Difference between revisions of "LinuxMCE talk:Community Portal"

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I have been working on updating the documentation and updating the screenshots.  There was all of this discussion, but it has been very quiet lately.  I am planning on continuing to update the pages and continue to piece together a working [[User Manual]].  Is there a way that I can get the ability to delete some of the images that I uploaded?  I pulled from the wrong directory and I would like to delete the older images as they do not match with the current design of either the orbiters or the LinuxMCE Admin Website. --[[User:Rwilson131|Rwilson131]] 22:08, 2 November 2007 (MST)
I have been working on updating the documentation and updating the screenshots.  There was all of this discussion, but it has been very quiet lately.  I am planning on continuing to update the pages and continue to piece together a working [[User Manual]].  Is there a way that I can get the ability to delete some of the images that I uploaded?  I pulled from the wrong directory and I would like to delete the older images as they do not match with the current design of either the orbiters or the LinuxMCE Admin Website. --[[User:Rwilson131|Rwilson131]] 22:08, 2 November 2007 (MST)
:You shouldn't need to delete, just use "Upload a new version of this file"
:You shouldn't need to delete, just use "Upload a new version of this file"
== Think it's time to add "Spam prevention" back into the To-Do list. ==
I've used [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:ReCAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA] on a couple of wiki to great effect: stop the bots signing up for new accounts, stop the spam. --[[User:ChuckMcB|ChuckMcB]] 13:33, 26 February 2008 (PST)

Revision as of 21:33, 26 February 2008

Moved from Zaerc's talk page


Hi Zaerc, I have noticed that you have moved a number of hardware articles from more specific categories, such as Category:TV tuner cards to the more general category Category:hardware and that you have nominated the more specific categories for deletion. Why was this? Surely the more specific categorization is helpful, especially when product codes often do not explain the nature of the equipment Lozzo 00:37, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Can we please hold fire on further re-categorization until further community consensus is sought. Many thanks Lozzo 00:59, 7 October 2007 (MST)
Why did you de-categorize everything from the TV tuner card category? Lozzo 01:05, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Because I wanted to get back to where I was with organising things before people started to re-organise everything. See also the "community-proposal" page. I suppose I went a little overboard as I had to go through just about all the pages under "hardware" again anyway, which I wasn't to happy about in all honesty (I was getting tired, having to put everything back, and obviously didn't gave it enough thought).

The original idea was to dump hardware into the main categories untill there is a bunch similar and then put them into their own sub-category as well. When I went through all the pages again I felt that would leave the "video" category as good as empty but now I realize I could have just added the tv-cards to both "video" and "tv-cards".

My thought also was that categories with 1 or 2 pages in them wouldn't be very usefull and spread them out to much (the video category would be almost empty with the tv-cards removed) but now I see that wouldn't be a problem if they remain in the parent categories as well. So I agree with you on putting (at least) the TV-cards category back in, that makes it a lot easier to specificly find them.

Unless you want to take categories away from pages again, I see no reason to hold fire, we can just add new (sub-)categories to the pages wherever suitable. And if anyone feels that a page really does not belong in a certain category they can just remove it with a little note on the talk page (see Nokia770 for example).
--Zaerc 05:16, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Firstly, yes I agree with you that there needs to be a critical mass of articles in a certain area before a sub-category is created.
Secondly, yes, I do want to make sure that articles do not appear once in a category and then again in a more general category. This would involve, as you put it, 'taking categories away from pages'. I understand that this is not Wikipedia and I'm not suggesting that we should do everything the same. But the Wikimedia projects have conventions which have been subjected to a large amount of thought and debate and can be very useful guides for less mature documentation projects such as this.
Wikipedia sets the de-facto standard for how wikis should be organised - especially when we are using the same software (MediaWiki). Regardless of that, I think that having article A in one category and then a more general category is confusing and runs counter to the intention of how the category function was designed. It makes for general categories which are needlessly cluttered with articles which should be (and are) also categorized more specifically higher up the tree.
Having a list of articles in one place (so they are as you claim) may be appropriate for a small number of articles but this is not scalable for a large amount of documentation like we have. To quote directly from the Wikimedia guidelines:
Each page is typically in at least one category. It may be in more, but it may be wise not to put a page in a category and also in a more general category.[1]
I do not think you have given a good enough reason to deviate from this. Of course, articles can be in more than one category. You give the examples of phones and orbiters. With the following category structure
A device as you describe (which is not exclusively a phone or an orbiter) can appear in both the phone and orbiter category - but not hardware as this is a more general category. Pleas can we hold fire on further changes in this area until there is more agreement. I will ask others for comment. Cheers Lozzo 06:55, 7 October 2007 (MST)


In my opinion (and following established conventions) this is fine:

 |-PHONES --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-ORBITERS --> Cisco smart phone article

This is not fine and makes for clutter:

-HARDWARE --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-PHONES --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-ORBITERS --> Cisco smart phone article

Lozzo 07:05, 7 October 2007 (MST)

A phone is just as much hardware as it is a phone or an orbiter. And it is extremely convenient to have a category listing all the known hardware. As for the other more general categories, they make it easy to quickly find related solutions. Apart from that it is a lot easier to remove tags from pages then to add them, should they prove to be unecessary.
I see no reason to comply with policies of unrelated wikis, and: but it may be wise not to put a page in a category and also in a more general category, does not seems like a very convincing argument. Even if it is an "established convention" elsewhere.
I just wish we could focus more on expanding and organizing instead of endless re-organization and debate on how it should be done. And why exactly do we need to have several threads discussing this on my talk page and not the forum or the hardware-category's talk page? --Zaerc 08:45, 7 October 2007 (MST)
Okay I've now moved everything here. Forget other wikis for the time being. There is still obviously some disagreement here which we need to resolve by coming to some kind of consensus decision. Can we please hang fire on further changes in this area for the time being? Lozzo 10:19, 7 October 2007 (MST)
You are completely correct to say "A phone is just as much hardware as it is a phone or an orbiter." But this is accounted for in the example below because both phones and orbiters are subclasses of hardware. It doesn't need to be repeated again in the hardware category - this is implicit.
 |-PHONES --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-ORBITERS --> Cisco smart phone article
As a compromise, how about we have a list of all hardware as an article in itself? This would surely satisfy your requirement for a complete hardware list in one place? Lozzo 10:24, 7 October 2007 (MST)
I'm in favor with Lozzos proposal at the top here, I think this makes sense and also as Lozzo says we could have a long alphabetical list with all hardware that's easy to search through if it's needed. --Samme 11:03, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Unless somebody comes up with some good reasons to remove all the pages describing hardware from the hardware category, I see little reason for me to stop organizing the hardware section as I have been doing since before you came along (no offence intended). I'm really not that interested in acedemic debate on grouping theory, whether something "isn't needed" or "implict" seems hardly worth the discussion. As for pages with lists, that simply does not work, you can find a whole bunch of attempts in the "hardware lists" category. --Zaerc 11:30, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Zaerc, I'm not saying we should necessarily go one way or the other for the time being. But I think it would be reasonable and proper to have a little bit of a discussion with a few of us to get some group consensus before we press on in any particular direction with regards the way we categorize/list things. I'd be very interested to hear your further thoughts on why you believe a hardware list is unworkable.
Also, what do you reckon should be the minimum number of articles to justify a category?
Lozzo 14:20, 7 October 2007 (MST)

I think the absolute minimum would be one, but ideally the more the merrier. If you look at the RCS TXB16 for example, it is the only thermostat we have (afaik) in the wiki. Still I think it is a good idea to give this device a Thermostats category so that the people looking through automation subcategories (for example) will find it there. And somebody looking for info on that particular device instead will be able to find it in the hardware category without having to go through sub-categories first.
Now if you want to make and maintain a seperate list that is fine with me, I'm not having that discussion again. And so far I still haven't seen any good argument to remove all the hardware from the hardware category. --Zaerc 15:53, 7 October 2007 (MST)

Zaerc, as far as I am aware, you don't have executive fiat on this wiki. With all due respect, what I'm hearing from you at the moment is: "I've decided what's going to happen with regards categorization, I don't care what anyone else says and I'm not going to debate the matter further". I've outlined my arguments at length and in a civil manner. This has included a compromise proposal (supported by Samme) and I do not feel you have given a proper explanation of why you don't think it's workable. You have instead responded by saying you won't discuss the matter further ("I'm not having that discussion again"). Lozzo 11:18, 8 October 2007 (MST)

You have outlined your opinion over and over, I still see no real arguments why the hardware has to be removed from the hardware category per se. Apart from that, why exactly do I need to go over the hardware-list discussion again? I see no obligation on my part to explain to you why hardware-lists do not work. --Zaerc 05:56, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Lozzo's compromise proposal

Re-iterating the above...

Just to point out the obvious, this is no compromise at all. --Zaerc 05:56, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Current situation

  1. Zaerc wants somewhere where there is "a category listing all the known hardware."
  2. He has achieved this as follows by listing articles in one category and also in its more general parent category as follows:
-HARDWARE --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-PHONES --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-ORBITERS --> Cisco smart phone article


  1. Lozzo believes that this:
    1. Violates the generally accepted convention for how categories should be structured
    2. Goes against the elegant principle of categories - the whole reason the function was added to MediaWiki
    3. Makes for very cluttered general categories the further down the category tree you go
    4. In the more general categories, for example harware, the user is presented with an arbitrary list of product names which do not necessarily describe what a product is. How are we supposed to know what an LG 42LB5D is or a Leadtek DTV1000T if they are in one big homogenous general category?

Proposed compromise solution

  • To satisfy Zaerc's requirement for a single place to list all known hardware, we can maintain a single list article. I (lozzo) am very happy to help construct this in partnership with Zaerc. In fact, this would be better than putting all harware in the general hardware category because it would allow notation.
  • The articles should be tagged with categories as follows and according to convention:
 |-PHONES --> Cisco smart phone article
 |-ORBITERS --> Cisco smart phone article

This compromise is supported by Lozzo and Samme (see above).

Please comment below. Lozzo 11:18, 8 October 2007 (MST)


I am actually in agreement with Zaerc on this one. As the system is now. the Subcategories show up first, so the initial impression is to click the subcategory. I think a list would be to difficult to maintain as more and more people start adding content to the site. I vote for putting the articles in as many categories as they fit, including Hardware.

Do you know why there is a Category: Hardware List and Hardware? --Rwilson131 14:49, 8 October 2007 (MST)

I still see no valid argument whatsoever to remove all the hardware from the hardware category, no matter how often you repeat your opinions. And "my requirement" is perfectly satisfied the way things are now. --Zaerc 16:08, 8 October 2007 (MST)

What the hell are you doing indenting my comments to be reactions to other comments??? --Zaerc 15:12, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Yes, but mine isn't. I am trying to propose a reasonable compromise where we can both achieve what we want. Please find below stuff from RWilson form my talk page. I will respond when I have time. Lozzo 17:03, 8 October 2007 (MST)

I think we always need to start at the Main Page and determine how is the person most likely going to get to the proper information. Currently, we are confusing ourselves. Take for instance

Person wants to find out if his system is going to work?(Try and imagine your first visit here were you confused?)

The only link for the main page is to
Here there are several links to Information about hardware.
I logical next choose is What hardware I will need
Now this page has several links including Tested good hardware Tested bad hardware and Suggested hardware, but the Category at the bottom is Category:Hardware Lists
The Suggested hardware has items that state they do not work (this should not be there in my opinion)

I think if we are going to have lists, then there should only be two, Bad Hardware and Suggested Hardware. Currently we also have Recommended Accessories which is essentially worthless.

I can really see no need for Category:Hardware Lists as the Categories page is already a list, which is self generated. I am a firm believer in KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). The software is complicated enough, so our wiki should be simple and reflect the most common problems people are currently facing. ie Display issues, MythTV issues. Just my two cents worth! --Rwilson131 15:01, 8 October 2007 (MST)

I agree with you on this one, it feels to me that this category (Hardware lists and Recommended accessories) isn't necessary at all, I also agree with you that we should keep things simple and also we should make this wiki a simple place to navigate, nopt clutter it up with loads and loads of unnecessary categories etc. --Samme 00:09, 9 October 2007 (MST)
A category system is a tree-structure. If categories ANTS and SPIDERS are in category CREEPYCRAWLIES then the red ant can be put in the ANT category and it will follow logically that it is also in the category CREEPYCRAWLIES. What you are effectively doing is listing things twice. The MediaWiki category system was never intended to be used in this way - i.e. to create large lists. This is what list articles are for!
To pick up on the point made by RWilson, a new user may click on the hardware category. Under the scheme you advocate he will be presented with a page that includes every single piece of hardware entered into the wiki. This includes many brand names and product numbers/codes which will make no sense at all - they didn't to me when I arrived which is why I set about working out what they were and categorizing them (as per nearly every other wiki on the planet). With respect, suggesting that an exhaustive list of hardware will be helpful to a new user is analgous to reading a book by starting at the index: needlessly confusing and overwhelming.
I am not suggesting that the current lists we have on board are any good - they aren't. But that doesn't mean that they have to stay that way. If you want an exhaustive list of hardware then create one in an article. If it has proper sections then it shouldn't take long to keep it up to date - just compare categories with sections in the long list Lozzo 17:50, 8 October 2007 (MST)
To emphasise once more, a category is not an "automatically generated list" as has been claimed above; they are two distinct concepts - go and ask anyone on another wiki using the MediaWiki software. If anyone is interested, take a look at this[2]. I am only linking to it because we are using the same software for our wiki, which is designed to be used in a particular way.
I am not sure I really understand this point as anytime I have ever put something in a category it automatically shows up on the Category's Page. --Rwilson131 09:07, 9 October 2007 (MST)
Another relevant point, each category page can only hold 200 articles before you have to start going through them page by page. Lozzo 18:05, 8 October 2007 (MST)
This is worth noticing, cause I doubt someone will go through endless amount of pages to find there make/model of a tv in the articles listed under hardware category, it's much simple going like "hardware > tv > my model". --Samme 00:09, 9 October 2007 (MST)
This is probably the most noteworthy reason for making this change I have seen. If an actually list solves this problem then I am for a List and taking Items out of the Hardware Section. If this does not fix this issue then leave them alone. --Rwilson131 09:07, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Like I said before, I am not interested in acedemic grouping theory, nor am I interested in how other, totally unrelated wikis are organized (whether they use the same software or not). Please come up with a good reason why all the hardware should be removed from the hardware category, until then I feel there is little use in rehashing your opinions over and over and over again. --Zaerc 04:46, 9 October 2007 (MST)

I have tried to outline my arguments in a clear, detailed, patient way. I have given several reasons why I believe we should change the current system advocated by Zaerc. I am sorry he does not agree or work with me or my compromise proposals but at least I have outlined my ideas at length and tried to explain (again at length) why the current system doesn't work. The arguments given in favour of keeping the status quo are as follows (please let me know if I've missed some off):
  1. This is how things were done before up to now
  2. A big list of hardware is useful, we have decided to use categories to do this and are going to stick with that
I have proposed a compromise solution where everyone can get what they want - we'll have an exhaustive list (which I don't deny is very useful) and we'll have an elegant clean taxonomy of articles by using the category system as it was intended. I cannot resist commenting that repeatedly describing my comments as "acedemic grouping theory" is a straw man argument and an excuse to not properly engage in a discussion. The onus is not only only on me to come up with something that Zaerc agrees with - he has to defend his position as well. Lozzo 07:00, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Your "compromise" is no compromise at all, and certainly not a "solution". Just in case you haven't noticed by now, the only one really interested in this discussion is you. --Zaerc 08:24, 9 October 2007 (MST)

The more that I think about this topic, the more it seems like we are missing the point. If the way the mediawiki software was designed is to not use the Categories as list then we need to best utilize the software. After all we are trying to educate people on the best way to utilize LinuxMCE. It would not make any sense for us to tell people to do it one way even if the system was not designed that way.

Personally, I think we need a list of Hardware that works and a list of hardware that does not. How all this is categorized is really semantics. I think that the the admins need to make a decision and go with it. Most of us will follow suit, as this does matter to us, and as admins you will have to figure out how to handle those that do not. I just need to know when I post next time, how you want it done. Let us move on. --Rwilson131 09:07, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Thanks for your comments. I agree that we need lists of hardware that works and does not, and perhaps also a list of hardware broken down by type (TV card, X10 devices etc) so we can see it in one big list. I suppose the debate here is how we achieve this (with categories or lists).
You're right, we do need to move on and I hope we can reach a decision - preferably a compromise if one can be found. This is something I feel strongly about but I'm honestly not trying to prolong this discussion needlessly. Thanks again for your thoughts :-) Lozzo 14:13, 9 October 2007 (MST)

I agree that we already have those things, neatly categorized, so can we now finaly please get back to adding our experience with the hardware we have? --Zaerc 15:12, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Reasons why we shouldn't use lists as categories

  • You can only order articles in a category alphabetically.
  • The articles cannot be ordered into sections or subsections to reflect different types of hardware.
  • A category with hundreds of items cannot be moved except by editing hundreds of articles.
  • After 200 articles you have to keep clicking to view the next page.
  • No annotation is possible at all.
  • The product code names for electronic hardware are often arcane and give no indication whatsoever about what the hardware actually does. How is it helpful to have RCA HC60RX and Caddx NX-8E in the same category? It isn't even obvious WHAT they are! In fact, one is an alarm panel and the other is a piece of automation equipment. But you certainly wouldn't know this from looking at the root hardware category!

Lozzo 07:00, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Reasons why we should maintain a hardware list

  • The different types of hardware can be ordered in any way which helps user understanding - not just alphabetically but my manufacturer or type for example.
  • You can have sections for different types of hardware/manufacturers.
  • A list is releatively easy to maintain. Instead of putting [[Category:Hardware]] in the article we simply add in a reference to the new hardware article in the appropriate section of the hardware list.
  • You can add additional notation.
  • Everything appears on the same page without having to click 'next'
  • Lists are much easier to build (fill up) than categories, because entries can be gathered, cut and pasted in from searches and other sources. For example, we could use this to have a list (or section) of hardware without articles in our wiki.

Lozzo 07:00, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Same old, same old

Excuse me but I have things to do besides filling talk pages with endless (not to mention pointless and utterly boring) discussion. --Zaerc 08:24, 9 October 2007 (MST)

I'm not going to be goaded into a flame war no matter how rude you are. You are clearly incapable or unwilling to engage in a constructive way with other editors with whom you have a disagreement. If you "have better things to do" then I suggest you leave this talk page alone until you decided you actually want to engage with the arguments I have put forward. RWilson disagrees with me - do you see him flinging insults around? Lozzo 14:04, 9 October 2007 (MST)

I have already engaged your arguments earlier but all you seem to want to do is rewording your opinions over and over again. If pointing that out is "flinging insults around" then maybe you should just leave the hardware category alone, it was doing just fine without your "help". And yes, it is getting a bit annoying to have to convince new people like you (who aparently have little else to contribute) not to keep taking things away, I for one would rather spend that time and effort adding usefull things instead. --Zaerc 15:49, 9 October 2007 (MST)

Separating development-related stuff into the Trac Wiki

All, I suggest to move all development-related pages and information from this wiki to the Trac environment danielk has set up. This would lead to a clear separation between a user wiki (with information on supported hardware, manuals, howtos and so on) and a development wiki (howto build, documentation of sources...). Any comments? --chriss 05:04, 20 October 2007 (MST)

This is not going to be that simple. Take a look at Rip a CD/DVD to the Core. I have been working on reorganizing the User's Manual and most of the original pages from Pluto are formated in this manner. One would have to go through every single page and remove the programmer related information and move it to Trac. Certainly there are several pages that can simply be moved, but the vast majority of the Programmer related information co exists on user related information page as well.--Rwilson131 08:14, 20 October 2007 (MST)

Where are all of the Wiki Admins

I have been working on updating the documentation and updating the screenshots. There was all of this discussion, but it has been very quiet lately. I am planning on continuing to update the pages and continue to piece together a working User Manual. Is there a way that I can get the ability to delete some of the images that I uploaded? I pulled from the wrong directory and I would like to delete the older images as they do not match with the current design of either the orbiters or the LinuxMCE Admin Website. --Rwilson131 22:08, 2 November 2007 (MST)

You shouldn't need to delete, just use "Upload a new version of this file"

Think it's time to add "Spam prevention" back into the To-Do list.

I've used ReCAPTCHA on a couple of wiki to great effect: stop the bots signing up for new accounts, stop the spam. --ChuckMcB 13:33, 26 February 2008 (PST)