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Permies wiki: your help is appreciated!  RSS feed

 
Saskia Symens
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Hi all,

We recently got the idea of developing a permaculture wiki out of this forum (see link in my signature).
We have set up a basic structure for a permaculture reference (and nothing yet for an also planned online PDC  ) and are now looking for people interested in helping out with the project.
The involvement can be as large or as small as you like.

- We are looking for people who can help in concisely defining the permaculture elements (Each page has a WHAT section. For an elaborate example, see the Ducks page ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Ducks ), for a more basic example, see the chickens page ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Chickens ))
- We are always looking for examples of new and creative ways in which the principles are applied: explain what you are doing in a few words, with or without illustrations
- We are mostly looking for people wanting to upload their pictures to the new pages to illustrate the text (these go into the EXAMPLES and CREATIVE COMBINATION sections), with a small accompanying text (for an example, see the Chicken Shelter Needs page under EXAMPLES ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Chicken-Shelter )).
- We are looking for knowledgeable enthusiasts about any given subject who will supply comments or improvements to the existing text (there is normally a COMMENTS section under every page, to which you can add by clicking the EDIT button)
- We are looking for people who have an interest in cooperatively developing the PDC. The emphasis would be on teaching permaculture thinking, using the Reference section of the website as uh, reference 

My proposal is as follows:
- Anyone interested in collaborating replies at least once to this thread, with what you would like to do or just to express interest. The important thing is to reply so that you get notified of follow ups on the thread.
- We will post here any new page we put up where we could use input on, with a link so you can check it out easily. If the page is not your cup of tea, you do nothing. If it is you check it out and modify or upload according to your fancy (and good sense  )
- We will also post here any particular piece of info that we are missing (text or pic or input of various kind), to which the peope who hold this info could reply (and hopefully will! )

The username needed to edit the wiki is: permaculture
The password is: hugelkultur
There is a page template available for those who want to create new pages (but go easy on that one, at least try to stay within the existing structure, so all info is logically linked and accessible with a few clicks).
There is also an instruction page on how to upload images for those unfamiliar with the process.

Thank you all for reading this, and I hope to see many names appear...

Wiki status:
We are currently populating our first subsection Birds, more particularly the Ducks and Chickens pages have some minimal info on it. Ducks needs more pictures.
If anyone is partial to other birds, the pages for turkeys, quail, geese and guinea fowl also exist but have nothing in them at the moment...

Suggestion: For those who - like me - want to promote the idea of the wiki forum wide, consider changing your signature into something similar to mine so that with every reply you make, you spread the word...

Keep the faith! 
 
Rob Sigg
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I am interested. Im slowly trying to do pictures right now. Since Im still learning myself I can't write too much factual info. Thanks for leading this!
 
Saskia Symens
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
I am interested. Im slowly trying to do pictures right now. Since Im still learning myself I can't write too much factual info. Thanks for leading this!


Hiya Rob! Thanks for joining our (at the moment) very small club  .
Does it look to you like people are having resistance to putting their name on a list? Does to me.
There were a lot more people joining in the discussion when it was non committal. 
Or maybe I didn't make my presentation sexy enough? 

OK, I'll rephrase, for the people on the fence:
YOU decide at all times how much time you want to put in this. If it is 5 minutes in two years or even zero minutes, that's fine!
No one's going to twist your arm, All you're saying by replying is
- I'm interested in the project
- I want to keep up to date with what is going on in the project

[s]Put differently: two people, however enthusiastic, are not going to build a whole permaculture database by themselves, so if this resource is going to be of any use to us, it will need to be a group effort.[/s] Strike that out you dumb-ass, you're certain to scare them away like this. Uh? OK...

Definitely not sexy 
I guess I suck at that. 
Sam, you marketing guru, where are you when we need you 
 
Rob Sigg
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I resisted at first as well because of time and to be honest, I feel very inadequate about information since IM new to this. Secondly, at first I thought it was pointless because I have alot of this information on my HD already and most of it is scattetred throughout this site and the internet. BUT, then I remembered that not everyone has what I have, and the more I thought about it, this website is by far the best permaculture resource out there. I think what makes it so valuable are the real life examples of what permaculture can do, apart from those examples, information is just fiction to me. So I value the one stop shop for experience in the wiki since im a visual learner, rather than what are the basics of permaculture. my 2 cents
 
Saskia Symens
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
I resisted at first as well because of time and to be honest, I feel very inadequate about information since IM new to this. Secondly, at first I thought it was pointless because I have alot of this information on my HD already and most of it is scattetred throughout this site and the internet. BUT, then I remembered that not everyone has what I have, and the more I thought about it, this website is by far the best permaculture resource out there. I think what makes it so valuable are the real life examples of what permaculture can do, apart from those examples, information is just fiction to me. So I value the one stop shop for experience in the wiki since im a visual learner, rather than what are the basics of permaculture. my 2 cents


Totally agree! Although there is a lot of information out there, even for free, it is scattered, and that means it's a pain to find everything you need in one spot. This forum probably has more info on it than any other permaculture site, but it is still hard to find things back because of the format. That's where the reference wiki would come in...
 
