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

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{{ItemPost|[[User:johnhenryfowler|John Henry Fowler]] <small>[[User talk:johnhenryfowler|'''talk''']]</small> [[User:Johnhenryfowler|Johnhenryfowler]] [[User:Johnhenryfowler|Johnhenryfowler]] 10:25, 16 May 2008 (PDT)|You sign up just the way to signed up to use the "forum" BBS.  It's also much faster than trying to read messages here, and you can tell which posts are new and unread.  It makes sense to use it ASAP. }}
 
{{ItemPost|[[User:johnhenryfowler|John Henry Fowler]] <small>[[User talk:johnhenryfowler|'''talk''']]</small> [[User:Johnhenryfowler|Johnhenryfowler]] [[User:Johnhenryfowler|Johnhenryfowler]] 10:25, 16 May 2008 (PDT)|You sign up just the way to signed up to use the "forum" BBS.  It's also much faster than trying to read messages here, and you can tell which posts are new and unread.  It makes sense to use it ASAP. }}
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 +
{{ItemPost|--[[User:Choralia|Choralia]] 17:06, 16 May 2008 (PDT)|I agree, of course. I just wonder if someone has admin access rights onto the "traditional" phpBB2 forum, so that he can possibly add a link or even re-direct the phpBB2 forum to the new phpBB3 forum. I think this would facilitate the migration of the users.}}
  
 
==Add brass to accompaniment cat?==
 
==Add brass to accompaniment cat?==

Revision as of 00:06, 17 May 2008

CW:OI redirects here.

Documentation

Operation and implementation issues

This page is part of the ChoralWiki:Bulletin board.

Starting a new topic: Click on the [edit] link at the right of the General topics (most recent first) section and type

== <title of new topic> ==

at the beginning of a new line, below the comment line that reads "Start NEW TOPICS immediately below this line, ABOVE (BEFORE) any other topics." Then post your initial message as described below. Thus, a new topic will appear before (above) any other topics, to make for easier browsing. For example, typing

== Looking for works in Quenya ==

will start a new topic, appearing as:

Looking for works in Quenya[edit]

Starting new topics in the Announcements and special topics section should follow the same protocol, but such topics should only be started by CPDL Admins/Sysops.

When adding a message to an existing topic, simply click on the [edit] link at the right of the topic title and post your message below any previously posted message(s) on the topic as follows:

Posting a message (note NEW syntax): Start a new line, and use the Template:ItemPost in the format:

{{ItemPost
|by=<your name & date>
|text=<your message>
}}

The easiest way to sign and date your message is to type four tildes (~~~~) for <your name & date>. Thus, for example, typing

{{ItemPost
|by=~~~~
|text=
Here is a sample message
spread
over
several lines.<br>

It even has more than one paragraph.
}}

resulted in:

 Help 

Here is a sample message spread over several lines.

It even has more than one paragraph.

N.B. The old syntax for Template:ItemPost still works but is now deprecated in favor of the new syntax.

You can track the activity in this forum by adding this page to your Watchlist - simply click on the watch tab at the top of this page.

Announcements and special topics (most recent first)

Use of this forum

 Help 

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)

Moving to the new BBS system

 Help 

We have a workable BBS system at

   http://choralia.altervista.org/phpbb/index.php

Which I think we should transition to. The current system does not encourage new users, and even though we "Techies" can make use of it I don't think it is a good permanant solution. Certainly the current pink announcement box could send users to the above resource. Currently to find "new posts" I have to find edits in the "Recent Changes" list, and go to the modified page. With the very slow load times we are now experienceing this process takes a lot of time, and I find I "read" new posts much less frequently than I used to. Consequently I don't help new users much because to the inadaquacy of the current system. What do other CPDL users and admins think ?

 Help 

I agree with you, John; in fact this forum is not very much newbie-friendly, and as it shares the same platform with CPDL, in case of a server failure we'd lose contact with each other. But would we have to create a new account to access this new BBS?

 Help 

You sign up just the way to signed up to use the "forum" BBS. It's also much faster than trying to read messages here, and you can tell which posts are new and unread. It makes sense to use it ASAP.

  • Posted by: --Choralia 17:06, 16 May 2008 (PDT)
 Help 

I agree, of course. I just wonder if someone has admin access rights onto the "traditional" phpBB2 forum, so that he can possibly add a link or even re-direct the phpBB2 forum to the new phpBB3 forum. I think this would facilitate the migration of the users.

Add brass to accompaniment cat?

 Help 

I've just come across this score Psalm 100 - Jauchzet dem Herrn (Johann Pachelbel) and I wondered if we should add "Brass ensemble" to the accompaniment list & add appropriate templates etc?

New template for formatting of credits in Translations section

 Help 

I was trying to find a simple way to format the credits line in the translations section and came up with this little template By. I used it as a test in Ay mi Dios (Pedro de Cristo), please have a look inside and say if you like the results. A few examples on how to use it can be found on the template's page. I bring it now to public appreciation for opinions whether to use it or not. Thanks

 Help 

I think this is a good idea but I think it would be better if it were integrated into Template:Translation and we had "user" as the default option, not the exception. Also, I think it's worth discussing 2 broader issues to do with translations on CPDL:

  1. Should translators be credited? Anybody can come in and make major edits to them - how far are they still the work of one person? Wikis are about collaboration, so indicating ownership of work is something of a backwards step. The exception to this is, of course, the main aim of this site - editions. Editors are listed for them, I hear you cry. Well - I think this is an exception because the files cannot be edited by anyone at all, just the editor.
  2. Should pages with translations be categorised as having them? At the moment, the category Category:Texts-translations only accounts for texts added...

What does everyone think?

 Help 

Hi Rob, your suggestion of integrating it with the Translation template is nice indeed. As for having "User" as the default, that was my initial idea, but I decided to invert its logic because I thought that perhaps text comments would be more common than usernames. Now the broader issues:

1. I have thought about this a few times, without coming to a conclusion. I even started removing my credits from a few pages, but then turned back. I think the main reason for having the credits is for us to be able to contact the translators and discuss with them any detail of their translation. On the other side, I've also made minor changes to other's translations (usually in punctuation, but sometimes even changing a word for another I consider to better represent the meaning) without contacting them, and wouldn't mind having my own translations being modified by others (if for better! :).


2. That's another point I was going to discuss with Chuck in near future; I too noticed that the translations weren't being listed on Category:Texts-translations, and was going to propose him the creation of Category:Translations (by language) just as there is for Category:Texts (by language). I definitely think translations should have their own category.

Uniform sort keys for categorization templates on sheet music pages

 Help 

I've begun converting (typically optional) sort key parameters for categorization templates on sheet music pages to a uniform parameter 9. Previously, such sort key parameters had various numbers (usually 2, 3 or 4). I reckon that it is much easier to remember just one choice that works for all such templates than to have to remember all the variations (or check the template code/documentation itself).

 Help 

Excellent initiative, Chuck! I saw how confusing adding sort keys can be when I was editing ¿Qué pasa ó redor de min? (Adrian Cuello): for Composer, Pcat and Text templates it was the 3rd parameter; for Lang and Language, the 9th; for Acap the 2nd and so on. :) Having just one parameter number to remember will tremendously simplify things. Thanks!

 Help 

Glad you like it. I'll get to all the other templates that go on sheet music pages as soon as I can. Fortunately, it is not difficult to identify those relatively few instances where the old sort key was used and change them manually.

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)
 Help 

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)
 Help 

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.

 Help 

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)
 Help 

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.

 Help 

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 (nor should it add a template - one does not exist)
  • 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)
 Help 

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.

 Help 

The fact that Template:acap and Template:a cappella include both Instruments: and a linebreak was a problem from the start. I wanted not to have the linebreak (and perhaps also the Instruments: part), but the winds were blowing in the opposite direction at the time. I would suggest that something shorter than "acappella" be used for the template name - editors like shorter names - maybe "acapp" would do just as well. If it meets with approval, I'll implement it.

NB. I corrected a typo: "Instructions" should have been "Instruments". -- Chucktalk Giffen 00:55, 13 May 2008 (PDT)

 Help 

Excuse my intrusion here, but I saw something strange in the list of languages Robert requested to be added to the dropdown list: Quenya is in fact a language, but a constructed one created by JRR Tolkien and spoken only in his Middle-earth fantasy land. I know how fanatic the LotRings fans can be, but don't believe they'll ever compose a piece for choir in such language :))). If we're talking of the country Kenya, they speak Swahili there (not Kenyan! ;). By the way, the list of languages is continuously growing on CPDL, it would be a good idea to have a simple way of adding new ones to the list in the future. You all are doing a great work on this "new works" form, I can't wait to see it online! Regards

N.B. Oh my, forget all I said above, there IS a work in Quenya language at CPDL! Incredible... lol
 Help 

Indeed, there is a work at CPDL in Quenya. That's why I created the categories for it in the first place. :) Actually, there are several Quenyan compositions, as well as compositions in some of the other Middle-Earth languages, but none hosted here.

