July 9, 2006
User Needs /
Image Handling

[RickCogley]: I think that one key thing for a Wiki is to be able to act as a catalyst for easy documentation. WysiWyg or a ToolBar (preferably to me, as it is simpler), is one thing, but the ability to process images really easily is a "showstopper" issue. I think that a lot of organizations that create manuals and so forth need the ability to upload very easily, and just pop these things in the page while banging out text.

Basically I agree, although this type of wiki usage is just one of a dozen. Maybe I agree easily because I often have the need to document software (e. g. here) and to get part of the screen into an optimal form into a wiki page is a multi-step manual process. This involves (1) the OS or a screen capture softare (2) formatting the image, usually with some graphic software (3) naming, storing and uploading the image (4) inserting and layouting the image in the target wiki page, often combining it with corresponding text. It would be great to have this as a smooth automatical process, but this needs a client-side tool, maybe WikiStarGate. -- HelmutLeitner July 9, 2006 12:20 CET


I do not mean that ProWiki has to act as a full-blown gallery (though I know you were looking at it), but at least, it should be easy to do these things:

  • Upload an image to my upload folder, and have ProWiki use ImageMagick or some such to optionally size it down to a reasonable size if I am trying to upload a giant 3MB file from a digital camera. Also, I should have the option to turn off the re-sizing if I wish. The reason for this is, I do not think you can expect regular users to understand they need to prep their images for the web.
  • When I upload, the fact that ProWiki puts an URL on my page is great and easy. However, I think ProWiki should put the uploaded image in a CmdlImage, and size it to a "reasonable" default width such as 300 px. I am talking about typical HTML dimensional re-sizing here, not actually editing the file. This part might be easy to do, compared to getting GD or ImageMagick working. I could not get the [size=xxx] option working in CmdlImage, though.
  • I want to be able to see all my uploads, and have an easy way to refer to them. Skillful processing of such a thing will be needed in the case of a documentation expert using ProWiki. It looks like you can go to action=upload to get the list, but, it would be good if there were a copy-pasteable string, with a typical CmdlImage in there for people to use. It would be killer if I could easily get ProWiki to expand a list of uploads which I uploaded to the current page - associated files, if you will. Even if CmdlImage had a [list] option, at least I could get a list in-page, and then delete what I do not need as a clean up.
  • Upload a zip, have ProWiki unzip it, and create the CmdlImage strings for all the uploads I do.

Reach Feature

A challenge: A killer, over-the-top type of feature would be the ability to "paste" in an image from the clipboard, and have ProWiki take it and upload it, process as directed, then put it in the CmdlImage string with my defaults. This way, I could have my app I am documenting open, be taking screenshots with Grab on the mac or Snagit32 on the PC, and pasting those into the interface. Is this Java, Ajax? I have no idea, but it would be killer!

Hopefully some of this is possible, and might be a first step to a Gallery.


RickCogley July 3, 2006 12:07 CET

Rick, I'd like to structure these requests a bit, if you don't mind. The general needs I'd transfer to UserNeeds/ImageHandling. You can access the upload directory from "Preferences-Additional Functions" - "Upload directory" but you need a registration for that. Usually the upload directory is separated for each user as a workspace, only in this case we use a common directory for the whole "allied schools" project. Shall I separate your files out and send you registration data? -- HelmutLeitner July 6, 2006 10:52 CET

Certainly, Helmut, and I was making a general indication about wanting to see the uploads. I meant, on my copy of the wiki, so I can see what is there, was all... RickCogley July 6, 2006 12:27 CET