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Discussion on General Appearance of OSG Wiki Pages[edit source]

Appearance of OSG wiki "Draft" pages[edit source]

In trying to follow Wikipedia's suggestions on layouts and formatting for discussion pages that are clear and easy to follow , I've decided to make a section to put my comment up.

I just wanted to say that for our draft pages, I thought it might be a good idea to put up a banner that says "draft", like what the PSG has put up on their current draft pages. It is a bright red banner that goes at the top of the page to make it very clear to the viewer that the page is a draft. I saw that Helen put a sentence about the draft on the pages as well, but thought this made it easier to see since it jumps out at you when you first see the page. I've only added it to the main wiki page for now because I wasn't sure if people would feel it was unnecessary to do this. I also hope it's ok that I took the banner from the PSG pages! Vmuros 18:41, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The Draft banner is excellent and should continue to be used for the OSG wiki pages. However, I removed it from the main page during a recent re-formatting. Rachael commented that she thinks it would be useful for all of the groups to have introductions like that of the Book Conservation wiki. Using that as a model along with our current content, I created a new hybrid for the main page. This new introduction uses a bullet point list to articulate the background of the OSG/AIC, goals of the wiki, instructions for how to contribute, and cautionary text. In an effort to streamline the entry and to make the main page appear less cluttered, I have incorporated the "draft" warning in bold into the text, as well as the "caution" banner text in the final bullet point. I hope that most will agree that this first page might be an appropriate exception to the rule when it comes to using the banners. --LGordon 22:27, 14 January 2012 (UTC) Another change was that I relocated the copyright statement to the bottom of this page, again to streamline the introduction to the OSG wiki and because the essence of the statement is also included in the bulleted text. --LGordon 23:00, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


In the interests of getting our pages to look uniform, and also in working out some better cautionary text (see Vanessa's post above), I tackled the template that Brett made available on the AIC Main Page. I found it a bit confusing and also it contained a lot of PMG text, so I edited it into an Objects Template and added to the Objects Main Page (it is the last thing on the list: Objects template). Can we continue to improve it, and also can everybody please USE it? There are only about four or five pages right now, so it is not too late. It will really help pull this thing together.

If the template works for you as is, go to the 'edit' tab, copy it into your new page, and fill in the text. But please feel free to make changes on it. For instance, I don't understand those banners at the top at all. Where do they come from?--Kholbrow 04:25, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

--Thanks for posting up the template Katie. It will definitely guide us in the creation of our pages and perhaps make creating them a little less daunting for some since we don't have to think about the formatting/style. I'll start changing over the two pages I created to fit the template. I wasn't sure in your question above which banners you were referring to at the top of the template page that you had a question about. Is it the information above the red draft bar?--Vmuros 00:33, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I was referring to the red bar itself-- I find the black font hard to read against the red. Could we make the text white, like a stop sign? The "Caution" box could also be better: the text doesn't wrap when you change your page size, and the design could pop a little more. I think it would be nice if the two disclaimers ("Draft" and "Caution") matched better in style. I sent a note to Brett asking him about this, too-- I thought it might be an area where the whole Wiki could have a standard.
I also made up the text for the "Caution" disclaimer on the fly, so if someone would take a look that would be good. We had a gallery call recently because they had washed a thangka following "instructions" off the web. I'd like it to be very clear that these are NOT instructions! --Kholbrow 00:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Katie, I just changed my [Ivory] page to conform to the template and have mixed feelings about its appearance. I think maybe I don't like the box with the disclaimer. I like what the disclaimer says and thinks it's important to have that info, but for some reason the blue dotted line box bothers me (sorry I am so picky about these aesthetic things!). I saw PMG put a disclaimer in their copyright statement and wondered if ours could be moved to that section and put in bold so it stands out. But if people think it's important to have it very clear and at the top I can live with that. =)
I also think we don't need to put the name of the page in again after the disclaimer since the page title is at the top header and then again below the table of contents. Otherwise the template is great. Any word from Brett on the "Draft" and "Caution" style? Vmuros 00:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE for Basic Objects Template 1/16/2012[edit source]

