(See also this blog introduction.)
The dynamic page listing (DPL) extension for MediaWiki allows listing and linking to pages based on their attributes. With this extension, it's fairly easy to list all pages satisfying category requirements (for example, all the pages in the category DNA, but not in the category Courses). Since OWW has DPL installed, you can use this extension along with some templates as a convenient way of assigning goals and tasks and using the wiki to keep track of them. To see an example of how it works, see the following link:
To look at a more complicated example of a real person using the system, see Caleb Morse's Open Science Goals. As of December 31, 2008, his goals were in example form, but they will grow more extensive in subsequent weeks.
Once it is set up for a user, DPL Goals are very easy and quick to use. Any page anywhere on the wiki can easily be "marked" as a goal or task for a specific user, by adding just a couple templates that are very easy to memorize. It's just as easy to mark a task or goal as completed.
How to set it up
The system takes a moderate amount of effort to set up: some DPL code needs to be custimized and placed on a page and a few templates need to be created. If you're familiar with DPL and MediaWiki, it would probably take you well under one hour to get it going by copying an example page. If you're not familiar, please ask Steve Koch for help, he can set things up for you if you want to give it a try.
Here are some steps on how to set it up.
Create a Goals and Task listing page
- Create or choose a page where you'd like your goals to be listed
- Copy the wiki code from The Example User Page and paste it into your chosen page
- Replace all the "Hope N. Science" text with your own user name (or your full name)
- The reason full name is suggested is to prevent conflicts caused by common names or initials.
- There will be many instances of Hope N. Science, so you may want to use a "find and replace" tool.
At this point you are able to assign any wiki page to your list of goals and tasks by adding categories to the pages. For example, adding the following code would assign a page to your list of high priority goals:
[[Category:Your User Name]] [[Category:Goal]] [[Category:Priority High]]
This wouldn't be too bad to type, but by the use of templates, you can reduce the amount of stuff you have to remember and have to type on each page. The following section will help you do that.
Create user name templates
(This section assumes you already know how to create a new page)
- Create a new template that is an abbreviation for your username. For example, instead of Hope N. Science, you could use HScience.
- Here is a link to the template the fictitious Hope N. Science used: Template:HScience.
- Copy the wiki code on the HScience template: Template:HScience.
- Paste the wiki code into your new template (Let's call it YName).
- Replace all instances of "Hope N. Science" with "Your User Name"
- Save the new template.
Repeat this process for the second template
- Repeat the above process, except instead of YName, create a template called "YName Done", copy the code from Template:HScience Done, and replace all instances of Hope N. Science with "Your User Name".
How to get more help?
Please contact Steve Koch with questions. You can leave a message on his talk page, or send him an email.
What else can I do with DPL?
If you set up this system and use it, it's possible you will get the hang of it and adapt the system for other convenient uses while doing Open Science research. For example, here are two pages that Steve uses DPL to keep track of ideas: