Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Programming > HTML > A new web authoring wiki?

Reply
Thread Tools

A new web authoring wiki?

 
 
Stewart Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-22-2006
Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived as a
wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring wiki? Or is
anybody else thinking about it?

We might be able to start something on Wikia (fka Wikicities) or a
similar service. For that matter, I found this

http://html.wikia.com

however,
- it seems abandoned
- it seems intended to be an HTML reference, rather than an
advice-sharing wiki as AMF was
- it seems to be specifically an HTML wiki (except for an instance of
somebody thinking CSS is HTML), while I'm envisioning something that
could potentially cover all web languages and technologies, not to
mention web design

What I'm thinking of is something similar to AMF. Of course, we
probably don't need such things as the Usenetiquette articles that were
in AMF - while Usenetiquette is an important concept, it's off topic to
the field of web authoring and design.

What do people think?

Stewart.
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Toby Inkster
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-22-2006
Stewart Gordon wrote:

> Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived as a
> wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring wiki?


http://allmyfaqs.net/

(Read-only though.)

> Of course, we probably don't need such things as the Usenetiquette
> articles that were in AMF - while Usenetiquette is an important concept,
> it's off topic to the field of web authoring and design.


But it's arguably useless as a FAQ unless such topics are covered.

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Toby Inkster
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-22-2006
Stewart Gordon wrote:

> We might be able to start something on Wikia (fka Wikicities) or a
> similar service.


After the lesson of AMF, I think we need to go better than a service
hosted by some company somewhere which coule wind up at any time.

We need to register a domain name, host it with an established company.
Three or four people whould share the costs and each have a set of
login details to give them access to make updates, take backups, etc.

The host should be aware of this arrangement lest any one of the
caretakers try to gain full control of the site. Any of the caretakers can
choose to drop out of the arrangement at any time, in which case there
could be a vote on alt.html for who would replace them, with each existing
caretaker having one veto.

The site could have some minimalist advertising (e.g. Google Adwords) to
help cover its costs and reduce the financial burden on the caretakers.

Whatsmore it might make sense to share the site with some of our cousins
in comp.infosystems.www.authoring.*, comp.lang.php, alt.www.webmaster,
etc, many of which are also lacking FAQs.

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

 
Reply With Quote
 
Jukka K. Korpela
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-23-2006
Toby Inkster <(E-Mail Removed)> scripsit:

> After the lesson of AMF, I think we need to go better than a service
> hosted by some company somewhere which coule wind up at any time.


After the lessons of Tom Boutell's web authoring FAQ (which was once the
Great One, though mainly because it was the only one, then became very dusty
before it was decently buried), WDG's web authoring FAQ (which became almost
abandoned), and now AMF, I'm rather pessimistic about web authoring FAQs.
Oh, I had some experience with irt.org's FAQs too, though mainly only with
the JavaScript FAQ there, and irt.org seems to be virtually frozen now -
they still have a huge number of questions and answers, though largely due
to duplication, and often with _wrong_ (or outdated) answers.

New FAQs are born, they grow and then degrade, since people who created them
have to take some day job, or take their day job seriously, or they find
other issues more interesting. In particular, when new people get the idea
of contributing to the community via FAQs, they regularly start building a
new one, instead of giving help to something that exist, or volunteering to
take responsibility for them. (The wiki approach gives the illusion of
shared responsibility, but as we know, shared responsibility means that
nobody takes responsibility.)

So I guess my advice is: if you wish to work on FAQs, find one that has
chances of survival and reasonable existing content, and try to help with
it. Building yet another one would probably result in something that becomes
almost as good as some of the current dusty FAQs before you lose interest in
it.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Stewart Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-23-2006
Toby Inkster wrote:
> Stewart Gordon wrote:
>
>> Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived as a
>> wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring wiki?

>
> http://allmyfaqs.net/
>
> (Read-only though.)


What are you talking about?

Do you have even a remote idea of the meaning of the word "wiki"?

>> Of course, we probably don't need such things as the Usenetiquette
>> articles that were in AMF - while Usenetiquette is an important concept,
>> it's off topic to the field of web authoring and design.

>
> But it's arguably useless as a FAQ unless such topics are covered.


Thinking about giving it FAQ status is a bridge that we can cross when
we get a little nearer to it.

Stewart.
 
Reply With Quote
 
Stewart Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-23-2006
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> Toby Inkster <(E-Mail Removed)> scripsit:
>
>> After the lesson of AMF, I think we need to go better than a service
>> hosted by some company somewhere which coule wind up at any time.


