ImageJ web site migration timeline

ImageJ developers have been working hard for quite a few weeks to design a new website for the imagej.net wiki. We are retaining all content while migrating away from the current MediaWiki infrastructure, replacing it with Jekyll site hosted on GitHub Pages. Our goal is for the new site to remain editable and extensible by the community in an easy manner, while avoiding the security concerns of a self-hosted LAMP stack.

@elevans has been developing the new design, including features analogous to what we need from the MediaWiki infrastructure. Meanwhile @frauzufall has been mass migrating all the existing content. We have now completed the initial design and content migration iterations, and are close to entering the next phase of the migration.

Migration timeline

Here is the migration timeline, with what’s needed to move on to each next phase:

  1. PRE-ALPHA - where we are now - completing the initial design and content migration.

    • :white_check_mark:@ctrueden - Merge existing MediaWiki edit history into the imagej.github.io git history.
    • @elevans - Finish migrating MediaWiki Templates to Liquid {% include %}s.
    • :white_check_mark:@elevans - Change content prefix from /pages to /.
    • :white_check_mark:@frauzufall - Make a javadoc table of contents (TOC) feature that behaves like MW.
  2. ALPHA - in ~3-7 days - 1st version of new read-only site available for community review. Static read-only version of old wiki remains available at imagej.net.

    • Community - compare pages of interest from new imagej.github.io site with old imagej.net wiki. Report problems discovered here on this thread.
    • @elevans - write initial contribution docs on how to edit pages, add pages, and add images.
    • All of us - as time permits, iterate fixing rough edges of migrated content, particularly issues noticed and reported by the community.
  3. BETA - in ~2-3 weeks - site opens for community editing. Static read-only version of imagej.net continues to remain available.

    • Community - Begin editing the site using GitHub workflows. For new/unknown folks that means PRs at first; for frequent editors that means direct commit access so edits go live instantly, same as the old wiki. Spam no longer an issue. :crossed_fingers:
    • Dev team - Continue addressing issues encountered by the community.
  4. PRODUCTION - in ~4-6 weeks - imagej.net domain begins serving new content, replacing the old wiki.

    • All of us - continue to work on content, report & fix issues, and improve the site! :wink:

Side note for existing imagej.net content with critical errors

While the current imagej.net is read-only, if you feel there are corrections that must be made to particular pages, it is possible: you can file a PR against the imagej/imagej-net-static repository. You would need to edit the rendered HTML directly, but we will merge such PRs until the new site reaches PRODUCTION phase. However, any changes made to imagej-net-static will not automatically be reflected in the new site contents; we recommend you also make the same changes in the new imagej.github.io repository once we reach the BETA phase of development and edits there become supported.

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We have now merged the existing MediaWiki history into the imagej.github.io repository. The mediawiki-final tag contains the last version of the sources for the MediaWiki-based content.

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A post was split to a new topic: SmartRoot plugin installation and usage

We are obviously out of sync with our original timeline - still working on reaching ALPHA.

We converted the MediaWiki pages to Github Markdown using pandoc, plus we had to additionally fix…

  • template conversion (not fully completed)
  • converting all template calls
  • gallery & thumbnail conversion
  • a good set of image usages and styling (not all of the MediaWiki possibilities I’m afraid)
  • table layout conversion
  • math formula conversion
  • menus
  • autogenerated table of content
  • link names, page names, image names
  • specific MediaWiki pages with syntax errors / weird styling causing pandoc to fail

Probably forgetting stuff.

Reaching ALPHA: Looking for pages with broken content

Until all MediaWiki templates are fully converted, some content will be missing, but people who know how to use GitHub are now welcome to compare https://imagej.github.io/ pages to https://imagej.net pages - please don’t report minor styling issues, we will first focus on missing / wrong content. Ignore the start page and redirect pages. Please report issues here. I am especially interested in completely / partly messed up pages with artifacts, anything which might force us to mass convert again.

Next steps

We will soon declare mass conversion as finished (ALPHA) and then explain how to adjust pages manually, at this point we will encourage people to also post issues here. Sorry for being so vague.

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The ALPHA and BETA milestones are complete, but the site still has some rough edges. During the month of September, the ImageJ team at LOCI will continue working through the remaining issues.

An initial “Editing the Wiki” guide is now available:

https://imagej.github.io/Editing_the_Wiki

We are asking for the community’s help now in the following ways:

  • Check your favorite wiki pages to make sure all the content is still present. We know the new site’s styling and layout is still suboptimal—what we want to know now is whether the content looks fundamentally sound, or if you notice anything big missing. Please reply back on this thread with any issues you notice, or file an issue on GitHub.

  • Early adopters may now make edits to the content using the instructions linked above. You can edit directly through the GitHub site, similar to how the MediaWiki site worked. The main difference is that after you click submit, it will file a pull request that will be approved and merged into the official site by site maintainers. Frequent contributors will still be granted direct edit access, bypassing this review process. Feedback on the editing process is welcome. If you want to practice making some edits, try submitting improvements to the “Editing the Wiki” page itself! :nerd_face: This will help make the process smoother for everyone.

  • We invite CSS lovers to submit improvements to the layout. In particular, see imagej/imagej.github.io#30: improving the placement of sidebars to declutter the main content area. (If no one tries to tackle this during my vacation, I’ll work on it upon my return in October.)

We plan to have a more formal community review period throughout at least October. If all goes well, we hope to cut over imagej.net to the redesigned GitHub Pages site some time in November.

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