Oct. 4, 2005
Dr.Woodson’s Pandemic Preparedness manual is on-line, newly revised as per reader suggestion. This is Pandemic Flu Awareness week, so the revision is well-timed.
Sept. 17, 2005
There’s a new discussion forum on the site (since replaced by a new site). This one has a couple of advantages over the old one. The main forum page sorts the topics according to the most recent reply instead of by the date created. And posting to this one updates the Recent Changes page which makes an RSS feed practical.
It’s linked as a separate group on the sidebar called “Discussion Forum” so it will always be immediately accessible. There’s an edit password in effect for all pages in this group. This is to help prevent collisions between people posting in the normal manner and others using the edit function to revise their posts. There’s been some indication that a couple of comments were lost in this manner. It means you’ll only get one chance to get your message right so to
steal borrow an expression from an experienced moderator of my acquaintance: think twice, post once.
The old forum remains standing so you can continue any ongoing conversations there but in a moment the ability to start new topics there will be disabled. The Translation? and Translations II? threads have been converted to the new forum format because they represent a conversation that’s likely to continue.
Sept. 12, 2005
The sidebar has been reorganized again. A new group called About Flu Wiki has been created to replace the Your Hosts caption at the top. Click on it to open a submenu with the email links to the publisher, editors and administrator. There are also links to pages that are more about the site than about the flu, including this page.
This thins out the Main submenu a bit and brings everything else up. The Style Options page has been added to the Main group so you can choose from three different colour schemes and several different font schemes. Your preferences are stored in a cookie if your browser accepts them, so you don’t have to revisit that page every time you come to the wiki.
There’s also another new option on the action menu. Backlinks will give you a list of all the other pages on the wiki that link back to the current page. If you’re interested, it actually uses the wiki search engine with a link parameter. But never mind that. It works.
Sept. 8, 2005
The planned software upgrade is now done. There are a number of changes in evidence. Some are part of the upgrade and some were done because I was retooling anyway. Changes include:
- The font sizes and styles have been refined. That’s entirely to do with the new skin version.
- There’s a new “Save and edit” button in the editor so you can save work in progress without leaving the edit screen.
- The buttons themselves are now styled. They may yet be restyled but if everyone would prefer we drop back to the old fashioned grey buttons that can easily be accommodated.
- Information regarding the date, time and author of the last edit to the current page is now displayed at the bottom right immediately above the action menu.
- A links option has been added to both top and bottom action menus. Selecting this option will produce a list of all the pages to which the current page links.
- The RSS Feeds link on the sidebar has been moved to the bottom on the theory that it’s not one you go looking for very often and that people who do are accustomed to scrolling down in search of it.
There’s more and likely more on the way.
If you encounter any problems or strange behaviour, please report it in this thread? on the forum.
Sept. 7, 2005
On Thursday, Sept. 8th starting at around 9 pm Eastern I’ll be upgrading this site to the latest versions of the software we use.
The upgrade involves some reorganization and things may look strange for a bit. Colours may go wonky, menus may move or even disappear briefly. Please bear with us. It should all be over in an hour and a half or so.
Assuming all goes well, I’ll use this space to provide some information on changes and new features on the site. Meanwhile I’ve started this thread? in the forum as a place where you can report any problems you encounter once the upgrade is done.
August 18, 2005
The monograph by Dr Woodson on pandemic flu has been translated into French, with permission from Dr. Woodson, by a dedicated site reader. Also, a new French ‘home page’ has been created in hopes of a French site translation similar to the Spanish translation project now ongoing. These are community-driven projects, beyond the language expertise of the editors. Content will be dependent on our collaborative translators. There’s more discussion of the translations in the Forum. The first translation thread is here and the new one is here?.
August 4, 2005
By request, the ‘Anticipated Consequences and Solutions’ Category has been reorganized and renamed Local and Regional Issues. More reorganization of the Specific Problems and Solutions within is to come in the next few days.
Within Local and Regional Issues, there’s a new subcategory of personal preparedness guides. The first listing is a very thorough .pdf entry by Dr. G. Woodson.
