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digitalmars.D - The D wiki engine must be replaced

reply Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> writes:
Hi,

I wanted to edit something in the D wiki[1], had a problem and learned more 
about the used wiki engine ProWiki.

[1] http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d

 - The last ProWiki release was in 2006
 - This was also the first open source release
 - Prowiki was apparently developed only by Helmut Leitner
 - The project is dead by all standards

I consider it extremely important for the success of D to have a usable 
wiki. I don't consider the current wiki usable. I don't have a strong 
opinion about other wiki engines so I won't give a recommendation here.

I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow offline 
editing, like Ikiwiki.

I don't know the history of the wiki, but it might be adequate to thank 
Helmut Leitner for his work and efforts.

Best regards, Thomas Koch
Oct 28 2012
next sibling parent "bearophile" <bearophileHUGS lycos.com> writes:
Thomas Koch:

 I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow 
 offline editing, like Ikiwiki.

The Haskell community uses this one, that I have found nice to read: http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell Bye, bearophile
Oct 28 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Tobias Pankrath" <tobias pankrath.net> writes:
On Sunday, 28 October 2012 at 13:06:09 UTC, Thomas Koch wrote:
 Hi,

 I wanted to edit something in the D wiki[1], had a problem and 
 learned more
 about the used wiki engine ProWiki.

 [1] http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d

  - The last ProWiki release was in 2006
  - This was also the first open source release
  - Prowiki was apparently developed only by Helmut Leitner
  - The project is dead by all standards

 I consider it extremely important for the success of D to have 
 a usable
 wiki. I don't consider the current wiki usable. I don't have a 
 strong
 opinion about other wiki engines so I won't give a 
 recommendation here.

 I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow 
 offline
 editing, like Ikiwiki.

 I don't know the history of the wiki, but it might be adequate 
 to thank
 Helmut Leitner for his work and efforts.

 Best regards, Thomas Koch

What about the wiki engine build into github?
Oct 31 2012
parent Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> writes:
Tobias Pankrath wrote:
 What about the wiki engine build into github?

editable via the web interface and offline with a text editor. It supports half a douzend popular markups, including markdown, org-mode, restructured text, creole. Of course the wiki could be hosted as a wiki to a separate dummy project under https://github.com/D-Programming-Language. Please don't make it a wiki for the dmd project since D is more then one compiler implementation. Even for me as a free software advocate I'd favour this quick github solution over the current state. It's still possible at any time to setup an own instance of Gollum and host the wiki somewhere else. [1] https://github.com/github/gollum Best regards, Thomas Koch
Oct 31 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent "David Nadlinger" <see klickverbot.at> writes:
On Sunday, 28 October 2012 at 13:06:09 UTC, Thomas Koch wrote:
 I consider it extremely important for the success of D to have 
 a usable
 wiki. I don't consider the current wiki usable. I don't have a 
 strong
 opinion about other wiki engines so I won't give a 
 recommendation here.

 I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow 
 offline
 editing, like Ikiwiki.

Yes, I agree that the current wiki setup is very awkward and clumsy to use. However, my preferred solution would just be a MediaWiki instance (with a slightly customized theme, of course), because this is what everybody is already familiar with from Wikipedia and other wiki sites. David
Oct 31 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent "Tobias Pankrath" <tobias pankrath.net> writes:
On Wednesday, 31 October 2012 at 13:09:10 UTC, David Nadlinger 
wrote:
 On Sunday, 28 October 2012 at 13:06:09 UTC, Thomas Koch wrote:
 I consider it extremely important for the success of D to have 
 a usable
 wiki. I don't consider the current wiki usable. I don't have a 
 strong
 opinion about other wiki engines so I won't give a 
 recommendation here.

 I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow 
 offline
 editing, like Ikiwiki.

Yes, I agree that the current wiki setup is very awkward and clumsy to use. However, my preferred solution would just be a MediaWiki instance (with a slightly customized theme, of course), because this is what everybody is already familiar with from Wikipedia and other wiki sites. David

If it's just the syntax: gollum understands mediawiki. The advantages I see are no need to setup and administrate a custom solution and the core people of the D community are already using git. That I don't need to use a crappy web interface if I don't want to is a big plus, too.
Oct 31 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 14:06:08 +0100
Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> wrote:

 Hi,
 
 I wanted to edit something in the D wiki[1], had a problem and
 learned more about the used wiki engine ProWiki.
 
