Wiki as user manual (was Re: Self Introduction: Frank)

Karsten Wade kwade at
Mon May 21 10:09:43 UTC 2007

This was an unsent email that had some value, so I am completing and
sending.  We'll have to start these ideas in earnest once Fedora 7 is
out the door.

On Sun, 2007-04-29 at 13:26 -0700, Francis Earl wrote: 
> There are no User Manuals for Fedora users, I believe the wiki should
> become exactly that. A User Manual for Users by Users, and I don't think
> such things can be written by anyone but the users  :)

I've been sitting with this idea all day (month), and it keeps popping
back forward into my thoughts.  I'm really liking this idea; it's a
reinventing of what the Fedora Wiki has become.

It has been the *everything* Website.  For that reason, you find:

* Tighter ACLs
* Unobvious and confusing mixture of "formal project content" from
"community documentation."
* Too many processes in confusing places being applied through the Wiki
* The Wiki is a beat-up hammer, and every problem is a nail
* Etc.

The CMS we are very actively working on making live (Plone) gives us a
way to make "easy to write and edit" available, similar to a Wiki,
without having to force the Wiki to be a pseudo-CMS.

This means we can reinvent the Wiki as a community open collaboration
space.  We can change the rules to be easier on "how docs should sound".

Frank, what you have come across (that isn't making sense to you from
where you have been before) is this -- the Wiki was forced into services
it really wasn't made for.

> I feel like I just went through an interview process, is that really the
> feel people want for contribution to the project?

Maybe not so much, but maybe just a little bit.  To contribute to the
bigger documentation effort, yes, we want to know that you have a clue,
can write, can put thoughts together coherently, and (very importantly)
are going to stick around long enough to help maintain the content you
are contributing.

For the Wiki and community documentation, nope, we probably do not need
anything like this.

Fortunately, we have the all-clear to make the Wiki easier with a
click-through CLA and no GPG-signing of anything.  Another post-Fedora 7
release task to handle.

- Karsten
   Karsten Wade, 108 Editor       ^     Fedora Documentation Project 
 Sr. Developer Relations Mgr.     |           |          gpg key: AD0E0C41
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