Community Wiki Suggestions

hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator
edited October 2013 in Feedback

For those that are unaware, @hbf is graciously hosting the Vanilla Community Wiki at vanillawiki.homebrewforums.net. It has basic documentation, quickstart tutorials, and a growing catalog of practical tasks that are being curated.

The wiki is plagued by spam registrants making us go to great lengths to prevent spam. We use a captcha and also approve members manually. While this approach has been effective, I believe it has been hampering our efforts to encourage community contribution. 75% of edits were created by just 3 members.

I really think this is because accounts have to be added manually. The last legitimate signup (as far as I can tell) was by @ilovetech on September 28th and I just got around to giving him access to edit. This is mostly because I have to recognize that a username has been used here by a real person before giving them editing permission.

In addition to this headache, hbf recently informed me that the wiki database is almost 50 gb in size. This is because spam accounts are not handled well, in my opinion, by the wiki software we are using. I really want to lighten the load on hbf's servers since there is no way we have 50 gb on actual content on the wiki.

So, what am I looking for?

I want your suggestions and feedback. Do you find it difficult to find information on the wiki? Were you able to successfully contribute? What documentation wiki software do you like? Anything we should concentrate on in the wiki? Anything else you want to say?

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UnderDogjeongwee
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Comments

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff
    edited October 2013

    In general, the Vanilla team is looking for an awesome documentation product that fits our overall needs. Ease of editing and design / organizational clarity are of high importance. Ability to integrate with Vanilla's user system would be a nice-to-have but not required. Suggestions welcome, just don't expect immediate feedback - this isn't next on the list yet. I don't believe we're interested in rolling our own as a Vanilla app, fyi.

    UnderDog
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    My suggestions are moving the wiki to a lighter weight wiki system. We love Vanilla and we don't need or want all the bells and whistles.

    In my inexpert opinion, I suggest moving the wiki to the official Vanilla Forums GitHub wiki.

    Pros:

    • GitHub can take care of hosting
    • No need to worry about spam registrants
    • Multiple language formatters (supports media-wiki, so we could do a straight import and just fix up the extensions)
    • Decent GUI editor for those not familiar with markup or git
    • Fully powered by git, giving our documentation all the benefits of a well known revision system
    • Starting on a community only branch should not be an issue for porting to an official system in the future
    • Could clone a read only copy to an external website and update it regularly
    • Give higher visibility to issue tracker and methods used by the dev team

    Cons:

    • May not be approved by the Vanilla Developers
    • Attachment uploading requires git knowledge at the moment
    • No automatic category lists
    • Puts the documentation under the GitHub flag

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  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    My primary concern with GitHub is the organization of pages / navigation kinda sucks. Are you saying we could clone it to another hosting location periodically and easily fix the template / styling?

    UnderDog
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    You can add sidebars, headers, and footers on GitHub wikis. Any of them could be used to add navigation. More information on their wiki software (gollum) can be found here: https://github.com/gollum/gollum/wiki.

    As far as cloning, I was referring to generating a read only copy from the source on commit or periodically. Just so the documentation could be hosted elsewhere.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    UnderDog
  • @Lincoln said:
    I don't believe we're interested in rolling our own as a Vanilla app, fyi.

    Ouch! I was actually thinking of ShadowDare's Pages application, looking with one eye at the /docs application (if it exists)

    All we need is some extra markup for MarkDown (linking to pages from discussions would be a-ma-zing).

    I'm looking forward to being able to link a discussion to a Wiki page on the VanillaWiki.org domain

  • Confirm Email did not work, so you guys have to fix that, cause it will NOT let me confirm my email. Instead, it gives me error messages

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @ilovetech, AFAIK, it is intentionally not working. I did approve you as an editor though. So start contributing!

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • @ilovetech Can I contribute without comfirming my email address?

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @ilovetech I manually confirmed your account.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    UnderDog
  • For me documentation and wiki are two different things.

    Code documentation which can be compiled into a standard documentation, is one of the most versatile references especially when running a developer program.

    I think official documentation would need supplemented in with more general instruction, but I think should be a lot stricter in its objectives than the wiki. Its goal should be to document, basic use, development and API.

    grep is your friend.

  • I agree with x00. So now we get /docs (for source code documentation) and /wiki (for user documentation)

    @X00 can you tell another (PHP) project that has their documentation set up the way you like? Which source documentation generator would you recommend?

  • I was trying to edit "Upgrade" and adding some really good tips that they missed, but right now, I keep getting a error no matter what I do that says "Some parts of the edit form did not reach the server; double-check that your edits are intact and try again." in red. What do I do? I want to contribute, But I can't

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    @ilovetech said:
    I was trying to edit "Upgrade" and adding some really good tips that they missed, but right now, I keep getting a error no matter what I do that says "Some parts of the edit form did not reach the server; double-check that your edits are intact and try again." in red. What do I do? I want to contribute, But I can't

    The content you added to the upgrades section is both wrong and misleading. Just like your upgrade tip thread. I've removed the edits.

    UnderDog
  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    @ilovetech your edits in the "Porting phpBB3" page have been marked as patrolled. Thank you for your contribution.

  • @hbf I'm not trying to be misleading. Just saying.

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    im not inferring ill will. im sure you have the best of intentions, but not everyone is an expert in all things they practice.

  • edited October 2013

    @hgtonight What's causing all that 50 GB on hbf's side?

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    it's the thousands of deleted spam pages that media wiki is holding onto in the DB.

  • I added a new wiki page on vanillawiki.homebrewforums.net called "Avatars"

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