RaphaŽl Quinet wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Sep 2003 11:52:10 +0200, David Neary <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > Solution: For a given topic, create a wikipage. Make a start on
> > it (sketch paragraphs/sections, basically set up the bare bones
> > of what is needed). And then propose that lots of people make
> > small contributions to it.
> > 
> > We have a wiki (many people might not know that - it's at
> > http://wiki.gimp.org/gimp), which allows just such collaborative
> > effort to take place. [...]
> A wiki is nice for drafting some things, but I am not too fond of
> using it for the help system: it would be OK for discussing some
> ideas, but not for publishing the final result.

That was my intention in the proposal. The general idea would be
to use the wiki as a means of generating docs, not as a way of
replacing either www or the help team :) As I said above, it is
for collaborative effort in content generation.

> A wiki makes it too easy to add lots of WikiWords that remain empty or
> unmaintained for a long time.  Unless there is a strong community
> interested in keeping the wiki up-to-date and refactoring old entries,
> many wikis end up being a collection of very valuable contributions
> mixed with content-free pages.  Unfortunately, most visitors do not
> know which WikiWords are interesting and which ones are not, so it is
> not always easy for them to find what they are looking for.

Certainly, a bit of discipline is needed. To start with, the
front page should have 0 dead end wikiwords. That will happen,
but not until the proof of concept (that is, that people will
write docs together on this thing) has been proven. I'm willing
to put some effort into getting things started, and I have been
happy to see a couple of other people embrace the idea (notably
Roman Joost, hi Roman), but if it becomes clear in a couple of
weeks that I'm wasting my time, then I'll stop, and it will die
as an idea :)

One part of making it work is the adoption of the docs generated
by the various projects which are more stable in terms of content
- the website, developer.gimp.org and the help project. I hope
that adoption will happen when the content merits it (or that
comments will be added explaining why it doesn't merit it).

> Now, don't get me wrong: I like wikis in general.  But I doubt that a
> GIMP wiki will really take off and keep on running for a long time
> (picture me skeptical about "if you build it, they will come" - or
> more specifically "they will keep on coming").  We already have enough
> problems getting contributors for any part of the GIMP (application,
> plug-ins, help system, web site) so we should be careful about
> introducing a new area in which people could invest some time.

The interesting thing about the wiki from my point of view is the
total divorcing of technology and content. You don't need to know
html, xhtml, docbook sgml, docbook xml or any other markup to
generate pages which look OK. That means that there's a low
barrier of entry. And it makes it easier to contribute docs.
Perhaps it'll take off...

> wiki can be very useful for discussing drafts and proposing new
> content that will eventually be migrated to the help system or to the
> main web site, but the content would have to be migrated over to its
> destination instead of staying on the wiki.  Otherwise, I am afraid
> that it would sooner or later lose focus.

I think it could be kept in both. But yes, I never intended (nor
did I imply) that the wiki should replace the existing content
deployment systems.

> That's all IMHO, of course.  If I am the only dissenting voice, you
> can ignore me. ;-)  In fact, I hope that I am wrong and that we can
> have a strong community of contributors.

Consider yourself ignored ;-)


       David Neary,
       Lyon, France
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