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Bangkok webdev, new to DokuWiki
middle-aged, fat, bald, wears glasses, on the road paved with good intentions
HansBKK #1
Member since Nov 2011 · 104 posts · Location: Bangkok
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Subject: Bangkok webdev, new to DokuWiki
Hello DokuWiki World.

My name is Hans, I've lived in Thailand for over a decade, currently a single stay-at-home father of two, one boy of five and his little sister is three. I do some webdev work, mostly for foreigners, but some for Thais; most of my recent work has been in Drupal. I'm also a qualified TEFL teacher and help to make ends meet by tutoring students. I have no time for "hobbies" (other than making love to gorgeous and athletic young women - does that count?) because 24x7 when I'm not playing with/teaching kids or sleeping, I'm in front of my computer, usually avoiding being "productive" by getting up to speed on another bit of the infinite learning curve that is the world of FOSS.

I'm particularly interested in writing-oriented information architecture, obviously technical documentation is an appropriate context, but also supporting plain prose, including fiction, and poetry and educational content, whatever strikes my fancy. Also in particular personal information management - for years I've been tossing stuff into Evernote, have stuck with v2.2 long past its use-by date because I hate relying on the cloud, and because IMO they never got true hierarchical tagging right in the v3+ versions. It would take me years to manually move/convert everything over to yet another "silo" format, so I've done a lot of research into tools to support my starting to keep everything as plain text files in my filesystems, using minimal inline markup, links for images/media and cross-referencing. I really like the ideas behind txt2tags and AsciiDoc, and after a fair bit of research into the various Wiki platforms, have decided that DokuWiki currently offers the best fit as a browse/search/categorization tool for helping to organizing the hundreds of "snippets", "chunks" and "items" of reference information I capture/write/edit every day.

At the risk of overstaying my welcome (I assume many have stopped reading by this point, so if you're still with me, thanks for your patience so far), I'd like to throw out a substantive question in my first message.

It seems that DW's "namespaces" are a bit inflexible for bits of data that will need periodic re-organizing, and that re-factoring a classification hierarchy containing hundreds (or even thousands) of items would be non-trivial using that feature.

I really like the look of the SubjectIndex plugin, as I'm used to thinking/organizing hierarchically but love the ability of tagging an item with multiple classifications, often from completely different indexing hierarchies (e.g. Topic=customization/template-theming/CSS | DocType=howTo | TechLevel=midProgrammer | TechTopic=php_CLI | DWversion=current).

I also like using such facilities for structuring hierarchical/sequential navigation (outline/menu), as readers are used to when reading books from beginning to end, but again desire maximum flexibility in re-using "chunks" of text in different contexts. (I'm coming up to a question here RSN I promise 8-)

I'd like to have more than one "navigation tree", one for say an introductory-level howTo "Getting Started", a second one for a "Complete Reference Guide for Developers", a third for a "Learning Guide for Users" etc. From my current (very limited) level of understanding, I believe that:

All this above is entirely do-able with DW and something like SubjectIndex

Question 1 (at last!) - please confirm/deny the preceding hypothesis, and/or suggest another implementation approach that would give a similar combination of structure and flexibility but in a simpler or more robust/reliable way.

For question 2, I imagine there isn't an existing way to do the following, but if there is my joy will know no bounds, (at least until the next challenge comes along 8-)

I'd like to have Next / Previous and ideally Up / Home links on each page in the "virtual book" structure. These would need to be automatically generated for the user's browser session, as they need to be specific to the "index page" or "navigation menu" that s/he used to enter the hierarchy. In other words, if a total noob is browsing from "Getting Started", the target of these Previous/Next nav links on his "What are Plugins" page would be different from the targets presented to a programmer looking at the same content but having arrived there from the "Developer's Reference" navigation tree. "Home" would of course be the appropriate nav page itself, Next/Previous/Up needs to be determined by the sequencing of links in that tree. Clicking on a inline cross-reference  (within the content itself) link to a page **not** listed in the nav would ideally open a new tab/window in the browser, since there isn't any context for next/previous other than the "Back" button and may cause the user to become disoriented.

I imagine this all would have to be done in the browser, most likely via JavaScript.

So Question 2 (phew!) - would such a facility be within the realm of possibility? If so, how far along would existing DW hooks + plugins need to be extended, or would it require such a huge effort it would be more efficient to start from scratch?

I'm not a programmer, so obviously this is just pie-in-the-sky dreaming of possible functionality, but it would be nice if someone else out there thinks this is a cool idea. In any case to anyone reading this far, thank you for your tolerance, and I consider myself well and truly introduced to the community - you now know me better than any of my ex-wives, at least from an intellectual POV


And thanks in advance for any responses - sorry if cross-posting is verboten here, might be more appropriate to respond to my questions here . . .
This post was edited 2 times, last on 2011-11-22, 09:31 by HansBKK.
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