Using this community site

By comcomistcomcomist, on 08 Jul 2012 19:15

This text explains how this site works. If you are the site admin, read this text and when you understand it, edit it to remove the notes so that it makes sense for your users.

This site implements a email+wiki forum using the Wikidot page templating and commenting features. The forum is broken into sections as follows:

  • announcements - for announcing new releases
  • users - where users can discuss using the software
  • developers - where developers can discuss developing the software
  • bugs - where users and developers can report bugs
  • requests - where users and developers can request new features
  • community - where the community can discuss itself
  • contributions - where developers can make contributions and patches
  • generic - for other discussions

Anyone, having registered with Wikidot, can create a thread in any of these sections. Only the site members can create new sections or move a thread to another section (by changing its parent page). When someone creates a new thread, only that person or a site member can edit it.

If you're the site admin, then when you make someone a member of this site, they get power to make changes to the site. It's a good idea to promote trusted users as members. Allowing anyone to make a thread can allow spam, but Wikidot's email notification system means you will get a notice right away, so you can delete the spam. This is easy and painless in practice.

Members of the site can moderate docs and threads but they cannot create sections or edit other important pages. If you want to give these rights to members, make them moderators of the site. If you want to allow others to configure the site, make them admins. Note that these powers should only be given to people you trust.

The Discussion Area

To make things more familiar, we use the terms "section", "thread", and "post". These are implemented using Wikidot mechanisms:

  • A section is a page in the 'section:' category, which is the parent page of all threads in that section.
  • A thread is a page in the 'thread:' category.
  • A post is a comment on a thread page. We use the Comments module to allow discussion on a thread. Thread pages show comments in reverse order, with the latest comments at the top of the page.

If you add sections, these will appear at the bottom of your forum. Sections are ordered by creation date.

The Documentation Area

Documentation for the software is held in the 'docs:' category. Any registered user can create a document but only the author and site members can edit an existing document. Other users can make comments on it, which the author can review and apply. Documentation pages show comments in reverse order, with the latest comments at the top of the page.

The Wiki Area

The wiki area is open to all registered Wikidot users to create and edit freely. To organize wiki pages we use tags. The wiki area provides a workspace for collaborative work, especially documentation in raw form.

The Blog Area

The blog area is open only to the admins of the site and provides them a space for discussing the project.

Email notifications

By default, the site admin and all site members will get notified when anything on the site changes. This can create a lot of email but it lets you rapidly answer posts, delete spam, and check edits to pages.

Other users will get email notifications only for the page they created, edited, or commented on. This is rather like joining a mini email list.

Any registered user can also explicitly "Watch" the whole site, a category, or a specific page.

Sticky and closed threads

To make a 'sticky' thread - one that shows at the top of the list of threads - give it the tag "_sticky".

To close a thread, so that it no longer shows at the top of the list of threads, give it the tag "_closed".

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