We be cooking now

I just created the IT Kitchen Wiki and the first of the IT Kitchen’s weblogs. The Wiki is built using MediaWiki the same software as used for Wikipedia. The weblog is WordPress 1.3.

Elaine is helping with CSS and design, though all input and help is welcome. At this time, I’m using the default style of the Wiki, including the default image. We’ll probably continue with the default style, though I might change the image. Might not, too, because I rather like the sunflower.

(I think the sunflower should be designated the official weblogger flower, we all seem to like it so much. Besides, like the sunflower, we tend to face that which burns brightest.)

I’m using the new WordPress 1.3 theme switcher, and downloaded the Odyssey theme pack created by Root. His was the first working installation of a 1.3 theme I found, and it’s a good solid design on which to base further design modifications. At this time, I think we’re looking at going with a basic two column design, with header, footer, and background. I’m currently using Joni Mueller’s Arthurium Mix variation of root’s Gemini because it has a nice warm kitchen feel to it.

We’ll be having different color schemes and images for different categories, and apply the same across all of the different language versions. Each language version will have it’s own separate weblog, and it’s own domain, such as and so on.

My hope is that not only will we get help translating the English language essays to the other languages, but that non-English speaking people will write original essays in the non-English weblogs, and that we’ll get help translating from those languages back to English for the English weblog. (Did you all understand that? Care to translate for me?)

At this time the default page points to the English weblog, but I may add an domain, and then have the main page point to the different language versions as well as the wiki. This prevents this whole site from being English centric, even if the dominate language of the site will most likely still be English.

As for the wiki, it is going to be English, but I believe we can either create variations of the wiki for the different languages, or people can just generate different language pages as branches. I wouldn’t mind advice from wiki experienced folks about best direction for this.

The wiki and the weblog are brand new and don’t have anything in them, but we’ll be adding material to the wiki this weekend. And this is an open environment – you’re all invited to dig in and help once I get that first page up and running to set the purpose of the site. Or if you don’t want to wait, you can get a feel for the purpose by reading the original IT Kitchen announcement.

The wiki will also have a signup page for people volunteering to translate and/or write essays for the weblog, as well as wiki topic and sub-topic headings. I’ll be generating weblogs and weblog users based on these sign-up pages.

(Those who have already volunteered, I’ll be sending you usernames and passwords as soon as we have the weblog look and feel finalized. Feel free to do the wiki thing now, though. A how-to on editing the wiki can be found here.)

As for weblogging softare, I decided to stay with WordPress primarily because it’s the one I’m most familiar with, and it’s GPL licensed, which means I can package the data and the delivery mechanism without worry about license. If other folks want to install other weblogs, we’ll find a way to tie them in, but you’ll have to do the installation work and manage the style settings to match the other site’s contents.

Well, finally off to a start, and a fast start too, as we’re heading into this a bit late. I think this is going to be a great deal of fun, as well as a fascinating look at how this open site will grow and mature. Just a note that we still need help in addition to those willing to write and translate, including graphics that we can provide to people to put on their weblogs and sites to promote IT Kitchen.

And we need help promoting the site –the success of IT Kitchen is going to be dependent on people wanting to become involved. People is the operative word, here. That’s people like you.

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