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Old 2004-06-23, 03:39   #1
optim
 
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Post Mersenne Wiki: Improving the mersenne primes web site by FOSS methods

The web site www.mersenne.org and especially its benchmark section could benefit by the use of wiki software.

Wikis are websites editable by their visitors and their usage is very common method employed by the FOSS (free open source software) community in order to improve efficiency and collaboration. There are wikis available in many programming languages, including PHP, JSP, ASP, Java, Python, and more. Most of them are open source free software licensed under GPL, but there are also public domain wikis (Erfurtwiki). Most wikis store their content in databases, such as MySQL. There are also wikis which do not employ any databases for their operations, keeping the page contents in flat text files (but this is very slow, so a database is reccomended).

The first wiki, which is still alive, was developed by Ward Cunningham, see www.c2.com and http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?WelcomeVisitors

If you wish to have first-hand experience using a wiki, from the enduser's and contributor's perspective, go to http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiWikiSandbox and click the Edit link at the end of the page or follow this link: http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?edit=WikiWikiSandbox

Some of the wikis available on the web are www.wikipedia.org , www.wikinfo.org , www.sourceryforge.org

Some of the wiki software available for free is:
I am also about to develop a wiki software soon as part of my B.Sc. Computer Science degree final year project, with an emphasis on security. However, a full version of it will not be available before 2005, so I suggest you to use one of the publicly available scripts mentioned above. You can also develop your own software, or customise one of the GPL/CC/publicdomain scripts available. MediaWiki contains many defaults used only by Wikipedia, so its customisation may involve more effort than other wikis.

The requirements of a PHP-coded wiki are just an Apache ( www.apache.org ) HTTP server with PHP ( www.php.net ) and MySQL ( www.mysql.com ). Apache, PHP, MySQL and the wiki software are all available for free under the Apache, PHP and GPL licenses.

Having a wiki, at least for the benchmarks section of the site, will greatly benefit the mersenne prime community. One of the most commonly questions arising on the fora/forums is how well prime95/mprime perform on a given processor. Currently the benchmark section does not include enough benchmarks for all kinds of processors, overclockings and configurations. By installing a wiki you can let the visitors of the site edit the benchmarks section and add their own benchmarks.

Some wiki scripts such as MediaWiki and GetWiki can be configured to allow or disallow anonymous visitors edit the wiki. If you are concerned with vandalism you can disallow anonymous editors and only let the registered users edit the wiki. Most wiki scripts let the visitors register with a username and password. Since a wiki is a server-side script, there is no need for end users to have special software on their machines, except for a HTML-capable web browser (IE/Mozilla/Konqueror/Opera/Epiphany/Safari will do the job, as well as many PDAs). Most (all?) Wikis just use standard HTML forms for editing.

Once a wiki is installed on your site, I can volunteer some of my free time to help keep it clean and keep out the vandals etc, if they come. According to my ability and free time I may be able to help you with the development/installation/administration of the wiki, if you decide to install one.

Wikis are employed by the open source and free software community, as well as many corporations (including AMD!), to allow more efficient collaboration between their members.
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Old 2004-06-24, 01:43   #2
ixfd64
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Sounds like a plan! The main problem is with people vandalizing pages, though.
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Old 2004-06-24, 01:47   #3
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I was wondering. How do websites like Wikipedia avoid getting destroyed by vandals?
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Old 2004-06-24, 02:09   #4
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Every page edit is recorded. If you find a page vandalised it takes literally 10 seconds to revert to the correct page.

Firstly it happens far less often than people imagine and secondly it's trivial to fix.

There's more good people than bad and it's easier to help than harm. Nature takes its course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikiped...with_vandalism

Last fiddled with by marc on 2004-06-24 at 02:09
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Old 2004-06-24, 05:09   #5
optim
 
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Post vandalism

The solution to vandalism is a strong committed community supporting the site (i.e. reverting vandalism!).

If we can have enough people checking daily the changes log and they have enough free time to click the "revert" link, it will be easy and it will work, just like it works for Wikipedia, Wikinfo, Sourceryforge and so many other wikis!

Also see the Meatball Wiki, a community giving advice on how to run a sucessfull online community! http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl
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Old 2004-06-27, 23:07   #6
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Out of curiosity, are "reverter vandals" a problem?
Vandals who surf through the site clicking the revert button?
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Old 2004-06-27, 23:16   #7
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Well they're just the same as the vandals. Any change to a page is recorded so when we say "revert" it just means change to a version of the page which is correct. If someone reverted a "good" page to a "bad" page you'd simply undo the change. Yet again it happens less than people think and the vandals are less persistent than the dogooders.
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Old 2004-06-28, 04:54   #8
optim
 
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Default revert vandals

In certain wiki software packages, such as GetWiki and MediaWiki, we can limit the revert button only to administrators.

In such a case, a vandal will need much more time to revert a page. However, revert vandalism is much easier to get noticed and fixed than other kinds of vandalism.

Also see: http://www.research.ibm.com/history/results.htm

and: http://www.research.ibm.com/history/index.htm
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Old 2004-06-28, 04:56   #9
optim
 
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Default history flow visualization for wikis

This research paper may also be of interest to you: http://web.media.mit.edu/~fviegas/pa...story_flow.pdf

discussion at http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?...wVisualization
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Old 2004-06-28, 05:02   #10
optim
 
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Question woltman's email?

I sent the Mersenne Wiki proposal to Woltman's email, since he is the webmaster AFAIK and the final decision maker in this issue, but I didn't get a reply yet. Is the email address listed at www.mersenne.org correct or his email has changed?
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Old 2004-06-28, 09:49   #11
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I think he's probably just busy. Quite often, I send e-mails that are never replied to.

Last fiddled with by jinydu on 2004-06-28 at 09:50
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