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If reading other relevant pages has left you with questions about this wiki, or wikis in general, feel free to ask them here.

Some questions about spam have been moved to WikiSpam. General wiki questions can be found at WikiFaq.

(Not necessarily) frequently asked questions, and hopefully answers, about this site.

Q: I'm new to managing a wiki (less than a week) and I'm running into a problem linking to external files. A major purpose of the wiki is to rationalise and document a huge collection of resources. Unfortunately the resources are saved all over the with inconsistent file names and so on. The biggest problem is that some of the folders and filenames have spaces in them. The link method i've been using is [http://xxxx linkname] . Unfortunately the spaces break the link. I can't manually rename the files and folders because I don't have control over some of them. Does anyone have a work around? (using WikiServer btw)

>>Thanks, MikeCox?

A: You can get around problem of spaces in filenames, by putting escape characters in the URL. I found this [Ninotech Path Copy] useful. It gives you some right-click menu options for files (windows). Use the 'copy internet path' option to get a URL to the file, complete with escape characters. Some things which may or may not be a problem for you: The URLs begin with 'file://', which is non-standard, and only works in internet explorer (I think). I guess the reason they're not web-standard, is that they wont work on the web! Such file links are only applicable to corporate intranet use, where the intended users of the wiki will also have access to files on a shared network drive. You'll need to make sure everyone has such access, and that they're all mapping their drive letters in the same way (normal office set-up). You'll also run into problems if files are likely to get moved around a lot. One option might be to have a policy that files should be copied to a particular location before they are linked from the wiki (That way you can name them without spaces too) -- HarryWood

>Thanks HarryWood, that [Ninotech Path Copy] program looks like it will speed things up hugely. I've been having to open each files 'properties' tab to get the directory etc.. I'll test whether the html linking works after halfterm. Somethings aren't worth stressing over a holiday for :P -- MikeCox?

Q: Why is there no FindPage on this Wiki? How can I search for things?

A: Every page has a search box at the very bottom of it. You probably didn't spot it because of your screen size and browser.

Q: Is there a convenient way to link from the "Editing whatever" page to, say, TextFormattingRules? Many Wikis have that link there, and I don't find it here. I sometimes forget, while in the middle of composing some text, just what the magic squiggles are to do some particular formatting thing. (ref. EasySubmission)

Q: Is there a Wiki that allows the background color to be changed?

A: Yes, ProWiki does allow to change the background color of the page and the background color of text in various forms.

B: TwikiClone also has configurable background color, and "skin" functionality for extensive formatting control.

Q: How do I edit a page that "#redirects" to another page?

A: See PageRedirect and follow the links.

Q: Is anyone allowed to contribute? Do I need to log in?

A: Yes, anyone is allowed to contribute, no logins required. You may wish to fill in your UserName (on the edit form below the "Save" button — be sure to use a CamelCase name, no spaces), but that is only to say who you are on RecentChanges. It serves no other purpose. You are free to sign or not sign text you add as you see fit. But see UseRealNames first.

Q: Is there an ability to mail additions and changes somewhere. Then one could marry news/mail with wiki.

A: Not on this wiki. But http://c2.com/w2/wiki/RecentChanges is the archive of the WikiForumMailingList?, so it is feasible.

Q: How many different types of wiki's are there?

A: Probably around 200, plus variations on those. Everyone and their keyboard writes a WikiClone because it's easy. However, there are only a handful of really inspired implementations like

Q: Are people using this for professional documentation that they then package up and send to clients? Seems plausible but would be a bit of a leap for most organizations.

A: Yes. They usually use a RawHtmlWiki for that, but not necessarily. JürgenHermann of MoinMoin was researching MoinMoin:TopicMap to do this kind of thing specifically too.

B: Yes. SunirShah, your GodKing, used a hacked UseModWiki to generate W3C reports, notes, etc. while working at BitFlash?. e.g. http://research.bitflash.com/sdvg/palette.

C: DokuWiki is aimed specifically at documentation.

Q: Are there anchors for quick access to specific portions of a wiki page?

A: See NamedAnchorsInWiki.

Q: How many pages are there in MeatBall?

A: The wiki grows, and so the following page counts are dated

Q: Is there anyplace in this wiki that reveals that datum?

A: http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?action=index will show you all pages alphabetically and a page count.

Q: How do I delete a page after it has been created?

A: See DeletedPage. See PageDeletion if you want to know how this works.

Q: i'm running meatball version 0.92. how do I RenamePages if titles are misspelled? i tried ...?action=editlinks&id=..., but it does not work. at times it complained about "oldrclog" not found. i have a "rclog.old" file in the database. how is renaming pages done properly? or is this a bug?

