A not-at-all amazing story of openness (Wiki Embed)

Scott Leslie could have emailed us, but instead he flagged Novak and myself via a Tweet:

That’s a good question. And it just underlines how negligent a blogger I’ve been this past year. The old Wiki Ink plugin has been upgraded by the fantastic web development team here at CTLT, relaunched as the Wiki Embed WordPress Plugin.

This slick plugin allows you to syndicate the content from any MediaWiki page on your WordPress blog, with precise controls for look and feel (such as tabbed browsing of page sections, the option of stripping out “edit” and “table of content” links), and content refresh rates. It’s been a big part of our Resource Management Framework, one that has scaled up across UBC extremely well over the past year.

It means this wiki page can be rendered live in multiple locations, adopting local look-and-feel here and here.

The UBC Library have been exemplary users of the resource management framework – here’s an example of them managing published branch hours on a wiki, posted on a sidebar widget here.

And yes, Scott could easily have emailed or called me for the updated plugin info. But by sending his query via Twitter, it allowed the plugin to be exposed to potential users who were not previously aware of it. And whaddya know?

The satisfaction I get turning people on to an open source syndication plugin that my unit has developed is not diminished in the least by the fact that stellameme is not a person.

Maybe this post will connect Wiki Embed with a few more fantastic uses. There would be nothing so amazing about the benefits of this kind of openness. It goes on all the time. Maybe that’s what so amazing.

Viernes 20M_31 shared CC by Julio Albarrán — See more or Julio’s photos collected in his amazing ¡Democracia Real Ya! Flickr set

This post is in part an homage to the amazing and open Ismael Peña-López, who posted a deeply poetic comment here yesterday. Ismael attributes a metaphor to the equally amazing and open Felipe G. Gil of the ZEMOS98 Collective. (While we are all here, check out this post by Felipe inspired by the indignados uprising, — run it through Google Translate if you need to.) In Ismael’s comment, he suggests Scott Leslie and I are “too obsessed with plugin-overloading the latest incarnation of MediaWiki”. I nearly took umbrage at that, yet here Scott and I are, living down to Ismael’s depiction only one day later.

16 thoughts on “A not-at-all amazing story of openness (Wiki Embed)

  1. well, technically this is plugin-overloading WordPress, so Ismael should be OK with it 🙂

    Wiki Embed is some seriously awesome magic. Whenever I demo it, jaws drop. “Wait. You mean it pulls in the LIVE PAGE!” yeah. it’s good stuff…

  2. You, Sir, are a blemish on all of us has-been edu-bloggers out there, writing such informative and educational blog posts. Cease and desist now.

    And Ismael is right, I am nothing if not a plug-in slut.

  3. On a more serious note though – I am confused. I was certain in an earlier iteration, a long time ago, I saw Novak do a demo in which _each section_ of a mediawiki page had its own embed code. This is the piece I was salivating over. But now I cannot find this. I see that on the left-hand menu there is an “Embed Page” link that reveals some javascript that will embed the content of the entire page somewhere else, but not at the section level. Does this exist?

    Also, the “Embed Page” extension – that does not seem a standard mediawiki function, or am I wrong about that too? Is it a UBC one? Is the source available if so?

    Yours always in confusion, Scott

      1. Ok, that’s too bad (though understandable); that was the piece that seemed especially exciting to me.

        Still – how does the plain old “Embed Page” script work – is that a UBC innovation of stock mediawiki? So not the “transclusion” which I get, but then the “embed code” to embed the page content *outside* of mediawiki.

        Cheers, S

  4. That is our innovation very basic taking the raw html from action=render and encoding it as JS .

  5. Now that I am aware of my fortune telling powers, I now regret I did not write that Scott and you were too obsessed with winning the lotery 😉

    Thanks for the homage: I’ll keep it in a cozy tiny box in a drawer of my night stand 🙂

  6. Thanks for the post Brian!
    Enej‘s WikiEmbed was originally a tiny plugin evolved from WikiInk plugin.
    The latest incarnation includes functionality to avoid the problem of linking back to the wiki-source site, and instead, keeping the visitor on the site itself, done by manipulating the links. Very cool but also getting really complex, for certain needs, killer function.
    We need to do a proper instructions or screencast to explain all the reasoning behind features (many client requested).

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