 [1] http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d
 
  - The last ProWiki release was in 2006
  - This was also the first open source release
  - Prowiki was apparently developed only by Helmut Leitner
  - The project is dead by all standards
 
 I consider it extremely important for the success of D to have a
 usable wiki. I don't consider the current wiki usable. I don't have a
 strong opinion about other wiki engines so I won't give a
 recommendation here.
 
 I personally would prefer a wiki system based on Git to allow offline 
 editing, like Ikiwiki.
 
 I don't know the history of the wiki, but it might be adequate to
 thank Helmut Leitner for his work and efforts.
 
 Best regards, Thomas Koch

I don't really understand what's wrong with the current system (other than the engine apparently being dead as you say...well, and that it rejects user names that have only one capital letter as supposedly not being camel-cased). But if there's a lot of people who feel this way about it (and I don't know - are there?), then that could explain it's tendency to not get updated, in which case maybe it should be changed to something else. What do you mean by "offline editing" though? I'm not a fan of web interfaces in general either, but a wiki is a website, so I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I guess I haven't used ones of these offline editing wikis, unless you count committing/pushing a 'README.md' to github. Do you just mean something that has a published HTTP API (like REST or something) so that arbitrary non-web interfaces can be created?
Oct 31 2012
parent Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> writes:
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 I don't really understand what's wrong with the current system 

- no way to have site names without a camelCase - no history other then precedent version - no watched pages - ... surely much more if you try to really use it
 What do you mean by "offline editing" though?

You can git clone the whole content of the wiki, read offline, edit offline and push back to the online wiki. Other systems that allow that are for example ikiwiki, gitit and others
Oct 31 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent Andrej Mitrovic <andrej.mitrovich gmail.com> writes:
On 10/28/12, Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> wrote:
 [1] http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d

Also it has a rather weak search system. I often can't find pages even when I directly search for their titles. There's also the constant spam issue. If the wiki was somehow based on Git we could review pull requests before merging which would eliminate spam (+ we could put that "edit this page" button (on dlang.org) for wiki pages)
Oct 31 2012
prev sibling next sibling parent Johannes Pfau <nospam example.com> writes:
Am Wed, 31 Oct 2012 22:53:26 +0100
schrieb Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro>:

 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 I don't really understand what's wrong with the current system 


developers are already familiar with markdown syntax (github).
 - no way to have site names without a camelCase
 - no history other then precedent version

remember how I did it. The interface is not very intuitive.
 - no watched pages
 - ... surely much more if you try to really use it
 
 What do you mean by "offline editing" though?

You can git clone the whole content of the wiki, read offline, edit offline and push back to the online wiki.

I like to have a preview when editing wiki pages (no wysiwyg though), but as long as we have both online / offline editing that's no problem.
 Other systems that allow that are for example ikiwiki, gitit and
 others
 

Nov 01 2012
prev sibling parent reply Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> writes:
Hi,

there has been no objection in this thread[1], that the current D wiki is a 
burden and should be replaced. The only two proposals were the wiki engine 
build inside github (gollum[2], free software) and a Mediawiki instance like 
Haskell.

[1] http://forum.dlang.org/thread/k6jak1$quh$1 digitalmars.com
[2] https://github.com/github/gollum

I propose to go forward with the gollum proposal and enable the wiki 
functionality in the d-programming-language.org github project[3]. In 
addition it might also be a good idea to enable issues in the same project 
to track website and wiki related issues.

[3] https://github.com/D-Programming-Language/d-programming-language.org

Github is a proprietary, non-free, cloud service. But it allows you to 
export all your data. There's the debian package github-backup[5] that one 
can run by cron to clone all data (wiki, issues) related to a github 
project.

http://packages.qa.debian.org/g/github-backup.html

Afterwards I'd kindly ask the current wiki4d[5] maintainer Helmut Leitner to 
add a static notice to all wiki4d pages pointing to the new wiki.

[5] http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d

Do you agree?

Regards, Thomas Koch
Nov 06 2012
next sibling parent reply "David Nadlinger" <see klickverbot.at> writes:
On Wednesday, 7 November 2012 at 07:45:19 UTC, Thomas Koch wrote:
 Do you agree?

I still think Mediawiki is the better choice than Gollum if we want a full-fledged wiki. As far as I can see it, a large part of the dissatisfaction with the current wiki is precisely that it doesn't support many of the convenient features people have come to expect from modern wiki software. But Gollum seems to support even less features than the prowiki.org software. For example, Andrej mentioned above how annoying it was that the prowiki.org search doesn't work properly. Well, Gollum as running on github.com doesn't seem to support search at all! Or take user management: MediaWiki supports an extensive set of tools for setting permission, banning users, protecting pages, etc., which is proven to work in the real world. On the other hand, I don't think that Gollum, due to its nature, supports any kind of access control besides restricting wiki access to, in our case, d-programming-language.org contributors. This is a problem because an important part of the wiki concept is that everybody can edit all/most of the pages, _without_ prior review. For this to work, you also need to be able to take measures against vandalism. And for people just browsing the web for information about D, the fact that you can access the wiki pages as a Git repository with Gollum is simply not important at all (offline reading is also possible with MediaWiki, by the way, as commonly done with Wikipedia on mobile devices before the ubiquity of high-speed mobile internet connections). Well, it could quite possibly be that I am biased since I have a non-trivial number of contributions on two language editions of Wikipedia, but I still think that while the GitHub wiki is nice for having one or two pages of documentation with a few links for an open source project with zero effort, if we want a full-blown wiki for collecting and organization information about D, MediaWiki would be the best bet. It would certainly help to reduce the »awkwardness factor« of the current solution – after all, it is used by Wikipedia, many Linux distributions (Arch, Fedora, Gentoo, Suse, …), KDE, OpenOffice, and many other open source projects. Compared to it, most instances of other wiki systems almost invariably feel like a pile of mess to me. David
Nov 07 2012
parent Thomas Koch <thomas koch.ro> writes:
David Nadlinger wrote:
 I still think Mediawiki is the better choice than Gollum if we
 want a full-fledged wiki. As far as I can see it, a large part of
 the dissatisfaction with the current wiki is precisely that it
 doesn't support many of the convenient features people have come
 to expect from modern wiki software. But Gollum seems to support
 even less features than the prowiki.org software.

Hi David, as I said, I don't have a strong opinion here. I'd add "watched pages" as a missing feature in Gollum. On the other hand I've not yet found a solution to clone the content of a Mediawiki instance for offline reading and backup. (I'd much appreciate hints!) The only show stopper of Mediawiki would be, if there was nobody to host and maintain it for D. Can you recommend a Mediawiki hosting service? I'm a contributor to several Mediawiki instances myself and even while I'm hating PHP with a passion I'd still consider it for non-technical topics.
 For example, Andrej mentioned above how annoying it was that the
 prowiki.org search doesn't work properly. Well, Gollum as running
 on github.com doesn't seem to support search at all!

parameter to search only the wiki.
 Or take user management: MediaWiki supports an extensive set of
 tools for setting permission, banning users, protecting pages,
 etc., which is proven to work in the real world. On the other
 hand, I don't think that Gollum, due to its nature, supports any
 kind of access control besides restricting wiki access to, in our
 case, d-programming-language.org contributors. This is a problem
 because an important part of the wiki concept is that everybody
 can edit all/most of the pages, _without_ prior review. For this
 to work, you also need to be able to take measures against
 vandalism.

account can edit. Only the latter makes sense for us. Public editing without a github account is not possile (AFAIK). The restriction to github accounts should provide sufficient protection against spam. Best regards, Thomas Koch
Nov 07 2012
prev sibling parent "David Nadlinger" <see klickverbot.at> writes:
On Wednesday, 7 November 2012 at 16:01:52 UTC, Thomas Koch wrote:
 The only show stopper of Mediawiki would be, if there was 
 nobody to host and
 maintain it for D. Can you recommend a Mediawiki hosting 
 service?

This is a fair question I unfortunately don't have a good answer for. However, I was hoping that we could make the wiki "more official" by moving it to http://wiki.dlang.org anyway, so we might have a similar problem when e.g. going for Gollum. David
Nov 07 2012