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Notes on the Courses Swiki

This is the prototype parent Swiki for a Swiki to support course collaboration.

The column of links to the left represent elements of specific interest to use in this context.

The first set of links ("Course Documents") represent course-related pages.

The next set ("Swiki Features") are simply the standard Swiki command elements represented as text (the iconic forms also appear at the bottom of the page)

The final set of links are to related organizations/topics of interest to the course.

January, 2005

Needed to migrate to Swiki version 1.3 due to problems with instability last year.

Notes on Migration to Swiki version 1.3

Found some notes on the process:

the only note i found on convertOldATA was:

needed to do two conversions at the basic level.

  • ComSwikiLauncher convertOldATA
  • ComSwikiLauncher convertOldPages

the first should only be done once and does not need to be done while the server is running (perhaps it even has to be run without the server running?). (if it is run a second time, it has already converted all of the As, Ts, and As, so there are none to convert, yet it still creates a new meta.xml file and overwrites the previous one.

the second command needs to be done while the server is running. (see comment in code: "Conversion method used to convert old Swikis (pre-Beta 11) to the new file format. This is to be run after the new server is up and running."

However these are not sufficient to handle everything.

  1. there are no longer many of the individual button actions–they have been "hoisted" into the image (as the SwikiColorScheme>>button: method) and a showButtons action added. This caused some problems with the vertical menu setup that was used before.
    • it was about this time that i remembered that there was a version of eric's work to migrate to 1.3 before he moved it off of webguide.
    • the reason that we didn't migrate to it before (e.g., last year) was that the dlc site was not there, it was only under the old version of the swiki.
    • now that i had figured out how to convert the basic elements of the site, it should work with that site, so I started to work with that version.
    • The approach that eric had taken was to add some methods in the image that toggled text mode for the buttons and put into the button methods (in the SwikiColorScheme class) the formatting for spacing before and a horizontal rule afterwards. The problem was that this didn't match the rest of the formatting of the menu column
    • instead, i added methods for textbutton: (based on button:), which handled generating the text for the button, but nothing else. then i created an action (showTextButtonRows, based on showButtons) that uses the textButton method and puts in the proper formatting.
  2. actions/templates/addreses now use mixedCase for their names, so many of the ATAs are not being found. in most cases it was simpler to use The new basic ATAs, but there were some that are integral to the course swiki (such as view, navarea), so i had to modify them to use the mixedCase naming. i tried to move the old versions (e.g. save to save-old) in case i need to find out something about them in the future.
  3. upload handling is different, and caused problems converting swikis that used the old way.
    • previously, there was a single upload areas for the shelf (although it was possible to have it share among sites, i think). It was possible to create directories in the old version, which was often used by small groups to share/store files. All of these files were available from any page In the new version you have the option to upload to the page or to the swiki. At one level this is simpler, but it causes the problem that if you want to upload a bunch of files and keep them organized together, you can't reference them from another page. after working on fixing as many links as i could easily (by renaming directories) to page numbers or moving them all to the top level, i began to think about how this restriction is really problematic.
    • i looked at the code and found that the upload action on the refs swiki was where the logic was that only allowed these two levels (from a reference perspective) (i don't mind having to load things up to a given page, but not being able to reference them from somewhere else is the problem.)
    • so i created a version of courses/action/ (based on refs/action/ that allows references that include the page number. of course, this is not the best user-level reference mechanism (it would be better to put in the page name, instead) but it is better than no mechanism at all. It also allows references to top-level directories (no subdirectories) for items migrated from old versions.
    • worked on this a bit more, and now you can use the page name or the page number
  4. this version apparently (i haven't tracked down the code for it) contained the $ formatting, which was missing in the image from georgia tech, so i guess that was an addition that eric made.


  • created this "courses" swiki prototype to use as a parent for course swikis and better support the creation of new course swikis
  • added code to generate the first ?12? pages of the swiki upon creation
  • added the "register" feature from eric's disaster dynamics swiki
  • changed references in "Course Documents" links (except for register, main page, and previous course) to refer to these pre-generated pages.
  • made the text of the links now use the names/titles of the pages rather than being hard coded, so there is more flexiblity in configuring the pages for the course.
  • extended the upload linking mechanism to allow links to other pages uploads (see above)
  • fixed up the swiki portion of the left-hand menu (see above)

more later

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