Hugh Hawk
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OK, I'm in.  Don't have a lot of time to contribute right at the moment.  I have an offline wiki which I use as a personal notebook which I have a fair bit of info in, so happy to share useful snippets from that.
 
Sam White
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saskia wrote:
Sam, you marketing guru, where are you when we need you 


I'm no guru lol.

I think the wiki represents an important opportunity for sharing information and ideas that could change the world for the better. By creating an organised resource we'd be facilitating that change and,  if people have a bit of time to spare, sharing a few of their observations and experiences via the wiki would be a great way to contribute to and expand the 'cause'. You only have to look at the all-pervasiveness of Wikipedia in search engine results to see how powerful a permaculture wiki could be in terms of introducing people to the concept...

I'll be contributing as much as I can although I'm still very much a novice. I've just moved on to 18 acres with my parents so I'll probably be able to offer a few pictures over the coming year/s. Similarly, I start my MSc next week and it relates to sustainable construction so I might be able to add something about that as a result of my lessons or research.
 
John Polk
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To many of us, the Wiki format is rather strange.  Is there a "sandbox" to play in?
My only experience on Wikipedia was correcting a blatant error, and I did that through the 'comments' section (with cites to collaborate my info).
 
                                
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If no one else pops up to write about earthworks and construction, I could be bribed with cookies. 
 
Saskia Symens
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Thank you all for replying!

And by the way, this communication about the wiki page is not just from me to you. It should (and does) function two ways: if you have requests, errors to point out, things to address, questions, complaints, etc., you can post them on here as well to get feedback on them from me and others (and please note I'm not the "boss" of the wiki, I just enjoy structuring stuff )

TheDirtSurgeon wrote:
If no one else pops up to write about earthworks and construction, I could be bribed with cookies.   


Virtual cookies? Pictures of cookies? Or will you pop over to my farm to get the real stuff 
John Polk wrote:

To many of us, the Wiki format is rather strange.  Is there a "sandbox" to play in?
My only experience on Wikipedia was correcting a blatant error, and I did that through the 'comments' section (with cites to collaborate my info).


Well, that makes you more of an expert than me  : I've been doing all my (numerous) edits on the actual wikipages  .
There is a sandbox for PmWiki, the environment our permieswiki runs on at http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Main/WikiSandbox

But I find that just typing in the text goes rather nicely. You need to force linebreaks with an extra blank line or use a double backslash every time you want a linebreak, but apart from that, it's not so different from typing here...

Wikipedia has become very formalized in recent years, it's a far cry off the "everyone can contribute" original idea, with lots of procedures to read and to stick to. It put me off from contributing.

Maybe we'll get to that point one day, but hopefully not soon. I would like to keep this wiki growing organically and informally, starting from the premise that the people contributing are well intentioned and talk about what they know.

There's room to post in the comments section at the bottom of every page for people who don't feel comfortable editing the text directly or if you want to discuss items that have no immediate place ON the page.

There is of course also the opportunity to discuss page content and organization here on the forum, there's already a thread going on that you might have seen for chickens ( http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/9956_0/permaculture/wikipage-chickens ) and ducks ( http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/9976_0/permaculture/wikipage-ducks )
 
gani et se
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So, how do we get a page for snake habitat (for example) set up?  It should be linked to from (the nonexistent?) Pest Control page as part of predator habitat? That's a topic I think I could trawl the forum for information on, and post it to the wiki. I could do some searching the forums for juicy quotes about things that catch my interest since I'm a newbie without a lot of my own stuff to write about yet, if that seems appropriate.
Which leads me to a question. If I am searching the forum for quotes, should I link to the forum post from which I quote? Can I figure that someone posting info on the forum would be okay with it going on the wiki? Do I need to get permission from each person being quoted?
Let me know what you think. Maybe Paul has an opinion on my plan?
Gani
 
Sam White
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There is now a specific pest control page from the animals reference page
 
Hugh Hawk
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Good work Saskia & other contributors.

I have started adding some info and structure to the http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Chicken-Shelter page as a start.

