Difference between revisions of "ChoralWiki:Operation and implementation issues"

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P.S. I thought maybe make two textboxes for the lyricist: one for the lyricist, and one for the the origin of the lyrics. So you would be able to not only give the the name of the lyricist, let's say J.R.R. Tolkien, but also the source: Lord of the Rings.
P.S. I thought maybe make two textboxes for the lyricist: one for the lyricist, and one for the the origin of the lyrics. So you would be able to not only give the the name of the lyricist, let's say J.R.R. Tolkien, but also the source: Lord of the Rings.
P.S.2 I could run a script before the form will be submitted, in which case the user would be notified, if any compulsory fields have no appropriate value, like the dash in drop-down lists. It might require an external Javascript (depending on the length of the script), in which case there will be another extension necessary. You will already need the HTMLETS-extension for the form.

Revision as of 00:50, 3 May 2008

CW:OI redirects here.


Operation and implementation issues

This page is part of the ChoralWiki:Bulletin board.

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== <title of new topic> ==

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== Looking for works in Quenya ==

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Looking for works in Quenya[edit]

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It even has more than one paragraph.

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Announcements and special topics (most recent first)

Use of this forum


This forum is for more techincal discussions of ChoralWiki implementation and operation at CPDL, primarily of interest to admins and others doing editing of pages at CPDL. Some topics of a more technical nature or involving CPDL policy from CPDL support, help, and feedback will be moved here.

General topics (most recent first)

New add works form

Some comments moved here from User talk:Bobnotts#Add New Works form

  • Posted by: Arie 02:10, 1 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi Robert,

I'm still working working on the form and the results, and I'm a bit puzzled how to 'render' part of larger work. Should it come directly under the title? e.g.
Title: Just a title, Op. 65, No. 7
Part of: Larger work, Op. 65

Also I don't know what to do with the second composer entry, you requested. Yours, Arie

  • Posted by: Arie 06:11, 1 May 2008 (PDT)

I also noticed that the template {{Acap}} renders as:
Instruments: a cappella
whereas e.g. {{OrgAcc}} just gives the category. IMHO all the templates concerning instrumentation should render the same way, in order to maintain the PHP-script easier.


Hi Arie. Thanks for all the work you've done so far. I agree that the "a cappella" template should operate in the same way as the other instrument templates. However, as both {{Acap}} and {{A cappella}} are used on over 500 pages, we don't want to change either template. I propose to create a new template for the purpose, "acappella", which the add works form would use. The new template would be the same as the existing "acap" template except that it wouldn't include "Instruments:" as you suggest.

As for the second composer entry, I'm sorry for not making myself clear. Some works listed on CPDL have more than one composer (albiet a very small number, eg. Two Anglican Chants for Psalm 65 (Thomas Attwood Walmisley and W. A. C. Cruickshank)). In the case of a submitted work having more than one composer, we would need to have a separate (optional) field on the add works form. The output would be {{Composer|2|Thomas Attwood Walmisley|W. A. C. Cruickshank}}

As for movements of a larger work, see Ye People, Rend Your Hearts (No. 3 from 'Elijah') (Felix Mendelssohn) which I believe is a good example of the appropriate output. I hope this helps!

  • Posted by: Arie 03:13, 2 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi Robert. Thanks for the reply. It seems that I partially solved my own problem. As for the {{Acap}} template, I had to check the choice of accompaniment anyway, so you can leave it as is.

Second composer is clear, shouldn't give too much of a problem to implement that.

Another thing though is the implementation of the larger work. Key is that it must be filled in exactly, otherwise the link back will not work. I will think about this overnight.

Can you (or any of the other admins) access the original PHP-script? This would be helpful in order to figure out how the CPDL-number is issued. Thanks in advance.

Current state of the form is at Add a new work. Feel free to try it and comment on it or if you have any wishes, please let me know.


Thanks for this, Arie. As I see it, the form shouldn't automatically add a CPDL no. - this would be added by the admin who reviews the works page and then removes {{AwaitingReview}}. So there is no need to get the old form - could we have "nnnnn" in place of where the number should be?

There's quite a few things I've picked up on - I hope it's not too much work for you!

  • Add 2 radio buttons next to "Lyricist or source of text". The choices would be "Lyricist" (ie. an individual who wrote the words) or "Source of text" (a part of the bible, for example). The output code would reflect the choice of radio buttons. If "Lyricist" was chosen, we should have {{Lyricist|Charles Wesley}} (for example). If "Source of text" was chosen, we should have '''Source of text:''' John 14: 15-17
  • Could you add these languages to the drop down list:
    • Basque
    • Catalan
    • Czech
    • Finnish
    • Greek
    • Ancient Greek
    • Hungarian
    • Huron
    • Icelandic
    • Lowland Scots
    • Middle English
    • Nahuatl
    • Old English
    • Quenya
    • Serbian
    • Slovenian
    • Ukrainian
    • Zulu
  • If the user doesn't select an option from a compulsory drop down list, currently a dash "-" is outputted. Can we change that to {{Language|Unknown}} or {{Cat|Unknown genre|Unknown genre}} or whatever?
  • Can we add an optional box for the text of the work (which would have a line break, <br> added to the end of each line)?
  • Remove "Ancient" from period list
  • Add "Other" to instruments list.
  • Separate keyboard reduction & keyboard version into 2 separate tick boxes (elaborate on descriptions for tick boxes - "Includes a keyboard reduction of the choral parts" & "Includes a keyboard version of a non-keyboard accompaniment". The former will add {{KbdRed}} and the latter would add {{KbdVer}}
  • Year of first publication should not be a required field
  • Cannot type in ensemble specification box.
  • In Music Notation software list:
    • Capitalise "p" in "LilyPond"
    • Remove "-" from "Finale 1998", "Finale 1999" etc.
    • Correct capitalisation of "Encore"
    • Remove "(give URL, or name or file)" from line "Music notation file"
  • Replace the existing list of copyright choices with the following:
    • CPDL
    • Creative Commons
    • Free Art License
    • GnuGPL
    • MutopiaBSD
    • Personal
    • Public Domain
    • Religious
  • We need the existing free text box so users can specify the type of Creative Commons license they are using (if applicable).

When I got the outputted code, there were the following problems:

  • There shouldn't be a gap between "==Music files==" and "{{Legend}}"
  • The MP3 link was missing
  • There should not be a period (full stop) after the final file link
  • Can we use Template:ScoreInfo? If we do, we won't need any forced spaces (&nbsp;) on that line.
  • The additional copyright notes were missing
  • The lyricist line was above the composer line (the composer line should come directly below the title)
  • If the link is to a web page rather than directly to a file, the icon should be Network.png, {{net}} not {{extpdf}} or {{extmid}} (see this page for comparisons).
  • In the works output, all the info below the "year published field" was missing. We need "description" and "external links" below that, then the title "Original text and translations" with "{{NoText}}" if the text has not been added in the box above but "{{Text|Whatever}}" if the text has been added in the form. Also, any categories not added by the templates should be added at the bottom of the form.

That probably seems like a very long list! Sorry for that but it's best to get it right first time. Thanks again. Rob

  • Posted by: Arie 17:37, 2 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi Robert. Thanks for the elaborate input. As you say, it's better to get thing right the first time.

Some fields are hidden or disabled until the user makes a choice that enables the field. That is on the instrument field. This will only be activated in case of Wind, mixed ensemble or Orchestra. I thought in other cases this would not give any extra information.

The Keyboard version checkbox gives a different value according to the choice made. In case of A cappella, it's {{KbdRed}}, in case of an ensemble it will be {{KbdVer}}. In all other cases it will be ignored but then it not visible anyway. Maybe that's bot clear form the form.

The Network.png icon shouldn't have gone wrong, but apparently there's still a problem with evaluation of the URL.

I did use the {{ScoreInfo}}> template, but then I saw that in case of one page it says 'one pages'. That's all. Maybe you can change the rendering of the template to page(s), for the rare occasion there is only one page of sheet music.

As for the rest, I am working top-down, and construction of the correct links is the major challenge, so I didn't do the easy bits yet.

