Thursday, November 15, 2007

19. Put a photo of your pet on the wiki

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A wiki is a type of web site which is edited collaboratively. That is, anyone with access can edit any page of a wiki, and add new pages.

It's great for sharing information between staff of an organisation, or for developing documentation. Wikis keep a record of all edits made to a page, so it's possible to see who added what, and even to reverse edits.

The most notable wiki is WikiPedia, an online encyclopedia. However, wikis can be used for a number of purposes.

Today you'll learn how to resize and save a photo for the web, and how to edit the staff wiki. You'll then put a photo onto the wiki 'pet's page'.

Preparing your photo

When preparing an image for the web, it's important that you save it in the correct format, and at an appropriate size. Otherwise, someone may not be able to view it, or it may take too long to download on a typical home internet connection. The photos out of a digital camera or scanner will usually be too high a resolution for a web page, so they'll require reducing.

First, you'll need to find a digital photo of your pet (or someone else's, if you don't have one). If you have a digital camera, you can simply use a photo from that. If you have a printed photo, you'll need to scan it instead. Digital cameras and scanners are available at the library.

Open your favourite photo editing software. I recommend Fireworks, because it's available to all Swinburne Staff.

Installing Fireworks

If you don't have it already, you can install it easily and you shouldn't even need to call ITS.

Fireworks is part of Macromedia Studio, which is available under Start => All programs => Network => NAL. Install Macromedia Studio using the icon.

Once it is installed, you should find Macromedia Fireworks under Start => All programs => Macromedia.

Resize your image

Open the photo you want to resize. Using the menu, use Modify => Canvas => Image size to change the size of the image. A web page is around 72 to 96 dots per inch, so for a reasonably sized image you should resize the image so that it is only around 300 to 600 pixels wide, depending on your preferences. Never resize the image more than once, or you'll lose quality. Always go back to the original and start again (always keep the original file!).

Now save your image using File => Export. This will allow you to save the image as a JPEG file (the filename should end in .jpg). JPEG is the format you must use for websites, if the image is a full colour photo. Save it as a separate file. Keep the original file too.

Upload it to the wiki

The Upload File link on the wiki allows you to add a photo to the wiki. It's on the left hand side of the page once you've logged in.

Under Source Filename click Browse and locate the resized version of the photo you just saved, and upload it by following the instructions.

Add it to a wiki page

Locate the Pets page on the wiki and edit it using 'Edit'. You should be able to follow the example of the photos that are already there, and add your image using code similar to the following:
[[Image:filename.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Description for your image]]
This code ensures that the photo is a thumbnail, aligned left on the page (like the other images), and 150 pixels wide, the same size as the other photos.

What's next?

Feedback on our staff wiki

The staff wiki is intended to be used, and we're trying to introduce as many people as possible so they can become familiar with it, and get some use out of it. We're really interested in your experiences with it: if you have any problems using it, or you can't see how it can be helpful for you, please do let us know.

We're currently trying the make the wiki easier to use. You may have noticed many improvements recently. There are still a few annoyingly difficult things about it, such as it needing a separate password to everything else.

Other wikis

If you're adventurous, try contributing to WikiPedia on a topic you know a lot about or are prepared to research. Like other wikis, anyone can edit or add pages. With WikiPedia, you don't even need an account to do so.

You may also like to look at the first ever Wiki, WikiWikiWeb. It's mainly about computer programming, and it works differently to other wikis you may be familiar with. All page titles on WikiWikiWeb had to have a one word (run together) title with capital letters part way through the word, like 'WelcomeVisitors'.



CCBelle said...

I got some help from Matt and we used Free Picture Resizer software that was quick to install and very easy to use - as I couldn't find the recommended on on the NAL

CCBelle said...

I got some help from Matt and we used Free Picture Resizer software that was quick to install and very easy to use - as I couldn't find the recommended on on the NAL