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[Axiom-developer] RE: Web based bibtex

From: C Y
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: Web based bibtex
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 06:37:51 -0700 (PDT)

--- "Page, Bill" <address@hidden> wrote:

> The web site statistics for September
> show 671 hits on /zope/plone/login_form - compared to the
> 4576 hits on /zope/mathaction/FrontPage that's pretty small.
> But we are sort of comparing "apples to oranges". Many many
> more people read pages from the Axiom wiki aka MathAction
> compared to the number of people who edit them or even bother
> to comment on them. It's a very public place.

Just curious - is each visit to the page logged as a "hit" or is it
unique IP addresses?  (Not a criticism, I'm just interested - counting
web statistics is not as straightforward as one might hope.)

> The Plone site, on the other hand is primarily focused on
> those people who might have some interest in creating some
> content - either for their own use or for distribution to
> others. So, actually I find 671 attempts to login as a
> registered user of the Axiom portal rather impressive! But
> still the evidence is that the majority of users still only
> read content here also instead of creating it. :(

I'm working on that - there's a lot of research to do before I'll feel
confident to contribute even basic stuff for Axiom - I want to be able
to maintain the extremely high quality standards.  This ain't your
typical "hack on it for a few evenings" open source project! :-). 
(That's a good thing.)
> > I would prefer to work in just one environment,
> It depends on what kind of "work" you want to do, doesn't
> it? Both of these environments are built as Zope applications
> so they have a lot in common in spite of the outer appearance.
> In fact, it turns out that there is a way to configure zope
> with ZWiki and Plone so that the same wiki content appears in
> both user interfaces.


> The different user interfaces can be
> completely controlled by applying different "skins". This means
> that a user can, but default say access the site as if it
> was "just" a wiki the way looks now.
> But if they choose, they can click on a "Plone" link which
> invokes the "portal skin" so that the other Plone bells and
> whistles (e.g. the bibliography) become visible and the
> wiki appears just as embedded in the portal.
> In the portal skin they can then log in and also create private 
> content etc.

Wow - I had no idea of the flexibility available in these systems.

> In effect, I think this is the "best of both worlds" but it
> is a little complicated to setup. I have a test version setup
> here
> Clicking on the "plone" link in the upper right corner asks you
> to log in and then it displays the same wiki contents with the
> Plone wrapper. I haven't had a lot of time to play with this,
> so it may not be working quite 100% yet. But I would be quite
> interested in your opinion of this effort.

I love it!  I tried to set up a login but it doesn't like my yahoo
email address for some reason.  
> Recently Bob and I have been discussing via #axiom-developer irc
> some ideas about again upgrading MathAction to the newest releases
> (including his latest LatexWiki stuff) *and* also setting up a
> live mirror site for MathAction as a backup. I guess we think we
> know how to do what we want to do, but of course then there is the
> question of when and how to find the time to impermanent it. :(
> There is never enough time... there is never enough time...

> > perhaps implementing an alternative bibliography solution in the
> > wiki or some such - maybe this would be of interest?
> >
> > 
> I am aware of WIKINDX. It's a nice effort but it lives in a very
> different software environment than ZWiki and Plone::
>   WIKINDX Requirements:
>    1. PHP >= v4.3.x
>    2. MySQL >= v3.23.xx
>    3. Apache >= v1.3.x

Oooh.  Good point.

> PHP is the "other way" to design web applications these days -
> probably more popular than Zope. The difference between Zope
> and PHP is quite literally quite similar to the difference between
> Axiom and Maxima. One of the difficulties of building applications
> with Zope is the strongly typed object-oriented environment that
> I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if one is prepared to
> invest the time to learn to use Zope properly, then it is possible
> to build some rather sophisticated applications with very little
> coding, compared to the large amount of (relatively easy) "hacking"
> required to get a PHP application off the ground. It is essentially
> the same thing with Axiom.

Heh - I'm convinced :-).  It's quite fitting that the website is done
the "Axiom" way.

> I rather like this accidental family relationship between Zope
> and Axiom. In fact, it goes even deeper since Zope is implemented
> in Python which is a strongly-typed (but dynamic) language with a
> "pile" block syntax just like SPAD which is strongly-typed
> (but static) programming language.

I really should read up on Zope.  I tend to shy away from web based
environments (I don't like needing an active internet connection) but
since this is hardly an either/or situation...

> > Another thought is that a "global" bibtex file generated from
> > this system could provide the foundation bib file for the
> > Axiom codebase, assuming one can be automatically generated.
> Yes, this could be done automatically using crontab job and
> wget to trigger the kind of 'download' that I described above.
> > Maybe we could even rig up a way to have the codebase repository
> > updated each time a bibliography update is committed via web,
> Yes, at least it could be done nightly or whatever using wget.

Would that be safe, do you think?  I assume one of the benefits of
content management is that we could just roll back any vandalism that

It would be really neat to expose the bibliography like that, IMHO -
whenever any of us find something we should have in there, we could
just flip open the web browser, log in, add the bibtex info with a few
comments about what part of Axiom it pertains to (maybe we could add a
pulldown menu with "standard" choices) and hey-presto it's not only on
the web but part of the Axiom codebase!  I usually stumble onto papers
I'm interested in while web browsing - it would be really neat to be
able to add them in right away.  Or perhaps, to have some semblance of
order, we could have individual bibliographies for each user, and then
we could "submit" entries for entry into the global file which could be
reviewed by two other people (to avoid things like dupes, ensure they
are relevant, etc.).
> > and have the website updated every time a new bibtex entry is
> > put into the repository.
> I am less sure how to do that but that is also likely possible
> based on a tla -diff or something of that sort.

I guess it could be done once an hour or something like that -
immediate update is probably too difficult.  The only way I can think
of offhand is to use some kind of file monitor or something to watch
the bib file and trigger events if it is changed, and I doubt that's
worth the trouble.


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