Opportunities for eXe as an offline editor for MediaWiki / WikiEducator content


We are considering making the native file format that eXe uses to save packages the IMS Content Package. This may also mean the possibility for eXe to support the import and editing of IMS Content Packages generated by other systems, so that anything that can export an IMS Content Package could in effect be edited within eXe. Hacking on MediaWiki? to support an IMS Content Package export of a selection of pages or to follow a heirarchy of grouped pages to add to such a package shouldn't be that hard. Similar functionality is already present in other wikis, notably MoinMoin? which will export a selection of pages as docbook. Something similar may already be in MediaWiki?. An IMS Content Package export from MediaWiki? could then be used in eXe to facilitate contextualization, printing, export in other formats (SCORM 1.2, Web Site, text file, iPOD notes, XML) as well as for import into LMS systems or other repositories that understand IMS CP. We feel that IMS CP is a preferable specification for the simple exchange of content over something like SCORM. SCORMs complexity and lack of standardized implementations makes it less desirable for this task.

We believe that think that MediaWiki? do an export that is appropriate for eXe rather than use eXe to gather the content in. The GUI for such a task would be difficult on the eXe side and seeing as eXe is primarily an offline tool, not so desirable.

Templates are a powerful feature of the MediaWiki? environment and can as we have seen be put to multiple uses: see Rob Kruhlak's work on quizzes, or the boilerplate templates for indicating the completeness of resources. But, the syntax can be quite complex. eXe's notion of iDevices could be turned into a way to simplify the creation of templates for MediaWiki? users. Templates that are unique to a particular wiki could be turned into iDevices within eXe. So, for example, if you were frequently editing for Wikiversity and they had some templates that were unique to them it would be simple for an iDevice to be created within eXe to facilitate editing/exporting for Wikiversity. In fact such an iDevice could be a download available from the Wikiversity site for use within eXe.

eXe should have a MediaWiki? markup export. This may happen in the near future, regardless of what happens with the above.

Post Think Tank Thoughts

There seems to be a lot of interest in having an offline editor for MediaWiki?. I'm not convinced that eXe is the tool for that, although perhaps it could be. The extremely difficult part seems to be how to negotiate versioning, conflicts, syncing of versions, etc. There are possibly better ways to do this; one that was mentioned was Wiki-on-a-Stick ... which you can probably guess what this was. But, the ability to contextualize content from a MediaWiki? in eXe and then export in a multitude of formats still seems to have some value to me. The Connexions people ( may be interested in an export into their native XML format as they are currently stuck with a rather unfriendly XML type editor for their content.

Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on 2009-05-22T06:11:00+09:00