Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Unclear on the concept: Wikis

We're running enterprise wiki software at work, and have converted quite a few public, class, and Intranet sites to the wiki. Confluence lets us give each wiki a 'space' with its own namespace and configs and tools.

The data structure class is using a wiki space. Part of mp1 used some library to make fractal like bitmaps, and they encouraged the class to upload those pictures to the wiki (but not to explain how they made them,) as a way to show off what they did and make pretty artwork.

Right before the assignment was due, people started posting on their newsgroup that they'd overwritten other people's submissions, and could the original poster please re-upload them. I guess a lot of people named them out.bmp

Then they were worried about editing the picture meta-data after the upload changed the timestamp (for grading purposes.)

Sounds like these students don't understand the WikiWikiWay (logging, versioning, collision/revision control.) Chaos is part of the fun. I thought students today were supposed to be web saavy?

From a system side, I guess those bmps were pretty large because the bandwidth usage by the wiki server jumped up quite a bit and users on the newsgroups were complaining that the page that had all the images in it was slow to load (hundreds of >500k graphics.) Apparently the wiki software sends a no-cache instruction to the browser, so each load pulled everything down again.

I just chuckle when they post to the newsgroup that they uploaded over Joe User's graphic and could he please upload it to the wiki again.

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