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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: fyi wiki statistics
Date Tue, 07 Jan 2003 22:01:43 GMT
Greg Stein wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 07, 2003 at 11:53:52AM -0500, Ben Hyde wrote:
> 
>>...
>>It turns out if you build a event driven mail based notification system 
>>you shortly there after discover that it's too painful to use.  The 
>>Wiki model results in editors writing changes so they can preview; and 
>>in tangles of nodes going thru periods of total chaos[1] as an editor 
>>attempts to make any changes that involve more than one node.  Both 
>>these make the change stream very hard to read.  I suspect that much of 
>>that could be resolved by sending mail with changes "when the dust 
>>settles".
> 
> 
> Bah. Use SubWiki, check out the Wiki pages into a working copy, make all
> your changes, then commit them. Regular commit email sends the full bunch of
> changes.
> 
> Simple as that :-)

You are stating that:

  0) download a working copy [this is done only once]
  1) go to a page
  2) edit it
  3) save it
  4) commit the page

is comparably simple with

  1) go to a page
  2) edit it
  3) save it

and I disagree.

The (only?) beauty of a wiki is its dead-simple editing cycle.

It can hardly be simpler than what it already is. Introducing an 
explicit version control cycle (because commits are exactly that) might 
seem relatively simple (or even totally natural) for somebody (all of us 
if we are committers) that is used to it but might not be for users that 
simply want to give some help.

As Jeff brilliantly put it on the forrest-dev list: users don't rant, 
they quietly leave.

Here, you could say: users don't complain about how hard the 
documentation system is, simply they don't use it to contribute.

Between having a smarter diff-sending algorithm transparently do the job 
on the users behalf and an explicit commit cycle, I'd go for the first 
even if it removes only *one* step, it might be a difference between 100 
  people using the wiki and 150, 50 of which are scared by the concept 
of 'committing'.

Paint me PITA, but I think it's worth playing devil's advocate on this 
muddy ground.

-- 
Stefano Mazzocchi                               <stefano@apache.org>
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