The Spanish translation remains a major project. Once complete, we will look to link the individual Spanish pages to a Spanish home category page. Right now, they are still linked to their respective English pages.
July 11, 2005
There’s a new comment link in the action menu at the top right and at the bottom right under the page entry window. This is to allow you to address comments to specific entries on the wiki.
When you click on the comment link, a comment form will be displayed at the bottom of the entry along with any previous comments that have been submitted. Please note that wiki markup is ineffective in this form, but HTML markup works. When you finish entering your comment, click the Submit button.
You’ll notice that your text remains in the comment form even after it’s been submitted and the caption on the Submit button changes to Update. This is to allow you to edit your entry. The two additional buttons that are now displayed allow you to either delete your comment or to reset the form, i.e. clear it in case you want to submit a second comment.
One of the first questions that surfaced when this feature was implemented on a test site was: how do I exit comments?
Just leave. If you want to see the current entry again without the comments, click the view option on the action menu. Otherwise click any other link and continue on your way. The door will close automatically behind you.
An All Recent Comments link has been added to the sidebar under the Main heading and will contain links to those pages which have most recently been commented on in the same way that the Recent Forum Topics page informs you which forum threads have seen recent activity.
This isn’t necessarily to replace the existing Forum since that remains a good spot for questions or comments that don’t quite fit anywhere else. This new feature is intended to help focus discussion on the content of individual entries.
July 9, 2005
There’s a new link under Main called Recent Forum Topics. This takes you to a page that lists those topics that have most recently been accessed. Topics should be sorted in the same order as All Recent Pages, i.e. newest at the top. This should help to identify those Forum topics that are getting activity. Unfortunately it isn’t retroactive. It began recording when the revised script was installed which was just a few minutes before this was written.
In addition, the main Forum page itself has been reformatted to make it a little easier on the eyes.
July 4, 2005
The categories formerly known as Medical and Public Health Services and Experience of Others and Draft Plans are in the process of being merged into the new Geographic Services and Draft Plans category. Please bear with us.
If you’ve contributed content to either of those categories, don’t worry. We won’t lose anything. If it looks like we have, email one of the contacts on the sidebar and we’ll find it.
July 1, 2005
A change in the menu system on the sidebar at the left has just been implemented. The submenu, i.e. the list of individual pages linked to under a Category heading, is now only visible for the Category in which you’re currently reading or working. So if you arrive here on the home page, which is in the Main Category, any submenus under other Categories are invisible. Click on a different Category and the Main submenu will collapse while the new Category’s submenu (if any) will expand.
If you’ve been using the sidebar to go from one Category to a specific page in another, this may mean there’s an extra click involved. But the advantage is that we can begin to fine-tune the way that content is organized and add a lot more links to the sidebar without it becoming so long that it becomes more of a hindrance than a help.
Some of the Categories may not have any submenu at the moment. Please bear with us.
June 30, 2005
If you judge by the time stamps on your entries and edits it would appear this wiki is operating somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean. That’s going to change.
On Sunday the wiki’s internal clock will be reset to the Eastern Standard/Daylight Time Zone. In other words, the clock will move back four hours. As a result the time stamps on the Recent Changes pages will look out of order. In fact the pages will be listed in the order in which they were changed, it’s just the time stamps that will appear to be incorrect. The times on the page history will all be adjusted accordingly.
I don’t think it poses a major problem but I’ll do it on Sunday when traffic is lighter. That way there will be fewer people to confuse when the clock suddenly changes.
June 28, 2005
This is the page to check for updates concerning changes to features, function and policy on the wiki. I’m going to try doing this in blog format, i.e. each entry will be dated and new entries will go on top and push the previous entries down. We’ll see how it works.
The explicit link to the Home Page under the Main heading is missing because the Main heading itself is now a link that takes you to the same page. Clicking on the graphic in the top left corner does the same thing.
An All Recent Changes link has also been added. This takes you to a page that shows all the pages that have changed in reverse chronological order, i.e. newest change first. It’s the site-wide version of the Recent Changes page that’s linked at the bottom of each Category title page. Bear in mind that the code that creates these pages doesn’t distinguish between new pages, major edits and minor edits.
There will be more changes to come so please drop by again.