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Author Topic: Melodeon History Sites ?  (Read 23283 times)

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Sebastian

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2008, 08:03:44 AM »

accordion web pages since 2006 (release Jan. 1st!). It includes mostly history and technical issues of accordions. In my site there is accordion gallery with over 700 pictures (and going up) and this gallery is only one part of the site.

That sounds interesting. Since I didn't find any accordion on the given address, I suppose you mean release date 2009-01-01?

Sebastian
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Bill the Farmer

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2008, 11:19:20 AM »

Being a retired technogeek and professional anorak, I thought I would see how easy it was to set something up like what has been suggested on my Linux system. Using the fields suggested so far you end up with something like this:

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Sebastian

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2008, 12:47:52 PM »

Being a retired technogeek and professional anorak, I thought I would see how easy it was to set something up like what has been suggested on my Linux system. Using the fields suggested so far you end up with something like this:

Brilliant!   :D

(Although I don't like Ubuntu.  ;D )

If two models have the same name,  you would set up disambiguation pages, right?

How do you create lists, lets say I'm looking for two-row instruments with two treble reeds per tone? There should be some footer on the pages, if I understood the desription of the semantic wiki correctly.

I can, of course, search for instruments with a specific first-made-year. But is it possible to list the models chronologically or e. g.  according to weight?

How does the wiki-code for this page look?

Thanks for the nice example.  :-*

Sebastian
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Bill the Farmer

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2008, 01:16:37 PM »

Sebastian

I've never used a wiki before except to look thing up, so I know nuffin, guv. I just loaded it all up on Ubuntu because I didn't want it on my Windoze system. The code for that page looks like this:

{{Model|Hohner|2915|Pokerwork|1955|-|21|2|-|8|3|-|T|Swing|Wood|16 cm|30 cm|29 cm|2.5 kg}}
Black and gold finish


[[Image:2915.jpg|thumb|none|2915]]

The template for it, etc is more complicated though. To do the sort of things you were talking about I assume you would set up queries. That's where you need experience.
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Viljo

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2008, 02:14:41 PM »

accordion web pages since 2006 (release Jan. 1st!). It includes mostly history and technical issues of accordions. In my site there is accordion gallery with over 700 pictures (and going up) and this gallery is only one part of the site.

That sounds interesting. Since I didn't find any accordion on the given address, I suppose you mean release date 2009-01-01?

Sebastian

Yes. 1.1.2009 :-)
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Theo

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2008, 04:51:44 PM »

Then there is translation coming for English, Swedish and perhaps German too.

You may find people here who would help with the translation, I don't know for sure, but it could be worth asking.
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GbH

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2008, 06:14:44 PM »

Being a retired technogeek and professional anorak, I thought I would see how easy it was to set something up like what has been suggested on my Linux system. Using the fields suggested so far you end up with something like this:

Woah, I think that was a very cool thing to do.  I suspect that just the image of that page will be reason enough to get people really thinking about what they want and what might be possible.

In an attempt to further stimulate progress, here's my thoughts on what you've shown and some of the points that followed it.

-  Firstly, from the lack of a 'factbox' at the foot of the screen*, I'm assuming that your page was created using standard Mediawiki, not Semantic Mediawiki (SMW).  If you're new to wikis, then this is a sensible way to start - pretty much everything you learn with the basic system will apply with the Semantic version too.

-  By not using SMW at this stage, you're doing a good job in demonstrating why it would be worth having.  For instance, if I wanted a list of all melodeons that have swing tuning and two rows, the only way to do it with a standard wiki system would be to look through all of the pages manually, perhaps using Search to help you along.  Even though the information is there on the page for all to see (apparently organised in a systematic way), the wiki has no way of knowing what it means and can't therefore query on it.  This gets straight to what SMW is for - adding meaning to information, so that you can then get proper access to it.

- Another advantage of SMW (or, specifically, Semantic Forms), is made obvious in your page source - specifically this bit (the template call...):

{{Model|Hohner|2915|Pokerwork|1955|-|21|2|-|8|3|-|T|Swing|Wood|16 cm|30 cm|29 cm|2.5 kg}}

Although calling templates like this is in many ways simple, it's absolutely not user friendly and is susceptible to error.  Although SMW still uses this format under-the-covers, it also allows you to create a 'form' which will guide any user through the page creation, requiring no previous knowledge of the system at all.  You just fill in the boxes that are given.  Once it's set up, this is a much more friendly way of doing it.

