Help Wiki Improvements

Jonathan Jesse jjesse at
Mon Nov 5 13:44:43 UTC 2007

> Hi Matthew,
> On Mon, 2007-11-05 at 12:33 +0000, Matthew East wrote:
>> Hi there,
>> Thanks to Alan for starting this discussion. His original email is
>> below for reference, since I'm adding the docteam mailing list and
>> Matt Nuzum to cc.
> I've been following this too and it has highlighted that not only is
> there confusion between wiki and help but that many are unaware of
> either.
>> 1. Relationship with This is still confusing, as
>> evidenced by the discussion Alan has described at the summit. The
>> following spec attempts to address this -
>> I'm keen to get more
>> feedback on the spec and more ideas about how to improve the
>> situation.
> Definitely think a name change from wiki to teams would be a good start.
>> 2. Quality assurance - we need a solid way to demonstrate how reliable
>> documents in the help wiki are, and what version of Ubuntu they apply
>> to. See for ideas and
>> initial proposals to address this.
> We could introduce a template for adding howtos. Such as specifying
> versions etc.
>> 3. Relationship between and
>> This is also confusing - there is
>> no obvious way to search between the two and once number 2. above is
>> implemented, there will be no obvious reason to distinguish between
>> "official" and "non-official" as above. The wiki contains lots of
>> perfectly reliable documents. There should be a single wiki with all
>> of our documentation in it, access control can be used to "lock down"
>> the system documents, if appropriate. We probably need a separate spec
>> for this.
> Going back to point one, why not move the community addresses to wiki
> and wiki to teams? That way the system documentation can stay seperate
> and links can be given where necessary to the community docs.
>> 4. Relationship with the forum. Trying to eliminate duplication of
>> documentation resources is probably the single activity which I've
>> spent more time on than anything else since I've participated in
>> Ubuntu. I've spent countless words on attempting to encourage more
>> efficient workflows between the forum howto section (and other
>> documentation websites) and the help wiki. Ideally such initiatives
>> would work directly on the help wiki, but unfortunately it just
>> doesn't happen. At the moment we have the following resource for
>> importing material from the forum to the help wiki, and I suspect that
>> this is the best we're going to be able to achieve unless someone
>> tells me otherwise - Better
>> visibility of the documentation team on the forums would probably
>> help, and I've requested that the documentation team mailing list be
>> mirrored on the forums in the past, although this has not yet come to
>> fruition. If Mike can help chase this up, that would be appreciated :)
> I share your frustration, as soon as I recommend a page of the system
> help or the community docs someone else pops up saying that either
> Psychocats site or any of the other howto sites has one that they used.
> I know they mean well but it does imply an inferiority in out
> documentation.
> Our visibility could be improved simply by adding a link in our
> signatures or perhaps even a team such as already exists for absolute
> beginners etc.
> Once we have established processes and layout, community participation
> could be boosted by holding another wiki weekend. I spoke with Phil
> about this just after Gutsy's release. If we could advertise it enough
> and perhaps get some giveaways or such like from canonical we could
> really promote this. If such an even drew enough people to incorporate
> their own howtos or invest the time to improve the site then I'd think
> they'd be more likely to recommend it.
> Also, as an aside perhaps it is possible for users of the forum to have
> a system such as the unanswered post team's canned responses linking
> directly to community pages. Th
>> 5. Look and feel of the help wiki. This needs love, and I've asked
>> Matthew to send me the latest theme so that it can be hosted in a bzr
>> branch and we can encourage contribution to improve the theme of the
>> wiki. Upgrading the software would also be really helpful in terms of
>> working on good new features for users and editors, although there are
>> currently some technical issues with this.
> Look and feel is an issue, granted but lets concentrate on getting the
> structure correct first.
> --
> Dougie Richardson                         //         dougie at
> ========================================================================
> "Stop breathing down my neck!"          //   
> "My breathing is merely a simulation!" //    
> "So is my neck, stop it anyway!"      //  
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> ubuntu-doc mailing list
> ubuntu-doc at

Matt and Dougie,

A lot of the items on this section are things we talked about both with
Ubuntu Training Team and also the Ubuntu Server team.  Especially the
server team who will be focusing on documentation this release cycle.  One
of the concerns they are trying to work with is how to get "approved" docs
on the  The problem they see is that someone writes a
document and it is on h.u.c and it crashes the server then it will be
"ubuntu's fault".

I'm curious as how this will work out.

Jonathan Jesse

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