A: See UseModWiki.

Q: How do I get hold of MeatballWiki? Where is the Download Page?

A: See UseModWiki.

Q: What the hell is MeatballWiki :-)? It is not UseModWiki. The currently downloadable UseModWiki 0.92 does not contain Categories and has very different text formatting rules and so on. (I like wiki's, but some wikis are really chaotic, needed hours to find out what this Meatball is ;-).

A: In theory, UseModWiki v.0.99 would already exist and incorporate many features from the MeatballWiki engine as well as a few others, except that I played a lot of video games in June instead of working. -- SunirShah

Q1: Let me be more specific. Is MeatballWiki the new name for the planned <UseModWiki v.1.0>? Or is it just the name for this web incarnation?

Q2: Is there a way to download the v.0.99? Or is the only way to cut/paste all patches into 0.92?

Q3: I also would like to know if it is possible to download MeatballWiki as a standalone .tgz. Or can you list at least the used patches?

A: MeatballWiki is this wiki, and it uses the UseModWiki WikiEngine. The next incarnation of UseModWiki is described on UseMod:UseModWiki/NextRelease. The PatchHistory lists the differences between MeatballWiki and UseModWiki 0.92, more or less. A copy of the MeatballWiki script is http://usemod.com/mb.pl.txt, dated December 26, 2002. There is no guarantee that this is the same version of the script that is running the site as I had to manually copy it over to the PublicScript.

Q: Does UseMod have a WikiBlog version?

A. The first one that I have been able to find at Technomanifesto: [1]

Q: Does MeatBall have any particular page like [Wikipedia has] that explains the proper way to name a page?

A: None that I know of. HumaneInterface talks about subject-predicate order being preferred. I don't think that applies well to WikiNames. The page names are just supposed to be short, good names for concepts, if applicable. We do have a policy of avoiding ShallowPages. -- AlexSchroeder

Q: Is it OK to develop a community on Meatball? Some wikis, such as WikiWiki do not like this. It would be really useful to do this - for example - within a course, in order to introduce new students to wikis. If not, can anyone recommend other wikis or WikiFarms? for this purpose? ~~DavidMartland

A: At the moment, we prefer to keep the community here integrated. We'd rather not create a separate community. If it is truly distinct, we recommend UseModWiki (software) or SeedWiki (WikiFarm). If it is directly relevant to Meatball, that's another story. Generally, though, introducing students to any Internet communications medium is best done on your own servers as this does not disrupt the OnlineCommunity. We did have the UniversityOfMichigan drop in on the one page, though, but that was only one page.

All that being said, we would be amenable to helping your class understand wikis, even if they experiment in their own space. Just set up a class page here to ask questions and have them answered. We're here to help.

Q: I have been thinking to add a forum to my site but maybe a Wiki would be a lot more interesting. My guess though is that it takes a lot of work to edit the changes people make to ensure that a Wiki is not used for anti-social purposes. Is it possible to add a Wiki to an existing HTML site without allowing people to change the existing HTML content?

A: The Wiki maintains its own base of pages. Existing content would have to be converted/copied over to the Wiki before it can be modified.

Also the ability to revert pages to their previous versions is how we as a community are able to easily (read very easily) keep most anti-social folks in check. There are exceptions, as the new WikiSpam phenomenon is on the scene. Below, you will find the PageRevison? on every page, or in RecentChanges, versions is the link.

Q: Does that mean that the Wiki is a separate web site, and not just a special type of page within a regular html site?

A: That depends on your definition of "site". For example, http://www.usemod.com/ is a plain (i.e. non-wiki-contained HTML-)page pointing to two different wikis which both are hosted on usemod.com.

A: Technically the wiki pages are produced by some software (WikiEngine), so you need a webspace that supports uploadable scripts and the programming language you want (typically Perl, PHP or Python). If your wiki engines uses a database to hold the pages you need support for that database (typically mySQL). Problems can be solved more easily if you have Telnet / SSH (commandline) access to the server.

Q: Is there a place on MeatballWiki to post wiki developer job openings? I need to hire a tech person for a new wiki project, and this seems like it would be a great place to find a contributing member of the wiki community.

A: WikiJobs.

Q- 1. I wonder about how the potential for contributions changes depending on whether registration is required.

Q- 2. I thought I had seen on Meatball a few years ago something about not having too many categories or pages right away, making sure there is enough in them to make them worth going to. Did I remember wrong, or am I just not finding it?


Maurreen Skowran
Raleigh, NC, USA
Journalist and absent wikizen



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