(Incidently, I see that you used the 'ordered' approach to the parameter calls.  Although this works, it's generally much better to used named parameters - it'll save a lot of strife in the longer term.)

- As can be seen from the image, there are likely to be a few different data types required.  Even on that page, there's text, numbers, dates, measurements and weights.  When setting up a SMW page, you get to choose the type of each field.  Thus, when you get to the reporting stage, the system is able to properly understand what you mean if you were to ask for First Made dates between 1950 and 1960.

- On the subject of datatypes, I see that 'Hohner' is actually a link to another page (just as you'd expect).  This makes this a property of page type 'Page' - thus, although it acts as a link, it can still have meaning and be queried, just like any other field.  If, for example, the Hohner page itself didn't actually exist yet, it would be possible to associate the link type with a form, meaning that someone clicking the link would actually be taken to the Manufacturer form, rather than just an empty page.

- One of the tricky things in any Wiki (and particularly in SMW) is making sure that you use the most appropriate name for pages, categories, properties (SMW only) and that you don't end up with lots of duplicate or ambiguous entries.  There's no absolute magic way of solving this, but SMW can at least help in a number of ways.  Firstly, by making sure that all of the key pages have associated template and forms, you can strongly encourage people to enter the data that you're hoping for.  Also, with Semantic Forms, it's now possible to generate a page name from one or more of the fields, thus, in theory, ensuring that page naming is consistent and meaningful.  So, on the page shown, it would be possible for the page name to be automatically set as 'Hohner Pokerwork 2915', even though the information would be taken from separate fields.  As page names are so important in Mediawiki, this feature can be a big bonus, should you choose to use it.  If there really were two page entries with the same name, the system could automatically add a '_2' (or whatever number was next in the sequence), ensuring that they were different.  (disambiguation pages are a different matter - I'm not experienced with doing these in SMW, but I think it's no different from creating the in Wikipeadia).

- One thing that your entry is missing is a short summary.  Although it might not mean too much on the page itself, it's very handy to have a small description when you're generating reports and listing lot of entries at once.  Other fields that you might not immediately think about might include 'Entry Date' (date wiki page was created, which can be populated automatically) and possibly a 'Comments' box, although this might be better served with just free text that sits under the template.

- Another suggestion that works well with SMW is to include one or more 'new' pages in the Navigation box on the left of the screen.  That way, if someone just wants to input details of a new instrument, they just click, say, New Instrument in the box and that will immediately open up the relevant form.  No need to navigate to any pages beforehand!

- Lastly (I apologies that this is a lot of reading...), it's worth thinking about what might be on a Manufacturer page.  It might well include manufacture name, address, e-mail, website etc, but it could also include a report that lists all of their models, queried automatically from the instrument pages themselves and effectively self-updating.  Cool, eh?
 

Hope this is of some use.  Again, if you need any assistance in getting the SMW thing up and running, please let me know.


Guy



* in SMW, it's possible to turn the factbox off, making it hard to tell, 100%, whether you're using SMW or not.  Apologies if this is the case.
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Theo

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2008, 06:43:20 PM »

Guy

You've got the job,

Theo
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Martin J

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2008, 06:54:13 PM »

Been a bit busy this week but here's the proposed field list (let me know if I've missed anyone's best ideas.

Field   Type of Field    Details
Record   ID Numeric    
Manufacturer   General    Link to manufacturers database
Model Name   General    
Model Mark   General    
Tradition built for   General    
First Made   Date    
Last Made   Date    
Associated marks   General   Other brandings
No of Treble Buttons   Numeric    
No of rows   General    
No of treble reeds   Numeric    
No of treble registers   Numeric    
No of bass Buttons   Numeric    
No of bass reeds   Numeric    
No of bass registers   Numeric    
Type of reeds   General   Tipo mano etc
Keys available   General   GCF, ADG etc.
Original Tuning   General   Swing, Tremolo etc
Case   General   Wood. pearloid, decoration etc
Height   Numeric    auto conversion between metric & imperial
Width   Numeric    ditto
Depth   Numeric    ditto
Weight   Numeric    ditto
Comments   General   General note field
Picture Field   Gallery   

Taking on board others comments, the manufacturers field should be a linked database which when clicked gives address and contact details if they are still in business or their last trading premises if they are defunct.  It may also be able to show when companies have moved premises.