Saskia I like your template which helps to think about the material in a more structured way.

While it is easy to see this as a lot of effort, remember many hands make light work.  There really isn't any good online shared resource of this nature that I am aware of, for permaculture principles and practices.  This has to be one of the best places to start it, and we have a wealth of info on the forums to trawl through to seek out information on various topics.
 
                                
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saskia wrote:
Virtual cookies? Pictures of cookies? Or will you pop over to my farm to get the real stuff 



I was going to say that I'd pop over... but I'm pretty sure I'd be arrested by  French secret police if I set foot at Charles De Gaulle.   

Nevertheless, I think standard mails of cookies, in airtight tins, should make it from France to central USA reasonably fresh.  I like chocolate chip (no nuts), and snickerdoodles. 
 
Guy De Pompignac
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I,

you should try to add categories to the wiki (e.g. poultry, gardening, etc), with some sub categories, it should be better to handle and maintain than the current system of manual linking
 
Saskia Symens
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Sam wrote:
There is now a specific pest control page from the animals reference page

And I added a page about encouraging predators ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Encouraging-Predators )
Can you work with this Gani, or do you need a subpage for snakes?
 
Saskia Symens
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permaguy wrote:
I,

you should try to add categories to the wiki (e.g. poultry, gardening, etc), with some sub categories, it should be better to handle and maintain than the current system of manual linking


You mean in the sidebar permaguy?

The disadvantage of the sidebar is that it only takes titles of 20 characters wide, and no subcategories are possible (at least I haven't found a way to add subs)

I think you're right but we're still feeling our way around the structure the wiki needs to take.

I think the best way about this is to add the desired subjects and subcategories to the main page in the reference section ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Reference-Section ) for the time being. There are already quite a few up there...
But WITHOUT necessarily creating new pages for each of them, just play around with the text/titles until we have something pleasing.

I say that because it is way too easy to create a bunch of pages (every link title starting and ending with double square brackets will create a new page if that exact name doesn't exist yet, regardless of whether you meant to link to an existing page but made a typo or if you really wanted to create a new page) but we have no one except Paul Wheaton to clean up the mess we make.
I asked Paul for a superuser account so we can clean up surplus pages ourselves, but no reply so far. He might understandably not be keen on doling out delete rights on his site.
I don't think Paul will be overjoyed either with hundreds of dead blank pages, or requests to clean up for our mistakes or changes of plan.  (Note that for instance "Chicken Food" in a hyperlink title is different from "Chicken-Food" and two pages will (actually have) been created. So we all need to take extreme care when creating pages that we get the title perfect the first time AND ALSO when linking to them from other pages to make sure we use the EXACT existing page names.)
So I'd rather we did it right the first time around, or as right as we can manage, anyway. That means think about the structure we want, edit it on the main page as just text, discuss here if necessary, and only THEN create the pages on the wiki...
 
Guy De Pompignac
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I'm not talking about sidebar but about structure. There is a built-in feature in wikimedia, see here :
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Category

The way to display (sub)categories is up to the coordinator of the wiki.
 
Saskia Symens
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Hugh H. wrote:
I have started adding some info and structure to the http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Chicken-Shelter page as a start.


Looks good Hugh! Thanks!

This page could now benefit from some pictures about chicken housing, nest boxes, perches, feeders, and anything else Hugh talks about...
 
Saskia Symens
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saskia wrote:
And I added a page about encouraging predators ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Encouraging-Predators )
Can you work with this Gani, or do you need a subpage for snakes?


Hehe, seems somebody already added a page for reptiles ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Reptiles ). Isn't this fun? 
The snake habitat details can go on there...

I'll take care of the link from the encouraging predators page to the reptile one...
 
Hugh Hawk
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I'm pretty sure that linking to a non-existent page does not create it.  A little question mark appears next to links that don't go anywhere.  The page is created when you click on that link and choose to edit it.

Although we don't want to make contributing any harder than it needs to be, Saskia I'd suggest you make a new wikipage with guidelines for contribution.  That would include naming conventions, layout, etc.  You could link to that from the home page where you talk about contributing.  We can add to this page as we work out what sort of guidelines need to be set to achieve consistency and minimal re-editing.
 
Hugh Hawk
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Just to clarify on categories, I think permaguy is suggesting using a type of tag which then connects pages into groups that are all relating to the same type of thing.  For example we might make a category Plants, and all plants go in that category.  This allows all the plant pages to be automatically listed without manually creating a separate page of links to each plant.

We are using pmwiki not wikimedia, so permaguy's link isn't probably relevant.  But there is info on how to do this in pmwiki here:

http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/Categories
 
Guy De Pompignac
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Hugh H. wrote:
We are using pmwiki not wikimedia, so permaguy's link isn't probably relevant. 


