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FSD as a Git repository

From: Bone Baboon
Subject: FSD as a Git repository
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 16:41:23 -0400

I wanted to ask what people think about the idea of the FSD being a git
repository.  This idea is motivated by this email thread.

Here is an example of how the FSD could work as a Git repository:

* The Git repository would have the normal readme, contributing, license
* The FSD contents could be organized with a clear and deliberate
  directory hierarchy. 
* The directories and files would have clear and deliberate names.
* The files could be written in a simple plain text format (Markdown,
  org-mode, etc). 
* A static website of the Git repository and it's source code could be
  generated using free software tools like stagit and cgit. 
* The FSD's plain text files could be compiled to HTML and served as a
  static web site without JavaScript using free software (discount,
  org-mode, etc). 

There would be trade off between using the current MediaWiki setup and
using a Git setup.

Both Git and MediaWiki provide:
* Metadata on contributions
* History of changes

Git advantages:
* No graphical web browser required.
* No JavaScript required.
* A text web browser would be optional.
* A contributor does not need a computer with a graphical environment.
  Not all GPU's have free firmware. 
* A contributor would not have to sign up to be able to make
  contributions.  (signing up currently does not work without JavaScript
  and cookies) 
* The Git repository could be cloned and worked on offline.
* Free software tools could be used to work on the Git repository.
* Contributors can make edits with their free software text editor of
* Static websites without JavaScript for browsing the Git repository and
  source code would be accessible with text web browsers.
* Static websites without JavaScript rendered from the FSD's Git
  repository would be accessible to browse with a text web browsers.
* Once the content is in a plain text format it would be easier to move
  to another plain text format using free software (Pandoc for example)
  if that was desirable in the future.
* Simpler server administration without a database.
* Uses less system resources on the server.

Git disadvantages:
* Requires learning how to use Git.
* Requires learning a simple markdown format.
* Requires a data migration initiative to move the FSD's data from it's
  current MediaWiki format into plain text files.
* Requires individuals with commit access to the Git repository to
  accept patches submitted by contributors.

MediaWiki advantages:
* The FSD already uses MediaWiki.
* Currently works for contributors who have graphical browsers.
* Has forms that provide validation checks on entered data.
* Has reusable templates for common content.

MediaWiki disadvantages:
* Requires learning the how to use MediaWiki.
* Does not work well with text web browsers.  Can not sign in with EWW
  Emacs's built in web browser for example.  Not all GPU's have free
  firmware and are able to run a graphical web browser.

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