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Posted by gian [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 05:50:12 PM After some discussion with Psion on IRC, we've come to the conclusion that a Wiki would be a really good thing for TPU, and it can easily supersede these message boards.
I propose that we set up a wiki (using PHPWiki) here at TPU at some subdomain for a few weeks while we fine tune it and get feedback, and if there is a general consensus, then that's what TPU will become.
Comments? Questions? Abuse?
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 07:00:59 PM 100% agree. No further comments. Let's do it ASAP.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 07:13:33 PM Yeah! I want to see the Wiki!!
BUT... Would that mean getting _rid_ of the BBS altogether in the future??
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 07:37:49 PM Talk to any big Wiki fan and he will ask you why you want to have message forums in the first place. Especially if a main aim of the message boards is to provide information, things can work out quite well if people create and edit Wiki pages instead, referencing a blank page on a subject instead of posting a question about it on a forum.
Look at our message boards now. They are the main image we present to the outside world, in terms of non-stale content, and they are mostly just chatter that is not related to our central subject. These sorts of things are best left on IRC, or put on special Wiki pages where people can just go wild. Anything that discourages people from adding frivolous conversations to the web site and encourages them to create informational resources instead is great by me!
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 08:11:30 PM Okee that makes sense... But, I think there also needs to be an area for specific question asking maybe [Unless questions are asked on Wiki??]??
Posted by Qubit [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 08:40:50 PM my question is
How does one foster user interaction with wiki? That is, give a reason to use wiki instead of blowing it off. I know a lot of folks blow off the forums. They go to the IRC channel and ask their question, and if no one responds or no one knows, they leave. There needs to be some kind of enticing element that captures a new user's interest so that they take time and add or review wikis. That I think, will be the most difficult challenge.
Also if there is to be a new spin off, a non-age-oriented one, and there is to be a new channel, I'd think it would be best to not make it secret. And to ensure the URL is in the topic always, just for the advertisement (all it takes is one freenode user to notice it and tell his buddies and things can snow-ball from there)
Lastly, Abulafia seriously cannot have a long outage anylonger. A backup really needs to be in place. Because the last two outages truly hurt.
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 08:43:14 PM I don't really know how a Wiki works but if a question is good enough, a clear answer could be written by a dedicated person thus contributing to the documentation on the Wiki. Sorta like a auto-FAQ system...
Well, that's how I think it works.
But I still don't think we should get rid of the forum completly. Maybe keep just one? Questions directed there could be resposted on the Wiki etc etc... I don't really know. That's why I'm eager to test that idea.
Posted by gian [send private reply] at April 08, 2003, 09:14:47 PM Just see the wiki before we commit to keeping any forums, because I think you'll find that they work better than any BBS can.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 12:17:03 PM I'm no for the wiki if it means entirely scrapping th bbs. If we scale down the bbs, that's fine, but they still have to exist in some format imho. Isn't this place about communication?
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 12:19:18 PM C_Rdd: I think we should stop worrying about that for now. Theres is a gonna be a test Wiki site pretty soon and we'll see how it goes.
Like you, I still don't believe the forum should be gone entirely but I may change my mind.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 12:30:05 PM Hang on, will we be incorporating material from the test wiki into the proper one, 'cause if that isn't going to happen, I can garuntee the test one will be a failure (not through anyones desire for it to be a failure, everyone will just be like "Whats the point?")
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 12:52:24 PM I don't really know...
I suppose they could just replace the official with the test site + test content when the time will come.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 01:17:33 PM rdd, the thesis is that a Wiki + wide usage of IRC provides a better communication package than just using these forums. Almost everyone who can be said to be a member of/involved with TPU now falls into that category only through using this web site. There are maybe about 5 teen programmers who are regularly in the #tpu IRC channel. The 15 or so of the rest of us are all old members who don't fit into one or both of the "teen" and "programmer" groupings.
Making it harder for people to broadcast frivolous conversations to the web-viewing world using tools we provide is a positive thing. I think it is a good thing to alienate people who only come here for the forums for generic chat, because they "don't fit in at school" or whatever reason and just want "a place to belong." If they actually care about learning and practicing programming, then they can occasionally use the IRC channel for general social purposes, and also spend some time forming a good environment for learning to code. If they were once slightly interested in programming but now really don't care about it, then they can take a hike, whether or not they "feel comfortable" here.
And we can expect to have no change between a test Wiki and a real one besides changing the URL to access it.
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 01:42:51 PM But:
1 - Many people can't stand IRC because of the pointlessness of it 80% of the time.
2 - Our IRC channel is not very active and people going for for social purposes are often confronted to a group of people idling away or in class. That's not very funny for them..
Those reasons, and probably some other, don't encourage people to come in the channel, even come back. We need to find a very good way to bring people there.