Ooops
 
Saskia Symens
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gani et se wrote:
I could do some searching the forums for juicy quotes about things that catch my interest since I'm a newbie without a lot of my own stuff to write about yet, if that seems appropriate.
Which leads me to a question. If I am searching the forum for quotes, should I link to the forum post from which I quote? Can I figure that someone posting info on the forum would be okay with it going on the wiki? Do I need to get permission from each person being quoted?
Let me know what you think. Maybe Paul has an opinion on my plan?
Gani


Gani, that would be very helpful indeed, if you find a subject that interests you and then condense what you read on the forum into the wikipages!

Given the fact that the forum is open to the public (anyone can read), I don't think it is necessary to quote people.
I do think we need to ask people permission to reuse their photos on the wiki, no? Or would quoting their forum name ("by Johnny Appleseed", thereby identifying them as the source of the picture be sufficient?

What do the other folks on here think?
 
Saskia Symens
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Hugh H. wrote:
Just to clarify on categories, I think permaguy is suggesting using a type of tag which then connects pages into groups that are all relating to the same type of thing.  For example we might make a category Plants, and all plants go in that category.  This allows all the plant pages to be automatically listed without manually creating a separate page of links to each plant.


OK, I got it. I will look into it and report back here when I'm done...
 
gani et se
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Yeah, sub-topics! This is where I get bogged down in how to structure.
So, for pests, there are animal harming pests, plant harming pests, building harming pests {joke}and children. {/end joke} Does the category "pests" include diseases? invasive plants? In pest control, I can see having a whole page devoted to our friend the slug.
For animals, there are domesticated, desired wild animals for pest control or food, and skunks. (Or whoever it is you prefer not to live with. My apologies to anyone who eats skunk.)
Animals can be broken down into kinds -- by the way, it might be useful to have a more generic category than insects. Is bugs the next level up?
Please, anyone who is not so overwhelmed by the categorization/organization change or move around anything I have posted there.
Gani
 
gani et se
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Ah, I see birds is broken down into categories. I'll begin a pest list for pest control.
 
Saskia Symens
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saskia wrote:
OK, I got it. I will look into it and report back here when I'm done...


Re: categories
The automatic listing of related pages in the footer has not been activated for this wiki, so it's not going to be as easy as we thought.

I set up a page "categories" that can be linked to from the sidebar ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Categories ).
Maybe we need some brainstorming on it because as it is I don't find it much clearer than what we had before (Neither is it easier to maintain, with every page needing the correct tags inserted manually.)

That might change if Paul could be persuaded to change the footer setting. But I'm already bugging him for several other things, so I'm not taking this one on. Feel free though...

I'm also experiencing continuous time-outs when I try to save pages, so I'm calling it a day for me and will try again when the permaculture gods look more favorably upon my connection to this site...
 
Hugh Hawk
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saskia wrote:
I'm also experiencing continuous time-outs when I try to save pages, so I'm calling it a day for me and will try again when the permaculture gods look more favorably upon my connection to this site...

Cut out that religious speak!!

If you directly quote anyone from these forums or anywhere else, you need to attribute it to them.  That is just for direct quotes (in quotation marks) only.  If you are paraphrasing their idea then it is a good idea to add a reference to the forum post or webpage.  I've added these points to an 'Editing Guidelines' page on the wiki.  We can add any other contribution guidelines here.

I have also added a 'Wiki Wishlist' page.  This is a list of things we would like improved about the way the wiki works.  This could either be done by Paul when he has time, or when some other knowledgeable soul volunteers.
 
Saskia Symens
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Hugh H. wrote:
If you directly quote anyone from these forums or anywhere else, you need to attribute it to them.  That is just for direct quotes (in quotation marks) only.  If you are paraphrasing their idea then it is a good idea to add a reference to the forum post or webpage.  I've added these points to an 'Editing Guidelines' page on the wiki.  We can add any other contribution guidelines here.


Hugh, I understand where you are coming from, but I'm not convinced about either the need or the usefulness of this, since quotes are all from the forum, that is a public space. You don't even need an account to view the forum pages, so who knows what  we write here will and will not be used for? There is certainly no copyright issue, and by contrast, people writing on the wiki pages directly are NOT identified as authors, so there is a consistency issue if you start doing that. (Of course it is different if we start quoting other sources, then we do need the references!)

