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Revision as of 05:22, 22 February 2006 by Reshma P. Shetty (talk | contribs) (Proposed implementation: fixed typos/errors)
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Please post any ideas you have about OpenWetWare software development here.


  • Using "tags" (similar to sites such as delicious or flikr) so end-users could help categorize protocols with minimal effort. This idea was suggested by Ishan.

Proposed implementation

In thinking about this issue some more, I think Austin might be right. We may want to initially try to use Categories as tags and see how that works. It seems like the easiest thing to do as it requires no new functionality in MediaWiki. It seems that the easiest way to enforce this is to only have a single layer of categories and no subcategories. We could also avoid tags like E. coli protocol. For example, the page Preparing electrocompetent cells would get tagged with Category:Escherichia coli and Category:Protocol so that it would fall under both categories. This would enable users to collect together pages in different groupings. Someone viewing the category Escherichia coli would see equipment pages, protocol pages, material pages, and information pages. I think for our purposes, this might be a more useful application of categories. This would also have the advantage that some pages whose categorization is ambiguous could be labelled with multiple tags. For example, Miniprep could be tagged with Category:DNA and Category:Escherichia coli and Category:Protocol.

Some useful categories off the top of my head (please edit)

  1. OpenWetWare
    • for community related pages
  2. Protocol
  3. Equipment
  4. Material
  5. In vivo
  6. In vitro
  7. In silico
  8. DNA
  9. RNA
  10. Protein
  11. Escherichia coli
    • and one for every other species
  12. Reference
  13. Mimulus
  14. Course
    • to indicate class-related pages
  15. BE.109
    • to indicate pages related to a certain course
    • note that BE.109 should not be a subcategory of course because there might be pages that are useful for BE.109 and thus tagged as BE.109 that are not actually true Course pages.
  16. Organization
    • to indicate pages that are maintained by a certain organization
  17. ICSB SC
  18. MIT
    • and one for every other institution
  19. Wittrup
    • and one for every other lab
  20. Microfluidics
  21. Flow cytometry
  22. Microscopy
  23. Measurement
    • would something like this be useful for collating measurement methodologies? I'm not sure
  24. Safety

Later, if this scheme proves useful and maintainable, we could consider trying to customizing the mediawiki software further by renaming Categories to Tags.

Such an approach may also help the generation of tailored Special:Recentchanges pages.



  • Discussion boards similar to these found on the Fluwiki site. Actually, there are a number of cool things on the Fluwiki site that might be worth implementing:
  • Multiple image upload (or upload of a directory of images).
    • This would be very desirable. There are some posts on the mediawiki message boards saying that this is on the list of things to do so maybe this could be done in collaboration with the mediawiki community?
  • Tailored Special:Recentchanges viewing so that you could look at all the recent changes associated with a particular namespace like BE.109 or Synthetic Biology or the Mimulus Community. It helps new users track those changes that they care about more easily.