This page is an evolving to do list of potential service upgrades to Openpolitics.ca itself.

Users:Please feel free to add your suggested upgrades under the potential upgrades, or discuss at OP_talk:upgrades.

Developers: If you can tackle any of these upgrades edit OP_talk:upgrades to let us know. Include links to anything that you think is relevant and if you have bugs to report give us the exact URI that you try to access that causes the bug.

see also: OP:admin, OP:Plan, tikiwiki bugs, next LivingPlatform.CA, JDs Upgrades

Table of contents

Upgrades in progress

(please list here upgrades to which time or resources have been committed by OP:insiders including those for which there is volunteer help)

Below are feature requests approved by M. Pilling at the July 13th meeting with J. Diceman. Progress?

User feedback

Minipolls to rank page content (like dotmocracy:

  • a minipoll is keyed in by the user as a special kind of heading eg: "!?!" A heading is created and a poll is anchored on that heading. Whatever the text of that heading says is what people vote on.
  • each mini poll is an anchor that is fixed to a heading tag which states a propsition or an option.

Image Tiki wiki is iki.

  • results are displayed after someone votes, and users with permission can download raw data.
  • if someone has already voted the results are shown when pages is loaded.
  • By clicking vote on the results screen, user can change their vote. (registers a minus and a plus in raw data).

proposed use and limits on use

This "feature" is dangerous unless and until there is a way to characterize the bias or faction of each "voting" user. Wikipedia has had a great deal of trouble with so-called "troll polls" where a small clique of people voting at once creates the impression of general agreement. In general any voting mechanism needs to be avoided until there is a mature set of factions and bias statements.
  • have a possible permission setting to vote (as with polls, and surveys) so that you must be registered to vote, and possibly make "list of voters" visible.

extended user profile

  • user administrable list of questions on registration.
  • export user data as CSV depends on price
  • some fields public, some private (admin only), some optional

privacy invasion?

Without having any guarantees about privacy, it's a bad idea to collect this data. Especially on a political service where there will be more and more information about biases.


New pages inherits permissions

  • by default, a page B created from page A inherits categories and permissions from page A.

page redirect plug-in

  • works like wikipedia's redirects.

why pay for this?

This should be a core tikiwiki feature. Why should OP pay for it? Dump it in the laps of the developers who deal with tiki.

auto-save every X minutes

  • tikiwiki should autosave every x minutes (changeable by admin).
  • auto save before following a link on a wiki page.

public footnote

  • a footnote tool which allows a user to type in footnote info "inline" with a paragraph, but have it displayed at the bottom of the page and/or on rollover of the footnote link which appears in the text.
  • footnotes should be numbered automatically.

why pay for this?

Is this not also on the general tikiwiki to-do list?

Search before creating a new page

Search works now for any name not found as a page name, but, when you create the new page, you don't get the search to work from. You should.

  • doing a search before creating a new page does two things:
    • helps avoid creating a parallel page unintentionally
    • helps linking to related issues.
    • creates a list of pages that should possibly be linked from the new page, i.e. the search results can be dumped into the new page buffer so they need to be explicitly deleted or else related, i.e. "this is not about related page it is about ..."

"apply template" pastes below, not replace

Currently the apply template wipes out current content of the page.

wikipedia mark-up translator, e.g. paste

one click “next version” in history, view edits and comment of the that edit

stable fixed URLs

See URL and 404 problem. In general the strategy here is:
  1. have the server recognize and display as many characters as possible.
  2. imitate wikipedia as per naming conventions
  • Human readable wiki links / page titles with all characters
  • Prefer _ rather than + for spaces
  • Most URLs SEF, including edit and, history
  • Robots nofollow on edit pages, (so that google does not list edit pages)


$1000 USD approved by who when why?
A type of (default?) heading which does the following:
  • has a persistent anchor for maketoc and bookmarks.
  • creates a "section" which includes:
    • a horizontal divider / customizable in CSS.
    • a link to edit that section directly (like wikipedia)
      • option: this may be left as a separate tag.
    • includes a "back to toc"

show/hide text under headings

Another variation of a heading created from wiki markup is one that has a show/hide button.
  • show/hide per a heading, + beside heading text
  • needs to be formatted so that the !!+ creates:
  • blah blah blah
  • blah


  • blah blah blah
  • blah

External Search (Swish-e)

$300 approved for basic set-up on CoopTools.ca - when - link to decision
  • single install
  • search multiple wikis
  • results recognize exact page title match (may cost more)
  • admin result action options, e.g. auto-load of exact match hierarchy
  • search form is presented within wiki site

Advanced categories

(JD: I need to define the interface)
  • ordinal (prioritize) items in a category
  • category to TOC
  • prompt to categorize on edit
  • statistics within a category
  • Maybe: PDF print of a category
  • IDEA: show x of top ordered pages in the same category

Use of tags must be dealt with somehow: most tags are doing the same job as would be done by categories, but tags are much more flexible. A better tagging scheme would be more useful than any category scheme and could mimic one as required, e.g. links to This page disambiguates put the page in category "Disambiguate". Note that categories that aren't derived from verbs break action-oriented metaphors.

