On Thursday 06 April 2006 21:35, Ilmari Karonen wrote:
Wikipedia is for content, Mediawiki for the
programming logic to make
it happen. Seperation of code and data! I repeat it here for you:
SEPERATE THE CODE AND DATA!
I see no problem here: the code is in the template namespace, the data
is in the main namespace. Problem solved. :-)
That still means yo do put the code in the data (aka the article space)
and keep it out of the code (aka the CVS).
This totally reverses what we have learnt about software development in
the past decades.
Putting software into a repository means you can cheack it out, test it,
patch it, etc etc. You can also secure it. Well, you can even syntax
Put the code in to the template system, and you suddenly loose all that.
Plus anybody who wants to use the same features also has to copy the code
(aka the templates).
You seem still to think that if the template switch (f.i.) is added to
Wikipedia, than thats enough. What about other people who also want to
use that? How do you "install" the template switch into other wikis?
Upgrade them? Even version them? Or compare them? What if there is a
security problem? How do you notify "users" of the code you create?
I say it again: Code to code, data to data. You do no mix them, or you
will have to clean up the mess you create today.
gee, I sound so old now :-(
Seriously, you seem to be advocating MediaWiki
extensions (or patches)
for nontrivial templates.
But wasn't the consens that the ideas behin this are trivial, but the
templates are non-trivial because they are no proper code but hacks?
And yes, I advocate putting up extensions or patches for often requested
Either the people hacking on these templates have enough knowledge and
time to work with real code, then they can create proper patches. Or they
don't, and then they shouldn't maintain code. (or neither create code
that has to be maintained in the future by somebody else).
This is all very well, except that it means
anyone who wants to develop such an extension must first figure out how
to set up a local MediaWiki installation, including installing MySQL
and a webserver (usually Apache). And configuring those to be secure,
since the default configuration for webservers tends to expose them to
any hacker or spammer that happens by.
Nonsense, to hack or develop for wikipedia you do not need a public wiki.
(my test wiki isn't public and yet I created an extension)
And it means they must learn,
even for the simplest of things, a significant subset of the MediaWiki
internals, which are even worse documented than template syntax.
Or they could ask a developer.
And it means they must be much more careful, since a
can screw up the system in lots of ways that a template can't.
I do think you are in for a surprise here, because templates that
"compute" can be far more dangerous than you think.
In addition, other people who want then to use the same feature could just
download the newest mediawiki, which includes a feature they want.
Or in your scenary, they could go to wikipedia, hunt down all the little
templates, and input them into their own wiki.
And, once they have their fancy new extension
developed, they must
lobby a Wikimedia developer into installing it. Not to mention that
this has to be repeated every time any new feature is added or a bug is
We have probably thousands of editors working on complex templates,
such as infoboxes and the like. Only a few percent of those could
develop a MediaWiki extension if they had to. And any extensions they
did develop would have to be approved by the handful of Wikimedia devs.
The process simply does not scale well. Templates do.
But there are only a few really usefull features, like you said,
infoboxes. You can put the co,mon ones into an extension or mediawiki
feature, and real software developers will care for them, they will write
testcases for them, they will be secured etc etc, e.g. everything that is
done with code today.
Or you can create a big mess of little templates, all intermingled and
mixed and have numerous users edit them, and easily break them.
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