Knowledge Base changes

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I posted a link here in [[Talk:Rules and guidelines]]. Let's wait a a few days for more comments then, if no one objects, I can add a short "Add-on links" paragraph under [[Rules and guidelines#Article content]], simply saying, ''As a general rule, link to [ (AMO)] whenever possible, instead of linking to the author's website or elsewhere, unless you have a good reason to use an alternate link.'' [[User:Alice Wyman|Alice]] 17:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC) I posted a link here in [[Talk:Rules and guidelines]]. Let's wait a a few days for more comments then, if no one objects, I can add a short "Add-on links" paragraph under [[Rules and guidelines#Article content]], simply saying, ''As a general rule, link to [ (AMO)] whenever possible, instead of linking to the author's website or elsewhere, unless you have a good reason to use an alternate link.'' [[User:Alice Wyman|Alice]] 17:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
 +Thanks Alice. I didn't think to post the question here. I agree with everyone else here -- AMO should be it.
 +--[[User:LoudNoise|LoudNoise]] 20:37, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Revision as of 20:37, 9 July 2008

This page has been created for several reasons.

  • It would be nice to have a place where new editors can introduce themselves and meet existing editors.
  • It would be good to allow new editors to safely propose content changes (minor or major) prior to implementing them.
  • It would be good to have a central location to discuss the style, content and organization of this Knowledge Base. (Some of the ideas in Talk:Knowledge Base can be migrated here, leaving that page solely for discussion of the front page article itself.
  • This page was an attempt to address incidents that have occurred on the KB where some groups of editors have been unaware of major changes being made by other groups of editors.

This page is the primary place to announce new suggestions. Whenever possible, issues should be discussed in a more appropriate place, such as the discussion page of the article or category that the suggestion affects. Once suggestions are resolved, they are moved to Knowledge Base changes/Archive.

You can request somebody create an article at Requested articles .


Welcome to new editors

Hello! Great to have you here. Please add a comment here :-)

  • Hello Knowledge Base! FJ reporting to duty! *bows at all* FatJohn 11:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I guess I'm new, I am "name already taken" from the forums, hello to everyone! --Lethargy 21:34, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Knowledge Base changes

A discussion by interested parties regarding the MozillaZine Knowledge Base, in the context of planning for improved Mozilla end-user support, is taking place. Details at <snip> Forum discussion of end user support, including the KB, here. Alice 12:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Update: Minutes of the end-user support meetings were posted to the newsgroup, along with an announcement linking to drafts of a Firefox Support Overview and Support Product Requirements Document. Proposals related to the KB include one log-in for forums and knowledge base management, account levels (admin, senior moderator, moderator, senior editor, editor, volunteer) as well as analysis and metrics to include top viewed articles (problems). Division of articles into "How To’s" (tutorials or best practices initially populated with content from “Firefox Help”) and "Troubleshooting" (“support” that helps users solve problems) was proposed, with the troubleshooting section being initially populated with MozillaZine Knowledge Base content that will be organized in a tagging structure that incorporated most frequently accessed questions. Creation of KB style guides and editorial approval processes for content and style were also proposed. See for details. Alice 10:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

SUMO use of MozillaZine KB articles

Update: There is a current discussion taking place here concerning how the official Firefox support (SUMO) KB should credit content derived from MozillaZine KB articles. Alice 22:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Screenshots - confusion?

I'm worried about us posting screenshots of dialogs to describe how to do something and some poor granny trying to actually click on buttons in the screenshot. What can we do about this?--Np 16:59, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there is much we can do to prevent people from making silly mistakes, except maybe to add something like "Sample image: do not click" to each screenshot ..... it's funny, because I've tried using scroll bars on screenshots myself, on occasion :-D Alice 19:44, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Application specific articles

I've noticed a recent trend towards having more articles be application specific. My first impression is that this seems to be due to

  • Recent awareness that you can include screen shots in the article. Creating_a_new_Firefox_profile_on_Windows and Corrupt_localstore.rdf for example are articles that at one time would have at least been written to cover both Firefox and SeaMonkey, and might have also covered Thunderbird.
  • Frustration over the density and problems in navigating an article that cover many applications, such as Profile_folder
  • Mozilla's plans to create their own knowledge base, using migrated Firefox articles from mozillaZine.

