Lost in the Wiki

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W9BU

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Folks, I'm looking at the front page of the Wiki and I don't readily see what I'm looking for. Maybe one of you can illuminate my mind as to how finding things in the Wiki is supposed to work.

Let me explain:

Before the massive reorganization of the Wiki (which, in general, I think was A Good Thing), there used to be a page titled something like "Common Frequencies". That page contained links to pages listing the common frequencies for various radio services.

I tried to find that page this morning and struggled a bit. I eventually did a search from the Wiki's front page for "common frequencies". That search led me to: Common Frequencies - The RadioReference Wiki which was exactly the page I was looking for. OK, the search function works.

My struggle was figuring out how to find that page from the front page of the Wiki without doing a search. The best path I found was:

Wiki Home | Scanning Q&A | Frequency Searches | Category:US and Canadian Common Frequencies

So, here's my question: Is that the intent for how a user should navigate to this page? Should there be something on the Wiki home page, maybe a gateway, that leads the user more directly to "how to find frequencies"? Or am I just being dense?

Thanks.
 

ka3jjz

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The wiki has gotten so big that you really need a good search tool - unfortunately we simply haven't got it. You do have to learn your way around somewhat, but in your case, the common freqs are in the special topics gateway at the bottom of the article. I should stress that the most popular articles are not my opinion, but are determined by the Wiki software itself. I nor any of the other admins anywhere have anything to do with that decision.

We really do need a comprehensive search tool; I tried to make the case for having one, but I was shot down. Perhaps my successor will have better luck. If you and others think it's needed let your voices be heard Email Lindsay and let him know!

If the common freqs article is popular, it can be moved to the front page. However with 4000+ articles, moving every article everywhere is simply not only impractical, but would make the various front pages a huge mess. 73 Mike
 
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W9BU

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Mike, I guess what I'm looking for is a hierarchical means of navigating the Wiki. That hierarchy may exist, but it's not readily apparent.

Remember how Yahoo used to be organized back when it was the king of web crawlers? The front page presented some very broad topics and, from there, you could move down through various levels of the hierarchy to narrow your search. Of course, the problem with a hierarchical organization of information is what to do with info that belongs more than one place in the hierarchy.

I manage a couple of web site using the Drupal content management system. One of the great features of Drupal is that all content can be assigned to various terms in a taxonomy. The taxonomy determines the structure of the content, but it doesn't limit you that structure because content can be assigned to multiple taxonomies.

For example, let's say we had broad taxonomies of Hardware, Software, Methods, and Data. Each of those taxonomies would have further subdivisions, e.g. Hardware could have Uniden, then Digital Scanners, then DMA Scanners, then BCD996XT while Methods might have Programming your Scanner, Programming Trunked Systems, Programming DMA Scanners. An article in the Wiki about programming a Uniden BCD996XT could then be assigned both the BCD996XT taxonomy term and the Programming DMA Scanners taxonomy term. Searching or browsing on either term would get you to the same place.

Yes, managing 4000+ articles is a ton of information. It probably takes someone schooled in Library Science or Informatics to keep it all straight. For the rest of us, we learn as we go.
 

ka3jjz

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Interesting. It would take a great deal of work to implement this, but it looks like it has promise. Suggest this to my successor, whoever that's going to be. I'm not going to have the time, unfortunately, to implement this.

Lindsay has to write the code into the wiki extensions, since he's the only one with access. 73 Mike
 

captclint

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The current wiki search tool is almost useless. I can't get it to bring up articles I've written, and seldom articles that I know are there and have the right key words.
Edit: I may have to up my rating to fair. I just went to try some examples, and found that there have been some changes that look more like google seaches. It brought up pages that I know it missed before, and now there is an excerpt. This is definitely better.
 
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ka3jjz

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I would agree with the 'fair' rating, Clint. However I am convinced that the Google tool does not have access to each and every article in the wiki; that seriously hampers its accuracy.

Another item has to do with how certain kinds of data - primarily FTOs, 10 codes and frequencies, the 3 categories of data I believe to be the most useful - is both labeled and displayed. Suffice it to say that whomever my successor is, they will have their hands full. Without a consistent manner of reference, a search tool - no matter how good - simply can't be as accurate as possible.

There's much work yet to be done 73 Mike
 
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