VaultWiki 4: Articles, Comments, and Attachments
by, February 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM (5614 Views)
While none of these are particularly new in VaultWiki 4, the way articles, comments, and attachments interact with each other is being changed significantly.
Articles and CommentsIn VaultWiki 3, each article could have a thread of comments where users could discuss their thoughts about the article. However, this had inherent flaws where the thread became a mixture of several kinds of posts:
- Users saying thanks for the great article
- Users asking follow-up questions to the article, or just their feelings about it
- Editors discussing what should be changed about the article
When all these kinds of posts are mixed together in one thread, it makes sorting them out that much harder and finding what you're looking for less efficient. Since the whole purpose of having a wiki is making content discovery more efficient, this was a problem that definitely needed to be addressed.
In VaultWiki 4, it will be possible to create multiple discussions for each article. Admins can define these discussions in advance through the Admin Panel, or they can let the users have control. Admin-defined discussions can have their own permissions - so you can have editors' collaborate without being interrupted by 10 users saying "Great article, guys!"
Articles and AttachmentsIn VaultWiki 3, attachments were handled through the standard post attachment system. However, since articles are no longer saved as threads or posts, this approach was no longer practical, and allowed us the freedom to solve 3 rather glaring issues.
Article Attachment HistoryIn VaultWiki 3, attachments could be added to or removed from an article without creating a new entry in the article's history, making the changes irreversible unless you were fortunate enough to notice the difference and to remember what was attached before.
By changing the way attachments are both added and removed, VaultWiki 4 is able to keep a reversible record of attachments for every article.
Attachment File HistoryIn VaultWiki 3, as was the standard vBulletin behavior, attachments were linked to a particular user account. This meant that for many attachments, the community couldn't collaborate on making improvements. The exception was wiki images, but these were victim to another issue altogether.
In the case where users were able to collaborate on attachments, the old version of the attachment was irreversibly replaced by the new version. If a malicious (or inept) user were to replace a file with a "lower quality" version, there was no way to restore the old version unless you were foresighted enough to store a copy on your own computer, just in case.
VaultWiki 4 will keep a detailed record of changes to the contents of each attachment that is uploaded to the wiki, and these attachments will be available to all users. However, we acknowledge that this may inevitably lead to additional disk space requirements that some customers are unable to meet, so there is an option to disable the file history if necessary.
In order for this to actually solve these issues, articles will only be able to accept attachments that are uploaded using this more open system. Users' existing attachments will be unusable unless they copy the file into the wiki.
Comments and AttachmentsSince article comments are posted by a single user and are generally not edited by anyone else, the attachment system for comments need not be changed. Like other kinds of forum posts, it will use the standard attachment system, but will also be able to use wiki attachments if the poster so chooses.