Ask your questions here if you need technical help


This is a generic thread where you can ask any technical questions regarding this web site, maybe even report bugs, etc.

We have a growing Help section here:
Check it out. But if you don't find the answer to your question, ask in a comment below.
I'll do my best to assist you, and together we can improve the documentation.


Basic Layout

Good Morning, Augustin

Here are the comments that have been in my mind for the past few days. One of the things that flummoxed me was when I read:

Site navigation: how to find changes, replies, etc.

where I found:

In terms of navigation the goals are:

to provide multiple points of entry for regular
users, according to their needs and interest.

This stumped me for a while because that is precisely the point I wanted to comment on. Now, after thinking some more about it, I realize my anxiety was unwarranted. You want different points of view and my comments are just a different point of view on the question of entry.

It is important to note that I have no idea of the work involved in building and maintaining a site. It's easy to say, as I did a few days ago, that I'd like a list of previous pages at the top-left. It's a hell of a lot harder to make that happen, with consideration for how the change will affect other areas of the site. What follows may be classified as noise - or it may have something of value.

There are three ways to get into my house (without breaking the windows): The front door, the back door, and the garage. The front door is, and has been, our main point of entry. Under certain circumstances, like summertime when we use the back porch, we use the back door, but, even then, our main entry is through the front door. That's where guests and callers come, and that's where our door bell is. Over the years, I've come in through the garage about a half-dozen times. The circumstances of garage entry are unusual.

When we enter the house through the front door, there is no confusion. We know where everything is and perform our activities with confidence. It's true that we have equal confidence when we enter through the back door or the garage, but that's only because we've lived here for a long time and the layout of the house is familiar to us. We would not have been as confident when we first moved in.

It seems to me Minguo would be easier to use if it had a common entry. Minguo "Home", an entry that offers an easy pathway to the rooms of the house.

One easy path should lead to my room, my "Home". There, are links to my interests.

It seems to me Minguo screens are laid out with a left section, a right section, and a body, the focus of primary attention. One of the thoughts that has run through my mind is the idea that the top-left quadrant could show, "Where I've Been" and the top-right quadrant, "Where I'm going". In this latter are links to "recent changes", "you've got mail", "new contributions", "vibrant discussions", "new poll", and so forth.

Apparently, "My polling station" is intended to be a home page. Personally, "Fred Gohlke visits Minguo - The Realm Of The People" feels more like a home page to me.

A part of this feeling stems from the notion that polls are secondary, discussion is primary. After we have discussed an issue and found various points of view, it makes sense to conduct a poll to see how strongly the various points of view are supported. That provides a springboard for later action.

What all of this boils down to is this: I feel disoriented on the site. I've learned how to add material to my book, but I'm unclear about how to go directly to some other section. I've been getting around, a little, by clicking on things, but often with a sense that I don't know what to expect.

I didn't realize you had intended to provide multiple points of entry, so my primary entry suggestion runs afoul of your intentions. Ah, well. Such is life.

Now, how much of this is a personal matter with me, and how much will other folks feel the same way?

I don't know.


Points of entries and analogies.

1) Regarding "Where I've Been", I've replied a few days ago in your blog.
See how to find replies to your posts:

2) Both our analogies are wrong. You cannot compare this site to your home. Your home has, I believe, only two inhabitants: you and your wife. This site aims to become a very large community, with people of all walks coming together and build a better world. I was wrong in saying that I want to have multiple points of entries. First, the nature of the web where makes it that every single page is a potential point of entry! On the internet, people can link from anywhere to anywhere. What I meant to say by "multiple points of entry", would have been better explained if I had used the analogy of a public library. I want the content to be classified so that people can browse the content of this site like they would browse a specific section of the public library, according to the topics they are interested in. I am working on it: see my blog entry on taxonomy and content tagging.

3) This web site is both a village and a public library. Your own section is your personal home in this village. Your section is where you and your ideas live. The site is a whole village in the way that many individuals like yourself are welcome to join in and create their own personal 'home' in this site. They'll become your neighbours.

4) The site does has a "front door". This is the home page which you can reach at or by clicking on the main link at the top left. It also have a very few very definite points of entries, which you can find in the navigation menu on the left, under your name. Each link there leads to a definite place. Investigate them. See why they are prominently placed there: each link in this navigation menu has its use. When you become familiar with them, you can use them perform specific tasks, always starting from a known place.

Too Big To Fail

Good Morning, Augustin

Oh, My. Oh, My.

This morning, when checking recent posts, I saw:

Wiki page, Too big to fail, new, augustin, 0, 4 days 5 hours ago

I clicked on it and found myself on a 'Too big to fail' page. That seemed like a good location for the 'Taming Our Monsters' essay (I'd forgotten it was already posted, but would have put it here, anyway). I marked the headings and built the table and, in order to post it, clicked on: "Create Ticket". I realized that was different than my other posts (create a page), but it seemed like the proper thing to do.

It wasn't.

I'm confused. What is this 'Too Big To Fail' page for? Who would post there, and why?

