[pmwiki-users] PmWiki forum...
editor at fast.st
Sat Mar 17 23:05:49 CDT 2007
Other than Pm's fair attempt at an answer, and his welcome suggestions
for improving the cookbook, most of the responses to my post were
pretty inane. No offensce, but really...
1) Despite the fact it is true all of us actively using the PmWiki
mail list like mail lists (or we wouldn't be here) the 700 people a
day visiting the PmWiki site are clearly not all on this list. We
have what, maybe 40-50 active developers sitting around and answering
each other's emails. What about the hundreds, or thousands that don't
have time to plough though scores of PmWiki emails every day to keep
up with things (probably the vast majority of users)...
2) The PmWiki FAQ/Question page is atrocious. I think we'd be better
off deleting it than have it on the PmWiki page. I'm sorry, but that
is about the worst example of poorly organized information I've ever
3) The lousy quality of the FAQ page is no proof the mailing list
works. It's just proof we have a lousy FAQ system. The fact we
frequently get asked the same questions on the mailing list is
probably better proof the mailing list doesn't work. I mean, yes,
people get answers fast--but they are not searching the archives.
I've tried the archives many times. They don't work for me. It's
hard to find stuff. PmWiki can and should do better. Much better.
4) While the cookbook helps some it is itself getting a bit unweildy.
Pm has been slowly making some good changes in this area, but I have
thought for a long time we need to start categorizing the information
there. Perhaps a section for recipe scripts, a section for config
questions, one for markup issues. Rankings, culling out stuff not
maintained, whatever. Information is only as good as its taxonomy.
Well, I don't know. Sounded good. But effective classification helps
alot. The cookbook (IMO) is far over extended, and would be much
better if it stuck to specific kinds of solutions, etc.
5) The idea a wiki is better than a forum is also nonsense. If you
read my post, I suggested we do one in PmWiki. We can keep it as
editable as we want, so if info needs to be changed, you just change
it. Delete a thread. Add a comment. Whatever you want. With all
the bright thinkers on this list we should be able to come up with
6) For those who don't want to check the forum, it could easily be set
so all posts are forwarded to the Mailing List for the rest of us
email junkies. If they have an email address we could just cc them
the answer. No guarantee the information would get in the Forum, but
if Pm ever gets the email to wiki converter going, we could work on
making that happen too. And a good forum might build it's own
community of question answerers. Especially if people can find stuff
7) When I used Drupal, they had an excellent forum area and I used it
any time I had a question. Their mailing list was way to busy for me.
And getting answers out of their forum was quick and helpful. Beat
the socks off the search system for the PmWiki maillist. I may be
wrong, but I think a well organized forum would be a boon to the
PmWiki documentation system.
Ok, if you don't like the word Forum, think of it as a classification
system for FAQ's. It's all about organizing information. I know
wiki's are kind of freeform, but we're not such anarchists we can't
stand for a little organization somewhere? (No offence Pm, you've do
a great job--I'm only talking about others in the community who knock
off ideas like actually trying to organize our FAQ page).
As Neil did with his silly little AQ post (more clutter to the PmWiki
site), I decided to put my suggestion into practice also. It took
about 5 hours instead of 5 minutes, but I set up a beta version of a
PmWiki forum. I'd be willing to change it to a PmWiki FAQ system or
whatever if that relieves some of you. If no one finds such an idea
useful, I'll drop it. It was pretty cool setting it up...
You can see it at http://www.fast.st/pmwiki/index.php Still pristine,
but pretty much fully functional. Feel free to test it out.
I'm still very much interested in exploring this, despite the negative
feedback so far. We've had enough people on the list complain of
email overload, I know there's a need for something like this. If any
are interested in helping to support this, I'll share webmaster
privileges, and I'm very open to suggestions for improving this. (It
already has unlimited topics, questions, editable comments, and I even
threw in instant messaging between members just for the fun of it. No
email yet, but could very easily add in ZAP's newsletter system for
managing small mail lists around specific topics. Or have a button to
automatically add/remove lines on the Site.Notify page. Also, as it
uses Hg, it would be a cinch to set up subtopics, like Recipes:ZAP or
Skins:Evolver, or whatever.
PS. If Pm isn't interested in supporting something like this, I might
be willing to with some help. Perhaps we could switch the FAQ link on
the PmWiki home page to a future version of this, with whatever
notices are necessary to not confuse it with Pm's superb
craftsmanship. But really, it should be at PmWiki.
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