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#41 2004-12-17 00:07:47

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,415
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

<em>Alicson wrote:
<blockquote><strong>“my biggest immediate thought? iâ

Last edited by Destry (2004-12-17 00:19:00)

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#42 2004-12-17 01:00:32

hakjoon
Moderator
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,634
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

The wiki does seem to be progressing pretty well. I’ve been swamped at work with beat testing so I have had little time to really look at it but I see some nice entries in there and I like the overall structure.

It does take some getting used to the wiki concepts. I have to agree with Remillard that Textile would be very welcome. I also think it would be great to have this live in a TXP powered site but I can’t think of any way to do the sort of collaborative development that the wiki opens up Maybe it could be a joint documentation model kind of like what Wordpress does. The docs could be fleshed out in the wiki and at a certain level of completion versions of the manual would get rolled out as the release document.


Shoving is the answer – pusher robot

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#43 2004-12-17 02:28:06

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,415
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

hakjoon,

You’re more or less on the same line of thinking as what few others have bothered to voice…develop the content in the wiki to a fairly refined point, then port it over to a TxP install where it can be all fancied-up with CSS in a nice TxP-branded fashion.

But it’s early, who knows what evil lurks.

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#44 2004-12-17 08:54:00

Dean
Founder (Gone, but not forgotten)
From: Languedoc
Registered: 2004-02-14
Posts: 235
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

> Remillard wrote:

> Oh, as far as where the MediaWiki is stashed, there’s really not much that’s on the current one that can’t be duplicated. If it moves, now would be a very good time :). Textpattern.net seems like a good name though somehow ;-).

Okay, I’ve set up textpattern.net on one of our sandbox servers at Textdrive, and sent the login coordinates to Remillard (let me know if you need any help moving over tarballs or mysqldumps).

I like the way this is coming together.


text*

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#45 2004-12-18 04:32:50

Remillard
Plugin Author
From: Lenexa, KS
Registered: 2004-05-16
Posts: 169

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Good evening (or early morning or whatever wherever you are).

The TextBook wiki has been successfully moved to its new home.

The address is: http://textpattern.net/wiki/

So get your thinking caps on, limber up those typing fingers and get ready.

Lay on!

Regards,
Remillard

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#46 2004-12-18 10:21:39

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,415
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Thanks for the space, Dean.
Thanks for making it work, Remillard.

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#47 2004-12-18 14:35:43

alicson
Member
Registered: 2004-05-26
Posts: 465
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

coolio :)


textpattern.org :: find and share Textpattern resources
docs.textpattern.io :: Textpattern user documentation

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#48 2004-12-19 01:34:34

jdueck
Plugin Author
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 147
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Hello all! I don’t have a lot of time just now, but would appreciate some email if there’s any interest in using material from my Textpattern Semantics article. I have a login on the site, but not much experience in using a wiki.

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#49 2004-12-26 20:03:21

alexandra
Member
From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,370

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Hie,

i did not read the whole thread, sorry but i guess, i got the idea and intentions.

Right now i am all confused about the various docu efforts. There is Alicsons textpattern.org and a TextBook on textpattern.net and some personal blogs (kursor, morton) with a lot of stuff, there was a Wiki, which was canceled a while ago…

Looking at this through the eyes of an foreigner and beginner one has to get confused.

I am no great Wiki user so i set up a txp blog which contains txp stuff and links in german, my nativ language. As well i started transferring Alicsons Site into german. Why do you not all work on Alicsons Site? Now there is another (i guess useless attempt) to set up a Wiki which is called TextBook and hosted under textpattern.net. Sorry, this is just confusing and does not help centralising documentation.

alex

ps: in germany three Wikis failed already

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#50 2004-12-27 14:28:07

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,415
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Alexandra,

I think your real frustration here is that in your efforts to offer translation services, you are confused about what resources to actually translate. Very legitimate frustration indeed, if it is true. But whether or not that is the case, I do think you have a rather pessimistic view of <em>TextBook</em>, and are a little off target in your thinking that it’s “useless,” so let me give you some other angles to consider.

First, you indicate that you are a beginner. I’m a beginner too, relatively new to Textpattern, and I am not finding the existing “documentation” (a false label) to be very helpful, so rather than just gripe like most people do, I am trying to do something about it as well — not only for me, but for all new TxP users now and in the future, and that’s why I initiated the <a href=“http://textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page”><em>TextBook</em></a> effort, a community effort to create a real TxP user manual that all other documentation efforts feed.

