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Re: [DotGNU]WikiTexi (was documentation/manual tool and DotGNU Task List

From: Jonathan P Springer
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]WikiTexi (was documentation/manual tool and DotGNU Task List)
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 08:14:52 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.27i

On Fri, Feb 08, 2002 at 02:37:04PM +0000, Iain Hallam wrote:
> Jonathan P Springer wrote:
> >>WikiTexi Architecture
> >>=====================
> >The highly fragmented nature of collaborative editing makes me leery of
> >wandering too far afield from some sort of database.  I come from a data
> >warehousing background, which may be what makes me lean towards RDBMS.
> >I'm targetting this toward a high volume of edits; 
> Funny - I can see this point of view perfectly - but coming from a 
> networking/scripting background, I like all my packets to be easily 
> discernable and assemble into basic ASCII or text :-D You're right, of 
> course - a DB makes much more sense, I just keep seeing the spectre of 
> being left high and dry without human-inspectable data. I'll try to curb 
> my neuroses, though :-)

I'll do what I can to take your neuroses into account :-).

> >I'll leave a whole chapter for you if you care to contribute a
> >discussion of UI.  I think that various levels of UI will be needed,
> >based on the sophistication of the user -- Web for neophytes, Java for
> >those who can actually figure out how to install it.  I'll be happy for
> >any contributions -- UI is not my strong suit.
> As you might guess, it's not necessarily mine, either (network/software 
> engineer by trade). I'll have a go if you like (though I might want to 
> bounce some ideas around at some point... address@hidden).

Give it a go, if you will; I'll leave UI for last.  I've applied for a
wikitexi project at savannah; it's making its way through the pipline
now; once that's done we can sneak over and only bug the DotGNU folks
with the occasional cross-post :-}

> The one aspect that this might benefit from tying to .GNU would be in 
> some form of autodocumentation. If it is intended to use WikiTexi for 
> documenting .GNU projects, then it makes sense to be able to work with 
> the other tools in the chain to make life for developers easy. Nobody 
> wants to update two sets of definitions for everything (and it's bad DB 
> design :-). Whether to use this should be optional (since there are 
> other projects that might use WikiTexi without developing any software) 
> but some attempt could be made to interface with other tool-chains/IDEs 
> so as to garner more users.

I concur; I'm still tackling how to handle it.  It's a different ilk of
import basically.

> P.S. Is WikiTexi the 'right' name? Is the web interface going to use 
> WikiNotation to enter the documentation? Texinfo isn't the base format 
> any more, either...

My take on names is generally "stick to one, as long as it makes just a
smidgen of sense."  (I've seen too many projects where I work change
their names to protect the innocent, and thereby confuse everyone
involved.)  I think the name emphasizes the two primary goals:
Colloaboration and GNU-standard documentation.  (Besides, I already set
it to Savannah :-) ).  If someone sues us, well, then we'll deal with


-Jonathan P Springer <address@hidden>
"A standard is an arbitrary solution to a recurring problem." - Joe Hazen

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