[Haskell] Making Haskell more open

Wolfgang Jeltsch wolfgang at jeltsch.net
Fri Nov 11 07:56:41 EST 2005

Am Donnerstag, 10. November 2005 12:27 schrieb Simon Peyton-Jones:
> [...]

> - Work is afoot to move GHC's source-code repository to Darcs, to make
>   it easier for people to contribute patches

Is it planned to split the current big monolithic repository into multiple 
repositories in conjunction with doing the CVS-to-darcs transition?  I'd 
strongly recommend this.  What do others think?

> [...]

> 	* The GHC user manual [currently generated using DocBook]

I think it should continue to be written in DocBook.  (It should switch to 
DocBook XML if it's still using SGML DocBook.)  XML documents are "type-safe" 
in contrast to LaTeX documents, for example.  XML is well supported.  DocBook 
stresses logical markup and allows very specific markup and therefore 
supports conversion into different formats (HTML, PDF, ...) very well.  
Again, what do others think?

> [...]

>   Does anyone have experience of a larger-scale Wiki like this?  (A
>   few people have mentioned MediaWiki to me [MW], but I know nothing
>   about it.)

MediaWiki is the software behind Wikipedia [1] so it should be well suited for 
large wikis. :-)  In addition, I like the fact that with MediaWiki you can 
give articles nice names and use alternative names in link texts so you 
aren't forced to write sentences like: "You can solve this problem with 
MultiParameterTypeClasses." but you can write correct English sentences like: 
"You can solve this problem with multi-parameter type classes."

>   How would we make sure it stayed organised?  And avoid 
>   getting screwed up by malicious folk?

At Wikipedia, you can log in and modify content and you can modify content 
while not being logged in.  In the first case, the history mentions your 
username, in the second case, it mentions your IP address.  I think, 
MediaWiki can be configured so that only logged-in users are able to do 
modifications.  As far as I can remember, I once saw a site using MediaWiki, 
which didn't allow modifications from non-registered users.

But honestly, would we need to protect ourselfs from malicious folk?  At 
Wikipedia, they have problem with malicious people at a couple of articles, 
so they sometimes have to lock articles.  (This tells us that article locking 
obviously is another feature of WikiMedia.  As far as I know, this kind of 
locking can be done by different persons, not just one super user.)  But who 
would want to screw up pages about Haskell?

I could imagine that making the Haskell Website a wiki is a really good idea.  
At least, Wikipedia shows how much of high-quality content can evolve out of 
a wiki project.

> [...]

> Simon

Best wishes,

[1] http://www.wikipedia.org/

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