New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

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Michael Chidester
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New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

Postby Michael Chidester » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:39 pm

When we moved to the new server toward the end of last year we upgraded the wiki platform from 1.15 to 1.19, which has opened the door to a lot of new features and got us thinking about other upgrades and enhancements we could implement. I also put in a goodly amount of time upgrading and streamlining sloppy code and css, resulting in a much smoother design overall. Here is a partial list of the improvements we've made:

  • Easier navigation in the composite tables. This is one that people have requested for a while, but since it's not a feature normally found on wikis it took quite a bit of hacking to implement. Now when you scroll down in one of the big manual tables, the column headers will stay at the top of the screen so you always know what you're looking at. Additionally, when you mouse-over a cell in the table the whole row will darken to make it easier to keep your place when side-scrolling. (These features work in all browsers, but due to unresolved compatibility issues between Mediawiki and Chrome and to the fact that Internet Explorer is just terrible, this feature looks best in Firefox.)
  • Gallery image viewer. While we have largely divested ourselves of locally-hosted images in favor of directly linking to galleries hosted elsewhere, Wiktenauer still hosts a number of sets of scans taken from public-domain books (including a few manuscript facsimiles that are out of copyright), and of course we are pleased to be the only authorized host of color scans of the fencing manuals owned by the Jagellonian Library in Krakow. In order to make browsing these manuscripts easier, we've implemented a javascript-based gallery viewer that an be accessed from the category page. For example, Goliath (Ms. Germ. Quart. 2020) can be viewed here. Simply click on the green easel icon in the upper right corner of the gallery to launch the viewer. An identical viewer is available for the fencing manuals hosted on the Wikimedia Commons. (As before, Firefox handles this feature better than the others--for unknown reasons, in Chrome and Internet Explorer the images are somewhat shuffled.)
  • Footnotes. We've gone back and imported all of the references contained in the transcriptions and translations that we host, in order to give additional insight into the reasoning behind some of the decisions that our contributors make. Initially we were storing these notes at the bottom of each table, but we're currently in the process of translating them to standard end-notes that will appear in the main list of references at the bottom of each page.
  • Credits and license terms. This has actually been around for a year or more now, but apparently a lot of people haven't been aware. If you want to find the precise license terms of a particular bit of translation or transcription, or a link to the original document, that sort of metadata is stored at the top of every Discussion tab. (We're currently looking into adding a new tab to each page called "License", but that isn't the case yet.)
  • Open translations. Several people have asked us for a process of contributing snippets of translation or corrections without needing to translate a treatise entire or interfering with the work of others, so we've implemented a few options to handle this. If you identify errors or otherwise think an existing translation is in need of fixing, feel free to annotate it with your own notes using the {{ref}} template; these notes will be placed in a separate container from the main article footnote list and should be signed by the user who created them, so there shouldn't be any confusion between them and notes created by the original author. (I'll write a tutorial on this eventually, but for now contact me and I'll walk you through it.) If you want to hack out a rough translation of an untranslated treatise, whether whole or just a few lines, then you can add label the translation column open for editing and add your name to the list of translation contributors on the Discussion page. This is also a possibility if a large enough body of notes build up for an existing, deprecated translation. If enough people get involved, we hope to eventually crowd-source high-quality translations in this fashion. I've opened all of my German translation work to free editing, since it's all very rough and imperfect, and we've already got a couple other such contributions as well; see Martin Syber for an example of how this in action.
  • Wiktenauer forum. I've asked Ben Floyd to create a new forum for the Wiktenauer, which can be found here. This has primarily been used for announcements until now, but if you have any questions or concerns about, or disagreement regarding, content on the wiki then this would be the place to talk about it. Let me underscore again that a lot of content on the wiki is sourced from websites that don't cite their own sources, so I would be astonished if there are not errors in the content as it currently stands and am very interested to hear about any and all of them.
  • Donations. Finally, people have asked us in the past how they can donate to the wiki and help us meet our operating costs. We've now added a donate button at the bottom of the sidebar on the left which is attached to a paypal account managed by the HEMA Alliance (who are also the ones who currently pay our bills). If we ever reach a point where our income from donations exceeds our server costs, we'll look into applying the excess toward getting new treatises digitized and even paying licensing costs to host currently-unavailable scans directly on the wiki directly.

So, that's the current state of things, though we have a lot of exciting developments currently in the works, including:

  • A new translation manager that will allow us to finally implement foreign-language articles (starting with Spanish).
  • A new interface for transcribing, proofreading, translating, and browsing printed matter, based on that used by WikiSource (we're still trying to iron out the last bugs, but it will be up and running soon).
  • Partnering with a large university that I don't think I can talk about yet to get real academic sponsorship as well as support in other exciting new projects.

Stay tuned!
Michael Chidester
Wiktenauer Director
HEMA Alliance, WMAC

Insquequo omnes gratuiti fiunt

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Keith P. Myers
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Re: New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

Postby Keith P. Myers » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:09 pm

Wow! Sounds great! Strong work! :!:
Keith P. Myers
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Affiliate: Bartitsu Society & Cateran Society
Friend: Meyer Frei Fechter Guild
Rockville, Maryland

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Alberto B.
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Re: New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

Postby Alberto B. » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:27 am

The work you do is highly appreciated.

If you ever need any help with the translations from Italian manuals, you just need to ask.
Accademia Marziale Europea - Naples
http://accademiamarziale.wordpress.com

The good man must speak up for the truth – even when it seems obvious and happens often…
H. Talhoffer

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Michael Chidester
Wiktenauer Project Director
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Brighton, MA
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Re: New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

Postby Michael Chidester » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:57 am

Thanks guys. One more new feature that I forgot: Jeffrey has asked us to host the Fechtkunst glossary that was once on the Higgins site. It can be accessed here: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Fechtkunst_G ... Forgeng%29

Alberto B. wrote:If you ever need any help with the translations from Italian manuals, you just need to ask.

Well, if you're looking for something to do, all of these articles are missing translations: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Category:Translation
Michael Chidester
Wiktenauer Director
HEMA Alliance, WMAC

Insquequo omnes gratuiti fiunt

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Keith P. Myers
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:57 am
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Re: New Wiktenauer Feature Announcements!

Postby Keith P. Myers » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:53 pm

Thanks guys. One more new feature that I forgot: Jeffrey has asked us to host the Fechtkunst glossary that was once on the Higgins site. It can be accessed here: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Fechtkunst_G ... Forgeng%29


Very nice! Years ago I went through all of this glossary and printed it out and put it a notebook. It was my core resource as I began translating. Then as I found alternate meanings for words or defined words that weren't in this glossary, I added them to my notebook.
Keith P. Myers
Lifetime Member HEMA Alliance
Affiliate: Bartitsu Society & Cateran Society
Friend: Meyer Frei Fechter Guild
Rockville, Maryland


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