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CZ:Userinfo System

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The Userinfo System is a system to track information about Citizens, their CZ plans, CZ accomplishments, and so forth. Once fully developed, the system will allow you to see at a glance both your own "work roadmap" for CZ (example)--where you've been, where you're going--and overall views of work by everyone on CZ (example), or in a particular workgroup (example), or on a particular initiative. All you have to do is fill in some blanks, and the data will be distributed to different points around the wiki.

It's a way for the whole project to come together and get organized. Let's do it!

Examples

An example of a user infobox: User:Larry Sanger

An example of central aggregation of user data: CZ:Group Status‎ (this is the "fun" page)

An example of a workgroup "status page": CZ:Anthropology Workgroup/Status (aggregates data that users have put in about their work on a specific workgroup--in this case, Anthropology)

The data for those pages is stored in four main places:

The individual data is structured by two main templates: Template:Userplan-all and Template:Userplan-all-workgroup. The group data is structured by one main template: Template:GroupInfoTable.

How the system is planned to work

Ideally, all active Citizens would start their own data pages, like Template:User/Larry Sanger. They fill in a lot of information: their short- and long-term CZ plans, their recent and most important CZ achievements, top articles they're working on, and their roles in the system, as well as some notes. (We can add new data types later.) In addition, Citizens fill in similar sorts of information with regard to the workgroups in which they are most active, like Template:User/Larry Sanger/Philosophy. For instance, you might list out your goals for your work in the Biology Workgroup in the next week.

Once this data is filled in, we collect it and display it in various ways. First, of course, you can display all of your own data in one place, like User:Larry Sanger does. But just as importantly, we can produce other kinds of tables, which we place on various workgroup pages (like CZ:Anthropology Workgroup/Status), and soon, initiative pages (like CZ:Recruitment). From a single place, you can see

  • Who the active contributors are in a given workgroup/initiative.
  • What they're working on; so, who to contact for help with a certain effort.
  • Whether there is a workgroup/initiative need that is unmet.

This will, in turn, allow us to "get organized" in a way we haven't been. But it's all done bottom-up, as you can see on CZ:Group Status.

How to get started

Getting started with the user infobox system is somewhat involved: it should be pretty easy for many experienced wiki users, but for some people, it might be challenging. If you take it step-by-step and ask for help (try the talk page) when you need it, it shouldn't be too painful.

Step 1: review the system

Get familiar with the system. Study the description above.

Step 2: start your user info page

Next, start your general user info page. This will be a complicated-looking data file, used by the pretty tables. Don't be intimidated--all you have to do is add a little info to it. Use this little box:


Be sure to replace REPLACE_THIS with your precise user name (exactly what you use to log in: spaces, punctuation, etc., are all important). Leave the rest there. For example, Larry Sanger might write in the box: Template:User/Larry Sanger Then press the button. Be sure to read through the next step before doing anything else.

Step 3: add two bits of data, and save

When you arrive at your user info page, you should see a bunch of code in the text box. You could fill in all the blanks after the = signs at this point, but this step, just do the first two. For now, just look at the first ten lines of code, or so. There are two sections there: "last updated" and "Location of userplan." Fill those out now. You'll be putting in a date and the location of the wiki page where you want your user infobox to appear. Look for special lines with one equals sign on them (=). Those are the lines you add your info to. For example, Larry might write:

...
| updated = Jan. 13
...
| userplan-page = User:Larry Sanger
...

Don't add or touch anything except to the right of the equals signs. Don't add newlines (don't press the enter/return key). When finished adding these two bits of data, press Save page. Note that this step will only create a data file. You have to do just one more step to create the neat, human-readable table.

Step 4: add a userbox to your user page (or subpage)

Next, go to your user page, or a subpage of your user page--wherever you want to see your userbox. Wherever you want your user box to appear, paste this: {{Userplan-all|User Name}} Replace "User Name" with your precise user name (exact capitalization, punctuation, and spelling are all required). For example, Larry would write: {{Userplan-all|Larry Sanger}} In fact, if you go here, you'll see that that's all Larry had to put in, in order to generate that whole table.

When you're done writing that one line, press Save page. A big, empty infobox should pop up.

Step 5: fill in the rest of your info

Edit your info! On that page (i.e., wherever you placed {{Userplan-all}}), you'll see a lot of fairly self-explanatory headers, and next to the headers, you should see little "edit" links. Go ahead and press them. You'll be presented with some code, interspersed with lines that look like this, for example:

| plans-wk-1 = 

If you look above those lines, for the text that follows <!--, you'll see: "Plans for this week (please update regularly)..." So, if you've got any general plans for the week on CZ, put 'em in across from the = signs. You write what you want after the equals signs, as long as you don't hit the enter key; generally, don't touch anything else on the page, or you could mess up the presentation of your table. One item per line, five lines per list.

Go through the whole list, if you like, but be sure you Save page after each section. You can edit the whole thing at once by following the "edit" link at the very top of the whole table. That is also where to edit "last updated" (at the top of the page, the line that reads | updated = ).

Step 6: create info for your workgroup(s)

If you do a lot of work in a particular workgroup or initiative, then you can create another, more specialized user info box, with your plans and doings just for that workgroup or initiative. (While this step is strictly optional, it is strongly encouraged.) You can create these for as many workgroups and initiatives as you do work in, and all the info will show up in your "master infobox" you created above.

All you have to do is create new data pages, one for each workgroup or initiative. The data structure for workgroup info is (at present) almost exactly the same as for general info; so, you can fill out the same sorts of plans, lists of accomplishments, articles, etc., but for the workgroup "level."


Be sure to replace USER_NAME with your user name, and then replace WORKGROUP with one (only one!) of the workgroup codes below. (If you want to create information for another workgroup, you'll have to create a separate info page for it.) Leave the rest there. For example, Larry Sanger might write in the box: Template:User/Larry Sanger/Philosophy Then press the button.

Here's a list of workgroup codes. It's important that you use these precisely, including capitalization but without the comma. Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth-sci, Mathematics, Physics, Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Education, Geography, Law, Linguistics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Classics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Architecture, Music, Theater, Visual-arts, Agriculture, Business, Computers, Engineering, Healing-arts, Health-sci, Journalism, Info-sci, Media, Military, Games, Hobbies, Sports

Here's a list of initiative codes. Use these precisely, including capitalization. (Initiatives coming soon.)

Step 7: add yourself to CZ:Group Status and workgroup status pages

Add yourself to Template:UserinfoSystemUsers; complete instructions are on that page. Be sure to Save page. Then look at the results on CZ:Group Status. You might have to click forward to a second or later page to see the row with your information.

Finally, if you completed Step 6 and created any workgroup info pages, then be sure to add yourself to the corresponding workgroups. Add your name to one of the pages linked from this list of workgroup data pages. Then you can view your name on the status page for the workgroup. For example, Larry might add his name to Template:UserinfoSystemUsers/Philosophy (again, linked here), and then view his workgroup information on CZ:Philosophy Workgroup/Status. Notice that the workgroup status pages are all located at <workgroup name>/Status and are linked (or will soon be) from the various workgroup home pages.


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