peace_the_dreamer at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 15 05:04:44 UTC 2010
Documentation of squeak and varients is a bear to find in an organized fashion.
This has been true for quite a while. It is true now. It will be true for a while into the future.
The current tools for developing and organizing documentation are poor.
In particular our swiki is old and creaky when compared to readily available free platforms, namely MediaWiki and Wikipedia.
The idea of developing and storing squeak user documentation in a mediawiki environment seems attractive to me. I have been editing on that platform for a year now. I can point to several advantages:
First a large number of people are familiar with it already.
Second a large number of people have developed it and made it comfortable. The edges have been rounded off.
In addition a large number of people continue to develop it. It has the driving force of necessity behind it.
Thirdly it contains separate spaces for Main articles, Users, and discussion forums.
Each user and article has a companion discussion space for meta comments and interuser messages.
Templates and transclusion provide a way to write once, read anywhere.
Categories are available for organizing and finding content once its been entered.
Basically, I find the idea of putting documentation and guidance there attractive.
I can think of two ways to gain a media wiki space for squeak.
The low road would be to use an already existing mediawiki farm like wikia to establish a squeak wiki. This would be low cost and low maintenance. The disadvantage would be a loss of direct control and putting up with commercial content that wikia contracts.
The high road would be to implement a mediawiki or wiki farm on a server we controlled. This would allow control over content and the prevention of intrusive and inappropriate advertising. In return it would take someones (possibly plural) time and effort to implement, maintain, and upgrade the service as needed.
By either route there would be an open way to add content and collect and organize information documenting squeak. The possibility of getting a wider community contribution. Currently we are stuck with only masters being able to make significant contributions.
Consider this an open letter to the SOB to think about this. And an open plea for people who could help make it happen to step forward.
I could and would be willing to help by adding content if such a wiki existed.
Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace
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