Revamping the wiki

Daniel Stone daniel at
Sat Mar 31 03:23:51 PDT 2007

On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 03:56:35PM -0400, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 11:31:52AM +0300, Daniel Stone wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 09:10:23PM -0400, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
> > > And you've just explained why subpages are widely deprecated (Wikipedia,
> > > for example, disallows them entirely in the Main namespace): because the
> > > point of wikis is the ease of intrawiki linking in writing other pages,
> > > as much as it's the ease of creation and recent-change tracking...
> > > 
> > > and subpages break that entirely.
> > 
> > Erm?  I can link to Projects/MPX/Status from
> > Development/Documentation/InputEventProcessing just fine.
> I did say "in writing other pages"
> You clipped the case in point example I made, which is that if you use
> the addresses of pages in the wiki you have to (in Mediawiki's phrasing)
> "pipe-link" *every link you write*.
> You can't say "How fast we can procede on this part of the project is
> dependent on the [MPX Project Status]"... you have to get the writer
> embroiled in a host of twisty little syntax, all different.

True.  Thanks, Moin.

> That it's twisty -- and these days, that it's *not MW wikitext syntax*
> -- are *much* larger roadblocks than I think you think they are to
> extensive participation.  The amount of participation on the MythTV
> wiki roughly tripled when we went from Moin to MW, for example.
> I'm not trying to tell you to switch engines, but I *am* suggesting that
> forcing contributors to pay too much attention to your preferred
> taxonomy while *they* are writing may turn out not to be optimal for
> you.

Okay, noted.  Unfortunately MediaWiki is a little too hefty: Moin works
well for our distributed multi-wiki setup, and also copes with the load
well.  Unfortunately, its syntax is rather horrid in many aspects, and
it's definitely a bit of a barrier.

> [Input Event Processing] is unique across your site, is it not?

Indeed, it is.  The problem I'm trying to solve (having reached the
conclusion from watching its slow decline) is that the wiki has become
kind of a scrap heap for random crap over the years.  At least
categorising things in the URL should help, I think.  I hope. :)

> > I'd prefer namespacing in the URL, as an organisational thing.  Our last
> > wiki grew organically, and look at how well that worked out. ;)
> It's always difficult to say with assurance that even though things
> aren't bad, they could be better; my assertions here are largely
> organic, but they're based on several years working with various wikis,
> flavored by some specific study of information taxonomy and user
> interfaces.
> Take them for what you think they're worth.  :-)

Thanks, I do appreciate it.

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