[permaculture] Design critiques

Paul Cereghino paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Sun Jul 1 14:45:04 EDT 2007

Linda, here are some answers written in 'wikiese'
Go to http://www.permaculture.info/index.php/Author_guidance so see what 
it looks like on a wiki page.
I short, just start messing around...

===What is a wiki and why is it so useful to us as a web tool?===

A wiki is a endless blank webpage waiting for text or pictures. Anyone 
can create or edit any page. There is a social contract that guides how 
this is done and all changes and who made them are remembered by the 
wiki - so there are safeguards. Then there are individuals who are 
sysops who can manipulate the wiki to enforce the social contract. It's 
kind of like an infinitely large but very well organized hobo camp.

Each page has a name and it is easy to jump from place to place if you 
know the name of where you are going. If you don't know the exact name, 
you can look in a category... a category includes all the pages that 
have been tagged with the category tag. A category tag looks like 
<nowiki>[[category:categoryname]]</nowiki> in edit view, and shows up at 
the bottom of each page. It’s like a club membership. Each page can be a 
member of many clubs.

If you create a user identity, you automatically get a 'home page'. That 
place has the name <nowiki>[[User:username]] or whatever your user name 
is. You can edit the text in your homepage and add category tags. My 
home page has the following tags: [[category:MEMBER]] [[category:Puget 
Lowland Forest]]</nowiki>.

If someone knows me they can go to my page. If they don't know me but 
are looking for someone, they can look at the MEMBER category which is a 
core category to this wiki, and find all self-identified members. They 
could also look in <nowiki>[[category:Puget Lowland Forest]] to find all 
things related to that ecoregion, and if they didn't know that existed, 
they could use the core categories [[category:ECOREGION]] or 
[[category:LOCATION]] for I have tagged the more specific 
[[category:Puget Lowland Forest]]</nowiki> with both those core categories.

While editing a page you can insert these category tags by clicking on 
the appropriate tag on the bottom of the edit screen.

===How do I contribute this wiki?===

When writing text you can insert a link, something like [[newpage]]. If 
that page doesn't exist it shows up in red font. Following the red links 
lets you author new pages. You create the door, then go in and create 
the next world.

You can also just enter a text string in the search box on the left, and 
it will look through the whole wiki for pages with that name. If none 
are found, that will be explained and you will be offered a red font 
link to author that page.

When you are writing a wiki page you use a kind of wiki shorthand 
described at [[Help:Contents]]. Each page is stored as text only, but 
the wiki software converts it to a formatted web page. With this short 
hand you can create a number of effects. Including text in double 
brackets asks the wiki to create a link to a page within the wiki by 
that name. <nowiki>[[User:Username]] would create a link to your 'home 
page'. If you are curious how something was done, just go into edit 
view, and look for the shorthand, and copy it on your next page.

If you are creating a family of pages that you want associated with 
yourself (like all your designs) then create a category that is you... 
<nowiki>[[category:Username]]</nowiki>. You can link to that category 
from your 'home page' or from the bottom of any page that is tagged with 
that category. You can also tag your pages with that category.

In short, the better tagged your pages are to the [[PIW:pagetype|core 
wiki categories]] and linked to other pages the more likely it will be 

To upload images (a .jpg file for example) click on the upload image. 
Give your image a name. And give it a tag. You can tag your pictures 
with your username category to keep track of them.

When editing a page you can insert a picture

===Would a designer build a 'space' including their design and then 
people would edit it and those edits are their comments etc?===

Correct. We just created a new master category called 
<nowiki>[[category:DESIGN]]</nowiki> this category will include pages 
where people have uploaded designs for which they want critique. There 
are two ways to receive comments. Every page has a front end 'the 
article' and a backend 'the talk page'. The purpose of the 'talk page' 
is to keep the front-end of the shop clean. With a wiki you are not just 
rambling on a list. You are creating a product. Base on the laws of 
merchandizing, that product must be clean and legible or it will be 
ignored (not unlike your design products).

===Does the 'discussion' section work like a list thread?===

The talk page, which is the backend, is the place for the back and forth 
that we have on the list. The advantage of the wiki is that you can see 
the whole dialog in one place and insert your words at any point in the 

using the text string <nowiki>"--~~~~"</nowiki> marks your entry with 
your username (linking back to your homepage) and a time stamp.

using colons at the beginning of a paragraph indents that paragraph as 
is commonly used to associate comments with previous comments, not the 
outline structure you learned back in middle school.

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