[Xapian-discuss] xapian wiki

Peter Masiar peter.masiar at yale.edu
Fri Mar 17 03:06:46 GMT 2006

Quoting Olly Betts <olly at survex.com>:

> On Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 06:30:08PM -0500, Peter Masiar wrote:
> > (5) Do you have some FAQ? If you do, I did not found it.
> There isn't yet - I've thought about writing one, but we don't really
> seem to have any questions which get asked frequently (not even "where's
> the FAQ?")!
> > Even better, you may want to start a wiki where documentation can be
> > build by community efforts.
> http://wiki.xapian.org/
> There's not a huge amount there yet - most of the content is evolving
> documentation for the evolving flint backend.  Feel free to Xapian
> related add content.
> My intention is to put up a copy of the documentation for people to
> scribble improvements on, which we can then fold back in.  But I need
> to find a way to sort out the HTML documentation vs the wiki markup
> which allows for easy merging.

One option would be to have "most current" docs as wiki only.

If your choice is between better docs in wiki and worse/none in HTML,
decision should be quite obvious. :-)

I found wiki.xapian.org. now I know why it is not linked
from main menu - not much info on it. :-(

But if you believe in Wiki Way(tm), you may want to promote wiki a little.
Instead of answering email question, in some cases you may consider
adding a wiki page and answering by posting URL to a wiki page.
I used this on my users and they started reading wiki before asking
for help. :-)

IMHO wiki is better group memory than email archive for couple reasons:
- information is hyperlinked
- easier to keep info up-to-date, no "webadmin too busy" syndrome
- relevant info is together, irrelevant is placed elsewhere (unlike email)
- info on wiki page is (should be) final authoritative consensus.

In email, you never know if you missed a post in thread, or important
sentence between huge blocks of quotations, or maybe even whole thread,
which had just bad subject. Or the info in post might be obsolete,
but you never know it - and you need to ask the same question in list again.

Wiki is also a good way to build docs: more people can share efforts.
Even newbies like me can start a page. :-)
Anecdotal evidence says that only about 10% people "gets wiki bug"
and contribute. Most people just read. But even for "readers",
reading on wiki is better than digging thru email archives.

Yeah, you can tell I am a wiki evangelist. :-)
I did helped to start CGI::Application wiki. After a year, couple of people
created couple of pages, even if project leader said he does not see the point.
Now they have a wiki. http://cgiapp.erlbaum.net/

"Build the structure and they will add info".

I promise to contribute OmegaUbuntu page for newbies. :-)

I see xapian wiki is MoinMoin. TRAC also uses variant of MoinMoin,
but looks little more modern, and because of integration with
bug tracker and SVN, you have special wiki markup to link to specific bug,
or to specific SVN changeset, so wiki is great for technical docs too.

</salespitch> :-)

Was anybody else bitten by wiki bug like me and thinks wiki might be
a good idea for docs and info sharing?

Peter Masiar

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