Personally, I started editing documentation using Script/VS on a VM system so I have no problem with the sort of notation used here. However, todays cruisers are mostly using a tablet - whether thats from Apple or Android. Gordon has mentioned both 'CAptains Mate' and Active Captain, these are both able to combine the direct positioning capability of a tablet with simple form based editing. That, I suggest, is the future.

Cheers ... RobbieW

That's right: you must be determined to come and edit any wiki --Vadim 11:33, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
No - just enthusiastic and willing to help other cruisers. We really can't go on dismissing the fact that some 1500 people have registered for the Wiki and almost none contribute regularly. I'd rather assume that they signed up because they were willing to contribute and then discovered the learning curve was too steep. If, as you suggest, none of these 1500 was determined enough then we may as well pack up and go home. --Athene of Lymington 15:16, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
That what I mean, Gordon: unfortunately sole enthusiasm and will would not help because of a learning curve. But on the other hand this is not too bad as wiki (as a form) assumes some style and structure, so a contributor have to learn these to be able to make a valuable contribution. Having said this, I believe that your idea about "comments" page is a door for whose who have a will --Vadim 16:42, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
I think we may have some common ground here. Once a newbie has learned how to make a valuable contribution (probably after careful mentoring by the admins), he/she is then what I would call an editor. I still feel that this merits a second category of contributor with elevated privileges on the Wiki. However, all I'm pressing for at the moment is to encourage newbies to post their contributions on the 'Comments' page rather than wade straight into editing and thereby get discouraged - as most newbies have to date. Of course, simplifying the editing process with the proposed upgrade will help BUT in the meantime I still recommend changing the Welcome email and the Template:Page outline to encourage newbies to use the 'Comments' page until they feel confident enough to edit the main pages. At present they are still encouraged to 'sail in', which I think is what causes problems. I'm happy to draft some new words for the Welcome email and Template:Page outline if that would help focus discussion. --Athene of Lymington 18:10, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
It is good to have this discussion but let me add some comments:
  • Yes very few of the 1500 register user do contribute and some may be discouraged by complexity. But the same thing happens to Wikipedia millions of readers, thousands of registered editors, but only a few hundred actual contributors, most making small corrections.
  • CruisersWiki does provide, at least in some geographic areas, a lot of very useful information to cruisers. Much more then "Captains Mate" and "Active Captain". At least in some places that I am very familiar with I have found plenty of errors in them. At any rate, a multiplicity of information sources is the strength of the internet. You do not want "one size that fits all".
  • CruisersWiki can be viewed by a tablet, I do so when I am cruising, but I will not even think of using a tablet for editing.
  • As soon as we finish some of the ongoing upgrades we need to revise the "Welcome email" and "Template:Page outline". By the way where is the "Welcome email"?
  • Also we need to revise the "Help" page and what we call "page templates". I think that name is unfortunate and confusing so I suggest some thing like "model pages".
--Istioploos 19:08, 9 March 2016 (GMT)
I've drafted some suggestions for the Welcome new user and Page outline and Page usable templates, which I've posted on the [5] page for consideration. The Welcome new user template is actually based on one which Istioploos drew up but it does not appear to be the one currently in use. I'm happy to also have a stab at revising the Style Guide (which is rather too admonishing at present) and the General Help page, but obviously this can't be done until the upgrade is complete. If the upgrade involves a WYSIWYG editor, then it should be possible to revise these into a Guide for Contributors and a Guide for Editors, the latter delving into the mysteries of using the templates and formatting while the first focuses more on style and content. --Athene of Lymington 12:13, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
We actually seem to have three different 'guides': the General Help page (which is fearsome to a newbie!); the Wiki Editor's Guide (which is much more accessible) and the Style Guide (which reads like one long nag!). At the moment newbies are directed to the General Help page, which must be very daunting for them, rather than straight to the Wiki Editor's Guide. Personally, I'd like to have a try at incorporating most of the Style Guide into the current Editor's Guide (proposed Guide for Contributors). I really think some of it could be ditched anyway as I suspect it's the admins that will be doing most of the detailed style policing. If we are going to keep it as a separate page, I'd suggest it should be a guide to content only, with formatting and other technical guidance moved to the current General Help page (proposed Guide for Editors). Any thoughts? --Athene of Lymington 17:10, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
It is a good idea to streamline and modernize the 3 "guides". We must wait for the current bot driven revision and then go ahead to do so. Athene of Lymington is correct on many of his points but:
  • if we do not say in the Guide for Contributors what to avoid and ditch them, and then an administrator reverts bad changes, it may look that it is capricious and create bad feelings
  • we have to have somewhere accessible to all the "fearsome to a newbie" sorry detail. How else can somebody learn? --Istioploos 19:17, 10 March 2016 (GMT)

