[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Wiki-based documentation project

On Fri, May 17, 2002 at 01:44:25PM +0200, Morten Hustveit wrote:
> I am concidering setting up a service similar to Wikipedia, where users can 
> freely add and modify documentation about the Debian project.  The site would 
> contain information about all packages, including the installation, 
> configuration and use of them, more general documentation, like HOWTOs, and 
> trivia, like the history of different programs.  The site will not cover the 
> use of any other program distributions than Debian, but will attempt to cover 
> all architectures and kernels Debian supports equally well.

It cannot hurt.

> I'm not sure how much of the existing documentation (man-pages, info-pages, 
> HOWTOs etc.) can be imported into the system, because of the possible 
> licensing issues.

But why?  Just link to the documents and expand on them, correct them, and
provide more material to be folded back into the individual documents.

> Perhaps non-modifiable pages is the solution to this.  A 
> suitable license for this project would probably be the GNU Free 
> Documentation License.

No argument there.  But I'm thinking about how the material gleaned from
such a wiki could be used in existing docs, not the other way around.

> It might be possible to host this at a local UUG with a high capacity 
> connection, or SourceForge, but I would hope this could be an official part 
> of Debian, hosted by the Debian Project at doc.debian.org or similar.

As pointed out in another post, there already is such a wiki.  Once it is
back on its feet, just go ahead and populate it with material.  But I don't
think it will ever supplant the need for more traditional documents which
are maintained by an individual or small group of individuals.  The most
coherent, engaging documents I have read have been authored or maintained by
a single individual with a particular style that permeates the whole
document, much as the distinctive style of an author is left on a novel.
Every document I craft is authored in my own personal style.  Every post I
make to a mailing list is, as well.  My unwillingness to give that up is
equal parts pride in my own wordcraftsmanship and belief that my audience is
best served by the kind of document that I produce.  Nevertheless, a good
author or maintainer will draw from a whole host of different sources.  This
is where wiki shines.  It allows each author or document maintainer to draw
on the collective encyclopaedic knowledge of a large group of experts to
help produce the finished document.

In conclusion, think about how such a wiki could be made in such a way as
to facilitate inclusion of wiki material into our existing documentation
set, not the other way around.

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
[ pgp key fingerprint = 7F DA 09 4B BA 2C 0D E0  1B B1 31 ED C6 A9 39 4F ]
[ gpg key fingerprint = 395C F3A4 35D3 D247 1387  2D9E 5A94 F3CA 0B27 13C8 ]

To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-doc-request@lists.debian.org
with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.debian.org

Reply to: