last week, James dropped the idea of moving our website (partly) over to the
wiki. So far I have "discussed"
this with a couple of people, all of which have different opinions. Therefore,
I would like to ask anyone that
cares about our website to reply.
I think we all agree that our current website cannot continue like it does
right now. We've had multiple discussions
in the past, even leading to some test website (like the ones by Pete), but
none of them led to something.
I have listed a couple of pro's and con's (IMO, and based on a small IRC
duscission) below. This list is dynamic,
as pro's can become con's and vice versa.
+ Easy to update: wiki articles can be edited by all people, in stead of just a
single man (Curt :P). As we have
seen in the past (and even till today), our website is often out of date. A
"good" example of this is the CVS/Git
page, which hasn't been updated since May (!), and still does not contain any
useful info if I want to use Git.
Of course we don't want some of our important pages (main page, download
etc.) to be edited by just anyone
with a wiki account. Luckily, we can add usergroups at the wiki and assign
permissions to them. Thus, important
pages can be locked (on the edit part) for the ordinary users. We've been doing
this with all Newsletters, which
can be edited only by wiki-admins after their publicication. We could create
various groups, and people can be
within multiple groups at once.
+ Easy to link to detailed documentation: rather than providing an external
link, we can add internal links to
each word (okay, that's a little too much). If a text mentions $FG_ROOT, we can
make that "word" link to the wiki-
article about it. This will decrease the amount of "useless" questions at the
forum (which are replied by a link to
the wiki), which is meant for special, personalised help and discussions.
+ Download page: since the wiki already contains quite some information per
aircraft, it could be used to auto-
generate a more detailed aircraft download page. Each aircraft on that page can
link to the aircraft's "private" page
(if existing) and thus provide manuals, status info etc. immediately to the
user, even before downloading the aircraft.
As we've had quite some complaints from people that are disappointed after
dowloading. The wiki can provde various
screenshots per aircraft (eg. interior, exterior), so users can
+ Publicity of the wiki: new FG users will be immediately aware of the
existence of a wiki, and therefore be
stimulated to start developing themselves. This will again decrease the
"useless" questions at the forum.
- Less attractive layout: currently the FlightGear wiki doesn't really look
like a website. This could be solved
though by creating/adding a different style/layout.
- Less open system: for example, it will be harder to implement additional
features (gallery's, search engines)
etc. However, the alternative is a CMS system, which isn't much opener...
- Not much examples: of a complete wiki website about projects like ours. This
could be a pro as well, as it will
allow us to be "renewed" and "different".
Jester (IIRC) mentioned that it is important to check whether pages are cached
at the wiki, so they won't have
to be pulled from the database each time. If so, we should enable cache. A
possible other solution is to have a
"static" frontpage, which could be nice in various ways, other than the cache...
I look forward to receiving your ideas/opinions/questions! When the list grow,
we might benefit from setting up a
wiki article to collect ideas/opinions.
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