This new template includes expanded instructions for how to get started, condensed OSG Conservation Wiki header and banners, removal of the use of "Section 1" headings within the text, and standardized headings for the References and Further reading sections. I removed the Caution banner and added the text to the copyright in bold. I agree with all above that it is EXTREMELY important to have this disclaimer, but I agree with Vanessa that it is was aesthetically distracting. Furthermore, a quick survey of the other specialty group wiki pages revealed that most other SGs have included this information in the copyright info, rather than as a separate banner. --LGordon 03:48, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Outline format and topic headings[edit source]

What chapters/topics would people like to start with? Nravenel 21:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I jumped in with both feet and proposed a site outline. I am not sure why there are blue boxes around blocks of text. --Hialten 19:33, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

That's great Helen. Thanks for getting things started. I have no idea what the blue boxes are since I don't have much experience with wikis. Maybe someone else will know why they appeared. Should we now move the discussion about the wiki and outline to this discussion page or should we just dive right in making edits to the outline? Vmuros 01:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

An overly detailed outline can be a deterrant. It is very helpful to suggest a structure, but let's try to avoid the sense that topics have been pre-defined.

I suggest limiting the headings to the broader categories: maybe Helen's first three tiers?

I got a little fired up after the training and tried out a couple of things on Helen's outline, I hope that's ok. Since we can embed links in the text and use the wiki structure AS an outline (but better, because it can cross-reference!), I agree with Vanessa's comment (was that Vanessa?) about showing only the top tiers of the outline on our main page. Users will be able to click through to find more details, or use the search function. --Ngrabow 20:34, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

That wasn't my comment but I agree too. I was also still a bit unsure of what exactly we wanted to post on the wiki. I know there was some discussion via email about who the audience was and some discussion of content, but was not sure what the consensus was. I only bring it up again because I too got a little fired up after the training session and wanted to start contributing, but was not sure what exactly to be posting.Vmuros 02:12, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

After mulling over this tonight I thought maybe I would make the changes to the outline format that we are talking about here, in the spirit of wiki free-for-all editing, so that we could compare the two formats by using the history function. However, as I started to do this I realized how complicated it was, and so it seemed better to get some more input before proceeding. I added some pages (internally linked) but reverted the main page back to as it was before I started.

I find thinking about and planning the overall organization of the osg wiki to be fascinating. I don't want to get ahead of myself or act before there is consensus, but I'd love to contribute in this area. ----Ngrabow 04:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree about making our homepage a little more simplified and welcoming. I was thinking we could have something like:

1. An introduction including the purpose of our wiki
2. How to use the page (that you can use the search feature on the left hand side - which to me isn't terribly obvious) or start searching with the few main headings from the outline.
3. Our disclaimer that the site is for informational purposes and any treatment should be conducted by a qualified conservator (and a link to "How to find a conservator")
4. Our list of contributors, editors, writers (whatever we want to call them)
5. And links to the few headings we decide on.

If we think we still want the outline in it's complete form we can have a link to the outline. But I like the idea of it existing in "wiki space" as opposed to our home page.

I've asked some non-conservators to look at the wiki site and they've pretty much agreed that's it's a little overwhelming.--Kerith 17:06, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I too agree with the simplified format and an introduction (Kerith beat me to it!) In addition to what Kerith has written, do we also want to add something about our core values, ethics, whatever we want to call it in the introduction or do you think that if we put it throughout the wiki, it will be enough? I'm for a statement on the front of the wiki page in addition to reminders throughout but I'm not sure if that would be overkill.

Also, I added a section on protective coatings to the end of the proposed outline because I didn't see them addressed anywhere else.

In regards to the outline, should we separate types of adhesives into natural v. synthetic, water soluble v solvent soluble? At some point we're going to be so detailed that it will get cumbersome to write let alone search but I thought that I would put it out there.--Jfrench 20:47, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to encourage people to dive in and make the changes that are being suggested. It is fascinating how this process is developing, and I see that it is important to build trust and consensus among participants. But we can do those same things directly through the content pages. Can I suggest making the changes first, and then posting a short note here explaining your thinking? And THANKS to those who have jumped in to add text so far-- it takes courage.
In an effort to follow my own suggestion, I went in and took out the most detailed headings. I also took out the numbering/lettering so that it would be easier to insert/relocate headings as needed. And I have finally realized that the date stamp doesn't happen automatically-- that was me before! --Kholbrow 21:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Caution changing page names![edit source]