Suggested templates

Welcome email

Dear {{{Name}}}
Welcome to CruisersWiki! We look forward to your valued contributions to the Cruising Wiki to help it grow as a useful, free resource for cruisers around the world. Now you are registered, you can set your personal preferences in "My Preferences" (link at top R/H of page when logged in). You can now also edit pages on the Wiki or, if you prefer, simply add your comments using the 'Comments' tab of the pages you visit. Please add what you can - even correcting grammar and spelling errors in articles is a great help. Even if you do not contribute to a page, if the information is correct please add your user name and date under "Last Visited & Details Checked".

Spend a little time reading the Style Guide and the Wiki Editor's Guide if you wish to gain a better understanding of the Wiki formatting and how to edit or create pages. It is easy to see if you are going wrong, since you cannot save your changes to a page without previewing them first. Finally, please read the Cruiserswiki Copyrights notice, as well as the General Disclaimers (links at bottom of pages) before starting to edit. 

We hope that you will contribute in any area where you have cruised. If you need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact me by either making an entry into my talk page <{{{Me}}}>or e-mailing me <{{{Me}}}>.

On behalf of the Wiki Administrators, may I welcome you again to the World Cruising Wiki and look forward to your future contributions to the project.

Template:Page usable

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

Template:Page outline

This page has an outline in place but it needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

I like all these proposed changes. Still not clear though where the "Welcome email" resides, does anyone know? --Istioploos 12:37, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
I found them at [6], but I'm not sure that the WelcomeNewUser is the current default. I'll sign myself up with a new ID and see which one I receive. --Athene of Lymington 14:15, 10 March 2016 (GMT)
Below is the one I received. Doesn't seem to bear much relation to either the Welcome or WelcomeNewUser templates! Shame, because I particularly liked your addition of the mentoring offer in WelcomeNewUser. --Athene test 14:30, 10 March 2016 (GMT)

Welcome to CruisersWiki!

We all look forward to your valued contributions to the Cruising Wiki to help it grow as a useful, free resource for all cruisers around the world. Now you are registered, you can set your personal preferences in "My Preferences" (link at top R/H of page when logged in).

Spend a little time reading the Wiki Help and the Style Guide to gain a better understanding of the Wiki formatting and how to edit articles. Also, please read the Cruiserswiki Copyrights notice, as well as the General Disclaimers (links at bottom of pages) before starting to edit. Then, do add what you can - even correcting grammar and spelling errors in articles is a great help - but do not use the Rich Editor to do so, since there is a problem with it at present. It is easy to see if you are going wrong, since you cannot save your changes to a page without previewing them first.

Use any page's "Discussion" tab (top of page's menu) to ask any questions or make any suggestions about that particular page.

Finally, please note that massive changes by a new editor are liable to be considered spam and the editor will be blocked. Please concentrate on editing pages of the places that you have actually visited. Also please avoid using the "Rich Editor", it does not work well and creates problems.

