[squeak-dev] Squeakapedia?

karl ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 09:21:21 UTC 2010

For me the reasons for not using the Squeak swiki are mostly structure,
versioning, ownership and the swikis relevance.

The swiki is quite a mess and a hard to navigate so it's hard to find stuff.
When I look at stuff, I hardly never know what version of Squeak this
is describing and if it's still relevant.
If I then find out its relevant but need a change I'm unsure if I can change
without interfering with other peoples work and references.
Then I wonder if its worth the effort to change stuff because the swiki is
not relevant anymore...



On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:06 PM, Chris Muller <asqueaker at gmail.com> wrote:

> I, too, an fascinated by this question:  _Why_ has the wiki "fallen
> out of favor?"
> I am skeptical that it is because there are multiple versions of
> Squeak and the inherent out-of-dateness that creates.  This is
> something that all forms of documentation face, even internal ones
> that are versioned with the code.  Just look at how often code
> comments are found to be out of of date.
> The value of documentation is all about what we *decide* to put into it.
> So why, oh why, have we "decided" to not update the wiki?
> IMO, we, as a community, are stuck in this feedback loop; where
> something that isn't "new and sexy", does not deserve our time or
> attention.  The lack of attention causes bit-rot, further
> deteriorating the image of the "old thing".
> But the irony is, one of the "new sexy things" (depending on one's
> perceptions, of course) is just an electronic version of something
> much older than the wiki.  The Pharo community are making on-line
> "books", much more old-fashioned than a wiki.  The Squeak wiki, to me,
> seems much more dynamic, hyper-linked, and "finer-grained".  It also
> *designed*, originally, for this medium known as The World Wide
> Web....   :)
> This is not a criticism of Pharo or the electronic-book format; I like
> books and their more linear nature bodes well for tutorials.  I just
> think another great resource, the wiki, sits right under right our
> nose, and the only real "deficiency" it suffers as a tool for
> documentation is that it doesn't have sexy colors or buttons, thus
> leading to provoking our psychotic feedback loop..
>  - Chris
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 5:13 AM, Ralph Johnson <johnson at cs.uiuc.edu>
> wrote:
> > I've used lots of wikis over the years, starting with the original
> > c2.com wiki.    While each had its unique features that made it
> > interesting, basically they were all good.  Wikis are cool and, when
> > there is a community behind them, can be very powerful.
> >
> > The squeak wiki has fallen out of favor.  It used to be extremely
> > useful and was used a lot, it isn't used as much now.  I don't think
> > that its problems have much to do with the platform it is running on.
> > While Mediawiki is certainly a very nice wiki, I think the problems of
> > the Squeak wiki would be unchanged if it were a Mediawiki.
> >
> > So, what is wrong with the Squeak wiki?  Why isn't it used as much?
> >
> > In my opinion, the problem is that, from a documentation point of
> > view, there is no such thing as Squeak, rather, there are many
> > versions of Squeak.  Although there are some things they all have in
> > common, they differ in some ways.  If you make a separate wiki for
> > each version, you fragment your community and have no way of dealing
> > with duplicate pages.  If you make a single wiki for them all, like
> > the Squeak wiki did, you end up with lots of information that is still
> > true for older versions but is no longer true for the latest.  And
> > since a lot of people are still running the older versions, you don't
> > want to get rid of that information.
> >
> > The new way for making documentation, which is to treat it as source
> > and to version it like source, solves these problems.  It probably
> > introduces some problems of its own, but I think it is probably the
> > best alternative for creating good, long-lasting documentation for
> > Squeak.
> >
> > -Ralph
> >
> >
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