Wiki pages and other content types

Tags:+Content types

1) I just removed the Create Ticket links. This was related to a feature that is not currently used in this web site. I completely removed support for this feature for the time being in order to avoid unnecessary problems like you just experienced. Sorry. The feature may come back, but only much later in the future.

2) There is one concept that you must understand, which is that of content types.
Check this new wiki page:

3) wiki pages are one of the content types that you can create and edit in this site. Use wiki pages for collective articles. Within the wiki, you can see a Add child Wiki page link (this link in in many but not all wiki pages). Follow this link only to create a child wiki page in the outline: it will become another wiki page that any other user can edit. Don't use that for your personal opinions.

4) For your personal opinions and articles, use either a FredGohlke book page, as you have been doing recently, or a blog entry to engage the community in discussion.

Too big to fail

The "Too big to fail" page that you refer to is a wiki page (

There is not much content in it just yet, but every member of this community can edit it to add any relevant information. It means that you, me and future members can edit it and add to the article, improving it. Simply remember to put your personal opinion in your own section of the site, in your blog or in your book.

Did you see my recent blog entry on taxonomy and content tagging? (Check the Blogs link at the top for the latest blog entries). If you go to the "Too big to fail" wiki page, you can click on the "Too big to fail" tag on the page. You will see other content posted elsewhere that contains the same tag.

Good Afternoon, Augustin Let

Good Afternoon, Augustin

Let me start by thanking you for the lesson in humility. I think it is the most powerful human trait -- even though I sometimes lose my own sense of it. It's powerful because it lets us see things we'd never see without it.

I'm sorry to say that, even with all your help, I'm still lost. There may be some truth in the adage, 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks', but I'm not ready to give up, yet. It's just going to take longer than I expected (Did you say lower you expectations? It applies here, too.)

No doubt some part of the problem is my inability to understand what's happening around me. A few weeks ago, I was having coffee at a place I frequent. A fellow and two girls came in and sat down at the table next to me. They never said a word. All three of them were running their thumbs over their telephones. How could this guy not be preening in front of the girls? How could they not be primping for him. Life ain't like that. Maybe the new generation has the antidote for our overpopulation problem, but darned if I know how it works.

Anyway, the important thing is that I know how to add pages to my book and I've got lots of pages I'd like to add.

I do still have a question or two. For example, why do you emphasize polling? I recently went to "What can we do to improve our democracy?". If I'm not mistaken, I saw this someplace as a poll and clicked on it to see what question had been asked and how folks felt about it. I didn't find any poll at all. I found "Are Capitalism and Democracy Incompatible?" and your citation of a post on Daily Kos (whatever that is). I loved your post and wrote a response to it, but the whole thing struck me as out of order.

I don't see how you can have a poll until there is a defined assertion that generates at least two divergent perspectives so folks can review them and indicate their preference. Obviously, I'm missing something important, but darned if I know what it is.


To me, polling is counting. I suspect you're using it to mean "seeking feedback" or something like that. If so, it's not surprising that I didn't understand. It hasn't been standard usage for me.

In the course of writing this, I went to various points. One of them led me to your wonderful "Content types". Where have you been all my life? I now have two pages I'm keeping open: Content Types and Compose Tips.

Live and learn

Awwww, shoot! I've been hanging onto a page called "How to go from mob rule to intelligent rule?" because I want to comment on it. I'm not sure what I should use as a subject (or why. I'm commenting on a comment posted by you.) I clicked on a couple of the links and, each time, found myself in a different structure of material I thought belonged elsewhere. I may get getting a tiny glimmer of the power of the site, but, after so long in the dark, it's blinding.

How to go from mob rule to intelligent rule?

Tags:+Minguo polls

This is my blog entry on the topic:
Of course, you are welcome to comment on it, just like you comment on this thread here.

The link to the poll it refers to can easily be found at the top of the blog, where it says: "This blog entry is related to the poll: What can we do to improve our democracy?

The best way to find out how polls work in this site is to participate. See the ballot at the bottom of the poll page. You can vote now.

I have a lot to say regarding minguo polls: they are the most unique feature of this web site and, as you noticed, they don't really behave the same way as regular online polls found elsewhere. I'll cover this topic in more details later.

Meanwhile, I had a good chuckle at your humorous comment:

A few weeks ago, I was having coffee at a place I frequent. A fellow and two girls came in and sat down at the table next to me. They never said a word. All three of them were running their thumbs over their telephones. How could this guy not be preening in front of the girls? How could they not be primping for him. Life ain't like that. Maybe the new generation has the antidote for our overpopulation problem, but darned if I know how it works.

I like the way you think! :D

Removing Pages

Good Morning, Augustin

This is probably the wrong place for this, but it's your blog where I can make entries to you.

I'm in the process of moving the first 4 items on my home book page to different locations. I don't know how to delete a page, so, after moving the first item, I deleted the title and contents. When I tried to save it, I found the title is mandatory, so I used the word EMPTY. Would you please remove this item for me and let me know how I can delete the other three pages after I move them.

