CZ Talk:Home

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On this page, I'd like to have a simplified, redesigned project home page. At the top of the page should be the latest 3-5 "notice board" announcements. (We'll make the present notice board an archive.) Then a section about getting started. Then, perhaps in two columns, divided into cells, we'd arrange links in sets, one set per cell, roughly (this call be edited!) according the templates you can find by following the small-font links below. So, for example, one cell would concern Technical Help; another would concern Content Policy; and so on. I also think we need helpful little graphics for each of these page sets, such as a little pen for Content Policy, and something "technical" for Technical Help. --Larry Sanger

Rough draft

Should we be sandboxing any edits or just make them here? Or can I make a section? --Robert W King 23:20, 5 September 2007 (CDT)

I would say, just dive in. We can use CZ:Home as our collective sandbox. --Larry Sanger 23:21, 5 September 2007 (CDT)

If anyone would like to dive in and add (some of) the links that appear in the various templates (so, put the Template:Getting Started links under "Getting Started", I would certainly appreciate it...if not, I'm sure to do it soon! --Larry Sanger 13:16, 7 September 2007 (CDT)

Where's the old yellow-box version? I wanted to use it as a reference. --Robert W King 14:20, 7 September 2007 (CDT)

Buried in history? I'm not sure what you're referring to actually. --Larry Sanger 17:30, 7 September 2007 (CDT)

Well folks...what do you think of this? --Larry Sanger 15:01, 8 September 2007 (CDT)


I like it; however, there are some things I would change. Two of the boxes have the same shade of blue, and the "Content Policy" blue-on-brown section is quite difficult to read (compared to the others). Also, I don't like scrolling down to view the notice board, but that's something which I can't see a way of fixing easily. Oliver Smith 04:32, 9 September 2007 (CDT)

Please, feel free to fiddle with the colors. Note that the colors are also used in the templates at the bottom of the various community pages (the pages linked on this page, so those templates might need to be fixed too).
I'm canning the notice board; I'm the only person updating it and I haven't been updating it, relying more exclusively on Citizendium-L and the Blog. I guess I don't think it's necessary. --Larry Sanger 21:02, 5 February 2008 (CST)

The page itself is a real welcome addition. In the past, it seems like I have spent too much of my time trying to find the items listed here. This is very handy, but it leads me to ask: Are there other important CZ: pages that we ought to know about or is this it?

Aesthetic Note: Six different colors for the headings on the boxes looks awfully busy, chaotic and (forgive me) amateurish. My hunch is the whole page would look more polished and streamlined if the boxes were all one color, perhaps different from the deep blue of the main header to set them apart. This particular green comes across on my monitor as hideous (as opposed to the green of Special Characters on the Edit page which is sort of soothing). Almost any of the other five colors could work, although I have a slight preference for the "old gold"/brass color. Roger Lohmann 12:04, 21 January 2008 (CST)

Amateurishness is to be expected when a philosopher attempts design. Again, I would greatly appreciate if anyone were to redo the design, including of course the colors. They could all be the same color, I suppose. Whatever looks good. --Larry Sanger 21:02, 5 February 2008 (CST)

placement of the technical help section

I suggest we move the technical help section to be the top right section. Thus, on the left one sees the "register" stuff (perhaps workgroup to the right should be moved into that section?), and then on the top right people would see "how to edit an article" and "start page with subpages", which would be far more useful than the section currently occupying this valuable space. David E. Volk 13:45, 23 January 2008 (CST)

Yes, sounds fine. Please do this (anyone!). --Larry Sanger 21:02, 5 February 2008 (CST)

Wasted space

This page wastes a lot of space, requiring way too much scrolling to use efficiently. In particular:

  • Why is the introductory message set to half width? Actually, why does that introductory message exist at all? It doesn't say anything the user can't figure out by reading the rest of the page and uses some of the most valuable real estate on the whole wiki.
  • Couldn't the links and descriptions be put on the same line? Sure it would be uglier, but usable and ugly is a lot better than pretty and slow to use IMHO.

--Warren Schudy 23:21, 15 February 2008 (CST)

I made the changes mentioned above. There are still some warts, such as why there's so much vertical space below "more". --Warren Schudy 22:44, 16 February 2008 (CST)

Fine with me.