 Help 

Thanks for the reply, Arie. For a view of the new form from IE 7 on Windows XP, click here. You can see that the boxes don't span the width of the window. Firefox in Windows produces a similar result - I guess it's just a question of screen resolutions.

I've just taken a look at Template:ScoreInfo and it seems to work just fine - see the sandbox for an example.

As for the cosmetic changes, I like the separating boxes. It's also better when it fits into the width of the browser window. Do you think it would be a good idea to merge "Title, opus etc", "Composer, etc.." and "Composition information" into one box, titled "Work information"? I'm not sure that the blue highlight boxes of "Title of work:", "Opus number:" etc is necessary.

A few more points that I've noticed:

  • Can the subgenre list vary depending on whether "Sacred" or "Secular" is chosen? See this page and this page for sacred and secular subgenres.
  • Can we have an additional (optional) field for sacred season? The choices would only be available if the user has chosen "sacred" music in the previous list.
    • Advent
    • Christmas
    • Epiphany
    • Candlemas
    • Lent
      • Ash Wednesday
    • Palm Sunday
    • Holy Week
      • Maundy Thursday
      • Good Friday
      • Holy Saturday
    • Easter
      • Ascension
    • Whitsunday (Pentecost)
    • Trinity
    • Corpus Christi
  • Under "Number of voices", "ie." should be "eg."
  • What is the "description" box under voicing for?
  • Can you add a drop down box for choosing the catalogue type if other than opus number, eg. "K" for Mozart, "BWV" for Bach, HWV for Handel, etc.

In the output code:

  • Instruments output should be

'''Instruments''': {{WindAcc|Wind accompaniment: Flute, Oboe, Horn and Bassoon}}

not

'''Instruments''': {{WindAcc}}

:Flute, Oboe, Horn and Bassoon And in the output code:

  • Instead of saying "Part of", can we have '''Larger work:''' ''[[Name of Work]]''

Good work!

  • Posted by: Arie 01:56, 5 May 2008 (PDT)
 Help 

Hi Robert.

  • I've seen the problem with IE. I also had a chance to look at this morning on my work.
Part of it seems like a rendering issue on Windows. The description of the fields should be 200 pix wide all the way down, and it isn't. By the way, the colouring of the description area isn't necessary, but I thought it might help reading the form. The colour blue is quite arbitrary.
As for the textboxes, they have a fixed length (on screen). I estimated a total width of the page of about 800 pix wide, making it possible to view on about every monitor without problems. I might add another 200 pix to the lenght for the textboxes, making the page width about 1000 pix wide. I would very much like the textboxes have a fixed length on screen, instead of incorporating more JavaScript on the page.
  • The Fieldsets are also quite arbitrary chosen. I just looked for bite-size chunks, but combining composer and workdata into one fieldset is also possible.
  • I already thought of changing subgenre according to choice of secular vs sacred, but I got entagled in a major problem with textencodings, which took quite a long time to sort that out. Thanks for the links to the subgenre.
  • I should have looked at the implementation of the instrumentation templates, and as for the {{SoreInfo}} template, I must have had my double vision glasses on...
  • For the sacred season, I assume that where you have an extra indentation, you would like some kind of separator??
  • A drop down menu for the catalogues would be usefull indeed, but the only two sources I've found on the internet so far are [Composer Name ~ Cataloger Ident Codes] and this list on [Classical Net]. There are many ambiguities, and I didn't figure out how to implement this in a correct way. Any suggestion is more than welcome.

In all: the form is growing and best of all getting very complete. I will have not much time this week, so it may take until next weekend for some major updates. Sorry for that.

  • Posted by: Arie 06:46, 11 May 2008 (PDT)
 Help 

To all: a new version of the Add new work form is on-line, incorporating as I believe most of the requested features, considering the above remarks.

To be tested by you what works best: at the accompaniment information: when you choose for Wind Ensemble, the receiving script puts in Wind accompaniment in the template, whereas in the case of Mixed Ensemble this is put in the text box below, so may change it according to your will. Just try it.

Well the link: Add a new work

Discontinuation of Village pump

 Help 

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

Making text-translations pages into categories

 Help 

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.

 Help 

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)

 Help 

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)
  8. † Replace all instances of [[Category:CPDL Editors with [[Category:CPDL contributors and rename the existing category to conform (see discussion).

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

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

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)
 Help 

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)
 Help 

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.

 Help 

Added item to list ( * )

 Help 

Added † items

Should we consider setting up a mirror site?

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

 Help 

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)
 Help 

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.

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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)
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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)
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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.

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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)
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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.)

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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)
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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)
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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.

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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)
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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)
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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.