A second point against referencing forum talk is I think it is not advisable to "over organize" stuff, in order to keep contributing as easy for people as possible. If the administrative overhead is too big, and people need to first wade through pages of guidelines you are very quickly going to end up with just one or two extremely dedicated people, and everyone else (including myself) will have given up because it becomes too time consuming to put anything up at the wiki...
Most people are willing to devote a couple of minutes to the wiki to help it along, not necessarily more... Since we would very much like to keep the wiki growing, taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge of all the people on the forum, I think we should do everything in our power to keep things simple...

Oh, and I couldn't find the wishlist you talk of, Hugh, from which page do you link to it?
I moved the editing guidelines to the Survival Section
And I added some gruesome slug pictures  ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Slugs )
 
Hugh Hawk
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Hi Saskia,

I was not referring to forum quotes in particular.  I don't see why all quotes would be from the forum, why would we not want to quote from the designer's manual or any other permaculture reference?

I think it is very bad form in general to quote any text directly and not say where it came from.  It is rude to the person who made the quote.  Even though this is a public space and others no doubt abuse the privilege, it does not mean that we should do the same.  In academic circles this is basically considered plagiarism.  It also makes it hard if anyone wants to challenge or query the information in the quote later on, if they do not know where it came from.

It shouldn't be a difficult thing, just add a link after the quote to the relevant forum page or other website or state the book from which it came.  If that is too hard, just paraphrase the information instead of quoting it directly.

Having separate authors on the wiki will definitely become necessary down the track.  I think I put it on the wish list, which is linked to from the main page, under your welcome comment.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Perhaps Paul W. would see fit to create a flag that people can ding when they read a post that has particularly sucinct or well cited information -- I am always trying to find where someone posted that particularly well thought out list...
 
paul wheaton
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Hugh H. wrote:
If you directly quote anyone from these forums or anywhere else, you need to attribute it to them. 


Official permies.com wiki policy:

To make a wiki page, you can copy and paste text from the forums willy nilly without attributing it to the author.  However, you do need to say that the page is a summary of a thread.

Next:  if a person wants to make sure that some part has their name on it, I will allow this if the person is using their real name.  And the person that wants it needs to go and put it in the wiki.

A person that is composing a wiki page could attribute the original author if they want to - but frankly, i don't want to see a bunch of pseudonym attributions. 


 
paul wheaton
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There is certainly no copyright issue


There is a copyright issue:  I maintain a copyright on all content on permies.com.  I have a variety of reasons for this.  But I just need to make it clear that I do maintain a copyright on all content on all of my sites.



 
paul wheaton
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I think it is not advisable to "over organize" stuff


I agree with this.  The primary function of the wiki was to make a smooth and easy to read summary of several of the threads.  So readability should be #1.
 
paul wheaton
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I think it is very bad form in general to quote any text directly and not say where it came from.


True. 

And that is what we will always do here.  But that's quoting stuff not from this site.

When quoting stuff from one part of permies to another, this level of formal reference is not required.

In academic circles this is basically considered plagiarism. 


Each of these pages will have something at the bottom that says "this page is a summary of the discussion in _this_thread_."  And in that thread will be the original works.


 
Saskia Symens
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OK; thank you for clarifying Paul...
 
gani et se
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Corrected the image upload instruction page so that ATTACH: is now Attach: since the all caps was failing for me.

 
Saskia Symens
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Paul,

I finally realized the copyright issue is not sitting right with me. I thought about it some more... I first assumed the wiki hosted would operate under a GNU or at least GNU-like license. I thought that is how wikis operated generally. I see I was wrong about this. Fair enough, I can acknowledge my assumption being off and I should have checked and all that.

But even so, now that I am wiser, I'm still not ok with putting up my pictures and even text on the wiki if another person then gets the copyright of them (What copyright? Could you specify? Can't I use my own pictures or the text I contributed anywhere else?) and there is no kind of GNU-like guarantee in place prohibiting commercial reuse and stuff...



 
paul wheaton
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There is a long list of reasons I maintain a copyright over all my stuff.  I have given mountains of stuff to the public domain and to a variety of "copyleft"-ish things.  And for the last 15 years I have followed a path of maintaining a copyright on everything, and if anybody wants to publish under my umbrella, they have to trust me. 

So, if you take a picture, post it under my copyright, and then go post the same picture somewhere else, do you think I'm gonna make the tiniest unhappy sound?  On the other hand, if somebody copies the page and posts it somewhere else and says that the picture (and the rest of the page) is their property ....

I am okay with you posting stuff on my wiki.  I am okay with you posting stuff at appropedia or anyplace else.  I like the idea that permies has skillions of links to all sorts of good, decent, legal material including wherever you end up posting your stuff. 


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