[pmwiki-users] New PmWiki Features Page . . .
nospam at eton.ca
Thu May 25 20:55:27 CDT 2006
At 2006-05-25 06:12 PM -0500, Ben Wilson is rumored to have said:
>For those who
>prefer a more charted approach, the various charts in the Feature page
>are included from an At A Glance page.
>I ask that those of you who are fairly knowledgeable/sophisticated
>with PmWiki to take a look at the page.
Congratulations on tackling such a thankless task. Trying to
concisely describe the features of any software is difficult, and
extensible software like PmWiki just makes it more difficult.
I do, unfortunately, have several misgivings about your feature list
and at-a-glance pages.
First of all, the red-yellow-green color coding is fraught with
cultural baggage. Seeing all of the reds and yellows makes me think
that PmWiki is not doing a very good job - but in fact, the yellow
items are all things it can do via recipes, many of which are so
trivial to implement that they should not give the negative
impression that the yellow provides.
Second, I don't think the "features" page for PmWiki is the place to
state so boldly what it doesn't do (yet). The feature set has been
arrived at by a form of consensus as to what PmWiki should do "out of
the box" and people have created recipes to solve other problems.
There are places I have tried to introduce PmWiki where the local
nay-sayers are ready to leap in with comments like "But it can't do
CAPTCHAs and they are our corporate standard!" These guys don't need
any extra ammunition.
Third, I think focusing so strongly on a feature list loses the
essential *benefits* of PmWiki. It is very lean. It does a lot out of
the box. You can customize it with ready made recipes. You can write
your own recipes. You can design your own skins. You can make it fit
in to your corporate look and feel. You can make security as tight or
as loose as you want.
My fourth and final point is easy to address: the bullet lists of
features and the descriptions that appear below them are not in the
same order. In fact, they aren't in any detectable order!
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