On Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 10:31, Joshua Saddler <nightmo...@gentoo.org> wrote:
> No, he's definitely out to kill GuideXML. Just give him time.
Why the antagonism? Ben isn't out to kill anything, he has no personal
vendetta against anything. Actually, nothing here is personal, but you
seem offended by some of the things which are being said, and you
really shouldn't.

>> A wiki can fulfill several purposes for us:
>> 1. Easy collaboration among devs, for brainstorming, developing new
>>    documentation, assembling upcoming meeting agendas, and so on
>>    [for which there currently is not really any obvious place]
> This is not *impossible* with our current setup; it can still be done in a 
> few different ways:
> 1) project spaces in /proj/$LANG/foobar/ -- how hard is it to commit to CVS 
> when going through document drafts?
> 2) devspaces -- it's easy enough to dump stuff in here for others to refer to
> However, a wiki *does* make it easier for everyone to jump right in and edit 
> stuff as ideas are passed around, rather than waiting for someone to make 
> changes to something in a devspace.
That's exactly what we're looking for. That's what makes a wiki useful
in the first place.

>> 3. A place to host and maintain our existing documentation
>>    [which is currently in GuideXML]
> Entirely unnecessary duplication of effort. To quote the forum mods, "don't 
> cross-post" . . . and especially don't do it if you'll be violating a doc 
> license somewhere. It's one of the reasons why we don't use existing 
> unofficial wiki content in our docs. I and the GDP have written about that ad 
> nauseum over the years; just search the list archives.
>> I am not pushing for our existing documentation to be migrated into a
>> wiki at this point. But I think that once the place is there, and it
>> functions well, it would be the obvious next step to do so. As I said
>> before, the barrier to contributing and maintaining documentation is
>> much higher in the case of GuideXML, so it doesn't really make sense
>> to keep that around when we have a better solution.
>> I know there are people who do not agree with me on this last point
> . . . to say the least.
> [snip]
> I ain't out to stop ya'll from using a wiki. I do agree that they have some 
> advantages. However, I will point out how limited wikis are. They're not a 
> magic bullet that will solve all our problems.
Why would you want to stop us? Have you been to gentoo-wiki.com? There
are a lot of *very* useful articles there. With all due respect to the
doc team (and I have tremendous respect for them and the splendid
documentation they have written for Gentoo), they're limited by
manpower, by time, and by scope. They simply can't cover all the
things that are interesting and useful for our users. Some examples
which can never be covered by the official documentation:
1. Most of the stuff that's on the Documentation, Tips & Tricks forum.
And all the stuff that's already there can not be updated or changed,
and cannot even be found easily, so it's just rotting there.
2. All hardware specific information that's extremely useful to users
(information for Macs, all kinds of laptops, netbooks, how to update
your BIOS, etc.)
3. HOWTO's and guides for *a lot* of the software on the tree (many
kinds of mail servers available, HTTP servers, databases, spam
filters, alternative init systems, boot loaders, experimental drivers,
etc.). Some of those are covered by official documentation, by it can
never cover it all.

And I could go on (please do not argue about a specific point where I
may not be accurate, that's not the point). Our users want this kind
of information available, they want to share the information they
learned, they want to improve guides written by other people, build
upon work done by others. Gentoo can earn so much from a system that
will allow this. Our users want to help us and each other, let's help
them to that.
Furthermore, when an article on the wiki reaches maturity, it can be
included in our official documentation. Stuff can move around between
official documentation and wiki. Out of date official documentation
can be moved to the wiki where it can be improved instead of rotting.
Both can coexist and feed each other, providing more answers overall.

A wiki is not a new concept. Users know what they're getting from a
wiki. They know it's not official, know it was written by other users,
know that not all information is necessarily accurate, up-to-date or
relevant. But you can't ignore how useful a wiki is, what new heights
we can reach with it.

At first, I'd wish for things to be migrated from the unofficial wiki
(if the license does not allow for copying, then re-writing it. Our
users will do a lot of it, I'm sure). I'd wish to migrate a lot of
things from the forums, after getting the authors permission if
necessary. Maybe at some point I'd like the devmanual to be moved to
the wiki (probably only editable by devs or a certain team, the
specifics are not important right now). The quizzes can be put on the
wiki. GLEP summaries in language users understand. Drafts for news
items. The list goes on and on.

Dror Levin

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