Forum OpenACS Development: Response to How about an OpenACS wiki?

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Posted by Edmund Lian on
>>I think Roberto's concerns are valid, though ... I haven't really heard a good response. Someone (and I think he's thinking it could end up being him, which is probably why he's concerend) would have to mine the wiki for stuff to put into docs later.<<

I'm not necessarily a fan of wikis, since they can end up an incoherent mess if the users aren't careful about maintaining structure. However, it feels like we need a better way to gather together documentation.

The trouble with writing a more formal document is that it requires more energy to do. This is good in that it forces thought. But it's also is bad in that some snippets of info are too small to warrant a full-blown document. So where do we file away stuff like this so that others can find it? The other nasty about formal docs are that they take time to do properly, and this increases the entry barriers for people who have something useful to add, but don't have a lot of time.

The nice thing about a wiki is the communal aspect to things... people add/modify stuff as they can. With revision control, it would really be very similar to cvs.

Short of a wiki, I'd be happy with any kind of system that encouraged proper categorization, and collaborative updates and maintenance of docs. Even a decent threaded BBS could do this if were culled of old/irrelevant stuff occasionally.

Here's an example of why the current discussion forums aren't up to the task... I posted info about where to get the 7.1RC2 debs a few days ago. Since then, RC3 debs have been released, and they are available at a more fixed location. If I just posted an update to this on the forums, a user would have to sequentially read each message in the thread to see that more recent information was available. As a user myself, I'd much rather see what's relevant, and perhaps be able to see previous revisions or references to the content if I needed to verify something. Exactly like coding and cvs.

What would really be nice is if we had some kind of wiki-like medium where contributors could add tagged/categorized content so that it could automagically be turned into customized formal docs on demand by any user. Is there anything out there that will do this for us?