Also, I don't know if Wiki + IRC is an inviting duo for getting people involved? The regulars visitors like me will probably participate, but what about others?
(I'm still very pro-Wiki though)
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 01:45:32 PM oh, I've got a better argument.
What would a Wiki do to make us a better place to contribute than, let's say, YPN? Any other online organization also do instead of YPN.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 03:34:21 PM Yeah, I was thinking something a little more like how YPN has contrib articles, progs, how-tos, guides, ect.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 03:53:08 PM Making IRC better is actually easy, as far as I see it:
1) Kick out all old TPU members who don't want to or aren't qualified to serve in a "mentor" sort of position.
2) Kick out anyone who is in the age range but doesn't really care about coding.
3) Have regular (daily?) meetings of interest groups in the main channel.
Look at YPN. It hasn't been very successful, either. As I've said a million times, how-to resources are best left for NON-AGE-SPECIFIC SITES. YPN has 0 "young programmer" specific resources, as far as I can tell. (Unless you count very poorly written "tutorials" as "young programmer" specific because anyone else would be embarrassed to submit one.) We need to concentrate on UNIQUE OFFERINGS, and a unique community experience is the best choice for that.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 04:07:52 PM You will have to be careful in kicking out non contributors. Please remember in term time I don't have the time to code (I'm wrecked and wouldn't be able to focus on it) thus I may seem a clinger on for most of the time... however I do an awful lot of coding in the holidays. As for the age specific thing... I agree... what I would maybe like to see is tutorials in computing related subjects designed to gradually lift you above school standard. There are certain elements of maths that I would like to know much more about, but because the vast majority of internet maths offering are either to simplistic or undergraduate level, I can never learn much from them. I would say that maths/electronics/physics are important things for a programmer to know very well - which is why they would fit in here.
The question is, what can a teen site offer other than communication (which is what this site does offer) that a non age specific one won't? This is why I believe nothing else will really ever take off.
The IRC meetings will never take off because of time zones.
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 04:11:37 PM That mostly answers my questions about IRC.
As far as YPN, I know it hasn't been sucessful but the YPN site might be more welcoming than TPU due to what Itiniti said. Of course, we all know in our heart that TPU is better :) YPN hasn't had new submissions in age.
In any way, wheter or not we doubt that this solution will work or not I think we should go forward and implement it because it's better than not changing anything at all. And if it doesn't work, it'll probably wake TPU up a bit and that's not all bad.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 05:16:35 PM Electronics and physics are not important to programmers.
Any informational resources should be made available to the whole world, regardless of age. 20-and-up people who never graduated from high school could want to use a math guide aimed at that knowledge range, for example.
I think you are going about things the wrong way in general. You ask "what can a teen site offer other than communication?" I see communication as the primary goal, as what TPU _really_is_. The question is how a web site can be created as a tool to help such an organization be more successful. Encapsulated advice on appropriate subjects in a Wiki is one way of communicating.
The point about time zones is a silly one. A large range of time zones can conveniently make many possible times. Not everyone has to be at each meeting. (Not to mention that we had lots of TPU IRC meetings in the past.)
Posted by gian [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 06:01:40 PM Okay, the wiki is up at http://wiki.tpu.org/
Try it out! Please post any problems you find here.
I do intend to make a TPU theme at some stage, but for now MacOSX theme will have to do :-)
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 07:03:19 PM After my first few minutes on the Wiki:
that's awesome, simply awesome... I'm extremely enthusiastic about this Wiki idea.
but at first try, it took me few minutes to find out how to sign on and create my page. We need a good "I'll take you by the hand to do this and that" or maybe a Wiki support forum.
just throwing in ideas
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 09:56:01 PM Ah, well, I will say the Wiki is better than i expected. Howbeit I don't think it can totaly replace the BBS. But still very cool!!
I think security could potentialy be an issue...but there's porbly a solution to it...
Posted by gian [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 10:25:51 PM Yeah, at this stage I'm not too worried about who edits pages etc. We might consider actually using some form of authentication later on.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 09, 2003, 11:11:23 PM Yeah, I can see it getting carried away like the Lounge did.
Posted by RedX [send private reply] at April 10, 2003, 11:13:08 AM OK I played a bit with it, and I'm convinced. Wiki will definitely be an improvement.
Posted by taubz [send private reply] at April 10, 2003, 08:43:10 PM Well, I don't like this Wiki business... /me shrugs
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 10, 2003, 09:36:56 PM If you could give us your reasons to disliking the Wiki idea taubz, maybe an improvement could be worked on
Posted by taubz [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 07:12:53 AM I don't think a Wiki will be good as the central web thing of TPU. It seems to be too impersonal. It's also inherently awkward and nonintuitive (WikiWords? Minor changes? Is there some organization to it all?). (Perhaps some of that can be fixed by making the layout more verbose, but verbosity would just be trying to hide its unnecessary unintuitiveness.) And there's no linear flow of new content (like in forums). All of that will dissaude newcomers and oldcomers alike from the site.
