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Thread: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Dear all,

    In ubuntu-fr community, we put all tutorials in the wiki, and it works very well, tutorials are updated/improved by everyone.

    In English-speaking Ubuntu community, contributors write their tutorials (=howto) in the "tutorial & tips" forum, and many times, the initial post is not updated and becomes obsolete (or not suited for all supported versions of Ubuntu). This makes everybody loose time, so it's not helpful for the Community.

    A forum is adapted for case-by-case support. A Wiki is best suited for documentation. Tutorials ARE documentation, they should be written collaboratively. The best tool to write a documentation collaboratively is the Wiki.

    Users should search information in the forum only when they don't find what they need in the Wiki. (because forums contains lots of information which is useless for readers, while the Wiki makes a synthesis)

    Suggestion:
    1) rename the "tutorials and tips" section into "tips" (or "tips and useful scripts" as we use at ubuntu-fr)
    2) EXISTING TUTORIALS: gradually move each tutorial into the wiki. Don't delete the threads, just put in the thread a link to the adequate Wiki tutorial.
    3) NEW TUTORIALS: if a contributor mistakenly creates a tutorial in the forum, moderators should encourage him to create it in the Wiki instead.

    This way, the transition will be smooth.

    I definitely encourage the English Commmunity to re-think the links between the Forum and the Wiki. I will create a new post about this. EDIT: here.
    Last edited by YannBuntu; February 20th, 2012 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    I think that generally the wiki/docs are for general subjects like how to use DVDs on Ubuntu, how to partition, etc.

    What the how-tos do are more advanced things for power-users, or those with particular need.

    Although I agree with you on the colloboration front.

  3. #3
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    Arrow Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Thanks for your answer.

    Please have a look again: all the howto of this forum deserve to be written/corrected/improved/updated collaboratively (even those for power users).
    And all of them have been viewed hundreds of times, so they are not "particular needs".

    For example the 1st one i find is "HOW TO: Install Canon Pixma mx410 wireless printer". if the procedure is the same for mx411, do i need to write another howto? What if there are warnings to add for all Pixma printers? What if this tutorial was written for Lucid but will damage Natty systems ? what if i want to correct this tutorial but the OP has left the forum ? and so on...
    All these problems would disappear if a wiki was used. (FYI here is the ubuntu-fr equivalent).

    Of course this will take weeks to get as many wiki contributors as ubuntu-fr have, but this will be faster if the "tutorial" forum is gradually removed, and once done it will increase a lot the quality of the information provided to users.

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    Dangertux is offline Chocolate Ubuntu Mocha Blend
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    Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Well , while I do agree on a couple of points. Mainly on collaboration and that most of this info should be moved toward the wiki. I also agree in abiding by the forum code of conduct, particularly the part where it talks about cross posting

    Just in case it wasn't obvious that last bit was a joke. Seriously, I think the general consensus has always been to move things toward the wiki, however in some cases (and I'm guilty of this with the firewall thread, though I do try to maintain it and respond to it). Forum howtos can be useful if a question is asked several hundred times on the forum, the same way, by different people. It gives an easy point to link back to where the user already is looking for advice.

    It seems trending that both the search feature on this forum and google are broken in newer versions of Firefox shipping with Ubuntu
    Last edited by Dangertux; February 23rd, 2012 at 03:18 AM.

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    Arrow Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Hello DangerTux, thanks for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangertux View Post
    Forum howtos can be useful if a question is asked several hundred times on the forum, the same way, by different people. It gives an easy point to link back to where the user already is looking for advice.
    It's exactly the same for a wiki URL, i don't see the advantage of a forum howto URL. Giving an URL to a wiki tutorial is as easy as giving an URL to a forum tutorial, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangertux View Post
    It seems trending that both the search feature on this forum and google are broken in newer versions of Firefox shipping with Ubuntu
    Is there a bug report?

    The ubuntu-fr forum search-bar allows to search either in the forum or in the wiki. wouldn't it be possible to do the same with the ubuntuforums searchbar ?

  6. #6
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    Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    I for one rarely use the wiki -- I can't find what I'm looking for and when I do, its often very old information.

    But I do agree there should be some better form of information and record keeping.

  7. #7
    Dangertux is offline Chocolate Ubuntu Mocha Blend
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    Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Quote Originally Posted by YannBuntu View Post
    Hello DangerTux, thanks for your reply.

    The ubuntu-fr forum search-bar allows to search either in the forum or in the wiki. wouldn't it be possible to do the same with the ubuntuforums searchbar ?

    Now THIS is a really good idea.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    I gave up with the forum search except for some really specific occasions sometime in 2007.

    I use various search engines like googlubuntu.

    I believe that the forum search tool is improved in the new version of the forum software when it arrives.

    I doubt if any new plugins are likely to be used until after that.
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    Please do not PM me about Registration issues without having been asked to. I will tell you to post here

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    Arrow Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    @Dangertux: do you think there is a way to implement it?


    Quote Originally Posted by kevdog View Post
    its often very old information.
    I agree, the English wiki is currently very poor. But that's not because it is a wiki, that's because the English Community does not contribute in it.

    Just for information:
    - wiki contributors mailing-lists: ~100messages/month for the French one, only ~30/month for the English one.
    - there are about ~400 contributors subscribed to the French wiki mailing-list. Of course, this mailing-list is just for coordination, there are many other people who improve the wiki pages without being subscribed to the mailing-list.
    - edits per day in the French wiki: ~100
    - number of pages in the French wiki : ~6000

    i'd be curious to know the stats for the English wiki...

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    Arrow Re: Why not writing tutorials collaboratively ?

    Hello

    Looks like Forum admins are starting to push the use of the Wiki, I'm very glad of it!

    I wish to help as much as possible.
    Where is the coordination mailing-list/forum for the wiki? (i know there is a M-L for ubuntu-doc but they never talk about the wiki).
    who are the wiki admins/moderators? are there guidelines/templates for the wiki?

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