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Thread: Are there any good tutorial - documentation software that meets my needs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Behind you!
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Question Are there any good tutorial - documentation software that meets my needs?

    I'm looking for a better way to maintain my tutorials and ensure they are easy to read/follow which can present complex steps in an easy-to-grasp manner from an organizational manner. Suggestions would be appreciated.

    I currently use phpBB bulletin board software and requires breaking a tutorial into multiple posts/replies, does not allow easy organization (e.g. collapsible sections). The benefit however is that I can easily copy/paste a tutorial to this site with minimal changes in format.

    For internal access only, I tend to prefer wiki sites but it can be a bit off-putting to others that don't know wiki code. The rigid rules around title names are enough to scare off potential contributors.

    Here are some features I'm looking for:

    1. Web-based, browser agnostic and work well on desktop or mobile.
    2. Ability to self-host the system and not rely on 3rd party.
    3. Collapsible sections to hide content that may not need to be read. Example
    4. Ability to use text, images and video (local or external such as YouTube, imgur).
    5. Ability for end-users to view changes over time (like wiki history comparisons)
    6. Ability to use templates to help with maintaining consistent design (but not require it)
    7. Ability to organize just a few tutorials or thousands of them and the version-specific variants over time.
    8. Ability to get feedback even from anonymous users such as view totals, thumbs up votes, comments, etc.
    9. Allow tutorial status to stated explicitly and potentially hide tutorials (or make harder to find) based on status. (e.g. in progress, finished, out-dated)
    10. Permission management to ensure some articles are protected from change.
    11. Does not require a PhD to use and allow editing later to be "cleaned up" if it was sloppy or incorrectly organized, titled, etc.
    12. As a bonus, would be awesome if a tutorial could be "exported" into standard formats such as .PDF, .ODT, .DOCX, etc.
    13. As a bonus, having certain content locked behind a wall would also be great for company Intranet areas, etc.

    Wiki sites tend to be wide-open where people can register and make changes everywhere (which might not be a good thing for maintaining quality).

    Any web app that allows registration tends to get slammed with spambot registrations which is why I disable registration on my forum (or enable it with manual approval) if there is to be public registration, it needs a good mechanism (that changes over time) to prevent spambots.

    The site has no datestamp per article making it difficult to determine relevancy or if edited recently or what changed. Organization seems limited to a single category. Search will include links outside of the tutorial area. The ToC on the left is great and even better to see the entire tutorial on a single page if you click the "Suggest changes" link...which makes it possible to export as a single file (e.g. print to pdf).

    Last edited by LHammonds; November 24th, 2020 at 04:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Behind you!
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Are there any good tutorial - documentation software that meets my needs?

    Potential candidate: MoinMoin wiki

    1. Seems to work with all browsers except Safari.
    2. Can host internally.
    3. CollapsibleSection
    4. EmbedObject
    5. Info tab -> Revision history
    6. Templates
    7. Categorization using backlinks, groups (users/pages), versioning, searching (full text, reg expr, boolean)
    8. Ratings, Comments
    9. Plugin: TaskPlanner
    10. Access Control Lists (ACL), Page
    11. WYSIWYG editor
    12. via plugin: ExportPDF, static HTML dump
    13. SecurityPolicy, Access Control Lists (ACL)

    Comparison to other wiki software


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