Help talk:Contents

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Is there a reason we do not have categories for help pages? It would be nice to at least have an overview of them. --barto (talk) 10:38, 30 July 2017 (EDT)

Are instructions for how to use templates to be placed in the help section, at the template page, or both? --barto (talk) 06:39, 1 August 2017 (EDT)

1. No. If you have the time and energy to fill this hiatus, this would be a nice addition. Although one could argue that the namespace suffices. Maybe we just need a link to the overview of help pages in the main menu (currently via Special pages -> List of all pages -> Namespace: Help).
2. Ideally at the template page. That's the most sensible place to update them when the template changes. Help might contain links to the most commonly used templates. — Lord_Farin (talk) 08:41, 20 August 2017 (EDT)
I think help categories will be more useful than just the lists of all pages. When I start organizing this into categories, I would base the structure on that of Wikipedia. Surely many people there have already discussed what is the best way to organize help pages, so we can skip that part by looking how it's done there. --barto (talk) 17:34, 25 August 2017 (EDT)

Sounds like a plan. That is, if you intend to have the first proposal based on what they did, and subsequently we think about whether that makes sense for ProofWiki and adjust where necessary :) — Lord_Farin (talk) 10:12, 26 August 2017 (EDT)

Agreed. --barto (talk) 13:44, 26 August 2017 (EDT)

Redesign of Help:Contents

I have created something here: User:Barto/Sandbox/Help:Contents. It is designed to guide visitors efficiently to what they are looking for, and is based on that of wikipedia. It should be noted that one cannot add normal paragraphs to it, so as to obtain a mix of text and attention-drawing boxes, as Help:Contents looks now. What do you think of it? --barto (talk) 05:51, 27 August 2017 (EDT)

I think it is indeed better to have a single style. Intuitively it's not bad to have two "columns". The challenging task will be to have the right order and the right selection of topics. E.g. it is important IMO that people know that they have to sign their posts on talk pages. Before doing a lot of work, it's probably worthwhile to just make a list of the topics that would/could go on Help:Contents and then try to order and filter until we have found an ordered list of (about) 10 that we want to use. — Lord_Farin (talk) 06:17, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
There's a suboptimal trend on the web to let presentation overrule content.
When you have a single linear flow, it is easy to find what you want, by traversing that flow linearly. If your flow spreads over more than one dimension, methodical and systematic searching becomes more difficult. While it may look trendy to put content into multiple columns, I would need to be convinced that it would actually improve life.
I am also seriously not a fan of the use of raw html on a page. I don't want to have to edit html. I hate html. I spend all day fiddling around with badly-written and impossible-to-follow html, and I would rather not have to get into it here, in my leisure time, as well. Unless we can hide all that messy low-level code inside an easy-to-use user interface, I'm not going to play ball. --prime mover (talk) 06:27, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
Lists, tables and schemas are helpful not only because our brain likes structure, but also because we absorb information more easily when we see more things in one glance. (A large part of information processing happens subconciously.) A linear flow is a better choice if the content requires it (e.g. proofs), but if there is no natural ordering, it's best to optimize brain usage.
Some hate html, some don't. If MediaWiki syntax is not sufficient, I'm afraid we have no choice. You are not required to edit it if you don't want to. --barto (talk) 07:10, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
If MediaWiki syntax does not suffice, then we should at least template it so as to not discourage the average editor with such stuff. I'm thinking of Template:TwoColumnsRow, Template:TwoColumnsLeft, Template:TwoColumnsRight which should be able to contain all the ugly HTML. — Lord_Farin (talk) 07:47, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
All fine for me. I'll focus on content and design now, code later. --barto (talk) 08:07, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
I was thinking the same, that we need a list of topics first. The columns can actually carry a subtle meaning: we can place related items side-to side: Editing/Creating a page, Report a problem/request a proof (=report missing content). --barto (talk) 07:10, 27 August 2017 (EDT)
To make sure new users sign their posts and are informed about sandboxes, maybe this can be included in the welcome message? It's a bit awkward to add a separate section to Help:Contents for something this specific. I think a new user is more likely to read their welcome message, with a brief summary of what's most essential, than to read the entire Help:Contents. --barto (talk) 08:53, 27 August 2017 (EDT)

List of possible topics, feel free to add topics or specify them by adding subtopics: