Is it just me, or can anyone else not read the new Citizendium site without logging in, including the following pages:
- About the citizendium, on the citizendium itself.
- How to get started with the Citizendium pilot.
- Citizendium’s finest approved articles.
Having to login to edit, that I can understand (given the vandalism problems, and that it’s a pilot), but surely the above pages at the very least should be open for public viewing? Surely this stuff is “need-to-know” information for potential editors trying to determine if the project is for them?
I find hiding that stuff rather curious, and it made me curious about what else they’re doing. A couple of tech notes after a quick bit of poking around the new site, but not logging in :
- Despite the URL of the main page, they seem to have placed the site in the root directory, rather than the “wiki/” folder.
- The API interface is disabled.
- Seem to be running MediaWiki 1.8.2 (since we cannot check Special:Version without logging in).
- You can access these wiki pages without logging in: List of special pages and the login screen, and the Main page, and that’s basically about it.
- From the 404, they’re running Apache/2.0.59 (CentOS), and from the HTTP headers are using PHP 5.1.6.
- From this 404, they probably haven’t tried to make any static dumps yet.
- From the absence of an error on this page, they have created a “profiling” table in their database.
- They probably want to associate .inc files and .phtml files with PHP in their apache2.conf.
- They should probably delete the config directory.
- From the different apache error messages (“Forbidden” versus “Not found”), they have the cite extension installed, as well as CategoryTree, and CharInsert (like the Wikipedia). However, unlike the Wikipedia, they probably do not have these extensions installed: ImageMap, EasyTimeline, Inputbox, ParserFunctions, Poem, wikihiero, LuceneSearch, Filepath, SiteMatrix, Renameuser, Makesysop, Makebot, Filepath, and OAI. I say probably, because some extensions got reorganized a bit in subversion at the start of this year, so depending on when they downloaded their extensions, it could have a different default directory structure. Nevertheless, some of those extensions are used in Wikipedia content (e.g. ParserFunctions, ImageMap, wikiheiro), and I suspect it would be easiest to just use the same extensions, especially those that alter parser behaviour, if you’re planning on building on Wikipedia content.
As a personal opinion, at the very least I think they should allow anon access to Special:Export for pages in the main namespace, as well as the list of recent changes, because that way information can be shared in a two-way street between the Wikipedia and Citizendium. That would certainly be an interesting bot project for someone (to keep the two sites in sync, and flag those edits that cannot be automatically synced for human review), and if it results in better quality articles for either or both sites, then I’m all for it.
Also, there is a concept of interwiki links in MediaWiki (which makes linking to a special list of external sites easier). It could be nice to have the citizendium included in this list by default, if their articles are publicly accessible. Heck, if they come to the party, and share what they’re doing in an open way, I’ll even add it myself! (Of course, it may get reverted by someone else, but that’s up to them, not me).