[IPython-dev] Wiki chaos...

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Wed Jul 10 01:46:08 EDT 2013

One problem with prefixing all pages is that those prefixes, if I
understand how GH wikis work correctly, have to be part of the visible
page title.  Which for some pages makes for pretty horrible names.
For example the gallery title is perfectly fine as

A gallery of interesting IPython Notebooks

but it would look pretty ugly if called

Cookbook: A gallery of interesting IPython Notebooks

or similar, IMO.

Since there's no actual auto-indexing machinery or other organizing
mechanism that these pseudo-namespace prefixes provide, I'm also not
convinced that it makes sense to mandate their use rigidly everywhere.
 For certain categories I think they do make sense, like say cookbook
recipes or sprints lists. But I think we're inevitably bound to have
'miscellaneous' pages that don't neatly fit in any single label.  And
creating a  zillion prefixes just so everything can have its own
prefix doesn't seem to be such a good idea either.

In summary, I think the problem is that wikis are inherently prone to
some of this slightly chaotic growth, which is why I've never liked
them too much.  I think they fill a useful role when used in a pretty
*limited* fashion, partly so that they can be manually tended to.  But
for larger-scale efforts, without a massive metadata machinery and an
army of people like what Wikipedia uses, it's kind of hopeless. For
wikipedia, pages have very rich categorical/tagging tools that the
entire wiki system understands, mines, and uses to offer management
and navigation.  We don't have that at GH, just a plain wiki in its
barest form.

Sorry to be a bit of a downer, but I'm just not convinced that more
prefixing is really going to really solve anything beyond a thin
cosmetic veneer issue.



ps - I'm pretty sure, BTW, that I'm the guilty party in having created
the lab meetings page without a prefix, sorry :)  Part of it is
probably that I find it so ugly to read those titles that I
unconsciously just ignored the idea... Feel free to change it if you
really think it will help.

On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM, Brian Granger <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> A while back I spend a couple of days organizing the IPython GitHub
> wiki.  I know this will probably seem anal, but I think it is
> important that we use a logical structure for each of our pages and
> the wiki as a whole.  To induce this structure on the flat GitHub wiki
> namespace, we are naming our wiki pages with a prefix such as "Dev :"
> or "Cookbook: " or "Install: ".  This structure is also present in our
> sub-indices - we have a separate index page for each of these
> categories.  When someone created the wiki page for the lab meetings,
> it was created at the top level, rather than under the "Dev: "
> category and put in the top level index rather than the "Dev: " index.
>  I could fix this myself in a few minutes, but I don't want to become
> the "police" for our wiki organization.  Instead, I would like
> everyone to help keep the wiki organized.  Can someone clean this up?
> If we don't want to use this structure, but instead keep things
> organized another way, I am completely open to that.  I just want the
> wiki organization to decay into chaos like it did before...
> Cheers,
> Brian
> --
> Brian E. Granger
> Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
> bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com
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Fernando Perez (@fperez_org; http://fperez.org)
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