AIUI it was Jerry, rather than the hosting company, that wound up.
Moreover, I'm inclined to think that a wiki hosted on an established
wiki service is likely to survive longer than something privately hosted
that may die any time if the creator abandons it.

> After the lessons of Tom Boutell's web authoring FAQ (which was once the
> Great One, though mainly because it was the only one, then became very
> dusty before it was decently buried), WDG's web authoring FAQ (which
> became almost abandoned), and now AMF, I'm rather pessimistic about web
> authoring FAQs. Oh, I had some experience with irt.org's FAQs too,
> though mainly only with the JavaScript FAQ there, and irt.org seems to
> be virtually frozen now - they still have a huge number of questions and
> answers, though largely due to duplication, and often with _wrong_ (or
> outdated) answers.


This thread is about wikis, rather than FAQs....

OK, so it might have some of the essence of a FAQ. But it could just as
well double as a FFTAQ (frequently forgotten-to-ask questions).

> New FAQs are born, they grow and then degrade, since people who created
> them have to take some day job, or take their day job seriously, or they
> find other issues more interesting. In particular, when new people get
> the idea of contributing to the community via FAQs, they regularly start
> building a new one, instead of giving help to something that exist, or
> volunteering to take responsibility for them.


Good point. I guess one of the reasons that people start their own is
that they want something that they have control of, rather than some
site maintained by someone else which may or may not be still actively
maintained, and to which their contributions may be rejected anyway. A
wiki would suit some of these people, if they would like to contribute
to a joint effort. Even if some of the time it has only one or two
people actively maintaining it, which may change from time to time, then
it's still better than a ghost site.

> (The wiki approach gives
> the illusion of shared responsibility, but as we know, shared
> responsibility means that nobody takes responsibility.)


Good point there. But just because nobody is taking responsibility
doesn't mean that nobody is doing a good job of improving the content.

> So I guess my advice is: if you wish to work on FAQs, find one that has
> chances of survival and reasonable existing content, and try to help
> with it.


Having such a thing in wiki form would make doing this very easy indeed.

> Building yet another one would probably result in something
> that becomes almost as good as some of the current dusty FAQs before you
> lose interest in it.


That's true of privately maintained FAQs. Speaking of which, I set up

http://smjg.port5.com/faqs/web/

some time ago, and while it's indeed stale, I haven't given up on it - I
just haven't dedicated much time to it over my other assorted projects.

Indeed, a wiki could even bring together content from assorted dusty
FAQs. Copyright permission permitting, of course.

Stewart.
 
Reply With Quote
 
David Segall
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-23-2006
Stewart Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived as a
>wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring wiki?

I think that this would be tremendous waste of the time and talents of
the major contributors to this group. There is more than enough
information on the web and in text books about the routine aspects of
web authoring. If someone posts here because they don't know what to
look for or they are too lazy to look then another web authoring site
won't help them. A beginner or a casual HTML user like me can usually
answer their question.

The experts should be encouraged to write essays on "xxx is harmful"
such as <http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www/click.html> or some
specialist aspect of the craft that interests them like
<http://nrkn.com/backgroundWidth/>. The latter is extremely helpful if
you need it and unlikely to appear in a general authoring Wiki.

Unfortunately, the most frequently asked question in this group cannot
be answered by a static web site. We need a site to which I could
submit a document and it would tell me why it renders "correctly" in
Internet Explorer but not in Firefox or Opera.
 
Reply With Quote
 
Jukka K. Korpela
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-23-2006
Stewart Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> scripsit:

> This thread is about wikis, rather than FAQs....


Well, this is Usenet. You ask a question, we write something related or
unrelated. If it happens to answer your question, that's coincidental.

FAQs would be important if they were real FAQs with right answers. There
days, people don't read instructions, still less manuals. When they
encounter a problem, they want problem-oriented information - and a list of
frequently asked questions with correct answers, preferable organized in
some user-friendly structure and a search function, is what people would
like to use and would benefit from.

Whatever you mean by wiki (some people think wiki is an encyclopedia, some
think it's a discussion forum, etc.), it's something different. But since
you mentioned the AllMyFAQs wiki, it was natural to expect that you had a
FAQ-like wiki, or even a FAQ implemented as a wiki, in your mind. Such an
approach sounds easy but it doesn't produce a real FAQ.

> OK, so it might have some of the essence of a FAQ. But it could just
> as well double as a FFTAQ (frequently forgotten-to-ask questions).


It would undoubtedly become that too - just as many "FAQ pages" or even "FAQ
sections" on web pages are just collections of biased answers to questions
that the site owner would like his visitors to ask. Why would anyone read an
FFTAQ? If you know you need to _study_ things, you read a tutorial, or a
manual, or a book.

