One common approach people take is to set up forms for the data, using the Semantic Forms extension; if you decide to do that, there's a tutorial here on how to set it up:

(Note the 'example' link as well.)

I should note that recipes can't fully be handled by SMW at this point, because they're a classic case of what's known as an "n-ary relation" - a set of relationships that aren't just simple triples: you can define that a recipe uses flour, but you can't qualify that definition by saying it's 1 cup or some such.


On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Jan Steinman <> wrote:
> From: Patrick Nagel <znvy@cngevpx-antry.arg>
> If you tell us what you plan on using SMW for maybe someone will
> step up and
> give you a rough idea of how SMW could be applied to your problem.
> From then
> on it should be easy to follow the documentation on semantic-
> .

Thanks, Patrick.

We are a co-operative farm, and have been using MediaWiki successfully
for four years to do much of our organizing. But we have need of more
organization than Namespaces and Categories provide.

Some examples:

* Recipes are stored as wiki pages. It would be great if ingredients
and amounts could take on meaning, so that one could assemble a menu
and come up with a shopping list.

* At meetings, individuals volunteer to be responsible for action
items. We record these in pages in the Minutes namespace. We need to
be able to call up lists of what tasks any individual has agreed to
take on. I'm currently using the <tasks> plug-in, but it breaks list
formatting (it calls the Parser), and is non-trivial to modify. It
would be great to be able to include "due dates" with the tasks, as
well as priorities. In fact, we have a multi-dimensional
prioritization scheme (urgent or someday, one-time or recurring, easy
or difficult, expensive or free, etc.) that it would be nice to
capture -- it's only used on white-boards and flip charts now.

* Also at meetings, also recorded in Minutes, are Agreements. It is
currently difficult to find everything we've agreed to. I was going to
copy/hack the <tasks> plug-in to do something similar for Agreements,
but it seems SMW could lend a hand here. Theses could use a priority
system, as well: some Agreements (Projects) are important enough to
have their own page, with timeline and budget, while others ("approved
last meeting minutes") don't want to be cluttering up the major
agreement lists.

* We have Projects that each have a page with structured information,
such as Need, Description, Goal, Timeline, Plan, Materials, Budget,
Reconciliation, etc. It would be wonderful to be able to record this
information in a way that could be "rolled up" so that we could see if
several projects could share materials, or to get a quick summary of
all Projects' Descriptions, or get a report of all approved Projects'
projected costs, etc.

* We currently have two levels of involvement: Members, who have a
financial commitment to the project, and everyone else -- hundreds of
people who have requested to be on our email list, which I
periodically pull out of the mw_user table and dump into a GNU Mailman
list. However, there are multiple levels of involvement within that
larger group: three non-members are on our board, a few more are
trusted and close advisors, others have offered their skills, some are
prospective members. I capture some of this information in a mw_user
extension table, but it would be great to be able do it all within the
wiki, and to be able to easily generate appropriate reports -- to
start with, something nicer than the MediaWiki User dump. (Can SMW
provide inference about pages not written?)

I know enough about semantic networks (designed and built a simple one
in Smalltalk long ago...) to imagine that SMW could be of help, but am
just having trouble figuring out where to "dive in" and get started.

I am also not certain my installation is correct. As I recall, the
installation test (which I put on the Sandbox page) did not produce
expected results, but I don't recall details. Will repeat if needed.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for suffering through this mess. To
manage spam, it's a restricted account system, but I'd be happy to
provide anyone an account if desired.

Any pointers or advice appreciated!

:::: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man. -- George Bernard Shaw ::::
:::: Jan Steinman, EcoReality ::::

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