June 12th - Dynamically Updating HTML Content

on Friday, June 12, 2009

On June 8th, I managed to make an extension that adds its own button to Mediawiki toolbar. However, this did not work on my Windows machine. It never came to me that it might be a version issue (thanks Maria for pointing this out). I will check what version I have and try to install a different one. Anyway, I am mentioning that because I decided to find a another way for adding an edit button. Instead of setting hooks, I am editing the HTML content of the page by searching for the id "toolbar" and adding an image tag that opens a popup window when clicked. I am really thankful for the author of The Tex Box because I found this method through tracing his code (although the code was hard to follow).
Another thing I started to work on yesterday was finding a way to link several pages to the same URL and navigating through them using next and previous buttons. Cameron (thank you) suggested that I use a counter, and by giving each page a number, I can display the proper tags. I have never tried to dynamically update HTML pages before. Using document.write() in Javascript to update the page content turned out not to be a good idea.I finally discovered DOM. Following this quick tutorial, I managed to write a webpage with a counter that gets incremented or decremented when next or previous buttons are clicked. I was so happy when it worked.
Now I have all the tools I need to start coding the extension. Let me recap:

  1. A php class for parsing Spreadsheets (excel and csv only).
  2. A customized button in Mediawiki's toolbar.
  3. A popup window.
  4. A dynamically updated content.
  5. A pretty awsome visulization API (Google Vizuailzation).
A few challenged ahead:
  1. Designing a friendly user interface.
  2. Passing variables between HTML pages.
  3. Findnig a way to create a Mediawiki Special Page and link it to the popup window.