Regarding the previous discussion, you can MOVE a page and leave behind a redirect, so that any existing pages linking to the old page name will still work. --Smorgan (talk) 14:18, 27 August 2014 (CDT)

Ngrabow 19:05, 12 March 2010 (UTC) says: I just wanted to point out that once a page has been created for a topic it becomes slightly complicated to change its name. As far as I can tell, to do this we first need to create a new page with the new name, then change all the links to the previous page to reflect the new name, then paste the text from the original page into the new one, and finally delete the old page. Does anyone know of a better way to do this?

I ask because I was thinking of creating a page for all of the outline items that we need text for (which is all of them) and keeping links on the main page until they turn blue or are relatively "complete" so that editors can easily see what content is needed. But if I do that I want to make sure everyone understands what is involved to change the page names later. The alternative would be to let people name their pages as they add content, but I think that will result in both a less-homogeneous naming style, and a potentially hap-hazard method of linking to the page. If one person sets up all of them the system will be more consistent.

Maybe an alternative would be for everyone to spend a little time looking at and thinking about the outline as it stands now, making what naming adjustments we want over the next few days, and then I could start in with the linking architecture later next week. Adding new pages, incidentally, is much easier than changing the name of an existing page, so if our outline isn't complete that's ok.

And all this is irrelevant if there is a little button somewhere for "change page name" that I just haven't found yet. --Ngrabow 19:05, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

hi Nicole, just to clarify what you are suggesting.... Do you want people to add their adjustments to the outline on the main page of the OSG wiki, in a sense creating a very detailed outline like the one before? Vmuros 02:09, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Vanessa, I was thinking more of just agreeing on the wording of the outline as it exists now. Probably the most extreme example, but the topic Proteinaceous Materials started off as Animal-based Materials, changed to Proteins, then several other things and now seems to have settled at Proteinaceous Materials. Admittedly, I was responsible for several of those changes myself, but that's how I discovered that it isn't easy to change a page once it is a page. I also was trying to think of a way for us to see immediately where content is needed. I think we have agreed in general that the entire outline doesn't need to appear on the main page, but maybe while we are in these initial stages it might be helpful. Reading Katie's comment below, maybe the key is not to make a topic into a page until adding content... --Ngrabow 21:48, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree that changing the name of an active hyperlink looks to be labor-intensive, but I don't think adding links up front (with no content) will help in the long run. We can't be sure that someone will want to use them, and when they lead to a blank page it can be very disheartening.

That said, let's remember that achieving the perfect outline structure isn't essential because wikis don't usually get 'browsed' much. As the content grows, the search function becomes the main access point. Each page stands alone and links are horizontal, not hierarchical. --Kholbrow 01:43, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Checking all the links to your headings[edit source]

FYI to edit a link or check that your entry is properly connected: go to the TOOLS menu in the lower left and click WHAT LINKS HERE. There will be a list of all the links.--Kholbrow 20:46, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Better to link around rather than delete a page?[edit source]

--Kholbrow 15:33, 25 March 2010 (UTC) The beauty of the wiki hyperlinks: you don't need to decide whether pages should be removed, just link around them! That way pages can stand or fall on their own merits. People who DO want general information like Object Materials can find it, but people who don't want/need it can skip right to their topic. I say link your entry to the pages you think are important (presumably the Main Page at this point) and see what happens.

--Kholbrow 00:28, 1 April 2010 (UTC)Finding that the link to the deleted page Organic Materials was hanging fire, and not knowing how to get rid of it, I revived the page just so that there wasn't a 'deleted page' message. It now has two external links: to wikipedia (the entry on organic chemistry) and to the periodic table. I don't like it, frankly, and will try to fix it later if nobody else does. But it does suggest that actually deleting a whole page is more complicated than we think since some links are generated automatically? I'm thinking that it is better to change the page content or don't link to it if it is not what you need. Also, now old links to "Object Materials" are also dead, although there is a section on that. Shouldn't we be able to link to it?

Page format and info for Ivory page[edit source]

I took a chance that the page name for Ivory would not be changed and went ahead and created it (if we decide to change the name I'll appoint myself responsible for making those corrections). I went ahead and added several categories of info (including references) and tried out some formatting in terms of the style for the headings. I also started to add some info.

