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You are here: Home Bulletins 2011 Fall 2011 Bulletin The new Free Software Directory

The new Free Software Directory

by Joshua Gay Contributions Published on Nov 28, 2011 04:49 PM
In September we relaunched the Free Software Directory. We have written a lot about our new plans for the Directory and how you can help us improve and build on more than 6,500 packages already listed there. What we haven't written about is how you can begin to help improve the functionality, design, and user experience of the Directory -- just by editing pages on the Web site!

One of the coolest things about the new Directory is the functionality provided by MediaWiki and over a dozen extensions, including Semantic MediaWiki and Semantic Forms. Together, they offer a plethora of development tools for the wiki:

  • template macros
  • an HTML form system to populate templates
  • typed variables
  • SQL-style queries to find and list pages
  • built-in formatting functions for HTML, RSS, JSON, and more
  • dozens of array and string functions

If you look at the source of any page on the wiki, odds are you'll find extensive use of nested templates, conditional statements, complex queries, and other powerful semantic features.

If you are interested in trying out some of these tools, a great place to start is our quick hacking tutorial: This will teach you the basics of how to edit your user page, use and create templates, query the directory, create and manipulate arrays, and much more.

We hope that you will try out our tutorial and help us improve the look, feel, and functionality of the Free Software Directory!

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