Next steps? Add to the number of links available here. Some of page sets need a lot more than four, I think, especially CZ:Organization. --Larry Sanger 15:44, 19 February 2008 (CST)

I think 14 items in organization is far too many. People can click on "more" for more; we should only include the half a dozen most commonly used items on this page IMHO. Warren Schudy 10:38, 22 February 2008 (CST)
I have to disagree. The point is that there should be one page that has all the very important, often-consulted pages. Well, those pages (or most of them) currently filed under "organization" are all important and often-consulted.
Actually, I think we need to rethink our community page categories. I want to combine Editor Policy and Editorial Council, and maybe some others. I'm not sure how to approach this problem, which I've already spent a lot of time on, but evidently not enough for success. I would be more than happy if you thought up a better solution than the one we've got in place. --Larry Sanger 14:53, 22 February 2008 (CST)

Eduzendium Experience

  • Students had difficulty navigating the pages associated with the project. Many students did not visit the "clearinghouse" page I created often or at all. Sometimes they could not find the pages they were creating without help. Once you get used to the citizendium system, this is a no-brainer, but for the new user, it can be a challenge, I guess.
  • Difficulty uploading images was the most common student complaint. I suspect many students just tried to "link" to the image on their hard drive without uploading to citizendium first. It probably wouldn't be an issue if students read instructions.
  • References also proved challenging.
  • The most serious challenge was registering users. A number of students had difficulty registering, some of which was their own fault (e.g. forgetting usernames and passwords). Some experienced long delays before being registered (if I am to believe them). I also sent a number of emails to constables without getting any response. I even posted requests for help on a few talk pages with no response.

The first three problems were probably mostly the student's lack of initiative and/or web savvy. The final problem might want to be looked into however. --John J. Dennehy 15:24, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

John, thanks for this extremely useful report! --Larry Sanger 15:42, 16 April 2008 (CDT)
Maybe in the future we should assign a specific Constable to liase with each Eduzendium project, so the professor has a 'go-to' person to contact for signup troubles? If that person becomes busy, they can be assigned a new one. J. Noel Chiappa 16:14, 16 April 2008 (CDT)
As we discussed, I created Metadata and Related Pages for some of the students. For my own interest, and perhaps so you can show them how Related Pages might work, I created:
I linked the existing Vibrio cholerae, but none of the student articles as yet; since I thought the project is ongoing, you might want to suggest it to the class. Also, since I only listed human pathogens in the genus article, your student Vibrio fischeri is not there, so that would be an example of something that could be addded.
Another thing I noticed is that the basic outline confused them about CZ style. I'd recommend that a dummy or example first article be provided to each class, making sure it shows:
  • The format of the Introduction, including bolding of the subject, and that no heading precedes the introduction
  • Use of multilevel headings; I noticed that some students would use a first- or second-level heading, but then simply bold lower-level titles.
Howard C. Berkowitz 16:21, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Could you provide more details on the navigation problems? When they were looking for the pages, what did they typically click on, or where did they usually end up? What kind of instructions were they given that they didn't read (or maybe didn't understand, or didn't remember)? How were references challenging? This could all be very valuable in making the site more appealing and helpful for other new users. Petréa Mitchell 02:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and once we know what the problems are, we can easily include some helpful links into the {{EZnotice}} template. --Daniel Mietchen 16:01, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the best place for this question, but the general help link on the left led me here. How does one change a signature? I'd like to add a link to my talk page on my signature so that people can talk to me right away. Thanks a lot.--David Boven 11:08, 20 May 2008 (CDT)

ROTFLMAO You and everyone else! Alas, the capability of having anything other than a link to your user: page has been disabled, because of the 'real name' policy. I agree it's a major pain not to have a link to the talk page, but without MediaWiki programming support, it's all (i.e. possible nicknames) or nothing (no talk: link), so we lose (for the moment). J. Noel Chiappa 11:33, 20 May 2008 (CDT)
Thank you very much, sir. I had assumed that it was something to do with the real name policy, but could not find anything written anywhere. Have a blessed day.--David Boven 11:47, 20 May 2008 (CDT)


was trying to add this somewhere on this page... ":* CZ:Group_Editing - Commentary on how editing and writing as a group is much different than rough draft/final copy formats that most are used to."

feel free to edit it. also placed it on the CZ:Getting_Started page. Tom Kelly 15:00, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Useful lists: new pages

The list "new pages" Special:NewPages would profit from a possibility to hide subpages. Peter Schmitt 18:06, 2 June 2009 (UTC)