Again, welcome and have fun! Bring out that hidden "Cruising Guide writer" in you. Athene of Lymington 14:19, 10 March 2016 (GMT)

Gordon, have a look also at MediaWiki:Confirmaccount-welc --Vadim 18:17, 11 March 2016 (GMT)
Thanks, Vadim - that's the one I was referring to - the message that new subscribers receive. Are we happy if I replace it with the new one I've suggested? And will it automatically insert the details of the admin that signs them up by using this {{{Me}}} template? Finally, are we agreed for me to also substitute the Template:Page usable and Template: Page outline with the new ones? As we have a 'Comments' tab on all pages it is still relevant even for the pages not included in the test.--Athene of Lymington 23:04, 11 March 2016 (GMT)

Go ahead Gordon and make those changes. Only I am not sure about the {{{Me}}} template. --Istioploos 03:43, 12 March 2016 (GMT)

Thanks, Vasilis. Vadim, you OK with this? I'll make the changes over the weekend and do a trial sign up to make sure the {{{Me}}} template does what it's supposed to do. I really like Vasilis' idea of making the mentoring offer clearer with this {{{Me}}} template so that newbies know where to go for help if they need it. Meanwhile, have a good weekend. --Athene of Lymington 10:09, 12 March 2016 (GMT)

I think that's fine --Vadim 11:03, 12 March 2016 (GMT)

OK, that's now done. You'll see I had to modify the MediaWiki:Confirmaccount-welc template as the {{{Me}}} template didn't work when I tested it. Anyway, it's probably better to advise newbies to contact any of the active admins rather than just the one who signs them up. --Athene of Lymington 14:47, 13 March 2016 (GMT)

I looked at these changes (welcome, outline, & usable) and they look fine. Good work.--Istioploos 14:52, 13 March 2016 (GMT)
Looks good. Thanks! --Vadim 16:11, 13 March 2016 (GMT)

Map with location pins

I've received the following suggestion from User:Zebahdy of London, which I think is well worth considering and could perhaps be accomplished at the same time as the software upgrade:

I think that a failing on the cruiserswiki is the lack of a map with pins to show locations entries. Not sure how you'd get around this. You might like the way that Active Captain does it. Indeed, ever thought of linking up with Active Captain??

Both Active Captain and the Cruising Association proprietary app, CAptain's Mate, have such maps, which are a great aid to navigating around the data. Is this something that could be easily introduced on the Wiki? --Athene of Lymington 12:47, 14 March 2016 (GMT)

Gordon, we already have the interactive "Image Map", For an example see the world map on this page. These, in my humble opinion, are superior to the annotated Google maps with their large markers. "Image Maps" take a fair amount of time to prepare but you can add other symbols in addition or instead of labels. Del has made a number of them and so have I.
Vadim has been working on adding interactive icons that pop up text on the Navionics chartlet. This too take a fair amount of labor. Maybe User:Zebahdy of London can help us on these.
--Istioploos 13:19, 14 March 2016 (GMT)
Not sure if User:Zebahdy of London has the necessary background. I seem to remember he's a surgeon by profession, so he might be OK to work on an appendix (sorry, couldn't resist!). I think the annotated map is a start, but it's not quite as professional-looking as a map that you can scroll and zoom to the area that interests you. What I'd see as a laudable aim is such a map with coloured location pins that when you click on them opens the appropriate island or port page - possibly using the Navionics chart suite, as you suggest. Alternatively with small labels or text boxes that contained just the symbols, viz.
Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||
plus a link to visit the page. Is that the kind of thing Vadim is working on? If so, I'd be glad to help format the labels or pins for the countries I've done. --Athene of Lymington 15:35, 14 March 2016 (GMT)
The two maps I mentioned have very different behavior and plusses and minuses.
  • The "Image Maps" are static images and do not zoom. But they provide links within the CruisersWiki. What is seen is what one puts on image. It van be labels as in Wold Map or any icons like in {{dest legend}} or others. The choice of an image is up to its maker. It can come from Google Earth, a scan from a chart, or a freehand drawing. The linking is very controllable. On the negative side they are time consuming to make and for echo link the coordinates within the image have to be specified (hence there is no zooming).
  • The chartlet map displays what a template and script created by Vadim specifies (at present Navionics charts for which I obtained a license to use on CruisersWiki). The beauty of this scheme is that by changing the template and script any other charts can be displayed, thus avoiding the trouble we had last year when the chartlets selected by Bob changed their policy and became unavailable. We then had to edit every single one of the pages that linked to them. Chartlet maps display on different window and are zoomable. By being in a different window they avoid the problems (as we had discussed before) that Google maps have when displayed in box within a wiki page. Vadim has devised a way to add extra cons on these. When you click on one of this icons you get a temporary overlapped box with info. 2 problems with this: the icons need to be a color that is visible on the chart (i.e. brown) and the scheme, for the time being, does not work in all the browsers (on my Macs it works with Firefox and not with Safari). Adding the info is easier then in "Image Maps" because instead of graphic coordinates you specify geographic ones.
I believe that by judicious use of these 2 tools we can accomplish all you are saying and then some. But with doing any of these things does take time and knowhow. If we a larger group of willing volunteers we can tutor some on specific tasks. This brings us back to the BIG problem: not enough active editors. It easy to complain but it is hard to do the work. Cheers --Istioploos 18:03, 14 March 2016 (GMT)

