Talk:World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

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: 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. --[[User:Istioploos|Istioploos]] 15:35, 1 March 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. --[[User:Istioploos|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.

Revision as of 02:33, 2 March 2016

Homepage Discussion Page

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

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)

Two points

Just a couple of 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)

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.

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