[Python-ideas] Encouraging more use of the Python wiki

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jan 7 02:16:15 CET 2015

Ethan Furman writes:
 > On 01/06/2015 02:11 PM, Wes Turner wrote:

 > > A boost in familiar usability could encourage effortless contributions.
 > Not even breathing is effortless.

True, but that's the wrong fallacy.  The energy required is not the
point, it's the thinking.  Wes's point is that he'd like it to be
possible to contribute to Python without being aware of the mechanics
of contribution, just as it's possible to breath without being aware
of your lungs most of the time.  That's reasonable, and wikis actually
do work in some contexts.

The fallacy in applying wiki-think to Python is that for new and small
projects with SEI "Level Zero" processes, *increase in quantity* of
documentation is *improvement in quality* of documentation.  That's no
longer true of Python, and hasn't been for two decades (at least).

It isn't even clear that filling an obvious hole with an accurate-as-
far-as-it-goes drive-by contribution is a good thing.  Not only may
the residual inaccuracy mislead the reader, it may also contribute to
an impression that the Python docs are lower quality on average than
they actually are.

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