Gordon, Have a look at my beloved Santa_Teresa_Gallura chart please. They call it a Slippy Map. Try to hover to the upper right corner there to activate a layer switch control there and play with it.

So to deploy "pins" for some page you'd need to convert coordinates there either to Template:poi or to Template:mark. The later one has slightly different, inline, formatting, but the parameters are the same. See for example Santa Teresa Gallura#Provisioning or Anchorages of Chios Island#Angelia, Salagonas, Trachilia, & Kato Faná.

When you pan/zoom a chartlet you can notice that lat/lon/zoom parameters are changing at the address bar of a browser. They are reflecting a position at the centre of a chartlet window where a cross is located. You can you this tool to correct a position of a POI or create a new one.

Also at a page where Template:poi is used you'll find "Download KML" tool at the left-side column of a page.

My idea is that in the future "image maps" are to be replaced by this kind of a map. This would provide a consistent approach to mapping techniques at this wiki. To accomplish this task we would need to be able to store lines and polygons at wiki pages and draw them at a chartlet.

BTW could you please subscribe to User talk:Admin: it would be great to have an extra point of view there --Vadim 12:31, 15 March 2016 (GMT)

By the way, I was wrong about chartlet map and their "pins". Checking Santa Teresa Galleria Chart I now see that it works fine in both Firefox and Safari (Mac). --Istioploos 13:17, 15 March 2016 (GMT)
No wonders: I wrote earlier that the issue was fixed. To mend it I had to get rid of Navionics native API and to concoct something else --Vadim 16:52, 15 March 2016 (GMT)
I think the Navionics-based chartlets are a great improvement. You may have seen I've used a lot of Google 'Interactive Maps' to highlight ports and anchorages on the Croatian islands, which was an early attempt at something similar, using clickable icons to bring up text infoboxes. It's obviously much better to base these on Navionics charts and I'll be happy to transfer all the data to Navionics if I can master the techniques.
However, what I meant by a map with location pins was something more like the Live Map on Active Captain and the similar startup map page on CAptain's Mate, whereby in the case of the Wiki you would click on a pin or icon to bring up the individual port pages. The map Delatbabel did for the home page is a cruder version of this, but I was thinking of a more sophisticated solution where you could use a map on e.g. a country or region page to zoom into the area that interested you and then click on a port pin to bring up a basic summary plus a link to the Wiki page for detailed info. This could perhaps replace the current rather clunky tables on the country pages. Do you think this is feasible using the Navionics charts? --Athene of Lymington 18:02, 15 March 2016 (GMT)
That what I meant by writing about "image maps" replacemet, but it takes time and labour. Meanwhile new infoboxes, Template:poi, Template:mark (also Template:geo which needs some further development) are very important even now, but they are also base for this future development.
As a matter of fact you may notice that when you click at a POI icon at a chartlet it opens a popup with a POI name and description. A POI name there is a link which opens an article where this POI is located. --Vadim 10:24, 16 March 2016 (GMT)
Yes, I now see that from the Lipsi chartlet. It's definitely the way to go, not least because it's based on the Navionics charts rather than Google or other maps. Perhaps my next challenge when we get back from sailing this year is to learn how to transfer all the information I have placed on Google Interactive Maps (mainly for the Croatian islands) onto the Navionics chartlets. I recognise you can't do everything, so I'm happy to help out once I've got my brain around it. --Athene of Lymington 11:56, 16 March 2016 (GMT)
