At the recent Brickword event, I mentioned to Brian that I had some thoughts about this wiki. I didn't get a chance to expound on those thoughts during the event, so I'm going to do it here. Some are no doubt related to the fact that I've never had much to do with editing public wikis before, and some to the fact that most of the content has been imported from a different site and hasn't really settled into its new home yet.
So, in no particular order:
We need more of them! It is frustrating trying to read a description of some mechanism but not being able to imagine what it looks like. Even if there is a picture, it's not always clear which parts move and which are static. The animation on the Step feeder page is beautiful, but I understand that these are very labour intensive to produce, so it's not practical to expect lots of those. So we're back to still images, which are easy to produce and are everywhere online.
However, I can't seem to just link to someone else's picture, I have to upload an image to Brickimedia to be able to use it. This solves problems of broken links (at the expense of increasing requirements on the server's storage and bandwidth, but that's not my problem!) but means that if I want to use someone else's picture, I have to cause a copy to be stored on Brickimedia (at least the uploader allows me to specify a URL so I don't have to download it first). This means having to get the licensing right, which is not always obvious. It's not an insurmountable difficulty, but it's enough to put me off in cases where it's not clear that the image owner doesn't mind us making copies.
The alternative, of course, is to use my own pictures. That's a no-go, because I'm a terrible photographer!
We need less of that! I've counted at least three different renditions of The Standard (and I've seen that Brian is working on a new one), and just as many different descriptions of what a GBC is.
There doesn't seem to be much. I've read most of the content on this site, but some of it I had to get to by repeated clicking of 'Random page'. I'm not much of a web designer, but I don't think this is right! Though I do like the idea of having an Easter Egg that you can only get to that way. The list of orphaned pages was last updated in April, so is not terribly helpful when trying to fix this problem.
I think that all links to the original page from Brickipedia (Great ball contraption) should be removed and, once we're happy that the content from that page has been recreated elsewhere, the page should be deleted. There's a suggestion on that page's discussion page that it should be broken up, but I think it needs to go further than that.
I think that the Main Page should include The Standard (once Brian has finished with that page) or at least a prominent link to it, and that the "add a lift mechanism" button should be moved to the lift mechanism category page (is there a similar button for Widgets or building techniques? Should there be?).
One option for an overall structure would be 'inside-out'. The first things discussed after an introduction/spec. are lift mechanisms and widgets. Then discuss building techniques like how to form complete modules from each component (input, lift, optional widget, output). Then discuss combining multiple modules together (making sure your interfaces are solid, etc). Then some tips for coordinators that have the job of making everything into one big Contraption.
Do we want this site to include every (or as many as we can) GBC module out there? The List of great ball contraption resources page suggests that this is an aim - but that's an awful lot of work. However, there's no reason we can't have a few modules with their own pages (as suggested by Codyn329 elsewhere in this forum). This would require a template, I guess. I would suggest that at the very least every module specified as an example for a mechanism should have its own page (and the mechanisms can just have links to those pages, rather than the tables that they currently have).
I realise that I'm long on problems and short on solutions, I just wanted to put something out there to see if I was on the money with any of it.