TWiki Tips Part One

7 April 2008

How many times have you asked someone in ATLAS something like "How do you do xyz?" and been told "It's in the TWiki". The problem is there are currently 5,300 ATLAS TWiki topics (pages), growing at a rate of about 150 per month. How do you find that information about 'xyz' and how do you know if it's reliable?

Q: How do I find information about 'xyz'?

A: Well you can try searching for it! In the top right hand corner of each page there is a search field that has been recently updated to use the CERN Search which is indexed and hence fast. The ATLAS WebHome has a search field near the bottom. The problem is that this is very slow and returns an alphabetic list of all the topics with 'xyz' in them with no 'relevance' criteria. Slightly better is WebSearch which uses Google Ajax and is also much faster.


Q: How can I see what topics are available?

A: The WebIndex lists all ATLAS topics in alphabetical order. This is very slow. There is also the faster WebTopicList. The Wikimap also gives a list of ATLAS TWiki topics, with other interesting bits of information like their relationship with other topics, hit counts, last modification dates etc. The AtlasTree gives a nested tree view of ATLAS TWiki topics.


Q: How do I know the information is reliable?

A: We have recently introduced the concept of TWiki Certification. If a topic is considered 'official' ATLAS documentation i.e. it is useful, correct, up to date etc it will have a certification logo visible in the top right hand corner. If a topic doesn't have this logo then you should be more wary. If you think the topic should be certified contact the author and ask him to get it certified by the relevant coordinator. The certification expires after 6 months to make sure the pages stay up to date.

Steven Goldfarb


Steve Lloyd

Queen Mary, University of London


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