[Haskell-cafe] [meta] the haskell wiki management

Andrea Rossato mailing_list at istitutocolli.org
Wed Jul 25 07:13:23 EDT 2007

On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 11:14:59AM +0100, Neil Mitchell wrote:
> > You know, changing a wiki page title means breaking all links to that
> > page from other sites. So, changing an old page title, means taking
> > that page off the Net.
>  Not if the redirect is done, certainly wikipedia does this.

I must confess I did not know about this redirect stuff, and I
apologize for that. I did not want to insinuate that changing the page
title was done with the intent of taking that page off the Net,
either. I thought it was only an unintended by product of the

>  Clearly something here has violated the "be friendly" policy which I
>  think is the most important policy that governs all wiki/IRC/mailing
>  list stuff. If something as simple as a redirect can solve it all,
>  then great.

I don't think you are right on this point. I do not think that what
happened to me is due to some kind of personal problem. I think that
the person I had some problem with, did so because he perceived that
in doing so he was improving the wiki. And he is probably right.

This is why I addressed the issue openly. I think it's a problem of
wiki management.

Producing wiki content is a difficult task, not much less than writing
good software. It takes time, and you get no public recognition - yes,
you can sign the page but the reader doesn't perceive he's using it as
it would with a piece of code.

In other words, you must be double motivated to write wiki content
like a long tutorial. Sometimes you write it for teaching people how
to use your software, indeed.

You must be very careful with rising the level of entrance with
guidelines and other rules. And if you do that, you must be very
careful not to use those rules in a way that is perceived as

It turned out that one of the rules that was applied to me was wrongly
applied. And it was wrongly applied because no attention to the
content I was writing had been paid. And I had to invest time to get
the problem sorted out.

Now, having people messing with the content you are providing, without
paying attention to it, just to have it conformed to some stylistic
guidelines is just what pisses the author off. Am I right?

Why not using this energy to help the author with the content itself.
Isn't this *the* wiki way?

I'm asking because I invested time in wiki technologies myself. I was
the author of a wiki - UniWakka it was called - and I had to face wiki
management issues too. I do believe that some kind of style should be
imposed by the software itself, without any more guidelines. Some lack
of uniformity may be the price to be paid to have a leaving, ever
growing wiki. If you want a nice looking web site, well, stay away
from wikis. But this is a topic we can discuss if someone has some
interest in it.

Thanks for your kind attention.


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