But I'm not saying we shouldn't try it out.
Posted by diegoeskryptic [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 10:23:38 AM and whats the purpose of wiki? ***diego is too lazy to read through all the replies 8^(
Posted by RedX [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 10:33:24 AM I wouldn't call it nonintuitive. then again I wouldn't call it too userfriendly either. I personaly wouldn't have any trouble using it, but then again I speaking as someone with years of experience on learning differend interfaces and using text-based interfaces (I started when Dos was top of the line). I can see that people who grew up without ever using a dos-prompt or e.g. HTML-editing in a plain text editor would have more problems learning to use it. (wysiwyg is adictive, can't blame them)
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 10:35:20 AM Dissuading non-serious newcomers is good. And look at LearningProgramming for linear flow!
As for awkwardness, if someone can't learn how it works in 10 minutes, then what is he doing programming or trying to learn?
In summary, there is a large body of evidence that everyone who tries Wikis loves them, everywhere they're used. =)
diego: A Wiki is a tool for collaboratively creating a web site. There should be links from wiki.tpu.org that explain more.
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 11:27:21 AM taubz: I share some your concerns about the user-friendlyness but I'm so very excited about the versatility of that Wiki that I'll do everything I can to make it easier to use. I that order will grow out the apparent chaos that is the Wiki without putting too much control over it.
And as you see it, I think wiki.tpu.org still requires alot of work to become tpu.org.
On the other hand, I disagree with what Psion said about awkwardness. If, for example, 1 user serious about learning about programming, find Wikized tpu.org through Google (for example), he WON'T try to learn how the Wiki work for less than 30 seconds before moving to something else. That's obviously BAD. We need something a new user can quickly and instinctively relate too, a forum, a question form, etc. The NewUser instructions are not enough because it's unlikely anyone will read them.
Posted by RedX [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 11:53:40 AM Neumann, that person wouldn't be able to change anything until he's registered. So he wouldn't be confronted with any
awkwardness yet. But he'll be able to read the pages and get a feel about the community. If he's still intrested I don't think leaning the few things needed to use wiki would be such a trouble.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 12:29:16 PM I found the wiki a bit jumbled the other day when on it. Perhaps because it is only recently been put up and doesn't yet have a lot of content...
I do like the ability to create ones own niche on the Wiki for texts, articles, and the such.
Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 12:43:25 PM RedX: Okay but I'm not really sure "getting a feel about the community" will be automatic.
We could go on forever arguing about the potential of the Wiki but I think that only the real way to come to a conclusion is to try the idea on the site.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 05:05:58 PM Howabout... something like:
-Tpu.org The main area of the site, has links to BBS, Wiki, and some somekinda news/select articles on the fron page
-BBS.TPU.org The BBS, either the way it is now...or just something like the General forum
-Wiki.TPU.org Obviosly the Wiki
Posted by ken [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 06:58:25 PM "Okay, the wiki is up at http://wiki.tpu.org/
Try it out! Please post any problems you find here"
I don't mean to be a wet blanket or such, but their seems to be a problem with the wiki on my Mac.
Which probably won't make much of a difference considering only a small handful of people use Apple :(
Just to let you know though, the Wiki doesn't load on I.E. 5.2 and automatically shuts-down Safari Beta Version.
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 08:40:19 PM The Safari stuff is weird since it uses khtml and I now use Konqueror 3.1 (tabs tabs tabs, no more galeon!) and the Wiki works fine. Weird. If only I could go to school to test it with Safari on the OS X box.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 09:17:34 PM It worked fine with Mozilla... just get OSX Mozilla for the time being...
Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 09:48:55 PM As far as the wiki being counter-intuitive at the moment goes, once there's some useful content in it the front page can be restructured to be easier to use for first-time visitors.
Posted by ken [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 10:03:35 PM ItnitL,
I've downloaded Camino and it works perfectly now :)
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at April 11, 2003, 10:27:51 PM Onething I _don't_ like is that the Wiki is cap smart...ie, http://wiki.tpu.org/wiki/ItinitI
are 2 different pages...
[Yeah, I know it's probly Unix, but most sites and email address are cap stupid.]
Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at April 12, 2003, 10:00:40 PM ItinitI, most unix-based web servers are case-sensitive. It's mostly only those daft windows ones that are case-insensitive.
Posted by iLoveMyDualG4 [send private reply] at April 13, 2003, 12:57:04 PM Apple's OS X Server (and the client version) have the module mod_applehfs or whatever it's called, which makes apache not case sensitive (among other custom apple modules for various cool things)
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