Upgrades under consideration

Sections Marked (P) are High Priority.

Editing and Formatting

WYSIWYG editor

(JD: Very difficult. How HTML and WikiText will work together is not clear. Needs a long timeline.)

Doubleclick to edit

  • this should be off by default.

Article = Save

In the mediawiki style, the four buttons article, edit, history, discuss switch back and forth between the different views. These buttons are always prominent at the top of the page. — make the article button equivalent to save in the edit view. --- DONE

Special Characters

  • better support for special characters.

HTML in editing

  • Allow HTML should stay checked once checked
  • detect HTML automatically to avoid "allow HTML" toggle completely.
  • Hide HTML should be avaialble so end users don't have to see HTML templates etc. in the edit screen. (or WYSIWYG)

The edit window

  • needs to be thoroughly renovated.
  • remove unecessary boxyness.
  • get edit and cancel buttons on the top of the page (consistently)
  • rename the Footnote feature to Personal Notes or "My notes"
  • create a warning for leaving the edit window without saving.

uploading images

  • add a link to image resources in the edit window template.
  • set the default for images so that they align left and wrap properly.
  • tiki has trouble with some filenames for pictures. Can we fix this?
  • "cut and paste" pictures - be able to place images in articles from the web, or upload to OP from the web as well as a user's hard drive (as is the case right now)

wiki syntax (P)

  • support for mediawiki style formatting.
  • tiki admin edit syntax.(HTML code or old syntax combined in a different way can be given a new syntax)
  • Some sort of syntax for numbering and anchoring footnotes.
  • need syntax for "back to table of contents" either by page or section
  • need syntax for indent

Specific words automatically become links. (Hotwords?) (P)

Minor edit

  • should still show up in history - but not in recent changes.
  • should have a purpose explained (e.g. minor edit/don't notify)

Lost edits.

  • should never ever happen.
  • Following a link from the preview page means you lose your edit. need to disable links in preview mode.

Edit screen

The edit screen should be redisigned to look the same as the viewing mode, but not. -if you know what i mean :)

Find Page (by title)

  • this search needs to be restored to the upper right corner.
  • results screen should have a "expand to full text search.

recent changes

The recent changes does not show the checkin comment. This is ridiculous. This is where ALL SOCIAL INTERACTION HAPPENS, and THIS IS WHY THERE IS NONE HERE: people cannot see why things are happening.

  • the current full text search engine is not much use. Are improvements possible?

  • cap the character count of page titles displayed in backlinks
  • rank backlinks by importance (pages linking to).

URLS and 404's

  • has its own page -see: URL and 404 problem
  • resolve the nuisance of having messy php generated URL's be displayed in the address bar - they are STILL visible
  • have anything that would 404 instead be bounced to a site search result with the terms used, as per URL and 404 Problem - this is solved in tikiwiki 1.9, except for colons and other bad characters.
  • need to support all characters and punctuation in URL'S if possible. Even spaces.

legacy URLs for admin features

  • the annoying PHP laden names for register, password and admin features need to be phased out in favor of plain english URLs.

  • tikiwii.org is using a feature like this but it needs improving.


  • Need to set up a capacity for users to set up permanent automatic redirects. For example, user goes to page Trolls and types in {REDIRECT troll} and then all links to trolls become a link to troll. (this can be undone by navigating to edit:trolls directly)
  • Plurals are by far the worst for creating parallel pages Is there a case where page names ending in s should not automatically redirect to singular?
    • yes, because guidelines and other plural pages sometimes serve as list of pages.
    • only when the pluralized page name already exists as a separate page
    • you can't always tell mechanically what is a plural, e.g. criterion vs. criteria, women vs. women's

Search with process terms.

Help pages, tutorials, FAQs and support.

  • Collect and revise all help pages to ensure they are accurate, clear and within a single Help page structure (2.5 hr)

  • Change the way dynamic menus look to remove the [+] to the right of the menu item.
  • Change the way items wrap in the menu so they are indented on the second line.

Comments and Discussion (P)

Registration, Login and My Opem Politics features.

  • need to collect user mailing address and other info securely.
  • admin can import/export membership data tables.

