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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I haven’t been there much lately, mostly because the feed doesn’t contain one distinct item per page edit, it just contains one item for each page with the page’s full content, which gets updated when someone edits the wiki. But updates don’t get flagged in many feed readers, and mine is one of them. What this means is that except when someone creates a new page, I never get notified of anything going on.

    And so I never stop by.

    The insufficiently useful feed also makes it a large hassle to see what people changed, because I have to actually go to the page and use the on-wiki navigation. And the on-wiki page history feature is a bucket of suck because you can neither open many diff-to-next-version pages in tabs nor are there “show next diff” links like on Mediawiki. You have to manually select each page version and the version next to it, click the diff button, check out the changes, then hit the back button and do it all over again. For every. Single. Version. Of the page. The most basic motions of gnoming are so much tedious work on SocialText that my motivation tapers off very quickly.

    And so I never stop by.

    I’ve put my complaints in the feature request page and periodically peek in. So far none of them have been addressed, and thus no Improvement Drive or other social measures are going to make me more active. Sorry. I would in fact like to help more, but it’s too unfun before the software gets smoother to use.

    Generally I think SocialText focuses too much on making things shiny and Javascripty, leaving ease of use as collateral damage. The hard-to-use page history feature is not the only symptom of this; the edit page input box, even when it’s not in WYSIWYG mode, is invisible to the external editor extension I use to integrate Vim with Firefox. I have quite a few more complaints along those lines, but they would all be bearable; whereas the useless feed and painful page history are not.

    • Let's take this one at a time, keeping in mind that Socialtext is now an open source project and has a plugin system and you can fix this just as well as I can. I don't actually have any access to the server, I do everything through the Kirsten Jones API.

      A few things to keep in mind... Socialtext does have a REST API. You can potentially make your own interface for it. In fact, I've just been informed of miki which is a stripped down version of the Socialtext interface intended for mobile phones. I'll s
      • Socialtext is now an open source project and has a plugin system and you can fix this just as well as I can […] You can potentially make your own interface for it.

        Is that what passes for “low barrier to contributions” now? :-)

        Even if it is easy for me to fix these problems, I would have to learn my way around the codebase first, which also means installing it first. That adds up to an incalculable amount of up-front effort that is orders of magnitude greater than what occasional wik

        • I would have to learn my way around the codebase first, which also means installing it first.... I was just stating why Socialtext captures less of my limited attention span and motivation than, say, Mediawiki would

          Yeah yeah. And if it was Mediawiki folks would be complaining that they'd have to touch PHP. From my experiences with Wikipedia vs a stock Mediawiki, Wikipedia does quite a bit of customization themselves. Hell, the "help" links in Mediawiki don't even work out of the box!

          General whinging ab

          • Great! Thanks to Luke, and to you for making enough noise to get it to happen.

            I’m not saying Mediawiki is that great either, btw. :-) It just gets this particular thing right, whereas Socialtext doesn’t yet.