Submissions/A framework to visualize wiki-based transclusion

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Title of the submission
A framework to visualize wiki-based transclusion
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Jaime Penagos, Jean Pierre Charalambos
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Computer Science, National University of Colombia
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

We are interested in high level graphical analysis tools to assist wikimedians in writing and reading articles. Transclusion is key to write compound articles[1] and to keep them up-to-date, taking full advantage of an open knowledge environment. We have been working on a MediaWiki extension that provides a graphical user interface to transclude sections between two wiki articles, and a graphical metaphor to visualize the composition of a transcluded wiki article. Our goal is to make the transclusion process more intuitive and to provide a graphical tool useful to analyze its result.

The current built-in MediaWiki transclusion mechanism is oriented towards the exclusion of small portions of text (or inclusion of large portions of text, such as templates) in an article. There is no simple way to transclude only one section (or small portion of text). We thus believe that this process can be improved at least in the following ways:

  • By allowing transclusion of sections, or small portions of text (at will).
  • By assisting the whole process with a visualization tool.
  • By providing a visual metaphor to ease the analysis of how transcluded articles are compounded.

To cover these objectives we introduce a MediaWiki Extension with the following properties, see Figure 1:

  • A tagging mechanism to select the portions of text to be transcluded, which requires only a visual interaction. See the visualization system below.
  • A parser function that transcludes those portions of text. The function will search the generated id on a portable database system, and will extract the transcluded text from the original source.
  • A visualization system implemented in the Processing language involving:
  1. A visual metaphor to select and transclude text from a source article to a target article (see Figure 2a).
  2. A visual metaphor to show how a transcluded article is compounded (see Figure 2b).

We are currently exploring visual metaphors for the visualization of compound articles and implementing the base system, specifically the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) methods of the transclusion process.

  1. Xanadu Model

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
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Slides or further information (optional)

Our MediaWiki testing site can be found here.

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  1. Vibhijain 15:39, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. Juttavd 23:39, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. I am very interested in this. I've been thinking about such things for years. I hope that more people join. Amir E. Aharoni
  4. Add your username here.