I think the response so far has been fantastic and I confirm that I will do whatever I can to help.  I do feel a project leader would hold it all together but before anyone asks, I don't think I have the relevant experience.  Count me in as an active team member.
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Martin J

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2008, 06:55:58 PM »

If you accept Guy, I'll volunteer for the team.
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GbH

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2008, 07:16:52 PM »

On the understanding that Theo already has/will have the server-side requirements in hand, then yes, I'd be happy to do (or lead) the initial development and get the thing up and running. 

Guy
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Matthew B

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2008, 08:44:31 PM »

Been a bit busy this week but here's the proposed field list (let me know if I've missed anyone's best ideas.

I'm cheering this on from the sidelines . . . how about an optional lookup link to keyboard diagrams.  That seems to be a commonly occurring question about unfamiliar instruments, and many of the diagrams already exist. 
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Bill the Farmer

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2008, 08:26:34 AM »

-  By not using SMW at this stage, you're doing a good job in demonstrating why it would be worth having.  For instance, if I wanted a list of all melodeons that have swing tuning and two rows, the only way to do it with a standard wiki system would be to look through all of the pages manually, perhaps using Search to help you along.  Even though the information is there on the page for all to see (apparently organised in a systematic way), the wiki has no way of knowing what it means and can't therefore query on it.  This gets straight to what SMW is for - adding meaning to information, so that you can then get proper access to it.

I did use SMW, properties, templates, forms, etc to produce all this, the factbox is off the bottom of the page. Fuller reply to follow, I'm in Germany on my daughter's German keyboard with all the letters in the wrong places. There is a Manufacturer template, etc as well, but not much on it.
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GbH

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2008, 10:02:28 AM »

I did use SMW, properties, templates, forms, etc to produce all this, the factbox is off the bottom of the page. Fuller reply to follow, I'm in Germany on my daughter's German keyboard with all the letters in the wrong places. There is a Manufacturer template, etc as well, but not much on it.

Ah, that's excellent, then.  As I mentioned in the previous post, it was impossible to tell, from the image alone, one way or another.  I look forward to hearing more.
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Martin J

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2008, 10:05:20 AM »

how about an optional lookup link to keyboard diagrams.[/quote]

Keyboard diagrams would probably be the best way of showing items in the 'Keys Available' field.

Guy you asked about graphics earlier - fortunately this is my field and I can provide almost anything you want in any format you want.  Keyboard maps for instance are a doddle.

I do favour Casatgnari's convention of showing push on the top row and pull on the bottom row.  eg. below

As Mathew says most layouts are freely available anyway and can be manipulated to a standard presentation.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 10:07:46 AM by No Strings Attached »
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GbH

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2008, 10:47:18 AM »

how about an optional lookup link to keyboard diagrams.

Keyboard diagrams would probably be the best way of showing items in the 'Keys Available' field.

Guy you asked about graphics earlier - fortunately this is my field and I can provide almost anything you want in any format you want.  Keyboard maps for instance are a doddle.

I do favour Casatgnari's convention of showing push on the top row and pull on the bottom row.  eg. below

As Mathew says most layouts are freely available anyway and can be manipulated to a standard presentation.
[/quote]

Yep, sounds good.  It'll be no problem to create individual pages showing images of keyboard layouts.  If they are all done in a consistent manner, then so much the better.  From what I've seen elsewhere on this site, the actual naming of layouts seems somewhat awkward.  As names are a fundamental part of a wiki, it would probably be a good idea to formulate a standard approach to this right from the start (i.e. is it good or bad that a keyboard layout is given a manufacturers/players name?).  I really have no idea what form this might take - that's one for the actual melodeon experts among you.

Other design/graphics that might be required could include:

- A main 'welcome' image to fill the Home screen.  My general view is that the home screen should contain little information (just a few links, at most) and be locked from general update, to ensure that there's always a decent and consistent looking entry point to the system.

- A logo for the top corner.  Bill's instrument picture works well, but I'm guessing that something created specifically for the job could give an even better sense of site ID.  Also, it's worth creating this with an alpha transparency channel, so that the background shows through properly and doesn't leave a rectangular block around the edge (unless that's what you want in the design).   

- A 'wallpaper' background, to replace the one in the default skin.  Needs to be subtle and preferably to fade out from top to bottom, as the original does.   Maybe an abstract image based on buttons or grill design?

- A consistent look (fonts/borders/colours/line styles) to be used accross all templates.  Pages, templates and forms tend to default to a relatively simple look, but there's every opportunity to individualise these.  Most things that can be done with HTML and CSS work in the wiki too.  Because of the template system, looks can be evolved or changed over time, without having to worry too much about the actual page content.  So, lots of potential here, if someone wants to play.