I've been tinkering a bit last evening, and did some cosmetic work on the lay-out of the form. I've tried to make groups of fields which are more or less related to each other, and made the form less wide, making it easier to read. Not sure you like it, but I think it's an improvement. As far as now, I've only tested it with Firefox (on Mac) and Safari (on Mac). I'll be glad if someone else could check it with browsers they use, like Internet Explorer, Opera and what other flavours there are (like Linux based browsers).

So I'll be working on items you pointed out, and hopefully you will see the result soon. Anyway, the form will be updated with any change I make.

P.S. I thought maybe make two textboxes for the lyricist: one for the lyricist, and one for the the origin of the lyrics. So you would be able to not only give the the name of the lyricist, let's say J.R.R. Tolkien, but also the source: Lord of the Rings.

P.S.2 I could run a script before the form will be submitted, in which case the user would be notified, if any compulsory fields have no appropriate value, like the dash in drop-down lists. It might require an external Javascript (depending on the length of the script), in which case there will be another extension necessary. You will already need the HTMLETS-extension for the form.

Discontinuation of Village pump


This seems to have been superceded by the new wiki based bulletin board system now. Discontinue?

Making text-translations pages into categories


Following up on a suggestion made by Carlos, there are now three (for the time being) "test" text categories (as opposed to text pages):

Under the present system of text pages, one has to make edits on two pages:

  1. use Template:LinkText to link a score page to its text page, and
  2. add a link on the text page back to the score page.

But with a text category, one only has to make a single edit, using Template:LnkTxt on the score page which categorizes the score page in the text category and adds a suitable link to that category. This makes for considerably less work for those working on texts and translations for our scores. Moreover, the learning curve is not steep. For example, to categorize the Beethoven O salutaris hostia, one adds

{{LnkTxt|O salutaris hostia|Beethoven, Ludwig van}}

in place of the usual {{LinkText|O salutaris hostia}}.

As an example of how to migrate from a text page to a text category, I've moved the contents of the O salutaris hostia page to the corresponding category, replacing the contents on the original page with a redirect to the latter. Since the Beethoven setting has already been linked to the text category, the listing under "Muscial settings at CPDL" has been commented out. As more settings are categorized, they will be removed from the list (for the time being, I will just comment them out until we reach a consensus that this is a good way to proceed). And finally, when all listed settings have been categorized (making the list empty), the "Musical settings..." section can be removed entirely and the (then superfluous) redirect from the text page to the category deleted.

The Sancta Maria, succurre miseris text category was created anew just awhile ago, when I saw the Gabrielli setting and new that I had posted the Crecquillon setting(s) with text (so I made the text category and linked the two score pages to it). Carlos made the Mirabile mysterium category as an initial experiment.

All in all, I feel that we could migrate fairly smoothly from text pages to text categories, and propose that this is a route we should seriously consider. I'm in favor of it, as you can tell, and I feel strongly that, migration issues aside, such a text category system will make it much easier for those adding new texts.

As I explained to Carlos (and he agrees), we should be doing this on a trial basis, pending feedback from others on this issue.


Seems like a good idea to me. I assume Psalm and Mass texts would be handled using the old template.

List of current CPDL problems

(moved here from CPDL support, help, and feedback)


Feel free to add items to this post

  1. choralwiki.org/phpBB2/ : Posting at forums still not working
  2. choralwiki.org/phpBB2/ : phpBB2 software out-of-date
  3. cpdl.org/wiki/form/work.htm : Forms for adding works/composers cannot be updated
  4. cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Special:Preferences : Email authentication method not currently sending out email
  5. Procedural: no notification from User:Rafael_Ornes (User:Admin) of pending server downtime
  6. * Some routine administrative duties reguire User:Rafael_Ornes and are not done in a timely fashon.
  7. † Out of date wiki software - MediaWiki installation (update for increased security, reliability and to better prevent automated sign-ups) and extensions (such as Dynamic Page List - update for increased functionality)

NB: Items with a * have been added to the list subsequent to its original posting.

  • Posted by: --Choralia 15:29, 2 April 2008 (PDT)

Please note: for the forum-related items, a (temporary?) solution is available already using the phpBB3 forum at http://choralia.altervista.org/phpbb/, which have been set-up with the same forums and categories as the "old" phpBB2 forum.

Update: No advertisement about the above mentioned "back-up" forum is being made on CPDL. As an obvious consequence, such a forum is not being used, despite the normal forum is out of order since several weeks, and despite the use of this alternative bulletin board under the wiki environment remains quite limited and not very user-friendly. It does not make much sense to me. Anyway, all things being equal, I'll close the back-up forum at http://choralia.altervista.org/phpbb/ within the next few days. --Choralia 07:03, 10 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi Max, you might wish to simply disable the board; it can subsequently be re-enabled at the flick of a switch. I'm sorry if there isn't any current agreement about whether to migrate discussions to the choralia board – unfortunately CPDL is operating in a rather “headless” fashion at present!

  • Posted by: --Choralia 15:50, 10 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi Philip, maintaining the board active, even though disabled, costs some money to me. It's a very small amount, so it's not a problem, however there is no reason to spend money for such a board if nobody uses it, and if there is no chance such a board is used in the future. I understand it's difficult that any decision or agreement is made at the present time. So, I'll keep it open further, and I hope that a decision is made, sooner or later.


Added item to list ( * )


Added † item

Should we consider setting up a mirror site?

(moved here from CPDL support, help, and feedback)


In light of the service interuptions, perhaps it is time to set up a mirror site. It may also be a good time to consider incorporating CPDL. I have a lawyer friend who would do the necessary filings for free.

A bit of money would allow the mirror server to be paid for, and incorporation would put an official face on the organization, and also some protection for the contributers and administrators.

What do people think ?

  • Posted by: MandyShaw 19:35, 28 March 2008 (PDT)

I understood there already was a mirror of some sort in place, following the disastrous site failure last May. Maybe I am wrong about this, or maybe it's only the data that is mirrored. Was the recent downtime a server-level problem, or an Internet connectivity problem?

On another topic, the new forum is looking good, but it is worrying that it's on the main server (i.e. downtime cannot be discussed). I am also a bit worried that you do need wiki editing skills to submit forum entries - judging by their posts on the old forum, a lot of new posters of scores have never seen a wiki before. Are there any possible ways of front ending/simplifying this? I am happy to do some research myself if it would be useful.


I reckon a mirror site would be nigh on impossible to create. Allow me to explain. I don't know a lot about wikis but I do know that they are constantly changing (people are always making edits). Now if there were a mirror site which synchronised with the main site, say every 24 hrs, what would happen to edits on the mirror? If I edited a page on the mirror and someone else edited the same page on the main site, which edit should/would be kept?

However, as Mandy rightly says, there is a static mirror at http://www.choralwiki.org however, this site contains the bare bones of CPDL and isn't a resource that I think should be advertised (no searching, categories, texts and translations etc.)

As for incorporating CPDL, I think that's a positive move but one should only be made with the appropriate support from Raf and other admins. It is a subject that would require discussion at great length.

Mandy: Unfortunately, with new posts on the old forums being overlooked because of technical problems, I felt it best to advise users (on the main page) to post on this new bulletin board. I agree that it may be harder to use for some users and if you have some suggestions, I'm sure Chuck (who started this up) would be happy to hear them. However, I have to say that I haven't got a clue as to how this might be done.

  • Posted by: MandyShaw 00:58, 29 March 2008 (PDT)

Re mirroring, the only way you could mirror the data properly in a wiki context, without the sort of simultaneous update problems you mention, would be to set up some sort of automatic replication and then, in the case of a failure, fail over to the other copy, then, when all was well again, re-synchronise and go back - i.e., never to try to use both versions at once. The replication could be done at regular intervals (in which case we might have to do a bit of tidying up once things were back to normal) or continuously (probably better). It all rather depends on how the data is stored, though.

Re easier wiki editing - I'll have a poke around - there are a couple of wikis I'm involved with that do provide a nice 'rich text' wiki text editor, maybe there is an open source version of this. I guess what is needed is
a) select relevant forum
b) is this a new topic, or a response to an old topic? (if the latter, select topic to respond to)
c) type text
d) click on link which (somehow) causes the text to be fed into CPDL in the correct place.