Technical help

This is the right place to ask for help. For technical questions, always start from the "Need help?" link in the left menu, under your name. If what you need help with is not covered in any sub-section of the help book, you can find a link to this thread in the top page of the help book.

You made moving pages much more complicated than it really is. You didn't need to create new pages and delete the old ones. If you had asked me, a single click or two would have been sufficient to move your pages. Remember: the current place of each individual pages in your book outline is not fixed.
See: "How to organize a book structure (outline)":

Today, I will study and implement a proper solution to deal with the dangling pages. The problem is that the URL are indexed by search engines. By deleting them, visitors might get a "Page Not Found/404" error instead of the page they expected. So I need to somehow redirect all the paths that led to the deleted pages to the new page.

Next time, ask me how to move pages around. Don't blank out pages. It's actually easy, once one knows how to.

Old Dog, New Tricks?!?!?!

I'm sorry. I am a slow learner and I'm not used to working with others on a production. I'm trying to avoid using emails and learn to work within the bounds of the system, but my efforts leave a lot to be desired.

I mean, it's really painful when the "Need Help?" clicker is sitting right there - in plain view - in a section of the screen I never look at. I better change my ways.


It took me a few hours to develop an ad-hoc solution to redirect old paths to the new ones.
Next time, do not delete/blank out articles. Moving them around is very, very easy and takes only 20 seconds. Ask me first next time.

Moving Stuff

Thanks, Big A.


You're welcome!

Conducting Dialogue With Others

Yesterday, I read IRV+ posted in ran_in_93's book. I'm sure the page had something like "Post comments on ran_in_93's blog." although I can't find that now. In any case, I went to the blog but could find no way to post a comment. I sent ran_in_93 a personal message with my questions. In the response, ran_in_93 mentioned having read part of Practical Democracy and wanting to make a comment, but could find no way to do so.

Can you tell us how to conduct a dialogue?

Discussion thread

Create a new blog entry to start a discussion thread.
The current set up is not ideal, but is still workable for a budging community such as ours.

In the medium term, I'll work on something to start a discussion thread from any book page.

ran_in_93's blog

The problem here is that ran_in_93 has just joined and has not created any blog entry for you to comment on. Give him time.

It's up to you to start a thread on Practical Democracy for people to provide feedback. Your recent blog entries are prominently displayed in a block on the left on all your pages.

Discussing "Practical Democracy"

Fred, you should start a discussion thread dedicated to discussing Practical Democracy. Since it's your proposal, the logical place would be in your blog. Right now, it is not clear in which of your blog entries interested users should post their comments. Simply create a new blog entry, with a title like: "Discuss Practical Democracy", and a short introduction and a link to your book.

Again, on my side, I will work on improving the interface. I have a heavy work load, so I need to prioritize things.

In the meantime, it's up to you to start discussion threads on topics that matter to you.


I've tried, several times, to describe my feeling about the need to address issues. I'm sorry I'm unable to express myself with greater clarity.

The issue, in this case, is not about ran_in_93 and it's not about me. It's about IRV, and that's where the focus belongs.

The situation with regard to Frome is even more compelling (at least, for me). Democracy is an evolving process. What happened in Frome is an important event in that evolution, but few people know about it. If the evolution is to continue and spread, it needs to be openly examined, critiqued and, hopefully, validated.

The event in Frome has nothing to do with me. it is about FROME - and FROME needs to be the focus and the highlight of the discussion. I am not going to ask someone to come to my blog to answer questions about an event that he was instrumental in accomplishing. His work is phenomenal and real. I lack the arrogance to make the issue mine.

I'll step aside for a while and try to improve my book.

Updating a Page

Good Morning, Augustin

If it is possible and if you agree with the change, would you replace the "Description" on the "Frome: A Step Forward in the Evolution of Democracy" page with the #1 comment.

working on the wiki

I am not sure I understand your request.

I have had a long day today, working on long term plans for this site, so I have not been able to devote enough time to developing the content today.

The ticket your refer to is a new Content type, that is specifically designed to work together to improve the wiki. Be patient with me ;) until it's made clearer how to use it.

What cannot fit within the constraints of the collective wiki page can be discussed in personal pages (personal book page or discussion threads). The wiki can link to useful, relevant and well developed personal pages.

Square pegs, round holes

It's clear that we are unable to communicate. My square pegs don't fit in your round holes.

Recent posts

Have you removed the "recent posts" feature? It was important to me because it let me visit sections of the site I would not have seen otherwise. I hope you are able to re-instate it.



That feature was not useful.

Recent posts

Augustin, I'm genuinely sorry you found it wise to remove the "Recent Posts" option. It was an important option for me.
Fred Gohlke

Personalized Recent Post page

First of all, the most important tracker page, the personalized tracker page (Recent posts), is still available. You'll find a link to it both in your polling station and on your user page. It is useful, and an important feature that will eventually be enhanced.

I'm genuinely sorry you found it wise to remove the "Recent Posts" option.

Why would anyone be sorry for a wise decision? You obviously imply that you do not find it wise. Since the change was a concious decision, you may start a new discussion thread where you can fully expose the reasons why you think it was unwise, and we can properly discuss the issue.