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RE: [Groff] Groff wiki?
RE: [Groff] Groff wiki?
Fri, 28 Oct 2005 21:00:56 +0100 (BST)
On 28-Oct-05 Robert Goulding wrote:
> With all the discussion recently on the need for groff documents
> teaching fundamentals and techniques - and with all the terrific
> stuff that is frequently posted to this list (most recently,
> Ted's solution for pie-graphs), it seems to me that a wiki for
> groff would be very useful. We could:
> - put all the man pages and info docs up on line in HTML form for
> - post guides for all the macro packages
> - archive all the tricks, techniques and solutions to unusual
> problems that have been posted here
> and, of course, since it is a wiki, allow anyone in the community
> to post interesting code or techniques that they use, for permanent
> reference and reuse. I'm sure there are many people out there how
> are doing remarkable things with groff - it would be great if they
> could be shared more widely.
> I don't know much about setting up or hosting a wiki, but would
> certainly want to contribute, as I think many others on the list
> might as well. I have a unwieldy directory of code-snippets I've
> culled from the mailing list from the last couple of years - it
> would be good at least to put them in some sort of order!
This is a good idea! I've often thought of putting such things
somewhere, for people to consult or to incorporate into more systematic
documentation about different aspects of groff.
I've only lately become properly aware of the 'wiki' idea, and
rather like it in principle. In so far as it remains the sort
of haven where like-minded people of good will can wander in,
take note of what they like, and leave their own good things
for others, it seems a straightforward and excellent solution.
I'd also sound a note of caution, however. My local Linux User
Group ( http://www.alug.org.uk ) has had a wiki going for some
months now, and it has unfortunately been vandalised on occasion,
leading to the result that you will see if you now visit the above
site and click on "Contrib Area"; and also to some acrimony on
their mailing list, since there are issues about who should be
responsible for what when it comes to maintenance, security, and
so forth. This risk is bound to be present for a "wide open wiki".
I don't know the best solution to this problem.
One could be that anyone who wants to contribute can get a passowrd
from "someone in charge", as a "trusted contributor", which would
then enable them to enter the wiki and edit away. This would perhaps
place the least load on whoever was "hosting" it.
Another, somewhat at the other extreme, would be that it is a
"moderated" wiki -- people can submit contributions, which would
normally be nodded through. However, there is potentially so much
good stuff out there amongst all our archives that this could lead
to bottlenecks, and intolerable load on moderators.
In any case, it might be a good idea (though I don't know if this
can be readily arranged on a wiki) that the person who makes a
contribution should be the only person with "write permissions"
(apart from the wiki administrators). Not that I'm trying to be
restrictive for the sake of it here -- but it occurs to me that
someone reading a piece might think they can "improve" it, and
promptly do so; with the effect of spoiling it, or worse.
There should be some control, by people who have contributed,
over what happens to their contributions.
In any case (as has become apparent to me following the discussion
on the ALUG wiki), there is a need for regular and frequent back-up
of the contents, so that things can be rolled back if necessary.
Just some thoughts ... I like the idea, but feel wary!
Best wishes to all,
E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 28-Oct-05 Time: 21:00:53
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