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From "Xavier Hanin" <>
Subject Re: documentation
Date Fri, 18 Apr 2008 10:25:18 GMT
On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Brown, Carlton <> wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Xavier Hanin []
> [...]
> >
> > Maybe because we don't really use it. It seems some people
> > would be interested in contributing to an open form of
> > documentation as a wiki (which doesn't replace the official
> > reference documentation, which IMHO is better managed at the
> > same place as the sources). So maybe the problem is that we
> > need to initialize the effort. Maybe it's because people
> > aren't used to MoinMoin, or don't like it. I often see people
> > saying they prefer Confluence, I do prefer confluence too.
> > Since we have almost nothing on our current wiki, maybe we
> > could consider migrating to a confluence wiki, and see if
> > more people get involved?
> My 2 cents... IMO, the choice of the wiki software is not the main
> concern.  Some wiki languages are irritating, and it's also irritating that
> so many exist.  But all of them are trivial and easily learned within a few
> minutes.  Confluence is preferable because it can be extended with Java, but
> the big need we have here is committing text somewhere.

I agree, but I still think having a confluence wiki would be better. First,
in JIRA we have activated the wiki syntax, which is the same as confluence
one. So using confluence it would be only one wiki syntax to learn for both
the wiki and issues. Secondly, I think with confluence you have a rich text
editor, which can be useful for people who don't want to learn the syntax,
or for tables which are cumbersome to write and maintain in wiki syntax.
Lastly, I much prefer the look of confluence pages over MoinMoin.

So I think it doesn't make a real difference, and we may still lack user
contributed documentation with a confluence wiki, still I'd like to move to
confluence for Ivy wiki.

> I'd prefer to see a public-access Subversion branch for documentation.
>  This would make it easier to accumulate changes and merge them into the
> reference docs.

This can't be done @ ASF AFAIK. With a distributed SCM it would be very
easy, but with svn it will be more complex. Still anyone can create a copy
of the documentation sources and host a svn with publica access somewhere.
Not sure how it would attract people though.

 Although I think the reference docs could be organized more intuitively, at
> least you can find them if you know the XML schema.  The biggest need is to
> add more content, cross-referencing, and completing the pages that end with
> "see tutorial".

Patches are welcome :-)

> I do think a wiki would be good for collecting common techniques,
> patterns, and use-case stories.  I would want to initialize the effort on
> the existing MoinMoin site unless someone sees a great advantage in doing
> otherwise.

That would really be nice. Maybe you can wait a little bit just to see if we
migrate to confluence before starting your contribution. Or you can start
now, migrating syntax shouldn't be that hard, the "hard" part is writing
good content :-)


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Xavier Hanin - Independent Java Consultant

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