Subject: RE: mechanised documentation and my business model solution
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 21:29:55 -0800

At 7:56 PM -0700 3/24/06, Anderson, Kelly wrote:
> I would pay for it if it existed, but the liklihood of it
> existing seems fairly close to 0 based on current offerings.

You're welcome to your opinion, of course, but I find that many
of the books published about Open Source offerings are useful.
I have many fine books from Addison Wesley, Morgan Kaufmann,
O'Reilly, Prentice Hall, etc.  There is also some good work from
emerging publishers such as Apress and Pragmatic Bookshelf.

> If you don't like the way a Wiki is organized, then reorganize it.

Re-organizing an existing wiki that someone else has created is a
quick way to make enemies.  I do, on occasion, contribute to pages
and make corrections, but I leave the basic structure alone unless
I have gotten a clear go-ahead by the stakeholders.

> I also agree that Wikis aren't the silver bullet, but they are
> very useful, and I wish SourceForge would put a Wiki page up
> for every project they host. That would be very cool, wouldn't it?

Yes, it would, but I wouldn't expect most of the resulting wikis to
be useful.  Many SourceForge projects don't even have a paragraph of
descriptive information about the project, let alone a mailing list
or other amenities.  Still, a wiki might allow interested parties to
make comments, etc.

> I agree that Wiki software COULD be improved for purposes of
> documentation.  It's a project I'd like to tackle someday.

I've been looking at the issue for a while now.  My initial notion
was to take a small, malleable wiki (e.g., Instiki) and add some
desired features.  Lately, however, I'm leaning toward using some
well-developed wiki (e.g., MediaWiki) and simply pre-loading it to
contain the desired material.  See this weblog entry for details:

  Mechanically-augmented wikis
  http://www.cfcl.com/~rdm/weblog/archives/001002.html

-r
-- 
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm            Rich Morin
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/resume     rdm@cfcl.com
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/weblog     +1 650-873-7841

Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development