>> Building yet another one would probably result in something
>> that becomes almost as good as some of the current dusty FAQs before
>> you lose interest in it.

>
> That's true of privately maintained FAQs.


I have even less faith on unmaintained FAQs, which is what a wiki FAQ would
be as far as you follow the original wiki principle "anyone can modify at
will".

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

 
Reply With Quote
 
Stewart Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-24-2006
David Segall wrote:
> Stewart Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived
>> as a wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring
>> wiki?

>
> I think that this would be tremendous waste of the time and talents
> of the major contributors to this group. There is more than enough
> information on the web and in text books about the routine aspects of
> web authoring. If someone posts here because they don't know what to
> look for or they are too lazy to look then another web authoring
> site won't help them. A beginner or a casual HTML user like me can
> usually answer their question.


http://allmyfaqs.net/

AllMyFAQs is not:
* a replacement for newsgroups

Yet you seem to think that any new wiki would have to be a replacement
for newsgroups and nothing more.

Take a look at

http://webtips.dan.info/

Only a small handful of the pages deal with answering the kinds of
questions that people might ask in a web authoring newsgroup. And it
also goes into depth beyond that of the average HTML tutorial.

OK, so that isn't a wiki, but there's no reason that people can't write
articles for a wiki that are conceptually similar to these pieces. And
wikis have been used many times over for a lot more than answering
questions that are often asked on newsgroups. For some successful (so
far) examples, see

http://www.wikipedia.org/
http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi

> The experts should be encouraged to write essays on "xxx is harmful"
> such as <http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www/click.html> or some
> specialist aspect of the craft that interests them like
> <http://nrkn.com/backgroundWidth/>. The latter is extremely helpful
> if you need it and unlikely to appear in a general authoring Wiki.


Unless somebody adds it.

> Unfortunately, the most frequently asked question in this group
> cannot be answered by a static web site. We need a site to which I
> could submit a document and it would tell me why it renders
> "correctly" in Internet Explorer but not in Firefox or Opera.


How about

http://validator.w3.org/

?

Stewart.
 
Reply With Quote
 
David Segall
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-24-2006
Stewart Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>David Segall wrote:
>> Stewart Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> Now that it seems decided that AllMyFaqs isn't going to be revived
>>> as a wiki, has anybody undertaken to start a new web authoring
>>> wiki?

>>
>> I think that this would be tremendous waste of the time and talents
>> of the major contributors to this group. There is more than enough
>> information on the web and in text books about the routine aspects of
>> web authoring. If someone posts here because they don't know what to
>> look for or they are too lazy to look then another web authoring
>> site won't help them. A beginner or a casual HTML user like me can
>> usually answer their question.

>
>http://allmyfaqs.net/
>
>AllMyFAQs is not:
>* a replacement for newsgroups
>
>Yet you seem to think that any new wiki would have to be a replacement
>for newsgroups and nothing more.

I did not intend to argue that. I feared that the extremely useful
posters in this group might be distracted into writing yet another web
site devoted to web authoring. As a consequence they might not be
available to answer my questions or they might not produce a web
page of their own that illuminates a tiny corner of the subject area
that would otherwise remain in the dark.
>Take a look at
>
>http://webtips.dan.info/
>
>Only a small handful of the pages deal with answering the kinds of
>questions that people might ask in a web authoring newsgroup. And it
>also goes into depth beyond that of the average HTML tutorial.

Exactly. Almost all the information needed about web authoring is
already available. Google does an adequate job of making the
information accessible so there is no need for another web site on the
subject.
>
>
>> Unfortunately, the most frequently asked question in this group
>> cannot be answered by a static web site. We need a site to which I
>> could submit a document and it would tell me why it renders
>> "correctly" in Internet Explorer but not in Firefox or Opera.

>
>How about
>
>http://validator.w3.org/
>
>?

A necessary start but it would not solve the problem for most posters.
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are there any good articles on setting up web-authoring for ASP.NET malcolm ASP .Net 0 11-16-2004 11:12 PM
Does anyone know of any good articles on how to set up web authoring in ASP.NET? malcolm ASP .Net 0 10-08-2004 08:38 PM
utilizing output dll from any web authoring tools Mokong ASP .Net 1 12-17-2003 04:31 PM
[ANN] Web Publisher - Web Authoring Tool for Eclipse with Ruby Technorogies Narushima Hironori Ruby 0 11-11-2003 08:43 PM
Can I use IIS integrated Source Code Control for web authoring from a web App? Vince C. ASP General 2 09-05-2003 03:00 PM



Advertisments