WikiDocs Conversion

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Revision as of 16:53, 21 March 2009 by Nikki (talk | contribs)

WikiDocs Conversion Process

The WikiWebService is a part of the planned WikiDocs system. This page should list all conversions that the web service has to do.

Status: This page is up to date again.

The current purpose of this page is to list all coversions that the WikiWebService should do. RobertKaye already implemented a part of this as a mason component that works on the html which it pulls from e.g. This starts, however, to become pretty complex. Therefore we should first list all required conversions, and then see how this could be implemented.

An alternative to the mason component would be to patch a MoinMoin module (e.g. a Theme or a Formatter). Not that MoinMoin has a ThemesMacro. If you install that you can call a theme via the url like this So if the WikiDocsConversion starts to become complex, it might be a solution to do all this stuff with a theme, instead of with Perl meddling with html.

The remainder of this page lists all conversion tasks, one section each:

Display Status of Transclusion (Wiki or WikiDocs Content)

The WikiWebService must display Transcluded pages differently depending on whether they have been moderated or not:

  • WikiDocsPages
    • Checkmark.png Must be displayed within a <div class="WikiDocsContent">.
    • (done/still to correct?) Currently it prepends this division with the words "Wiki Documentation". It should be a little more informative:
      • The converter should add the following sentence to the bottom (not the top):
  • WikiPages
    • Checkmark.png Must be displayed within a <div class="WikiContent">. This division is rendered as the dotted box (border: black dotted 2px) which is the "symbol" of wikiness in MusicBrainz.
    • Checkmark.png The page is prepended with "This page has been copied from our Wiki. The content is not official but probably correct and informative.".
    • Checkmark.png IMO the words "not official" should be emphasized.

Apply Proper Layout to HTML (tweaking and CSS)

  • Checkmark.png Links need to be fixed up:
    • Don't show a question mark in front of links to nonexistent pages.
    • Separate WikiWords with spaces.
  • Checkmark.png The css is not working correctly right now. It displays <h1> in the style that is used for <h2> in the wiki and so forth. Headings should be like on the wiki.
  • The css is buggy. I believe this is the standard css, since things are in a <div lang="en" id="content">. On Opera lists are not properly indented. I belive the reason is that either margins or paddings are used wrongly. Maybe ChristovRussel can take a look at this, I think he is quite good at CSSing. --DonRedman

Differentiate Between Links to WikiDocs and Links to Wiki

Checkmark.png This only needs to be done on WikiDocsPages, wiki pages do not need this.

When a user sees a WikiDocs page via the WikiWebService, those links that point to other WikiDocs pages should look like normal links, while those links that point to pages which only exist in the MusicBrainzWiki should look like links to somewhere else.

A simple formatting can just render inter-WikiDocs links bold and WikiDocs-to-wiki links plain. A fancy formatting could prepend a wiki-icon to WikiDocs-to-wiki links.

The following table summarizes, what conversion should be done in which case:

Page in ModeratedRevisionTable Action taken
Yes Link is normal or bold
No Link is thin or has wiki icon

Correct URLs

There are a couple of URLs that will not work as expected when the content is transcluded through the WikiWebService:

  • Checkmark.png Links to attachments on wiki pages do not work. A correct URL would be [[Image:OfficialBio?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=DonRedmanPortrait.jpg]]. However, HelpOnConfiguration/FileAttachments says that this link is subject to change, that there are security issues, and why they want to remove that option in the future.
    We should probably not use attachements on WikiDocsPages, so this does not need to be fixed.
  • Checkmark.png Currently the WikiWebService already does some minor link rewriting to fix problems with relative links. It seems that the the wiki returns some links like http:/page.html (relative links). These are rewritten to absolute links like

Remove the Link-to-Outside Icon

Checkmark.png This only needs to be done on WikiDocsPages, wiki pages do not need this.

Links to the outside world (of the wiki!) like this one are rendered with a special icon in front of the link. This icon signals that you will leave the wiki if you follow the link.

The problem is that links to are external to the wiki. Therefore all links to static MusicBrainz pages will have this icon. The transclusion mechanism must therefore remove this icon. In a perfect world, it would only remove it for pages on But I suppose that this is too difficult and IMO it is ok if it just removes the icon in all cases.

A very simple solution would be this: Can the Theme (or the Formatter?) add a css class to this icon? In this case it could simply be removed with a css line like

.ExtraWikiIcon {display: none}

The InterWiki icon can be kept, IMO.

Deal with #REDIRECTs

Checkmark.png Can the WikiWebService follow redirects? I do not know how such a redirect is done with MoinMoin. Whether and how the web service can figure out that a page is a redirect depends on the following:

  • Is a http redirect header sent?
  • Is an inline html meta redirect added (I suppose not)
  • Does the redirect happen within MoinMoin entrely?

Redirects now work correctly. The ContentRev plugin detects when it was asked for a page that has been redirected -- in that case it sends a 302 Found message back to the transcluder and the transcluder starts the transclusion process over again. The end effect is that the end user does not know that a redirect has happened. Also note that the URL does not get re-written to reflect the changed location.

Intelligible Error Message if Page Does Not Exist

Checkmark.png Currently, if a requested wiki page does not exist, the transclusion script generates a blank page. It should generate an intelligible error message instead.

(Optional) Remove Unofficial Content

I am not at all sure, whether we need this. There might be some good way around this, like using discussion pages. However, should the need arise, then we could add our own "official" tag to the MusicBrainz wiki in an XML-style:

   bla bla

The MoinMoin engine will of course ignore these tags. It will just display them. That is ok. Users will see the tags (when accessing the wiki via MoinMoin) and it will have meaning to them.

When the WikiWebService gets a page as a WikiDocs page, it will look for these tags, and if it finds such tags (in the text not in the html code!), it will remove everything outside the tags and then the tags tehmselves in the ShadowWiki version of that page. This way the source of a wiki page can contain stuff that will not be visible when transcluded.