user manual

introduction

home page (with a random cover topic)
search results page

Conzept is an attempt to create an encyclopedia for the 21st century.

A modern topic-exploration tool based on: Wikipedia, Wikidata, the Open Library, Archive.org, YouTube, the GBIF and many other information sources. A semantic web app build for fun, education and research.

Conzept allows you to explore any of the millions of topics on Wikipedia from many different angles, such as: science, art, digital books and education, both as a defined semantic entity (a “thing”) as well as a “string”.

Client-side topic-classification in addition, allows for a fast, higher-level logic, throughout the whole user experience.

The integrated user-interface gives you a clean view of all this information, in any of the ~300 Wikipedia languages, without “tab overload”.

The Conzept project is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3 (unless noted otherwise in parts of the code and assets). The development repository is hosted on GitHub. Project news is announced on Twitter.

thanks

  • The thousands of people who have developed the Free Software projects, directly or indirectly used by this project.
  • BrowserStack kindly provides a great, cross-platform browser testing environment.

Thank you all for your direct and indirect support  

project goals

Although Wikipedia is great and getting better all the time, I (Jama Poulsen) felt that the encyclopedic information could be presented better and have more integration with other major sources of information on the web.

Each Wikipedia “article” actually relates to a multi-faceted concept, which we ideally should be able to easily explore. This is what Conzept strives to be a good tool for. To help anyone to explore and learn about topics of their interest, in an effective and enjoyable way.

The main goals of Conzept are:

  • A more holistic presentation of the encyclopedic information contained within Wikipedia and Wikidata, by integrating and linking with other information sources.
  • Significantly improving the user experience when taking in that wealth of information, by trying to reduce the cognitive-load and making the experience as fun and inspiring as possible.
  • Innovate where that is both possible and useful, based on human-centered design principles. This project is an ever-evolving tool, within an increasingly digital, connected world of people and their creative works.
  • Build the project as free software and make its use and development accessible for all. Make it free of advertising, but find sustainable ways to support its maintenance, development and collaboration. One way to support this project is to become a GitHub sponsor.

Secondary goals:

  • Generalize the UI and data-processes, to expand beyond the Wikipedia & Wikidata spheres using flexible datasources. This will hopefully open the way for other digital archives to also use the Conzept system for their knowledge base and domain.
  • Allow for social learning (using eg. peer-to-peer audio-chat rooms for each topic). Doing things together can be more fun!

inspiration & motivation

Some points of inspiration for this project were:

  • A Dutch youth encyclopedia I enjoyed reading when I was a child.
    Dutch youth encyclopedia
  • The Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia CD-ROM in the 1990's.
    Encarta screenshot
  • The children and adolescents I work with as a teacher at the Spirare organization for gifted children.
  • The free software, open content and the web developer community (endless creativity and innovation).
  • The beauty and complexity of nature, culture and mathematics.

application layout

application layout

The layout of Conzept consists of two main areas:

  • The content area, which consists of one or two content panes. These panes are used to show apps and (embeddable) websites.

conzept sidebar

sidebar example

From the sidebar you can:

  • Click on the “conzept” name, to clear the search query and return to the homescreen. On the homescreen there are also various topicical links available.
  •   Change the content language to any of the ~300 Wikipedia-supported languages
  •   Browse the search results in the topics-tab.
    • More topics will be loaded in the sidebar as you scroll down to the bottom of the search results.
  •   Manage your bookmarks in the bookmarks-tab
    • This allows for quick access to previously bookmarked topics.
    • You can bookmark a topic by clicking the bookmark-icon in the “main”-section of each topic.
  •   Use additional tools from the tools-tab, allowing you to:
    • Go to a random topic
    • Compare topics (example)
    • Play ambient audio (which can help with focus)
    • Fullscreen the app
    • Bookmark the current URL
    • Clone the current tab
  •   See the documentation in the help-tab.
    • Links to the user, administrator and developer guides.
    • List of supported keyboard shortcuts.
    • Various nnformation about Concept.
  • Control the sidebar presentation:
    • Hide the sidebar by clicking on the icon.
    • Resize the width of the sidebar, by dragging the vertical separator line or the resize-handle

content panes

single content-pane example (link)
dual content-pane example (link)
another dual content-pane example (link)

The content area can consist of one or two content panes, depending on the type of content being shown. These panes are used to show Conzept apps or (embeddable) websites.

Some types of content (such as highly inter-related information displaying apps) can sometimes be presented better in a dual-pane view. Such a view can make it easier to browse lots of related objects. without losing the 'main thread'.

The general workflow of these panes is always from left-to-right. So the sidebar directs the content pane. If the content area has two content panes, the left pane will direct the right pane.

Philosophically speaking, a single content-pane view is a sort of 1st-degree presentation (concept ⇒ concept relation detail), while a dual content-pane view is a 2nd-degree presentation (concept ⇒ concept relations overview ⇒ concept relation details).

Some embedded apps have a 2nd-degree presention inside of a single-pane (eg. the map app through a modal popup). Simply having 1st and 2nd-degree presentations can cover most information relations quite well, while still limiting the cognitive load and view-management efforts of the user.

search suggestions

To find topics of your interest, you can enter a search string into the search bar. While typing your string you will get back topic suggestions.

You can either select a topic suggestion or use your own search string.

The results will be shown in the sidebar and the next results are loaded once you scroll to the bottom of the results.

If your search-string does not directly match any Wikipedia article, there will be a topic card created from that “raw” search-string. This card will however lack all the Wikidata-related topic fields.

structured search query input
structured query results (link)

Structured searching is an easy way to construct basic Wikidata SPARQL-queries and see the topic results in the sidebar.

Structured search can be accessed by:

  1. Clicking on the “structured search” detail-element in the topics-tab.

  2. Then define one or more sets of a requested entity class and/or an entity property value.

  3. Then click the “run query” button.

commands

(TODO: show an example use cases of the command API)

bookmarks

adding a bookmark
bookmark management from the bookmark-tab

You can bookmark topics that you like, by opening the “main”-section of a topic, and then clicking on the    icon.

To see and manage your bookmarks, click on the    icon in the tab-menu. From the bookmark manager you can delete and drag-and-drop the bookmarks into your own list hierarchies.

The bookmarks are only stored locally in the browser (using a browser cookie), and not on any server.

[ Note: There is currently no import / export functionality for bookmarks. ]

settings

settings tab

The following settings are available:

  • Set the font size
  • Set the font type
  • Set the interface language (locale)
    • Note: This is different from the content-language setting. This only affects the Conzept UI interface.
  • Set the theme (light / dark mode, link previews, color filters)
  • Set personal info
    • Country-setting (automatically set from the browser-locale, but can be changed)
    • Optional: Interest tags (experimental). Note: This allows Conzept to better suit the user-interface to your needs. Eg. to show map links for hotels and walking-routes, with the tourist-tag.
  • Set text-to-speech settings (voice, speaking speed, speaking rate)

keyboard shortcuts

Here is an overview of the available keyboard shortcuts:

  • f   fullscreen the active pane

  •   go to next topic (in the sidebar results)

  •   go to previous topic (in the sidebar results)

  •   go to next pane

  •   go to previous pane

  • Alt + x   new search 1

  • Alt + y   toggle the sidebar 1

  • Alt + i   add bookmark 1

  • Alt + r   random topic 1

[ note 1: only available when the focus is on the sidebar or a Wikipedia article ]