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Re: HTML documentation system - design and planning

by pmas (Hermit)
on Sep 08, 2001 at 10:05 UTC ( #111135=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to HTML documentation system - design and planning

I've seen interesting web-based collaborative environment (which I definetelly will use for our project documentation - just do not know when to do it...). It's called Wiki and has many free clones.

I am interested in Wiki clone called TWiki, because TWiki is rather advanced (authentication users by groups, advanced page formatting, version control), nice active development group, and more than hundred instalations).

See TWiki in action   and   TWiki feature overview slide-show presentation.

There are many different Wiki clones, I recall something like DolphineWiki or ModWiki, which is static (pages generated on demand), much simpler than TWiki.

Wiki is much simpler (IMHO) to use for plain users than HTML for text formatting, and WikiWords will link to page with the same name(explained on website). Every member of Wiki community can update these pages, great for documentation. TWiki will send you email that page you care about (and subscribed for) was changed. Version control will allow some admin users to undo changes if needed. TWiki has also "categories", so you can change some set of status fields - so you can use it i.e. for bug tracking.

However, they do not have XP and voting... :-(

You have also full source code, so it might give you a nice headstart when creating MonkWiki for your docs... ;-)

Does somebody around here have experience with Wiki? I know Wiki is kind of "competitor" with Everything Engine in field of free web-based collaboration tools, so I hope it is not blasphemy to mention Wiki here...;-)

Difference is: WikiPage is like thread in PM. Everybody can update any page, also text of others (Wiki does not support strict "ownership" of node as PM does. So there is smaller amount of pages, and links can by improved in time. Can you image all nodes explaining why use strict linked together? Easier to search. But, when you just adding text to the end of the page, it is less dynamic than threads in PM. Not having to worry about XP is good - and not having XP is bad. So, is better for documentation, but less fun for comunity like PerlMonks.

As somebody said here: Forget about XP, remember the experience...

BTW, Wiki-Wiki is "quick" in Hawai-an language.

To make errors is human. But to make million errors per second, you need a computer.

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Re: Re: HTML documentation system - design and planning
by cat2014 (Monk) on Sep 08, 2001 at 19:54 UTC
    I've used wiki, too, as a sort of on-going documentation system for development projects. It rocks! The lack of "ownership" of a node is a really good thing, since anyone can go & update the information on any of the nodes. And the "autolinking" it does is pretty nice- you don't have to worry about marking up words that you want to link, because if wiki sees that anything that you typed is a node, it automagically creates a link for you. Anyway, I've used a lot of different (usually crappy) documentation systems (html docs maintained through cvs... whiteboards in hallways...saved emails...). Most are either too much hassle to update or not scalable enough once you've got more than 3 people on a project. Wiki is a pretty cool solution to problems like that. My one problem with it (which might not be a problem with all versions) is that the more information you put in, the slooooooooooower searches get. -- cat
      Thank you for confirming my gut feeling about Wiki.

      Re Slow search: Yes, search on on many static pages might be slow. Solution might be to place all page text into database - DB are usualy good in searching text. Then, you slowered data presentation - because you need to generate every page on request.

      As always, you have tradeoffs. I expect to have a lot of searches, so I prefer my data be optimized for search speed - in database.

      Also, TWIki has "categories", which might speed up searching.

      Our web site should be later released to public, so when it will be up (and open to public), I'll let you know.

      To make errors is human. But to make million errors per second, you need a computer.

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