I'll be doing a conversion of my Google "My maps" some time later on. Do you have a link to yours?
One thing about Lipsi it has numerous infoboxes. They need to be converted to POIs, except the 1st one which represent this artice. --Vadim 13:09, 16 March 2016 (GMT)
Google seem to have changed the maps software since I created the maps, but they're all listed at [7]. I created them as editable files, so that anyone could modify them. You'll see that I put short summaries against each POI so that users didn't have to visit the port page if all they wanted was a basic summary. Let me know if I can help with this. --Athene of Lymington 16:14, 16 March 2016 (GMT)
By the way, I notice on checking that several of the maps have been 'personalised' with various spurious waypoints and cruising routes (aka 'messed up'), which I've had to delete. It begs the question of whether these future maps should be editable and, if so, by whom. --Athene of Lymington 16:29, 16 March 2016 (GMT)
Gordon your link to the Google shows my own maps, not yours. As for the new maps here -- their points are generated automatically, so the quiestion is what is put into a POI in the article
For google chartlet replacement have a look at Template:Chartlet --Vadim 19:14, 17 March 2016 (GMT)
I've downloaded my maps from Google as .kmz files (see [8]). That any good to you? The only other alternative I can see is to email you links to each one (but there are 46 files!). --Athene of Lymington 17:28, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
Well done, Gordon! It would be great to have some links the these maps. I'm going to make a script which will covert these kmls into list of POIs. It would be very helpful to be able to see a map to do so.
The maps themselves are at the google's mydrive so you could create a folder there move some maps to there and make this folder shared to anyone who has a link. I've sent you a link to such a folder of mine. I don't publish it here because some of these maps are not copyright clear.
BTW I'm already using such KMZ: I'm converting them into a special format and put that data into an application I wrote, so I have that at my tablet and phone when I'm on a trip --Vadim 18:45, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
Just checked a few of KMZ files (compliments of Athene of Lymington). It's a pity that icons there are not categorised, as my script automatically generates POI type from a selection of icons used in KML --Vadim 20:16, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
Take a look at the Mljet map [9]. I've changed that to just two icons, the anchor for anchorages and the sailboat icon for harbours. If I do that for the remaining maps, does that make the POI generation easier? --Athene of Lymington 23:33, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
Yes, Mljet is fine. If you do the rest it will be just fine to turn them into POIs --Vadim 09:21, 19 March 2016 (GMT)

Alternative editor

One guy at Wikipedia wrote an alternative editor for Mediawikis: wikEd. Among a it's features you can find a regular expression search and replace.

It's not a WYSIWYG thing, and it's a bit clumsy. But you'd give it a try if you want: create a page [[User:<your name>/common.js]] and put there loadWikiScript('CruisersWiki:WikiEd.js'); . That's all. Use wikEd link to get some information about it.

A good thing is that it could be temporary disabled by clicking at a tiny icon at the very right top corner of an "edit" page.

To remove wikEd completely simply delete [[User:<your name>/common.js]] .

