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Wiki - To be, or not to be...
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mosc
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Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 17618
Location: Allentown, PA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:59 am    Post subject: Wiki - To be, or not to be... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On another topic, http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-3159.html , it was suggested that electro-music.com might benifit from a wiki. I have not personal experience with these, but they have been suggested before on the Nord Modular mailing list, http://mail.electro-music.com/mailman/listinfo/nord-modular .

From what I understand, Wikis are good for collaborative authoring of documents. Anyone can edit any wiki document. This might be valuable in some situations.

I'd be interested in any thoughts you might have about Wiki. Have you used them before? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Are there pointers to good docs that explain them? Is there some software that is better than the rest? Does quality deteriorate because of chaos - anybody being able to edit anthing?
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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Location: Denver
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I use Twiki (http://www.twiki.org/) at work among my ASCI team to post specs & relavant documents. Not for modifying actual docs. It's also in a professional environment, so chaos is more or less "managed". So I can't comment from experience about how this would work in a forum situation.

Also, I don't know how/if it would easily integrate with the exisitng forum. Meaning how user names & passwords would cross over. At least for Twiki. It has it's own strange system of user names (electro-music would be "ElectroMusic", and Nord Modular G2 would be "NordModularG2") and topics for searching (Twiki words use ano-spaces, but first letter capitolized system, probably to jump though some very old html hoops).
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Regebro



Joined: Sep 12, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´ve used a bunch of wikis, mostly based on ZWiki (which you would not be interested in since it runs on Zope), and lately I've done a lot on Wikiedia.

Wikis are excellent for communal document creation, because anybody that knows anything can contribute. That means FAQs, tutorials and information gathering.
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm, that's a good idea for the FAQ...it's been in the talks for some time, also.

It still seems to me that the Wiki would need to be moderated, otherwise it would eventually turn into a forum of itself. That's inevitable as the site grows and there's a constant influx of new members, who are unaware of any protocol that we try to develop. Maybe the Wiki would be useful if there were several editors, but not everyone had editing rights? Or members received editing rights after a certain # of posts (guaranteeing some level of cultural knowledge of the site?). I'm all for the community, but a large community usually needs government, just one of the downfalls of being human.
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jkn



Joined: Mar 14, 2004
Posts: 469
Location: La Porte, IN, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think the Kyma system docs are a wiki if I remember right (been a long while since I looked since I don't have the system).

We've been running twiki for about a year at work. It's great. However, it's only being updated by a small IT department so it's not being hit by a number of people - and no one outside the building. We were audited earlier this year - and the auditor was very impressed by how we were tracking documents/system changes/etc... in twiki.

At least in twiki's case - jksuperstar is right - the username's would probably not translate and everyone would need a new name for the system. Wiki by nature uses wiki words... the no spaces, upper lower upper case format (ex... ElectroMusic, but also AbC is technically a wiki word (although a pointless one...)) - it's very easy once you use it a couple times.

The group editing aspect of it is just phenomenal. We use it at work for docs of various kinds - tracking downtime on servers - tracking projects. As new things are learned - it's just a click of edit and typing a few words and saving. If I notice my coworker missed a detail in his write up - I can just pop in and add it - no need to send him an email and let him do it (and of course - those kinds of updates never happen, who has time? Since I'm in the doc at the time and can just edit it immediately... ) If someone sends me an email - often times I'll create a new wiki page and just copy/paste the email into it. This creates a great placeholder for later editing (if that's even needed) - and saves me from searching my received email archive. How to install software and procedures are great in there since we've gone through a few people recently (want to work help desk in central illinois??? ha..) and it's been a lot easier having the new people look at these docs than trying to track down binders, hand written notes, and various emails on how to do things.

I originally thought a wiki would be handy for a site like this because information shifts and changes on an ongoing basis. Info on old gear - manuals, links, etc... could all be in one location. New and updated info can just be popped in by whoever is reading it at the time.

Of course, the downside is that it is truly open to everyone (unless you go with a system that has logins). Some people believe the openness is it's most valuable asset (and in many ways it is... as long as you have someone policing changes every so often.)

The microsound list started a wiki (twiki type) recently - although I don't see much activity going on it yet. http://microsound.nexthop.net/bin/view.cgi/Main/WebHome The booklist, open source, and granulator topics seem to have had some entries.
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