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  • 2009-02-25 updating to latest w3tpl in order to use; creating test button
  • 2009-02-26
    • modified test button to return to current page
    • got log-table code actually working
    • trying to get PayPal verification to work


Technical discussion I decided to remove from email

-- if you want a web site to look a certain way, it's the HTML and CSS which need to be set correctly; that's what the MediaWiki software spits out. Trying to program that -- i.e. telling the MediaWiki skin what HTML/CSS code to send -- without knowing what it should be simply won't work. Trying to work out the proper code while *also* tinkering with PHP and MediaWiki internal functions to get the *content* right could easily be disastrous and would certainly take a lot longer. At least once or twice while working on the HTML, I had to abandon one layout implementation and try it another way; if that had been committed to PHP code as well, then I would have had to change the PHP code *and* the HTML or CSS. This equates to changing a requirement after coding has begun, which any programmer will tell you is a sure recipe for time overruns.

Notes for next time someone wants a MediaWiki skin designed to look like their graphically-designed JPEG:

  • First, agree on a list of MediaWiki functions which must be accommodated (in the long term, I'll build up a list of all MW functions and let them pare it down)
  • Also, regardless of what pages are specifically redesigned, there must be a design showing what all the other pages look like by default. Need a list of elements common to MW pages, so the designer knows what to address.
  • Designer comes back with mock-up image; this must be converted to HTML/CSS. Either Designer can do this, or I can do this for a charge -- but no guarantee of 100% accuracy. "All elements will be included, colors and sizes will be correct to 95% accuracy overall, but there may be minor variances. Client is free to submit modified HTML/CSS to use in order to fix these changes in order to save billable time."
  • There will inevitably be questions about "how should this look when this happens..."


part of draft of email relating to estimate for Deki Wiki support

I'm trying to home in on a quote/terms which everyone will be happy with for the ongoing maintenance/fixing/tweaking... I'm wondering if you can give me more to go on, e.g. are you expecting the amount of time commitment to be roughly the same (as what the current wiki site has been needing), a little more, significantly more? Any ballpark of the number of hours you'd expect I'd need to spend on this per week or month? Or, looking at it from your end, are you looking at this as basically "let's do the same thing as we had, but using this other software" -- so the changes won't be any more intensive from your end, and i

I'm thinking that we might need to start with a higher figure for the time span shortly after initial rebuilding of the site (in DekiWiki) and then ramp down as we get the kinks out of the system and go into more of a basic maintenance mode; please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

also hoping that Perlman will have some suggestions


  • WikInvest: they like the more subtle use of color (e.g. shading) and the "Web 2.0" look in general
    • Google: they want the "top contributors" listing like this
    • example user page: they like the "contributions" listing but not all the stats; also work history, education, etc. seems appropriate for user pages
    • Be a Contributor!: this is more how they would like their equivalent page to look


Contest script which John may want me to replicate (quoted "very rough ballpark estimate" of 10 hours, subject to revision when I have broken it down; he said "so 20 hours is probably a high figure?", to which I agreed):

  • Design Contests
    • use MediaWiki's user system for both contestants and offerer
    • contestants' proposals are visible to all, unlike
    • proposals will generally be text explaining their qualifications, will sometimes have a different dollar figure
    • offerer chooses winning contestant, pays them outside the system (check on this)


  • 13:30 - 13:42
    • phone call
  • 13:42 - 14:09
    • research


  • 17:13 - 17:25
    • researching AdSense and Yahoo Answers extensions


  • 06:16 - 07:00
    • I forget what; see emails


  • 08:30 - 09:13 - answering email, trying to figure out what they want, trying to find passwords
    • WikiSysop password still good
  • 9:52 - 11:14 1:24
    • logged in
    • phone call, 10:00-10:30
    • getting set up to make changes
  • 13:22 - 15:21 1:59
    • creating first few new indexes
    • testing email feature
    • asking questions in emails to John
  • 17:50 - 18:05 0:15

(TOTAL: 3:38)


  • 13:15 - 13:36
    • phone call from John & his tech person
    • decided it wasn't worth the trouble of invoicing; if they have more work, will ask if it's ok to add this in. Or maybe just drop it.


  • 06:32 - 7:32
    • changes from 0908 powerpoint
    • got sample image ready to upload
  • 08:28 - 09:28
    • image sample text
    • moved input box to separate page
  • 13:13 - 13:58
    • today's PowerPoint changes
  • 14:02 - 14:55
    • final tweaks from John (email)
  • 17:22 - 17:44
    • prepare/upload files for delivery
    • send email describing what needs to be done


  • 12:53 - 15:21
    • latest to-do from PowerPoint #2: modify logo, modify links at top, remove extra links from toolbox
  • 17:30 - 18:12
    • CSS stuff
  • 21:11 - 22:16
    • reworked the table in the middle to get rid of vertical line
    • long email summing up status


  • 08:36 - 10:30
    • found CategoryTree extension; installed it; found it to be not what was needed
    • status update email
    • researching Patrolling feature
  • 11:45 - 11:53
    • email about Patrolling
  • 14:38 - 15:24
    • phone conversation
    • another email
  • 19:17 - 20:00
    • started adapting main page to match mockup
  • 20:44 - 21:33
    • continuing mockup matching
    • checking to see if there's an easy way to modify the toolbox contents


  • 09:07 - 09:39
  • 09:51 - 10:54
    • Finished non-editable sections
    • sent email to John (via real email)
    • Started on automatic indexing (created some dummy pages)
  • 13:40 - 15:24
    • automatic indexing: 2 examples created
    • sent email about index samples
    • patrolling enabled; trying to figure out how to use it
  • 16:50 - 17:13
    • added Add a Page, but it may be too simple


Estimate notes are here: 2007-09-04 project

  • 17:24 - 19:58
    • set up database
    • uploaded MediaWiki files
      • MW upload was horridly slow; maybe knock off some time. Did some other things while waiting.
    • had to be re-pointed, and was down...
    • located and uploaded extensions
    • successfully installed MediaWiki
    • installed extensions