Hi, all - we're launching a new project for the PublicLab.org website to completely revise the research note posting form based on input from various folks. This summer, we'll launch a similar effort to redesign our wiki pages.
As is always the case in coding, our to-do list could be infinitely long ;-) but I'm hoping to get some of the basic ideas and goals out there in this post, and solicit input and futher suggestions which we'll use to decide on a scope for this project. We're looking to achieve our top goals within a defined timeline, so not everything will be incorporated, but we'll do our best to knock the highest items off the list.
The Rich Editor project is focused on the following goals, so far:
- easier, more newcomer-friendly posting experience
- clearer prompts/scaffolding for formatting and tagging your work
- tools to encourage authors to invite others into their work
- not overwhelming authors with too much interface
- backwards compatibility with older notes
Some ways we're hoping to address these will most likely include:
- a rich text, What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor (possibly using the Woofmark library)
- WYSIWYG image upload and management
- more customized interface for different note types (events, questions, etc)
- modularizing parts of the new editor for re-use by others as an independent library (PublicLab.Editor.js or
npm install publiclab-editor)
Other ideas that could come into play:
- prompting people to describe their work in steps
- prompting for materials/methods -- to enable others to reproduce
- suggested tags interface
- drafts, revisions, better auto-save
- more comprehensive co-authoring
- "write a research note about this" bookmarklet
- inline display of a collection of notes, by tag
Have ideas, want to explore/brainstorm/encourage/caution on any of the above? Please leave a comment!
Some of the work on the Rich Editor will likely be re-used in the Rich Wiki project, but wikis are more complex (multiple authors, for one), which is why we're doing this project second.
There's a lot here, and we have more time to plan, but the overall goals are to:
- make the wiki a more collaborative space
- invite more people in to edit/maintain wikis
- make wikis a place to write together, instead of write over one another
- make edits visible to other authors, so they can be discussed
- make it easier to keep wikis up to date and relevant
- make wikis more of a living document -- a place to work together, not to just dump information
- rich/WYSIWYG editing (built on the Rich Editor work)
- commenting and/or in-line commenting
- commenting UI: speech-bubble icon in margin
- "suggest a change" feature, "resolved"
- comment history
- editing of subsections: "edit this section"
- more embedding options like maps, data
- concurrent editing? (difficult but possible)
- "staleness" reminders:
- top of page notice if no edits in X weeks
- email notification to all authors/watchers "this page hasn't been updated in a while. Mark it [out-of-date] [needs-help]"
- listing at
- more wiki page templates: guides, events, how-to, etc?
- page "Pulse" as Github does for projects, to see a snapshot of collaboration: https://github.com/publiclab/plots2/pulse/monthly
A couple may be completed earlier as they've become a priority due to an increase in spam:
- wiki edit notifications, subscriptions
- wiki page locking
Anyhow, please jump in with ideas -- we'll likely have to break out some features into separate discussions, so I may break out (at least) the Rich Wikis part of this into its own research note, but either way, we're eager to hear from folks!