Hung up on wikis

Matthew East matthew.east at
Fri Mar 11 11:12:30 UTC 2005

Right glad this mess has been sorted out.

On the subject of why the wiki engine is rubbish, and needs to be
replaced, I will add my support.

> I personally favour a completely new wiki for one major reason: If
> anyone has looked at recent changes on any wiki, you see a lot of
> chaff or noise. If we have a wiki *just* for presentation quality
> docs, then the *only* thing that will be appearing is doc related and
> thus much much easier to quality control. I cannot underestimate how
> much effect this will make upon the quality of our work. Coexisting
> within the current wiki would cause major issue.

I don't think this is absolutely fundamentally important, but it is a
good idea. There are about a million wiki pages, and lots of the
discussion ones get confused with the documentation. If this were not to
change, I would not be gutted, but i agree that it would be an
advantage. One side effect might be that referencing between the two
concepts would be more difficult.

As I understand Corey's suggestion, things like DocTeam discussion would
be left in the existing wiki, whereas things like howtos would go to a
new documentation based wiki. This might cause problems with linking. An
example would be the DocBook wiki, which is both documentation, and
related to the team's work.

I think the point is that the current wiki is only confusing because of
the structural problems it has.

> Now on the technical side of things:
> 1. Remove parenting
> -This concept is too rigid, but a nice idea
> -We can manual parenting and categories to achieve the same result
> with more flexibility

Couldn't agree more. It is precisely this which means the wiki is a
sprawling mass of pages, most of which are in the wrong place.

> 3. One markup language
> -Probably the biggest issue. The 4? currently supported are confusing.
> Another reason for moving to a new wiki. If we force a move to one
> language, every page will have to be checked to make certain that it
> is in the new/chosen markup

OMG it is terrible. THe most dodgy things for me include
 * The fact that sometimes random question marks creep into the middle
of words
 * The fact that the nesting of titles is extremely difficult.

No doubt there are solutions to these and all other problems, but they
are by no means obvious.

> 5.Better history
> -Contrast this:
> with this:
> -Ouch is about all I can say

Yes the history is pretty abysmal.

> 6. Wasted space on page
> -The current wiki wastes a lot of space. I run at 1280x1024, which is
> much higher than most people. Even so, the actual text begins 1/4 the
> way down my screen, once you take into consideration all the panel,
> menus, etc.
> -This is kind of out of our hands. Another reason to move wikis

Doesn't bother me, even on 1024x768.

For me the biggest issue was not mentioned by Corey but was by Enrico.
The cache problem is so frustrated. First, it doesn't remember your
login, even with firefox's password manager. Ok, fair enough, some sites
don't. But secondly, even when you log in, and refresh the page, often
it still remains locked and has some crazy padlock signs all over the
place. You have to navigate away from the page and back again in order
to edit. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.


/me chews at wiki

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