--Vadim 19:27, 18 March 2016 (GMT)


Dear fellow Admins & Editors,

I feel very frustrated because in the past week at least 3 of us have spent a lot of time in what, I think, is less important area like "Chios Anchorages", picture galleries etc. So, here is a list of what I think are priorities, in descending order, for CruisersWiki:

  1. Accuracy of content in pages
  2. Adding new content to "shell" pages
  3. Encouragement and attraction of contributors (this couples with the previous priority)
  4. Software update
  5. Consistency of pages, good user interface, info of a subject in one place
  6. Handling of large pages
  7. Aesthetics

I invite you to to add, modify, or shift these priorities.

I expand my thoughts in some detail below: --Istioploos 23:19, 18 March 2016 (GMT)

Good stuff, Vasilis! --Vadim 08:59, 19 March 2016 (GMT)


  • Many of the coordinates given in pages are incorrect; they are pointing to a town and not a port, island, or anchorage. I have been fixing these for some time now. Alas people creating new pages do not always pay attention to this --Istioploos 23:19, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
Here this wiki's own chartlets (Cruiserswiki:Chartlet) would help to improve accuracy as it provides a tool to adjust a chartlet's centre location and to copy it back to article text. --Vadim 16:14, 20 March 2016 (GMT)
This exactly how I have been fixing them --Istioploos 20:57, 20 March 2016 (GMT)
  • Charts are important to all cruisers. Since 2008 we have been using chartlets from "MapTech". These stopped working about 2 years ago. Last year Vadim and I replaced these non working chartlets with Navionics. Further, Vadim made a template for this so that replacement, if needed in the future, will be very easy. BUT the old references to "MapTech" had to be made by hand in a painful and slow process. Not all pages have been so fixed and many are still wrong. Worse, people had added new pages by using "cut & paste" still referring to "MapTech". The last case of this that I know happened few days ago by an otherwise experienced and respected editor --Istioploos 23:19, 18 March 2016 (GMT)
There is a bit of a problem which is yet to be addressed: the old style coordinates need to be converted to Template:Poi --Vadim 16:14, 20 March 2016 (GMT)
Not sure exactly what you are referring to. Legacy coordinates? Coordinates in old Inboxes? In new boxes? --Istioploos 20:57, 20 March 2016 (GMT)
Also some articles do not have coordinates per se, but google maps. For example Venetian Lagoon, Hell-ville and others in Category:Articles with infobox table with googlemap --Vadim 09:39, 21 March 2016 (GMT)
Yet another source of relatively accurate coordinates is Google's My Maps service. Some people like me and Gordon do keep their collection of POIs there. We are currently on a way of converting some of them into lists of Template:Poi to be incorporated into wiki acticles --Vadim 10:09, 21 March 2016 (GMT)

New Content

  • Here we need editors "who have been there".
  • Many people have created pages of places that they had not been by using sources like internet and pilot books
  • Gordon made sure that he stated on pages that he created by using these sources exactly what he had done so. I thought that was very good and started imitating him. Before that I had avoided editing the content of pages for places that I had not visited myself

--Istioploos 23:19, 18 March 2016 (GMT)

By my experience with Wikivoyage, it is quite useful to collect some information from the Net for a place which I am only going to visit and put it into the wiki. This makes even better picture of this place before a trip compared to what I'd get simply by reading a wiki article. Apparently, on my return from a trip I put even more information into the wiki and make corrections if required. --Vadim 10:02, 21 March 2016 (GMT)
This does make sense and it is useful to everyone. --Istioploos 17:31, 22 March 2016 (GMT)