I've frequently pushed for Thunderbird specific versions of some articles, including one for Profile_folder but I have mixed feelings about this trend. There are some cases where it makes a lot of sense to address multiple applications in one article. I'm also concerned over what effect this has on whether editors who tend to focus on browser specific articles will continue working on the mozillaZine knowledge base after Mozilla creates their own for just Firefox. Thoughts?

As an aside, does anybody object to my creating a calendar category? Tanstaafl 22:28, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I can see advantages in combined application articles such as Profile Folder. One reason being, the same files may be used in different application profiles (in some cases they can be copied over directly, as with mimeTypes.rdf and bookmarks.html). Firefox users are in the majority, though, and it's hard for editors who don't have experience with Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey to include it in articles. I use SeaMonkey about as often as I use Firefox (and I still have Mozilla Suite installed as well) so I try to include SeaMonkey where possible, such as in plugin articles. In the case of Changing media handling behaviour I've included screenshots for both Firefox and SeaMonkey. Regarding Mozilla's plans to create their own knowledge base, using migrated Firefox articles from mozillaZine, when that happens and if my contributions are no longer needed for Firefox articles because Mozilla folks have taken them over and restrict new articles to selected editors, I can always go over to SeaMonkey and start fixing up that KB a bit. Alice 00:39, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I think combined application articles are good when the info provided only differs slightly, for example by a single menu sequence. In profile folder, about half the article doesn't apply to any given user. Creating a new Firefox profile on Windows was created not to avoid mentioning SeaMonkey, but to avoid the "but if"s, "except if"s , and "you can also"s that plague the profile manager article.--Np 01:41, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Removing obsolete information

I notice that some articles, such as Multiple_SMTP_servers_-_Thunderbird have multiple sections for obsolete versions. I suggest we add a rule of thumb that such text should be removed if its for a version thats more than two major releases ago to In-house_style . i.e. since Thunderbird is at keep the text about 1.5 or later but dump the 1.0.x text if it simplifies the article. Tanstaafl 01:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree about removing obsolete sections, especially if the "obsolete" part is long and uninteresting. I think though, that e.g. in about:config articles, the lines "Applies to Mozilla since 19980425" or "Applies to Firefox since release 0.9" etc. can stay. -- Tony 02:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Tanstaafl 10:37, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with the rule about removing obsolete information but I don't think it belongs in the In-house style article, which mainly covers things like commonly used terms, formatting and punctuation, tables, and other style issues. I think that a rule about removing obsolete information is more about keeping KB articles technically accurate and up-to-date and would fit better in the Rules and guidelines article, which already includes a "Quality" section and "Technical information" subsection. I think that the "Removing obsolete information" paragraph would fit in better there, either as a subsection of "Quality" or as a separate section. Alice 12:32, 11 February 2008 (UTC) P.S. I added a section to Talk:In-house style for discussion. Alice 13:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

If we did move it the Quality section doesn't seem appropriate - its own section would be the best bet. We have text about how to make an article more usable in both articles, so I guess its really a question of whether you think it falls in to the guidelines or the look consistent camp. I prefer the current location, but it doesn't really matter. I have no problem with you moving it after waiting a couple of days to see if anybody else has a opinion. Tanstaafl 13:54, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'll wait a few days. I'm also copying your reply to Talk:In-house style#Keeping_this_article_about_style with a link to this discussion for the background. Alice 14:15, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Prep for switch to new web site

We're getting closer to switching to the new web site. Kerz has stated he'll enable automatic account creation when we switch. See this thread for more details. He has created a subforum for the knowledge base, so we won't be limited to just talk pages and this article when discussing some issues. He has offered (in the moderators forum) to move a small number of threads to the new web site if they're identified ahead of time. However, given the recent history of lost accounts and the fact nobody has started to make a list of the threads I suggest we assume the worst, and start migrating information in any referenced threads into the article. It will also give us a chance to make the information more up to date and easier to find/read. After the move we can update any links to dedicated discussion threads for extensions/themes. Does this seem reasonable?

I notice Alice has converted the request for comments template in preparation for the move. Any other changes that we should think about? Tanstaafl 01:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

In the "Request for Comments" template, I switched from forum thread link to MozillaZine Site Discussion forum since I assumed that links to the main forums (Firefox, Thunderbird, Site Discussion, etc.) would be redirected to the corresponding new forum. (We also link to the MozillaZine Site Discussion forum at MozillaZine_Knowledge_Base:About#Commenting_on_articles). Once we switch to the new forum, we could link that template and the About page directly to the new Knowledge Base subforum. But, I'm not so worried about that. You said, :I suggest we assume the worst, and start migrating information in any referenced threads into the article. What do you mean by "referenced threads"? We have many, many references to forum threads in KB articles. You don't mean that all those references will be lost, do you? I have an entire web page of useful threads that I reference quite a bit: (I haven't updated it since August 2007, but I do update it from my bookmarks!). Alice 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You have two hundred and forty six links on that page, and some of them are for pretty long threads. I have difficulty seeing Kerz move all of them, especially if several other people have long lists that don't overlap that much with yours. Your guess is as good as mine what will actually happen, but nobody has even started to compile a list in the five months since the beta of the new web site was first available, and its called a "grand forums restart" for a reason.
My impression is that there aren't many references to threads in Thunderbird articles, and most users in the Thunderbird forums point to articles rather than old threads. I'm going to start replacing some of the references in the Thunderbird articles as a precaution, but it wouldn't be a disaster if we suddenly lost access to those threads. I'm basically trying to suggest contingency planning for Firefox and SeaMonkey, which are much more vulnerable. Tanstaafl 05:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You have two hundred and forty six links on that page There are probably more, since I've just updated my mozforum page. I don't care if the threads are carried over to the new forums, I just don't want the linked pages to "disappear" altogether (then I'll have to depend on google's cache or the wayback machine to get that content). I really hope that all those threads aren't lost. Besides the KB, other sites link to our forum threads, notably Bugzilla reports. If I can find the time, I'll try to go through some KB articles and see what information in linked forum threads should be incorporated into the KB (some are simply references to justify the information given in the KB, e.g., forum references in the Problematic extensions article). Alice 14:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to assume that links to threads in KB articles, Bugzilla, google groups, newsgroups, etc., will not be lost.... that they'll be archived and available for "read-only" access. Maybe you can confirm, but that's how I understand it, based on the following Nov 3 2007 post in the new Site Discussion forum, by "steviex"
It looks like Threads that are reposted here need rewriting to remove any HTML formatting, and repace it with BBCode.... Any links back to the old board should be OK, as I would guess that the archived posts would be viewed with phpBB 2, in the old format.
...Even so, it wouldn't hurt to prepare for the worst and incorporate as much information as possible into KB articles, instead of depending on forum links. I created a new Problems printing web pages article that used to be just a forum link in the Issues with Firefox article, with that in mind. Alice 18:39, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

KB articles to update for the new website

  • KB articles that tell people to post KB requests or feedback to a specific thread, including Create_a_knowledge_base_account and Special:Userlogin.
  • KB articles that link to a specific forum, such as MozillaZine Site Discussion, may not be redirected properly and may need updating to the new Site Discussion forum or to the Knowledge Base subforum on the new board.
  • Rules and guidelines links to and that page may no longer exist after the move, so we'll either need to update the link or edit the article to summarize those rules.

All articles in the Category:MozillaZine_Knowledge_Base_organization should be reviewed for needed updates. If I find any articles outside of that category I'll post them here. Alice 13:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

IMAP category

I'd like to add a IMAP category. We're seeing more new IMAP users due to Gmail, its awkward for new IMAP users to find many IMAP-centric articles when they don't have the right vocabulary, and I'd like to write some more IMAP-centric articles. I don't see any need for a corresponding category for POP - its the mainstream. We already have a Calendar , a Newgroups (Thunderbird) and a RSS (Thunderbird) category. Any objections or concerns? Tanstaafl 12:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I looked over Rules/Categories#Creating a new (sub)category for the background and did a KB search on IMAP to make sure there were enough existing articles to justify a new category (there were 7 with "IMAP" in the title). I don't have a problem with a new IMAP category except that it should be named IMAP - Thunderbird (with a dash, not parentheses) if that's the name you were going to use. Since IMAP mail applies to both Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, I would prefer simply naming the category IMAP mail or similar. Alice 19:05, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd intended to simply use "IMAP". Since that doesn't seem to be a problem (its not application specific) I'll go with that. Tanstaafl 15:11, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I see you created Category:IMAP and placed articles under it but you haven't yet categorized the new category. Unless you had something more specific in mind, I guess it could be categorized under Category:Thunderbird and Category:Mozilla Suite? Alice 21:50, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Done. Tanstaafl 23:24, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

KB account creation

I've created a mozillaZineKB at gmail dot com account to handle new account requests, sent the password to all SysOps (except for np who has publicly stated he's not interested in handling requests), and updated the login page. We used to average only about one request every two days before, and the login page encourages users (if they have a forum account) to request a knowledge base account using the moderation requests thread in the mozillaZine site discussion forum. Thats practical now that most moderators are also SysOps. However, we probably should come up with some conventions to avoid problems due to multiple people reading a message requesting an account. Its a IMAP account by the way, I figured that would make it easier to monitor. Tanstaafl 20:20, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Related KB article: Create_a_knowledge_base_account Alice 12:45, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Use of color

A discussion was started asking for for opinions on using color in KB articles. Please post any comments to Talk:In-house style#Use of color. Alice 22:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Using external sources and references in KB articles

I've moved the discussion about using content from other sources and referencing certain material to Talk:Rules_and_guidelines . Tanstaafl 08:38, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Copyright/License problems

I suggest we think about adding a short "Copyright/License problems" section in Rules_and_guidelines that sets peoples expectations on what they can legitimately copy/modify. I'm splitting this out as a separate topic from "Using external sources and references in KB articles". Please discuss this at Talk:Rules_and_guidelines . Tanstaafl 08:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

In-house style: Special formatting

There is a current discussion about whether to change the In-house style guidelines for special formatting for folder and file names and paths. It has been suggested to use italics instead of monospace font for folder/file paths. Also under discussion is whether to add a new guideline covering when and how to format preference names; bold text has been suggested. Please add any comments to the In-house style discussion page under Use of monospace font for path folder and file names and Preference names. Alice 15:11, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Consolidate show hidden files and directories information

Its been archived after Show_hidden_files_and_folders was created. Please continue the discussion about the article and how to use it at its talk page. Tanstaafl 08:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Using AMO links instead of author's website whenever possible

Asked in Talk:Updating_add-ons: A question though. Some of the pages here link to AMO, others to the author's website. Is there a rule of thumb to be followed here? I answered that I don't see a rule in Rules and guidelines and that I've been using links wherever possible, for security reasons and because the install will go through seamlessly from AMO while installing from another site may trigger a yellow message bar, asking the user to allow the site, unless the install link actually goes to AMO. Should there be a rule to use AMO links for add-ons whenever possible, if an AMO link can be found? If no one has any thoughts on the matter I'll just assume that no rule is needed and it can be left up to whomever is editing a page. Alice 01:45, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd say use AMO links unless there are good reasons to the contrary; but circumstances may vary: for instance, sometimes the author's site offers a more recent version, either a test version or the latest release not yet uploaded to AMO. On the whole though, I believe using AMO links when possible is a good rule of thumb. -- Tony 07:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I posted a link here in Talk:Rules and guidelines. Let's wait a a few days for more comments then, if no one objects, I can add a short "Add-on links" paragraph under Rules and guidelines#Article content, simply saying, As a general rule, link to (AMO) whenever possible, instead of linking to the author's website or elsewhere, unless you have a good reason to use an alternate link. Alice 17:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Alice. I didn't think to post the question here. I agree with everyone else here -- AMO should be it. --LoudNoise 20:37, 9 July 2008 (UTC)