Harry Potter had the Marauder’s Map and now FogBugz 8 has the Wiki Navigation plugin!
The new wiki navigation features in FogBugz 8 won’t put a wand under your cloak, but they will help you organize the content in your wiki. When it comes time to find a secret path out of Hogwarts, you and your customers will know just where to look in your FogBugz wiki to find the answer.
Wiki navigation begins working its magic as soon as you upgrade to FogBugz 8. During the upgrade process, FogBugz will overlay a hierarchical structure onto each of your existing wikis. To do this, FogBugz will look at all of the links between your various wiki articles and then try to determine which articles are the children of other articles. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve found that FogBugz can usually do a pretty good job at guessing these parent-child relationships without any additional input or effort on your part.
The first place you’ll see this new-found structure on display is on the left-hand side of the new FogBugz 8 default template:
The related pages control on the left side of the screen (under the “Hierarchy” heading) acts as a kind of “You are here!”—a mark on the Marauder’s Map:
By adding the related pages control, we can leverage the newly-added hierarchical structure of your wiki to give users better insight into the context of each wiki article they visit. The related pages control shows the current wiki article being viewed along with its parent page, siblings, and children. In our own experience here at Fog Creek, when linking from a wiki page with a general topic to one concerned with something more specific, we’ve often found ourselves linking back to the more general page. Now, with the related pages control, this process is not only completely automated, but also made into a central part of the FogBugz wiki experience. It’s like having a house elf on hand to do all your menial wiki-related tidy work for you (not that we would ever condone such…uh…”arrangements”).
But the related pages control hardly exploits the full potential of your wiki’s structure for locating and organizing information. That’s why we’ve also created the “Page Hierarchy” wiki view. At its simplest, this view allows users to quickly navigate to any article in their wiki and gain an overall idea of what their wiki contains. In previous iterations of FogBugz, it was all too easy to create “orphans”—pages without incoming links that once created were never seen or heard from again. The Page Hierarchy wiki view helps prevent this unfortunate situation by making every article readily accessible:
The Page Hierarchy view behaves a lot like a file system browser (think Windows Explorer or Spotlight on a Mac): click on the arrow next to a wiki page title to expand it and show that page’s children, or click on the title text itself to visit that wiki article:
New pages that have been added to the wiki but have yet to be written are indicated by gray italic font:
But the real power of the page hierarchy lies in its ability to edit your wiki’s structure. Clicking on the button in the upper-right sends you into edit mode. Once you’re in edit mode, you can drag and drop pages to change their hierarchical relationship. It’s a quick (and hopefully intuitive) way to organize your wiki’s structure to make it as simple and relevant as possible.
After you’re done organizing your wiki to your heart’s content, just click and your wiki’s structure will be updated to reflect the changes you’ve made by dragging and dropping things all over the place. We’re hoping this tool might even make organizing your wiki…dare we say it…fun!
The FogBugz 8 wiki has been designed to simplify communication within communities and streamline collaboration for development teams. We feel the organization provided by the new wiki navigation features in FogBugz 8 gives even greater meaning to the information shared by developers, customers, and community members, and makes this information easier to find and browse. Whether you’re standing up to Lord Voldemort or (even more terrifying) trying to ship great software, the new wiki navigation tools in FogBugz 8 will help you plan and document your process every step of the way.