tagline: From openSUSE
Understand the differences to the old wiki
The old wiki was the first wiki the openSUSE project ever had. We started without a real concept and without the experience for what people would use the tool wiki. In the course of its 5 year existence we used it for everything: As landing page and marketing page, news outlet, collaboration space, hardware/knowledge base, calendar, pastebin, teaming app and so on and so forth. Basically we tried to map out the whole openSUSE project inside the wiki and use it for every possible task. This was so tedious that we ended up with a simple information dump.
People opened up http://en.opensuse.org/Foobar in their browser and added content about Foobar. In most of the cases Foobar was an article about Foobar and a solution to a problem they had with it. In some cases Foobar was a group of articles about a specific topic. In almost no case people made sure that Foobar was correctly integrated with the rest of the wiki. There was no structure, no way to navigate and no consistent look and feel.
The opposite of these things described above are what we try to bring to this instance now. We want to respect that the wiki is a tool and use it for what its good for: collaborative editing for everybody. We don't want to use it for everything that is happening in the openSUSE project. So we have this 4 pillar strategy:
The content in this wiki is separated by topic in a couple of groups called namespaces that correspond to few basic interests that wiki visitors and users have when they look for the wiki. Three main groups are:
- Project and distribution presentation:
- Location: It is in the Main namespace; the one where articles titles have no prefix.
- Topic: It is a presentation space for the latest release of the openSUSE Distribution and related parts of the project. Think of it as the product brochure where is described product and its components.
- Audience: People who are new to openSUSE and maybe to Linux in general.
- Support Database (SDB):
- Location: It is in the SDB namespace; the one where articles are prefixed with SDB: .
- Topic: It is dedicated to support topics, like miscellaneous installation instructions (different working, but not supported ways to install or upgrade openSUSE distribution), installation of third party applications that are not part openSUSE, but a lot of its users want them, configuration of software, services and hardware that is not fully supported in a distribution, workarounds for the most annoying bugs.
- Audience: People who have a problem installing and running the openSUSE distribution in general, or some of its components, and seek written instruction on how to solve it.
- Volunteers (contributors):
- Location: It is in the openSUSE namespace; the one where article titles have openSUSE: prefix.
- Topic: It is dedicated to all that teams of volunteers (contributors) need, from work files, team introduction, plans, meeting minutes, to do lists, etc.
- Audience: Volunteers contributing to openSUSE.
There are few more namespaces with special purpose. This structure should provide separation of tools (MediaWiki extensions) used on per namespace basis, and with help of wiki categories, easy way to find what wiki visitor is looking for.
Navigation happens through means common to any wiki, but there are also portals. Portals are entry points for a specific topic, similar to the main page. They provide an overview over a topic and guide readers to the content they seek which is either another portal or an individual article. Also categorization is very important for our wiki navigation, making it possible to automatically generate overview pages and navigational structures. With these rules for navigation we ensure that our readers find the content we produce.
Styling of content happens through templates. There are two kinds, templates for a specific kind of article like the general article template, the one for Portals or for support database articles and templates for styling of recurring content in articles like introduction and info boxes, hints and instructions or external sources and items. With these rules about styling we ensure that people understand the content we produce.
Prominent namespaces in this wiki are subject to a quality assurance (QA) process to ensure articles meet the required quality. This QA process happens via a system of page validation which provides the opportunity to have several revisions of articles in parallel and one approved by the Wiki team. It does not limit creation of new content, but allows only quality content to be shown by default. With this process we ensure that first time visitors get drawn into page and stay.
Important part of our concept is that wiki content must be accessible to people that can't use English to read or contribute to the articles. We have multiple wiki translation projects running and we will add more when openSUSE communities using different languages are strong enough to perform the translation and later continue with a regular wiki maintenance.
We also have a multilingual wiki that can be used to start initial translation of mandatory articles in order to create translated wikis, or to translate only few articles.
Before everything else, please make sure you understand this strategy and the differences to the old wiki. It makes no sense working in this wiki with the thinking of the old instance. You will just get confused and confuse others.
How to decide which articles to transfer
Scratch your itch
The open source incentive "Scratch Your Itch" is a nice way to decide which article to migrate. Are you missing the description of a distribution feature? The solution to a problem? The page of your team? Then transfer it!
If you are not missing anything but still want to help there is an automatically generated list of popular pages in the old instance to give you an idea what readers are looking for, have a look if something that is on this list is not transferred yet.
How to transfer articles
First you should check the content of the articles you want to transfer. Please do not transfer articles related to obsolete technology (e.g. ZMD), support database articles exclusively about "out of maintenance" versions (older than 11.0), pages of teams/projects that are no active any more (e.g. JackLab) or similar things. We only want to transfer content that matters from now on going forward and we do not want to be backward compatible to the old wiki. In doubt, ask a wiki team members on #opensuse-wiki IRC channel or on the openSUSE-wiki mailing list.
Best practice is to choose a topic and transfer every article that belongs to this topic. This way you can ensure that all required articles are transferred in a consistent way. You should start with the Portal. Often a topic has an introduction page already, just not in the Portal format. See for instance
- http://old-en.opensuse.org/Artwork (now: Portal:Artwork)
- http://old-en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Weekly_News (now: Weekly news)
Adapting these pages to the Portal format will not only make the Portal ready but will also give you an overlook over the articles important for this topic. After you have adapted the styling you will have a lot of red links on the Portal, follow them and transfer the individual articles. If the individual article uses a Template that is not there yet try to find an equivalent on Help:Standard_templates. General styling help for content you find on Help:Style. In the end make sure that your Portal is reachable from the Main Page, either directly or through another Portal. Also make sure that all individual articles you have transferred are reachable from your portal. And that all pages you have created are at least in one Category.
If you are transferring an individual article because the Portal or individual article you can link it from already exists just skip all the Portal steps from the description above.