- Plus, of course, any diagram or images that are specific to the content itself.  Keyboard layouts you've mentioned, but are there other diagrams that might be required?

Guy

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Pete Dunk

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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2008, 11:44:52 AM »

I'm cheering this on from the sidelines . . .

Me too! Unfortunately I have neither knowledge or skills to contribute here, so I'll just be a grateful recipient of all the hard work - for which many thanks in advance.

Pete.
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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2008, 11:48:50 AM »

I'm cheering this on from the sidelines . . .

Me too! Unfortunately I have neither knowledge or skills to contribute here, so I'll just be a grateful recipient of all the hard work - for which many thanks in advance.

Pete.


If this works out well anyone will be able to contribute details of instruments that are not already listed. 
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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2008, 02:05:30 PM »

OK, time to suggest a way forward.

1.  Firstly, now that he's worked his way through the SMW process, I'm interest to hear Bill's comment on SMW and the its suitability to this project.  Also, any concerns, confusions or overall impressions he might have had.  It's some while since I went throught that same process, so a fresh perspective could be very valuable.


Then, assuming that Bill doesn't come up with a show stopper....

2.  If the system is to be hosted on Theo's server, we need confirmation that SMW is installed, running and available.  As mentioned before, I would suggest starting with the Semantic Mediawiki, Semantic Forms, Semantic Drilldown and Parser Functions extensions installed.   Also, if Mediawiki is already installed, which version is it?  1.13?

3.  Obviously, for any of us to get started on the system, we need the URL of the wiki's home page.  Initially, I'd suggest making the URL known to developers/volunteers only, otherwise things could get a bit chaotic.  Also, at least one of us will need access to the WikiSysop account, so that the navigation bars can be amended. 

4.  Another job to be done soon will be for Theo (or whoever the system admin is) to establish a Mediawiki security policy.  Although I'd expect that everyone will be able to view the wiki, you might want to think about if/how edit access is controlled.  At the very least, I'd suggest that annonymous users are barred from editing (i.e.  if you want to edit, you need to sign up with a user account).  That way, if someone does contribute rubbish or spam, at least they can be dealt with and held responsible.

5.  Can I suggest that an additional forum section is set up for this project?  I suspect that communicating via this one thread could get confusing.

6.  I'm suspecting that the eventual success/failure of this project will depend on how well the instrument database is specified.  Although the structure can be altered once its up and running, this can prove troublesome if lots of records need changing.  It's much better to get it right to begin with.

The field lists suggested already look to be a good start, but there's still some factors to be considered further.  Aside from giving a field a datatype, it's also possible to specify a list of values that might be contained in it.  So, for example, when filling in the 'Keys Available' field, it would be possible to force the user to choose from a drop-down list of options (DG, CF, BC...), rather than expect them to enter text themselves.  This can be very useful, as it ensures that people will use a common terminology and thus makes querying much more effective.  The downside is that the list forces the person to choose one of the options - they can't enter something that isn't there without first editing the list.  Editing the list is done elsewhere in the wiki - it's not hard to do, but isn't at all obvious to a casual user, which may or may not be a good thing.

So, against the lists already suggested, which fields would require a specific list of values and what would those values be (initially, at least)?

Also, does anyone have any issues with the exact wording of the fields that have already been suggested.  Are any ambiguous, confusing, or only specific to a sub-set of instruments?  I know from experience that its very easy to get the naming side very wrong, so it's definately worth some proper thought.  So, do the name and statistics from your own instrument(s) fit the suggestions made so far?

Finally, what sort of instruments will be included in the wiki and which won't?  Given the name of this forum, I'm guessing that concertinas and piano accordions won't be included, but what about the some of the more regional melodeon variations?   Where would you state that an instrument is an organetti or trikitixa?  Or, doesn't that matter?



Guy
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Re: Melodeon History Sites ?
« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2008, 02:37:01 PM »

The Hohner section alone would be ginormous! (Considering all the different models they've built in their own right since they started making accordions in 1903, and all their sub-brands, and ones made specially for distributors.) It's mind-boggling...  :o

To give some idea of what I'm talking about, I've a very complete catalogue of the Hohner (plus sub-brands) range circa 1929-30, and it lists no less than 250 standard models (+ variations!) of what we'd today (at least in England) describe as "melodeons" for that year alone, though not including lots of "own-line" specials for distributors...  :o
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 03:31:28 PM by triskel »
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