[Haskell-cafe] What about adding a wiki for each haskell project?
wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Sun Dec 13 07:54:04 EST 2009
Ketil Malde wrote:
> wren ng thornton <wren at freegeek.org> writes:
>>> Using a wiki page for each project enables anybody to add comments.[...]
> I think this is a great idea.
>> Because of Duncan's concerns about imposing too much burden on
>> authors, and because there are many mature projects which already have
>> wikis etc, I have a counter-proposal.
> I don't this this is the same thing. Marc's proposal would provide a
> scratch pad for random users to discuss or comment on various stuff on
> Hackage. At least the way I see it, it is primarily *not* for use by
> the author, and in fact most useful when the author is not around to
> actively support his project.
But if it's a wiki, wouldn't people be able to add changes themselves?
Isn't that the idea behind wikis? Sure, the authors could lock down
their wikis, but I don't get the feeling that many would.
My interpretation of Duncan's concern ---not meaning to put words in his
mouth--- is that adding a Hackage wiki could place undue burden on the
authors. If authors already have a wiki, then a Hackage wiki is just an
extra place to check for feedback which will be prone to duplication and
I understand that y'all think giving users a place for feedback is
different than giving authors the tools to communicate with their users,
but I don't think they're all that different. Why not push for authors
to have a section of their wikis devoted to users' notes? That would
have the same effect of allowing users to speak out without fracturing
each project's community. Institutionalizing a place for users to make
comments separate from the authors' resources can't be a good thing. It
sets up a community divide between users and authors. It can confuse new
users who can't figure out which to go to for official answers. It can
cause users to just post their fixes rather than trying to contact the
maintainers. Etc. I can't think of any way this separation could lead to
good for any project's community.
> E.g. my package that was used as an example, while (arguably) useful, is
> way to small for me to bother with setting up a full site with web pages
> or bug trackers, etc.
So someone else should set them up for you? I don't get it. Either you
want ways to communicate with your users or you don't. If it's just a
matter of not wanting to do the work *yourself*, then I'm back to my
previous post. The community server (or similar hosts) should make it
trivial to set things up. I think it only takes one command to set up
Trac on community.haskell.org.
The only thing I can think might need changing is if the community
server only allows per-project Trac instances instead of also having
per-user instances so someone can have a single one for all their little
projects. If they don't offer per-user instances (I haven't checked)
then I'm all for adding them.
> Other packages are orphaned or see little
> interest from their author.
That's a separate issue isn't it? Why not have an adopt-a-package
program where the community determines which packages are orphaned and
sets up and maintains wikis and other resources for them until a new
maintainer can be found? We have a long history of community-based
maintenance for the main libraries that (used to) ship with GHC. It may
not be the best model, but it should suffice for keeping the cobwebs off.
I don't have anything against wikis, nor against Hackage having links to
wikis. But I don't think Hackage is the right place for hosting the
wikis themselves. This has the distinct feel of trying to legislate
community into existence. But community isn't something you can
legislate. Adding things to try to force community building just leads
to bloated web-interfaces and trivializes the communities that do exist.
There are a number of project hosts that have gone down this route, and
it leads to ghettoization and abandoned projects with lots of
infrastructure around their carcasses. The more forced overhead there is
the more people will decide not to post their small projects, and the
more quickly they'll abandon them if they do post.
The thing I've liked most about Hackage is that it's like CPAN but
moreso. CPAN is an excellent resource, but it has a few sticking points
that make the barrier to entry and the cost of posting higher than they
should be. Places like SourceForge or GoogleCode have very high barriers
to entry, but they're going after a different audience. I think we want
to emulate CPAN more than SF, for the sake of growing a wide collection
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