Wiki formatting

Started by Hatte Blejer on partial hiatus on Thursday, December 9, 2010


Profiles Mentioned:

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12/9/2010 at 1:09 PM

I remember that there was a thread stating the cons of moving over to the use of Wiki formatting in the "About Me" section of the profile.

I would like to add my voice to that argument. I just had the unpleasant experience of using the # symbol to list the children of Nathaniel Johnson on his "About Me". I copied and pasted that to the "About Me" of his wife Abigail Johnson (LNU). What came out was a numbered list that was ill formatted. That is, it kept the numbers generated by the Wiki format but lost the actual paragraph formatting so I had to go and reinsert the #s.

Mostly I think that the Wiki formatting is fine for projects but imposing them on everyone on Geni in the About Me section is very user non-friendly and puts a great burden on them to learn YET another formatting system. I'd like to see Geni reconsider this. It turns Geni into an esoteric forum and that's a bad thing.

Private User
12/9/2010 at 1:53 PM

Actually we need more wikitext options with indentations, separators and even tables.

I am still experimenting on how to make the About Me better, - my last experiment: Anne Pedersdatter

12/9/2010 at 2:25 PM

Sure more wikitext options for projects would be fine. There has to be a way for the majority of people who use Geni to simply type their information in without having to learn a formatting system.

Otherwise you will drive people away in the thousands.

Private User
12/9/2010 at 2:29 PM

As in your favorite document editor: Select the text and hit the button above the edit window for example to make a bold text.

12/9/2010 at 2:42 PM

Hatte - I'm interested in hearing your feedback. We certainly don't intend to make editing more complicated for users who don't use wikitext. You don't need to use it if you don't want, you can continue to just use regular text.

Is it more complicated because you are trying to edit wikitext that other users entered?

12/9/2010 at 2:59 PM

I don't suppose there is a way to quick-key the buttons above the window so that they act as, say, Word... it would make formatting a lot more palatable.

Also, what are the chances of getting rid of the "feature" that replaces single-carriage-returns with a space? I could live with Wikitext formatting if it didn't remove all the single carriage returns.

BTW, Noah, how do you opt out of using Wikitext? I've never seen that option... (if I had, I'd have stopped complaining about it long ago)

12/9/2010 at 3:05 PM

By opt-out I mean just not use it. If you don't include wikitext formatting, won't your text look the same as it did before we implemented wikitext support?

12/9/2010 at 3:13 PM

Problem is that it displays differently, even if all you are doing is plain text entry. That's been the main thrust of my complaints about it. Again, single carriage returns are replaced with single spaces. Double carriage returns are retained, but that still leaves a bunch of dividers merging into text. On thousands of profiles. It all looks like a gray garble of mess.

Private User
12/9/2010 at 3:49 PM

Geni are currently running a script going through all About Me's not modified after the introduction of wikitext formatting replacing single-return's with a double return, which theoretically would make the About Me's look like before. As far as I understand the script is probably not finished yet.

The only exception I have seen is that lines starting with a space is formatted as blockquote, a feature NOT documented in the wikitext formatting hep on the page, so that must be an error.

12/9/2010 at 4:42 PM

The problem I have seen is that text I typed in before the WikiText formatting feature lost its carriage returns. That's especially apparent when some of us use a line like
to separate sections and the line suddenly shows up in the middle of a sentence, instead of where we placed it.

12/9/2010 at 4:49 PM

I am an executive in an IT company and am more than computer literate so believe me when I say that people will not want to learn a new formatting system. I bought myself some references (e.g., O'Reilly) because I want to learn how to construct Wikis in general, but it is NOT that easy even for someone sophisticated like me. I thought that the bold was double quotes around the bolded word and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong but no, it was three single quotes on each side. HTML is much simpler to learn in my opinion and I have seen all sorts of people learn HTML in online social networking groups.

I haven't found WikiText to be intuitive.

Yes, of course I know that you click on the icons after selecting the text but like with HTML, some of us take short cuts and just type the delimiters.

When I select a URL and click on the hyperlink button, it leaves an extra [ at the front each time.

Sure, it may all be operator error but my point is if I as a 24-year veteran of the IT industry find it annoying, Joe Blow (peloni almoni) will blow a gasket over it.

12/9/2010 at 5:21 PM

I was mistaken. Turns out that wikitext does not support single line breaks. This is an unfortunate downside. However, I believe that there is still a lot of value in moving to wikitext. I do agree that it is not very intuitive, however after you learn how to make lists, things go pretty smoothly.

12/9/2010 at 5:33 PM

Making lists was easy. But see what I wrote above. If you cut and paste a list you made with WikiText into the About Me of a second profile, you get a numbered list but lose the formatting.

Private User
1/25/2017 at 12:40 PM

Looks like 6 years since the last post but here goes; have any of these been implemented? I for one would like to add tabular data to my project. Any ideas?

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