Tricki
a repository of mathematical know-how

Recent articles

Recent articles

There is a discontinuity on the Tricki that I'm not too fond of, which is that an article suddenly goes from highly visible to almost invisible when it slips out of the top eight most recent articles. To counteract that, would it be possible to have an option for viewing a list of all articles arranged chronologically (with the most recent articles first) rather than alphabetically? I think I'd find that pretty useful, and it would also be a good way of getting a general feel for how the site is developing.

Another possible ordering might be to put first the articles that had most recently been modified. This would be a good way of getting a feel for where the Tricki action is taking place and could give useful information that the most-recent-articles ordering wouldn't see.

It occurs to me that there is a similar undesirable discontinuity concerning forum topics. It is possible for an interesting topic to be started but to slip out of the top five and then not get noticed. I think it would be very useful to have a complete list of forum topics listed in order of how recently they have been modified (and perhaps another one in order of how recently they were created). Of course, just the first five would be displayed on the right of each page, but clicking "more" should, in my view, take one to lists of this type rather than straight to the forums page.

Another ordering feature that should be implemented with these ones is the "number of votes" one (if we are going to include the ideas presented in the "Rating articles" post, that is).

I have updated the "View a list of all articles" page to enable one to sort the list by one of three criteria: the article title, the creation date of the article, and the 'updated' date of the article. I've made it sort by the 'Updated' column by default, but this is purely based on my personal preference and is up for debate. In favour of initially sorting by the 'Created' column is that it would then match the order of the 'Recent articles' block on the right-hand side of the page.

Many of the "Recent articles" are stubs, so perhaps we should have a list of "Recently unstubed articles" too?

It seems that, in general, far too much real estate in the front page right now is occupied by generic content (what is the tricki, how to contribute, etc.) and only a little bit for the core content (i.e. actual tricki pages). I mean, take a look at the Wikipedia front page: only a few side links as to what Wikipedia actually is, most of it is links to articles. So I think we can significantly improve the discontinuity problem by having a lot more blue boxes all over the front page, and relegating the boilerplate to sub-pages, with brief links to each. For instance, in addition to the random article "quick description" snippets suggested before, and the "recently modified" box, one might also have a box that rotates through all the major navigation pages and lists the links inside those, e.g.

General problem-solving tips

Sorry – I promised to do something about this a while ago but haven't got round to it yet. But soon that generic content will indeed be relegated to a subpage.

The balance is now redressed. I haven't used blue boxes (because I'm not capable of creating those) but I hope that even the basic reorganization I have done will make the welcome page much more useful: at any rate, for most visits it should reduce by one or perhaps two the number of clicks you need to do to get to an article.

There is of course plenty of scope for additions to what we now have.