Tuesday, April 7, 2009

openSUSE wiki as knowledge base: Initial

One of problems with wiki, as knowledge base, is that someone has to hang on it and categorize submissions, old and new, but it is not one man, nor a layman show.

What is wiki

The Mediawiki articles and file submissions are just linear list of titles.
It is up to the people that use wiki to sort their knowledge there.

The tools that Mediawiki provides are search, few listings found in special pages, name spaces, categories, and of course ability to create articles that will link other articles and serve as indexes.

Sorting openSUSE wiki

I tried few times to sort the knowledge on openSUSE wiki and failed, it is just much more work and skills than any single wiki editor can provide. Attempt to create framework for future expansions without defining properties of objects stored in a wiki database was waste of time.
So this time I'll start drafting a plan from prerequisites to define object properties.

I can see few basic objects:
  1. articles (html documents)
  2. uploaded files (images, pdf and some open document formats)
  3. generated reports (special pages)

Let me take images as example. They can be sorted by:
  1. function: Wallpaper, Icon, Splash, Emoticon, ...
  2. application: Evolution Art, Thunderbird Art, Firefox Art, ...
  3. desktop: KDE Art, GNOME Art, Xfce Art, ...
  4. source by creator: openSUSE Art, User Art, Upstream Art, ...
  5. creation tehnique: photography, scan of hand drawing, image creation program
  6. quality: excellent, good, bad
  7. completeness: mockup, draft, sketch, release candidate, final
  8. color format: RGB, CMY, indexed, gray
  9. color depth:32, 24, 16, 8, 2
  10. color name: red, blue, green, ...
  11. size: large, medium, small, ...
and of course in many more ways.

Each of ways to sort image is one of its properties and would require category, so that reader can browse trough categories to the particular image, or better to say description article. When you add other objects and their properties then list is huge.

The other problem is that list of image properties is not complete, there is many more that only professionals in the field know, and just the same is valid for any other wiki object. Without participation of people that are professionals in the field there will be no successful organization of openSUSE wiki as knowledge base.

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