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Mollie, I'm confused! Why has this page been created? What is wrong with the England portal? Are we abandoning portals??? bromaelor 13:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, we are looking into changing the portal structure. I'm working with the director of the Hyde Park FHC (I think that's what she is) to come up with an alternative. This is my test page that I'm using to try new layouts. Please feel free to offer suggestions as well! While portals offer good layout options and ease of content editing, they have some issues. We anticipate adding a semantic layer to this system within the next year (Semantic MediaWiki). The semantic layer conflicts is several ways with the current portal structure, specifically in search results and the ability to annotate data (tag metadata). Molliewog 15:29, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
OK. I can see the reasoning behind it. However, from my experiences on Wikipedia, people will simply keep adding to this 'front-end' page rather than creating new articles. This will result in large and unreadable articles. The previous difference between a 'Portal' and an 'Article' tended to stop this happening. I think you could end up losing control of the way users are 'directed' through the site? But if we are going down this road: (1) Each country needs an introduction (2) Keep "Counties" and "Topic"s separate: There are many Topics which are not county related. (3) "Related Pages": I think this is inviting problems?It could end up with a vast number of links? Do I take it these are replacing Categories? Not a good move in my opinion! bromaelor 16:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
You bring up some great points! The way users are directed through the site is definitely a concern. Hopefully, we can structure these major country pages in such a way to provide a useful user experience. Regarding your numbered items: (1) Although some don't see a need for an introduction, I agree that we should have one included at the top of the page. Please feel free to add one to this Englad/Test1 page. I'd be interested to see what you invision. (2) Yes, counties and topics will be separate. My note on the page to combine the 2 was only an idea to have 2 adjacent column boxes on the page; one for counties, and one for topics. The topics on this page will be only those that related to the specific subject of the page, which in this case is England. (3) Related pages is not a good title. In this area, I was thinking of links to other United Kingdom constituents and affiliations, similar to the nav boxes at the bottom of Wikipedia pages. This will not replace categories. Time for me to go to a meeting.... Molliewog 16:59, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
My biggest worry is that we appear to be (yet again!) "reinventing the wheel", when the real problem is a lack of content on the site? bromaelor 11:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

(1) I'm now convinced that "Related Countries" will not work! If we add India then we should add every other member (of former member) of the Commonwealth. Perhaps we should go back as far as the Normans and add France as well? I think the section should be dropped altogether as the decisions as to which countries are 'related' could end up as a political "hot-potato"!

(2) The left hand column for "Topics" does not look good unless you have a wide-screen monitor! On my screen nearly every topic is split onto two or three lines e.g.:

Emigration
and
Immigration

which looks really shoddy!

(3) Shouldn't "Counties" read "Traditional Counties" or maybe "Ancient Counties"? Remember there was major local government reform in both 1974 and 1996 and many of the 'counties' you have listed are irrelevant today.

(4) The whole page layout seems to be based on a table! I was under the impression that this was not longer acceptable in Web design??? This could lead to a disaster if a beginner attempts to modify one of the pages and deletes some of the table formatting!

(5) England is a perfect example of my previously mentioned concerns! Click on most of those county names and you get nowhere, as there is so little content available for England! You can spend all the time in the world playing around with the page layout but this is irrelevant unless you have content to fill those pages!! At present FSWiki has little to offer most researchers. Unless FSWiki can provide better content than say GenUKI, why should anyone bother using the site??? bromaelor 12:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Is this still a relevant test?

I got the impression from bits and pieces I've heard that Symantic Media Wiki may go the way of the DODO bird. Is there any need to keep this page on the live version of this system?


Most of the issues raised by Bromaelor are right on target. Who will be changing all of the existing portals if this does go forward. My time is better spent on adding content that can be used rather than changing structure that is not being used much.

Daudwp 01:53, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

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