CCMDB wiki

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Project: CCMDB wiki (I)
Description: Critical Care and Medicine Database wiki
Skillset(s) :

Mediawiki Programming

Project Type(s) :

Mediawiki Project

The Critical Care and Medicine Database wiki has been the centralized documentation for the Critical Care and Medicine Database since 2009.

We had initially requested a wordpress site from our IT department, but when we explained what we were trying to do they told us that Mediawiki is a much better fit for us.

Over time, this wiki went from a loosely hyperlinked collection of documents about some of our processes to a highly structured system that is fully integrated into our collection tools (see Critical Care and Medicine Database Set of MS Access programs) and data analysis.

Some data has its master repository on the wiki, and we have pages that return the structured data as tables that can be used in our collection software and analysis software.
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Needs example
  • Actioned 2021-10-31


  • Cargo


Other data is has its master repository in SQL tables, and we have queries that generate a line of mediawiki markup for each line of data. This allows us to copy/paste the data to a single wiki page that then supplies structured data to many others.
Squirrelslair.png
Needs example
  • Actioned 2021-10-31


  • Cargo


When someone on the team has a question about any of the documentation, a discussion is raised right on the page that causes the confusion. Some questions are answered by peers quickly, and remaining questions are brought to biweekly meetings. The questions are stored as structured data so a list of items that need to be dealt with is readily available without anyone needing to maintain it.

The wiki has over 4700 pages as of 2021-10. To help someone unfamiliar with it get started we have different portal pages. For example, a new data collector would be directed to the Data Collector Portal while an external researcher wanting to assess if our data would be useful to them would be directed to the External User Portal.

The Mediawiki Extension Cargo is used to store some parts of the site as structured data so it can be re-used elsewhere. All the projects are stored in the Project Table using Template:Project, which encodes the data in a way that allows other pages like Project Types to list them. When a project is added or edited, the other pages update automatically.

Mediawiki uses a markup language that can be a bit confusing, so Mediawiki Extension PageForms is used to facilitate editing of many of the different types of structured data.

We have a set of templates to flag when one of our collectors has a question, and collectors are expected to review mediawiki's automated recent changes functionality to keep track of both changes in documentation and questions as they arise. Buttons in the mediawiki editor provide an easy way to add questions in the right format to flag a question for discussion.


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