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Re: The Wiki

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: The Wiki
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 14:08:00 -0400

On Sep 12, 2006, at 1:35 PM, Nikolaus Waxweiler wrote:

Looking at the wiki, and the way we've been working on it, it seems like there's no direction! We are all just doing whatever and hoping everyone
else will agree with us.
Hehe. One of the things I wanted to address with my new main page style was the "wiki == place for jotting down quick notes and then forgetting about them" attitude. The goal is clear: Make the wiki the new website. Some people don't like this, but I have yet to receive a show-stopper-complaint.

- Secondly, I think we really need a standardized formatting for the
different pages.  For example, the applications' pages need to look a
certain way and have certain information...
I'm still waiting for an admin to include the stuff I have on http://mediawiki.gnustep.org/index.php/User_talk:Madleser, namely to extend the navigation bar to the left and the CSS file. Mh. Maybe I have to port the simple but elegant look of gnustep.org.

It would definitely be good if the wiki looked like gnustep.org, or at least not like wikipedia.

Also, "wiki.gnustep.org" seems to redirect to "mediawiki.gnustep.org" and put this in the browser address bar. IMO it should be the other way around. "wiki" is clearer, shorter, easier to type, easier to remember. The average gnustep www visitor does not care what software we use to implement our wiki.

As far as *replacing* the web site with the wiki, I'm not sure where this initiative came from; it just seemed to pop up here on this list as if it were already decided. If the people who would maintain it are enthusiastic I have no objection, but do feel that navigation on wiki sites tends to be poorer than on dedicated / custom sites. First, site layout (top and left navigation bars, etc.) tends to be impoverished, and more wiki-oriented than domain-oriented. Second, if the organization changes regularly it can be difficult for repeat users to find things. I hope maintainers will work to mitigate these shortcomings, otherwise the result can be an unprofessional air of "this is a development project which hasn't been around long enough to develop a real web site".

Because of this danger, I advocate continuing the present coexistence of a main, static site for relatively stable information and the wiki with up-to-date pages for installation, application listing, etc.. Some relatively dynamic content that is now on the static site (installation instructions, application listings) should probably be moved to the wiki. Conversely some content now in the wiki may have stabilized enough to be considered for inclusion on the main site. For instance, fixed subversion checkout instructions could go on the main site, with a link to a wiki page with notes and "recipes" for specific situations. None of this means that either mode of presentation and maintenance is without its own advantages.

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