While I was doing this, some things came up...

  • in regards to the page content, I added general information for ivory, what animals it comes from (with a list that then could be used to make separate pages for each) and some basic information. I then included headings for deterioration, conservation and storage/display. I felt that despite what animal the ivory comes from, there are basic common deterioration issues and treatments that apply to all and could be included in this main page. I think if more specific info is needed based on the type of ivory, that can be included in the page about that specific type of ivory.
  • Because I used headings, the wiki automatically creates a table of contents. I left it up because I think it's a nice way to navigate to the page to the specific section a viewer would want. I know there is a way not to show the TOC on wikipedia (i'm assuming here too) and was not sure if there were any strong feeling about not having a TOC.
  • I included a section header for display and storage conditions. I think there was discussion via email about including this and I think there was a mention that this would be another wiki. So this section I think could just link to that wiki.
  • for the reference section, I used the JAIC format. I assumed we would go with that style of referencing as opposed to Wikipedia's suggested style
  • a basic thing, and maybe not so important, is the formatting of section headings. I chose certain heading styles to skip the use of the header where the text shows up in the gray bar (like the way the headers for some of the sections on this page look) because I don't like that header style so much. But that is just my personal taste. I wasn't sure if people had a particular look to the page in mind so I just made it this way as a suggestion for style.

Vmuros 02:01, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Ngrabow 21:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC) says: I think the headings and table of contents feature look great, and it sounds like that will be easy to incorporate into other pages as well.
--Jfrench 18:39, 17 March 2010 (UTC) says: re: deterioration section - I agree with you Vanessa regarding this. I think that a general deterioration subsection will allow us to get the information we need to get across without constantly repeating ourselves when it comes to the different types of a particular material. It would save time (both writing it out and using the wiki ourselves!)

As for the display and storage conditions, it was discussed over email and there will be a general section on the main wiki page about storage and display so I think your idea is a good one.

Thanks for the comments on the Ivory. I'm glad so far the format and content seems ok. I just realized that I used the wrong format for the references and will convert them to the format listed in the template section. I used Wikipedia's referencing style, but it seems the catalogs used the "JAIC" format. It would be good to change it for consistency. Vmuros 03:09, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Formatting with headings a la Ivory[edit source]

I thought I would take Vanessa's formatting (using headings and the TOC) to the main page. Was that crazy? Now I feel like we might not need separate pages for Object Materials, Organic Materials, or Inorganic Materials. It seems to me that anything more than a couple of paragraphs would merit its own page, but perhaps for these broad topics we can keep the content general and on the main page.--Ngrabow 18:35, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

--Jfrench 18:44, 17 March 2010 (UTC) says: I like it! And I agree about the main subject headings. I think that if we have a small paragraph or two about what the section in general is (such as is currently written for Organic Materials) then that should be sufficient. I don't think that everything needs to have a separate page, especially if it only contains a few paragraphs then a link to the next subsection that you can get on the main wiki page. It would get cumbersome.

Using links to other SG wikis to fill in content[edit source]

I was browsing the latest changes to the wikis on the site and noticed that the BPG wiki has lots of information on animal hides/leather that includes processing, tannages, deterioration, etc. I think that it would be good to link to those pages for some of the sections of our leather and skins entry to avoid have to repeat the information on our pages. Not sure though whether we should have a sentence or two on our pages prior to listing the link or just have a statement saying "for info on deterioration of leather go here..." or just have the link listed under a section header? Vmuros 19:23, 26 March 2010 (UTC) I updated Textiles link to page with additional resources--Jcruise (talk) 14:43, 27 January 2020 (CST)

OUTLINE FORMAT UPDATE MAY 4 2010[edit source]

OK, I took a deep breath and updated the Object Main Page using the Table of Contents function, and deleted a whole lot of the smaller topic headings. I felt people were getting discouraged by a lack of cohesiveness (at least, I hope that's all it is!). Now the main page has a complete Table of Contents, being generated automatically as the sections are added. I apologize if anything critical is missing, but I have copies of the topic headings if they are wanted (or the pages can be reverted). Feel free to rearrange or rename-- The sooner we get the taxonomy in a good place, the less trouble it will be down the road. Just be cautious of the links in blue-- make sure you check out the What links here tool if you go changing them.

And once I became more comfortable with the outline formats in Wiki, I also tried to put some order into this discussion page by grouping the postings by topic. It was getting hard to follow. So you may notice that your posting has a slightly different title. Can we try to follow an outline here, too? But meanwhile, for those of us who are only checking the bottom of this discussion page: please check the very first subject heading, where I am also posting an item: General Appearance of the Wiki Page.--Kholbrow 04:11, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Ngrabow 18:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC) says: THANK YOU, Katie! I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm and motivation. I still think we could use some more text on that main page and I'm not sure that Organic Materials (for example) needs its own page - I like the idea of keeping that general text on the main page. Is the problem that we can't delete that page now that it has been created? (By me in the first place I think, sorry.)

--Kholbrow 01:27, 6 May 2010 (UTC) Hi, Nicole, and thanks. I think you raised two excellent questions: one about deleting pages and another about the headers. So I am answering them in two sections in case people want to chime in:

Deleting Pages[edit source]

As long as you work with the "What links here" tool and track down every link, deleting pages is not necessarily a problem. At this early stage we need to get our layout worked out, so I think is a good thing to do. I just deleted a whole lot of (mostly empty) pages myself.

But in the long run we need to be cautious about deleting. Wouldn't it be better to edit the text until it is something you are happy with, than to erase someone else's work? I believe that in some wikis, deletion is a restricted function. Even on this wiki, there is a box where you are supposed to explain why you are doing it.

Layout of Main Objects Page and broad topics like Organic Materials[edit source]

I'm on the fence about having separate pages for broad topics like Organic and Inorganic materials. I guess it depends how much we have to say on any one topic-- at some point it justifies a whole separate page, right? But go ahead and delete these two if you want-- they are still so short that they would be easy enough to revive if someone wants to tackle them.

But that leads to your other question: how much text do we want on our Main Page? Other specialty groups have a very short entry page, essentially just a lot of links. I think this is a carryover from hard-copy book format, where the Table of Contents always has its own page. There is nothing inherently wrong with having our entry page be very long and full of content, as long as the TOC allows you to navigate quickly. But I confess I'm having trouble getting past 40+ years of book-reading habits-- it feels so wrong!--Kholbrow 01:27, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

After reading up on the development of the pages for "Inorganic" and "Organic" materials, and in light of the new framework for drafting articles on material/object type I have proposed a new TOC structure below the Object Materials and Types section. These now appear in alphabetical order and reflect some of the new sections currently under development by our OSG creators, including Ceramics, Feathers, Glass, Horn, Metals, and Stone! Very exciting! The articles on Organic and Inorganic materials still exist though they do not appear as subheadings on the TOC. I added an entry paragraph to introduce the Object Materials and Types section, along with a paragraphs written originally by Katie that explains the importance of identifying and understanding the materials, which contains links to the Organic and Inorganic Materials pages. --LGordon 21:02, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Outline Format Revision Jan 1 2012[edit source]

Since the last outline revision in 2010 there have been several changes to the AIC Wiki overall, including the creation of a freestanding Preventive Care section that can be found from the wiki main page. Additionally, new articles on material or object types (ex. lacquer, basketry) have begun to fill out and some of the previous suheadings within the outline are content now being found by specific object type or in other places on the wiki like the RATS section (ex. issues related to examination, testing, cleaning). To reflect some of these changes and to emphasize a new focus on creating content for the major material/object types, I have re-organized the outline. --LGordon 00:06, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Feeds[edit source]

FYI you can track other people's changes by adding an RSS Feed to your browser-- When you are in AICWiki, click on the little orange RSS icon and the feed will come up. Or you can cut and paste the URL into your iGoogle page. --Kholbrow 18:57, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

New Contribute to the Objects Wiki Section[edit source]

This new section includes the former pages: Begin a New Page and Objects Template and new guides for how to contribute, community guidelines, guides for content, framework for drafting articles, and formatting tips. This was modelled on the Book Conservation Contribute page as well as their Wiki_templates page. --LGordon 19:27, 15 January 2012 (UTC)