New Contributors

  • We have discussed this at length. We all agree.
  • Have to make the wiki easier to edit. Vadim has developed many new templates (the {{ }} variety) to that end
  • We have modified the msg to new user
  • Started replacing the ==User Experiences== section with {{Comments}} to provide a less techie means of adding material. We need to finish this task
  • Need to rename Page Templates to "Model Pages" or something similar to avoid confusion with {{Templates}}
How is about one off: "stub page", "master page", "stencil page", "boilerplate"? --Vadim 12:35, 24 March 2016 (GMT)
I like "Boilerplate XXX" where XXX is the kind of page Port, Marina, etc. --Istioploos 17:11, 24 March 2016 (GMT)
After a bit of thinking it turned out that I don't like "boilerplate" for some reason. It's like a cobblestone I would trip up on every time. My apologies! How is about "stub" or "shell" as you suggested? --Vadim 09:58, 25 March 2016 (GMT)
After some thinking I really do not like any of what you and I proposed. Here some others: "Prototype XXX page", "Sample XXX page", "Example page", "To be edited XXX page", "Standard XXX page", "Exemplar XXX page". --Istioploos 17:37, 25 March 2016 (GMT)
Actually "template" is a right word for these pages. Unfortunately, Mediawiki uses the same word for a thing which is commonly known as "macro". In this regards I think that "example", "sample", "standard", etc. are not right words: such a page is essentially a "mould", but the later one would not sound good either. What a problem this turned to be out! --Vadim 19:56, 25 March 2016 (GMT)
Years ago, after sevral discissions with Bob, who was most active then, and Gordon we settled on "template". But this confused many people. --Istioploos 21:07, 25 March 2016 (GMT)
"Stub pages" looks fine for me and concise --Vadim 10:54, 27 March 2016 (BST)

--Istioploos 23:39, 18 March 2016 (GMT)

Software update

The wiki is using an old version of MediaWiki. We have asked at least twice the owner of CruisersWiki for this update. So far no results. --Istioploos 23:39, 18 March 2016 (GMT)

There is a number of glitches at the current wiki installation. #Wrong link to Creativecommons.png is only one of them, the defunct FCKeditor is another one. There is also one article the with an illegal page name (D’Arros) and every script which works via Mediawiki API tumbles over it despite the page is "deleted".
Besides that there is also a row JavaSript-related issues there which affect further development here: for example on the scripts at this wiki simply nukes the Node object. The other one deliberately adds an extra method to the Array. The way how Google Maps plugin works also contributes to overall confusion.
To solve these issues an access is required to the hosted Mediawiki and MySql installations --Vadim 11:04, 21 March 2016 (GMT)
An article the with an illegal page name (D’Arros) was eventually deleted by a bot via Mediawiki API --Vadim 16:09, 10 May 2017 (BST)

Consistency/User Interface

  • Most cruisers are not technically sophisticated
  • The least we can do is to provide a good and consistent user interface for reading. This means all pages must have a similar look and fill i.e. similar headers and corresponding sections and sequence
  • We should be very careful when modifying header titles because other pages may be linked to them. We do not want orphan links
  • Pictures should near the text that refers to them

I have attended seminars on "User Interface" at MIT and Apple. Also there several book in print on that subject. I can provide any one interested with the pertinent bibliography. --Istioploos 23:39, 18 March 2016 (GMT)

Large Pages

  • Large pages are to be avoided
  • I broke some large pages in to subpages but the results are not satisfying
  • At least the names of ports & anchorages should all be in one page. An exception to this are anchorages very near ports, in which case they belong to that port page
  • One way of minimizing the size of a page is to create port pages for most ports, one page per port. Same for anchorages
  • Another suggestion voiced by Vadim is to brake a large page, particularly for a large island, to island geographic divisions
  • Use of tables could be another approach

--Istioploos 23:39, 18 March 2016 (GMT)


