Proposed Semantic MediaWiki tutorial video

I propose to create an online tutorial video for Semantic MediaWiki. SMW has long been missing a single tutorial where new users and those curious about the technology can find out about all the features, and about how semantic wikis work in general. The goal is to create this video as a screencast, split into ten parts, each of a length between 3 and 8 minutes. The video would be made available both as a whole and as 10 mini-videos, with the latter hopefully being uploaded to YouTube and other video-sharing sites. The video would be released under a Creative Commons license, so that people could both redistribute it and translate it into other languages.

The tutorial is meant to cover Semantic MediaWiki and some of its important extensions: Semantic Forms, Semantic Result Formats, Semantic Google Maps, Semantic Compound Queries, Semantic Drilldown and Data Transfer. The screencast is planned to alternate between a PowerPoint-type slide show and video showing the various components in action on a demo wiki.

Here is the current planned outline for the tutorial; everything is subject to change, of course:

1. Semantic data

Databases · database tables · semantic triples · semantic meta-data · database of semantic triples · n-ary relations

2. Semantic MediaWiki

MediaWiki · Semantic MediaWiki · defining a triple · properties · types · concepts · n-ary support

3. Displaying data

#ask queries · multiple filters · inequalities · subqueries · setting the format · simple formats · displaying multiple values · ordering results · limiting results · setting value labels · template format · embedded format · Semantic Result Formats · timeline and calendar formats · graphing formats · 'count' and other mathematical formats · Semantic Google Maps · Semantic Compound Queries

4. Semantic templates

Wikipedia infoboxes · MediaWiki templates · adding semantic markup to templates · defining categories in templates · advantages of templates

5. Semantic Forms

Semantic Forms · form definitions · form tags · standard inputs · forms in action · input types · autocompletion · 'CreateProperty' page · 'CreateCategory' page · 'CreateTemplate' page · 'CreateForm' page · 'Templates' page · 'Forms' page

6. Advanced Semantic Forms

Multiple-value fields · #arraymap · #arraymaptemplate · other field parameters: 'list', 'values=', 'mandatory', 'hidden', 'restricted', autocompletion parameters · multiple-instance templates · file upload · partial forms · 'googlemap' input type

7. Links to add and edit data

The two-step process · #forminput · the one-step process · defining automatic page names · #formlink · "Has default form" for categories · "Has default form" for properties · "Has alternate form" for properties · "Has default form" for namespaces

8. Browsing data

'Properties' page · 'Unused properties' page · 'Browse' page · Semantic Drilldown · filter definitions · adding filters to categories · 'BrowseData' page · 'CreateFilter' page · 'Filters' page

9. Exporting and importing data

RDF · creating RDF from SMW · iCalendar, RSS, RDF and CSV query formats · Data Transfer

10. Conclusion

Advantages of wikis · advantages of semantic systems · advantages of MediaWiki · disadvantages of semantic wikis · current status · further links and resources

Creating this tutorial will require writing a script, creating the slides, creating a demo wiki, rehearsing and recording the video, getting feedback and revising, then publishing and publicizing it; perhaps a month or more of work. My guess is that it will take on the order of $7,000 to $10,000 to create.

If you, your company or organization would like to sponsor the creation of this tutorial video, either officially (and thus get listed in the video) or unofficially, please write me at

Yaron Koren
January 7, 2008