Attribution, tracking and statistics.

Select licence

  • use a drop down list in the edit screen to select a licence, make it changeable only by admins, and have it show as an icon at the bottom of the page.

Noting Top Contributions

"The five top contributors" or any "sole contributor" should be listed as header tags. Low priority the options available in admin>wiki are OK.

Track edits by user and by category.

Statistics (P)

  • statistics pages looaaaad slooow or not at all.
  • Upgrade to Stats to include total edits and comments per week/month/total
  • statistics per structure will also be useful in the future.

Surveys, Quizzes Polls and other feedback. (P)

Categories, Groups and Organization. (P)

Notice how this deals neatly with essays and single author problems, like all good solutions it degrades nicely. The above also enforces some open politics in force naming conventions such as the underscore replacing a space in names or replacing any abbreviated name recognizable perhaps only to insiders and confusing search engines (since names without underscores aren't seen as a token).

  • How do categories work with permissions?
  • How do categories work with templates?
  • all of these needs some documentation help.

categorize all new pages

implement categories and header tags that encourage users to categorize all new pages - compatible with technorati tags to be visible to the blogosphere.
  • make tagging and automatic hotlinks compatible - so database of hotlinks can grow automatically as users add more tags.
  • Apply themes to wiki structures or categories.

Articles and news pages.

Export and Import (P)

  • the integrator feature in tikiwiki needs to be documented.
  • import a .CSV and automatically create a table.
  • scrub meta-data from MS office documents sometimes it seems to stick.


  • wiki news feed - impossible to keep up with news story sources otherwise, cite links to offsite news stories are not desirable as they lose the user, and don't link back into openpolitics.ca itself; This is most critical for candidate portal as it will let people track news about themselves by setting up a simple web form. They can then respond or have others respond on user pages, or critique the article by editing it for factual correctness (extreme source integrity is required, i.e. changes _signed by the candidate or their agent). It will also help the analyst portal and teacher portal focus on news in one context for simplicity.
  • get wikipedia - Showing Wikipedia content in a frame, just like Wikinfo does, using similar conventions. This might mean moving to getwiki and using tikiwiki only for mobile support, if at all (accordingly tikiwiki specific effort should be minimized).
This is most critical for the analyst portal, student portal and teacher portal.

Admin Functions.

No deletions ever. (P)

  • Pages need to be "deleted" shoudl only be categorized as "to ignore", or "removed" or something and be only visible to admins.
  • delete should be impossible even for admins

Junior Admins (P)

  • need to be able to create permissions granting admins who cannot create other admins or access other top level admin features.

Global design and layout issues

See: HTML HTML Templates and Living Platform CSS

  • hyperlinks should be underlined and blue, not underlined, bold and blue

    • con: relying on colour is dangerous, relying on typography is better as it is preserved on the print page

Accessibility Multilanguage and Mobility.

multilingual capabilities - low priority

  • Look up translations in GFDL corpus namespace
  • An option to switch between French/English setting can added to the template e.g. Switch to French Switch to English
  • Translations of all menus and system messages can be implemented, including custom text.
  • HTML text in templates (e.g. header and footer) can be shown in the current language setting.
  • Logged in users can choose their prefered language setting.
  • We can also experiment with integrating translation software.
  • It may be possible to switch template graphics for language, but this is not confirmed
  • In 1.9 we can implement more translation options, such as making pages auto switch to their alternate language version depending on people language setting.


  • A more focused PDA version (e.g. AvantGo channel) This can be done with ?mode=mobile on any page whatsoever - it is the PRIMARY USE OF LIVINGPLATFORM.CA DURING ELECTIONS to support journalists; should emphasize list of policy terms and facts: political bios, agency names, issue lists and FAQs, things they can use right away.

The journalist portal and candidate portal have to be mobile-focused.

The proposed OP:layout focuses on the pundit blackberry as the primary target user interface.

Feature Requests

Fax on demand

publish to HTML

  • Improve surveys options (e.g. Excel output)
  • Webforms that create tikiwiki markup as an output
  • Find out why last changes are so slow to update.
  • Wiki formatting wizard (from MS Word etc)

Mail in a Page. (P)

TW seems to allow users to mail in a page edit to the wiki. - feature exists and is somewhat documented.


Users should be able to "worship"/"idolize" a very attractive person by clicking "worship" on their profile. Those who object on religious grounds may merely "adore". This is of course how most folks make actual decisions: following the cutest.

Most social network services have got a "fan" or "hot" or "I like you" feature. An equivalent word must be found and added to the list of command verbs, then supported as a simple tracker of "who (verb)s who". This would also encourage logins.