<strong>What is a <em>real</em> documentation effort?</strong>
Let’s make clear what a <em>real</em> “documentation effort” is in general, whether for Textpattern or anything else. A real documentation effort is one in which the finished documentation product (user manual) is immediately relevent to current product version, presents concepts in a logical manner, is concisely-written, is consistent in style and tone, is thoroughly tested, is religiously edited, is authoritative (meaning official), and is styled to reflect the product it’s discussing (i.e., has proper branding). In theory, if a tech product was shipped on a CD-ROM, this is the kind of documentation that would go with it. This <em>real</em> effort is the idea behind the <em>TextBook</em> initiative, and it’s the only <em>real</em> Textpattern documentation effort at all; at least as it’s clear from anything talked about in this community forum so far.

<strong>Comparing the current options…</strong>
The other resources you mention are not documentation efforts as suggested above. The Weblog stuff is simply that — <em>ad hoc</em> tutorials posted on personal Weblogs by anybody and about anything. Certainly they are noble in their cause and useful to many people, but they are NOT a real documentation effort, they are just small pieces of the puzzle that need to be collected, reworked, and integrated into a single, authoritative manual. Alicson’s Resources site, was a huge and badly needed step towards corraling all of the Weblog tutorials into a single window for easy finding, but that’s all it is so far, a portal that essentially maps to the previous Weblog stuff; there’s still no consistency in writing, there’s still no content editing, there’s still no logical concept flow that a real user manual would provide, etc; it’s just people’s various Weblog articles all roped into one place.

<em>TextBook</em> is not competing with the Resources site, it is a different animal. <em>TextBook</em> is solely focused on a comprehensive, authoritative, centralized user manual, whereas the Resources site is simply a directory of sorts for the <em>ad hoc</em> stuff already out there (including TxP template donations, plugins, etc.). In fact, it would be worth pointing out that <em>TextBook</em> is intended as a product in support of the Resources site, just as you suggest, because it will actually be a comprehensive source of information added to the Resources site collection. You can already see the placeholder for it in the Resources site, on the <a href=“http://textpattern.org/about/”><em>About</em></a> page, right under the <em>Pending</em> section (which is apparently a little outdated at the moment). You can surely expect the Resources site to be reorginized to better reflect it’s objectives, present its resources, and to accomodate other contributions like <em>TextBook</em>.

<strong>Why a wiki now…</strong>
<em>TextBook</em> is being developed in a wiki, and wikis have a tendency to fail; this is true. They fail because of two main reasons: lack of planning in their creation and poor control of their expansion. By their nature, wikis can spiral out of control very quickly, and when that happens, people generally abandon them, and the effort dies. I would say this is not the case with <em>TextBook</em>; so far it is shaping up very nicely, and unless someone intentionally disregards the basic user guidelines already established in the wiki, then the user manual should continue to develop in a clear, organized manner. If you had read this thread in more detail, you would also have noted that the wiki is not considered the permanent home of the <em>TextBook</em> manual; it’s only being used to assemble the major chapter sections. When <TextBook</em> is more complete and content is reletively revised to a fine level, it will be relocated into a more suitable environment where simple edits/revisions and better presentation will be achievable (e.g. an actual TxP installation). That’s the idea, anyway.

<strong>Contributions…</strong>
If there is one thing that might slow the development of <em>TextBook</em>, it would be the community’s refusal to contribute to it, and though that might still turn out to be the case, it is way too soon to cast judgement in that respect. Grassroots documentation takes time to develop; nobody is getting paid to do it, so it’s expected that Textpattern users, community members, and/or Weblog authors will continue to write <em>how-to</em> articles for Textpattern on their own Weblogs, and by doing so they continue to support the Resources site. However, to make the information even more valuable (contributing in an even greater way), authors can offer their pieces of writing to the <em>TextBook</em> wiki, where the rest of the community can then test, integrate, and refine them so that they are indeed beneficial to a larger range of users. A real documentation effort is to take people’s initial authoring efforts and make the content better, and that’s what the <em>TextBook</em> wiki is for. It’s basic book writing/editing principles that have been practiced for thousands of years. Furthermore, authors get full credit for any contributions they make where content is already published on a Weblog somewhere, so there’s no lack of recognition in the effort. Right now, <em>TextBook</em> is basically a free service, a content editing platform, and it would be silly for authors to not to take advantage of it — contributing their written pieces to it for logical integration and editing — for the sake of the Textpattern user community.

<strong>Translations…</strong>
At the moment <em>TextBook</em> is an English version effort, first because that’s the default language for Textpattern, but more importantly so to focus content development, testing, and editing to a refined state. Once the English version is in a revised state, it will be targeted for translation into other languages. If I was translating anything, and I expect to contribute to French translations of <em>TextBook</em> eventually, I would want to translate something authoritative like <em>TextBook</em>, where it’s expected to be edited and reflective of the latest TxP version and functionality, not rough-shod and dated like Weblog articles often are.

I think it’s hard to see the value of <em>TextBook</em> right now because it’s still early, but with time and contributions, it’s real value will become apparent, especially to new users.

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