  • Posted by: --Choralia 05:00, 30 March 2008 (PDT)

About one year ago I activated an automatic monitoring service that regularly checks the availability of the CPDL website. If we exclude the "big crash" of summer 2007, the measured availability is around 98.5%. This means that, if one tries to access CPDL at random over a sufficiently long period of time, he/she will experience one failed attempt every 66 successful attempts (approximately). Professional websites, using redundant servers in different locations, mirroring, etc., usually provide better figures, however I think 98.5% is acceptable for the nature of CPDL. What's important, in my opinion, is that the main asset of CPDL, i.e., the about 10 thousand scores, is safely stored. A temporary loss of access is far less important than a permanent loss of the scores. So, I would certainly recommend to pay a lot of attention to the back-up policy (e.g., frequent back-up of the scores onto a remotely located server) rather than to the real-time access.

As far as the forum is concerned, I think it would be relatively easy for me to reproduce the structure of the current CPDL forum on my servers of Choralia. I can activate the same PHPBB application, so the "look and feel" will be essentially the same as the normal forum. It can be used as a back-up until the normal forum is up and running again. Please just let me know if you (admins) want me to do that.


A new BBS that works sounds good to me. I don't think (judging from the lack of postings) that most CPDL users know how to post in the new way, and I miss the convenience and redundancy of the old BBS System.

  • Posted by: MandyShaw 08:19, 30 March 2008 (PDT)

I agree with John on all counts. A new PHPBB based forum would be excellent.

Incidentally I have been investigating rich text editing for MediaWiki based wikis. While a new PHPBB forum is a much better way forward in my view, I do think there could be benefit in enabling a rich text editor. There's a nice example here. It doesn't sound as if such an editor would be that hard to implement, but it has to be configured on the server.

(By the way I generated that last paragraph using the rich text editor - found it really easy to use.)


The phpBB that we have been running is rather out of date (which I see every time as I log in as an admin there), but there is little that anyone except Raf can do about it (which is the main problem). I set up the alternative board here because I had the feeling that the phpBB issues are not likely to be resolved with the expediency needed to keep lines of communication open. Yes, this is more awkward to use (especially if one is wiki-unaware), but at least it seems to be working (it took awhile for the phpBB board to get used when it was originally set up, too). What we really need is for Raf to upgrade the phpBB installation and/or restart the board.

Mirror sites, rich text wiki-editors, BB's that have better antispam protection, and many other bells and whistles (eg. from MediaWiki) are all wonderful, and I wish we had them (good grief, you probably have no idea just how many spam accounts are deleted from the phpBB by hand, by me and by other admins) ... but without help from Raf on these issues, I'm not sure just how much we can do.

  • Posted by: MandyShaw 16:37, 30 March 2008 (PDT)

Chuck, all points taken - it's clear that the admins are working within some pretty tight and frustrating constraints here. I think though that Choralia was offering to set up a new phpBB forum, to look like the old one, but on his own server.

Re editing, I was just passing on my optimism that, when the wiki does at some point in the future get upgraded/tweaked, this functionality might find its way in & make the lives of new users (and therefore hopefully admins) a bit easier. (Also the sandbox I linked to may be useful to some as a MediaWiki wiki markup learning tool. I've been working with wikis myself off and on for a year now, but I still have to use the Preview button extensively - and it took me until very recently to find out that not all wiki markup languages are the same.)

  • Posted by: --Choralia 20:55, 30 March 2008 (PDT)

I've set up a prototype new forum at Choralia. You can access it at http://choralia.altervista.org/phpbb/. If you like it, I can give the admin credentials to somebody who may possibly improve and refine the whole structure better than me.


I've tried out the new BBS and it works well. Suggest as an interim measure we advertize it as an option.

  • Posted by: --Choralia 03:23, 31 March 2008 (PDT)

Let's test it a little bit internally before advertising. I'm finding it rather slow at the moment

  • Posted by: --Choralia 15:41, 31 March 2008 (PDT)

I've just up-graded by a significant factor the quantity of resources available to the forum (database space and power). Let's see whether speed improves.