by michal-frackowiak on 03 Feb 2012 10:05

Over the last few weeks there has been an enormous wave of protests against the ACTA pact (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) in Poland. ACTA itself is supposed to be an international agreement to establish laws and standards for intellectual property protection. Think of ACTA as an international successor of DMCA.

Although DMCA itself has been criticized since its introduction in 1998 and has been abused numerous times (see "notice and takedown" criticism), it just works. But nobody is really happy about it: copyright holders claim it is still to difficult to take down stolen (= published against the license) content, and internet users feel the law limits their freedom of speech. The only group that should be happy with DMCA are internet and service providers (ISPs), which are not a subject to copyright law enforcement — provided they do follow the DMCA regulations and procedures.

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One of many protests against ACTA in Warsaw.

Now ACTA is supposed to expand DMCA mechanisms world-wide, but in a quite awkward and controversial way. How bad is ACTA? Let us just say that in March 2010 EU adopted a resolution containing numerous objections against ACTA at the time, regarding freedom rights, privacy issues, secrecy of negotiations while creating ACTA and other legal aspects. Some of them still hold.


by michal-frackowiak on 13 Jan 2012 13:34

Running a site is a tough thing. We know it. It requires a combination of skills, charisma and determination. The more effort we put into our sites the more we want to measure the success. For wikis, a simple measure is engagement of your users — new members, page edits or forum posts. On the other hand many visitors do not leave visible contributions — in the end we also want to know how many page views and visitors a site has, and how people get to our site.

For quite a while Wikidot has been offering web statistics and analysis for Pro and Pro Plus sites. Today we would like to offer the same tools to all Pro Lite sites and shorten the update interval, moving the stats closer to real-time.

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by michal-frackowiak on 28 Dec 2011 12:59

Last week I wrote that we had a feature release planned for the holiday season. Some of you guessed it would be data forms support in the ListPages module. Looking at the top wishes it was quite a probable guess, and it was correct!

We have just deployed the improved version of ListPages with support for selecting pages by custom fields defined via data forms. We have chosen a simple syntax for querying but we are already thinking about extending it and adding more operators. The today's release should however provide you tools to play with and test our implementation.


by michal-frackowiak on 24 Dec 2011 10:57

The end of the year and the Holidays are just around the corner. In Poland we especially celebrate the Christmas Eve (which is today), which officially starts the Christmas Holidays. It is quite a busy day full of preparations, but we all hope to have a peaceful Christmas Eve supper in the evening and enjoy some family time ;-)

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The whole Wikidot Team would like to take the opportunity to wish all our friends, partners, users and fans all the best! Regardless of how your holidays are called — Christmas, Hanukkah, Quanza, or simply Holidays — we hope you spend it peacefully and happily with your loved ones and get new strength for the upcoming challenges!


by michal-frackowiak on 20 Dec 2011 18:31

At Wikidot we used to be a bit conservative when it came to emails. For years we have been sending plain-text emails to be sure they can be read by most email clients. But the time goes by and the support for HTML emails de facto became a standard. So… why not switch?

Recently we started converting the format of our emails from plain text to HTML (with alternative plain text for older email clients) where applicable. Yesterday we introduced a new HTML layout for emails, improved wording in several cases and made things like recovering a lost password a bit easier. Email notifications about activities, various confirmation emails — they all got a new look&feel.

We tried to make the email layout simple, clean. Take a look:

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by michal-frackowiak on 14 Dec 2011 13:24

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Last week we introduced Activities and since then we have received positive feedback. Thanks! And we are really glad our new feature makes using Wikidot so much more effective!

We have added a few improvements to the activities in the last few days that we would like to share with you:

  • When you log in at Wikidot front page or create an account anywhere at www.wikidot.com you are automatically taken to your account.
  • Threading of activities related to the same page is now improved.
  • All new users automatically watch the community site and our blog, and we populate their activities with activities from the last few days so they do not need to face the "blank page effect".
  • New users have email notifications turned off by default, but the "auto watch" is now on (i.e. they watch every page they edit or comment all all sites they join).

by michal-frackowiak on 07 Dec 2011 09:28

It has been a while since we introduced the concept of watching and email notifications to allow our users to follow activities related to their Wikidot account. So far email notifications has played critical role in keeping workgroups, communities and site owners up-to-date.

Today we would like to introduce a huge improvement to the "watching" feature. Here is the thing. Getting an email for every page edit, new comment or new post works pretty well, but over time we have discovered the workflow is not flawless:

  • it can result in flooding your inbox when you join communities with lots of activity,
  • it requires you to define filters for your mailbox to properly categorize notifications, otherwise see above,
  • email clients do not always do message threading properly, mixing notifications from different sites, pages or forum threads

These are not deal breakers. Notifications improved our efficiency with Wikidot dramatically. But we did spend a while making it work with our email clients which was not that easy (e.g. new Apple Mail breaks message threading completely). And honestly we do not expect fresh users to spend their time writing perfect filters for their inboxes.

Today we would like to address the above issues by introducing the Activity tab in the account dashboard. Now you could simply jump and try yourself, but let me give a quick overview.

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