  • We want are pages to look good.
  • When possible we should use the {{Image right|}} and {{Image center|}} templates
  • A number of us have agreed that "Galleries" are often unsatisfactory. Again Vadim found a better way with the use of "expandable" picture galleries and has made to templates for that: {{hgallery}} and {{himage}}. We are experimenting with this and it looks promising
  • We want to avoid large "white space" areas either horizontal or vertical. But this should not be at the expense of removing pictures from the context (see above)
  • I personally find a lot of the "Google Maps" made via the "make a map" button most unattractive. But I have refrained, since they are not really a mistake, from deleting and substituting a better map out of respect to another editor
  • Similarly, again my opinion, I find phrases if you like to see X click [10] annoying. They can be easily avoided by making descriptive link like Shows X

--Istioploos 22:37, 27 March 2016 (BST)

Not for navigation

See for an example of a disclaimer --Vadim 15:28, 5 April 2016 (BST)

Weather maps

Free weather maps: --Vadim 15:53, 7 April 2016 (BST)

POI (mis)use

Let's have a look on Hvar for example (I've also copied it to User:Vadim/Hvar to keep it for a while intact).

POIs in sections Facilities, Supplies, etc. there are merely repeating the coordinates of a relevant settlement.

They are not specific for exact amenities, they do not bring any new information, they clutter both the page itself and the resulting map.

What could you see on the map at the location of the town of Hvar? -- A single fork and knife icon located in the harbour of Hvar. You click on it and read "Several restaurants and café/bars ashore" -- that's it.

Apparently there is some misunderstanding on why Template:Poi and Template:Mark where designed, how to apply and use them.

It is a basic principles of wiki and mapping as well: to provide specific information and rule out duplication and ambiguity.

Let's put POI for a single distinct entity: starting from a region, island down to a settlement, harbour then up to a specific amenity like a fuel station, restaurant.

If that's not possible or unneeded then let's not clutter the wiki -- a simple sentence at the location's page would be enough.

I hope this makes some sence.

For example, Dugi Otok looks somewhat better in this regard (but not ideally). -- Vadim 14:54, 9 October 2016 (BST)

Mooring vs. berth vs. anchorage

IMHO when you're coming into a harbour you're considering two options:

  • moor your boat at some pier (quay) and then simply walk away -- you're taking a berth
  • use your anchor and go to the shore by a dinghy -- you're going to an anchorage

That's why berths and anchorages are at the same (top) level: they are visually noticeable both at the TOC and the article's text.

BTW I've came across a wonderful wiki on the net: the IHO's official Hydrographic Dictionary (S-32). --Vadim 15:24, 9 October 2016 (BST)

Amenities in tables

Please have a look at User:Vadim/Šibenik vs. Šibenik to compare Facilities, Supplies, Services sections. The former one has their content arranged in tables which look more compact and readable. These tables in turn could be implemented as templates somewhat similar to infoboxes -- Vadim 12:16, 17 November 2016 (GMT)

POI formatting a minor change

Having my recent experience with sailing with Cruiserwiki (I wonder if someone else already tried that) I'm thinking of any enhancements which would improve its readability. My previous post was targeting one of the issues. Here is another one.

The thing is that if there is a more or less lengthy list of POIs then it's a bit difficult to percept all the list and spot one you need (sorry my English). So I'd like to make a tiny change in styling: to make a description text of a POI be indented a bit, so the POIs name to stand more clearly out of the rest of the text.

For example see User:Vadim/Eivissa#Anchorages. I've checked this change with some of the existing pages where POIs have more lengthy textual sections and it seems to be quite fine.

No changes to the articles themselves are required as it is to be implemented purely via CSS --Vadim 09:07, 29 November 2016 (GMT)

The change released --Vadim 09:49, 4 December 2016 (GMT)

Chartlet feature

It is possible to save a set of the layers selected at the chartlet at your browser:

  • Select whatever combination of the layers at the (1st) chart on a page.
  • Then at the left column of the page at the "Toolbox" section you should see "Save layers".
  • Reload the page. The combination of the layers is restored.

This works separately for standalone chartlet and chartlets embeded into wiki pages.

The settings are saved by the browser, so with different browser / account / machine you'll have different settings.

--Vadim 09:11, 6 July 2017 (BST)

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