Proposal: integrate hints into the Wiki?
jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org
Tue Jun 8 08:59:53 PDT 2004
The website team (me and Anderson) are currently working on the
implementation of TWiki, which will serve as the Content Management
System for the website. It has the necessary access controls so people
don't need to be afraid of the anarchistic nature of Wiki's. Using TWiki
as CMS has no negative impacts when compared to a regular CMS, and the
advantages of version control, user registration and low barrier to
write content are sufficient for us to try it. TWiki is also succesfully
used by freedesktop.org
The hints project currently fills the role of having user-contributed
documentation made available to the community. The hints maintainer has
the role of gatekeeper (what gets checked in) and maintainer (updating
of current hints). The adoption system makes sure that unmaintained
hints can be taken over by other interested users.
It seems to me that the TWiki system can take over allmost all of the
functions of the hints maintainer, while (optionally) giving the
community and hints writers more control over their own hints. It has
some advantages and disadvantages and I leave it up to you (community &
hint maintainer) to decide if you want this or not.
* no need for a formal hints structure (although it can be required)
* file attachments to hints; no need for seperately maintained scripts
* transparent version control
* the Wiki offers richer text formatting controls then plain text,
although this is completely optional
* Currently, you can find hints by their filename or the date they've
last changed. TWiki allows you to find hints by name, author,
last-changed, etc. It's also very easy to categorize hints (by just
adding 1 link at the bottom of the hint)
* hints in the Wiki can be indexed and searched with advanced search
options; this is currently not possible with the hints files
* users have complete freedom to edit their own hint. Hints can be made
read-only or read-write, it's up to the maintainer if the original
author can make this choice. This means the current adoption system is
no longer necessary, and readers can more easily contribute to hints or
take over maintenance of them.
* readers can monitor or subscribe to hints; they would receive a mail
when the hint is updated. The hints list can still be used as a
catch-all for updates
* technically, there would no longer be a need for a hints maintainer.
Optionally, some or all of the functions of adding, editing and
(re)moving hints can still be put under explicit maintainer control,
thanks to fine-grained access controls. The current authorization
structure can be completely implemented in TWiki.
* I can't think of any! All functions of the current hint system can be
taken over by the TWiki!
Well, it's harder to make hints available off-line, although it's
certainly possible. We'd have to export the hints Web as plain text and
offer it as download.
Well, I see lots of advantages and practically no disadvantages. I know
many people don't like a Wiki, but with the access controls it's really
no different from the current system. Opinions?
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