Thoughts on Structured/Unstructured and Shared Information Management using Wiki and other emerging technologies
Thursday, March 20, 2003

Is wiki useful for serious documentation?

Slashdot posting I made to a 'Ask Slashdot' question: Community Driven Documentation for Free Software? ( My post: Virtual Document: Distributed document editing ).

The discussion was towards whether or not wiki is a good way to do the documentation. Many people feel that it is a bad tool for documentation.

Documentation has more to do with a specific process, and especially so, for Documentation in collaborative, open-source like environments. The community has not matured in this respect, unlike, say, development of software.

What is required is a capability to allow document to be "Virtual" i.e. it is picked up from independent editable pages. This is very much like FAQ-O-Matic, but wiki can help in presenting a proper document structure by including different parts of document from different editable pages.

And each editable page may have a section, or couple of sub-sections. It may have owner or may not have owner. But all contributers may have to learn more than typical wiki formatting - to make sure that the document structure remains intact. And if the wiki tools can ensure document structure compliance by users, we should expect the strategy to result in good document.

As a general remark, the patterns for distributed management of shared information have not yet emerged - in contrast to individual communication tools such as email. Discussion boards are too simple to be useful in this regard; information management is key part of information sharing.

And since people tend to share information more easily in one-to-one emails, we require some good directives to be used during email composition, so that the data can be pushed to shared area. (And how you can format so that it can also be managed, is an interesting challenge.)

Update: This mail about use of wiki for documentation for Zope 3.

About this blog
All realms of collaboration:
  • Wiki. Weblogs
  • New Integration Platforms for combined structured and unstructured information: Wiki, Portals, Email Clients,
  • Collaborative Document editing, Collaborative knowledge building
  • Email Interfaces to collaborative shares
  • Information organization, management, Publishing: In context of organizations, individuals, Opensource projects etc.
About me:
Name:Vinod Kulkarni

Subscribe to Bloglines


January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
September 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
May 2005
June 2005
November 2005
December 2005
May 2006
June 2006
October 2006

Powered by Blogger