Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

> The articles are littered with crappy advice confusing beginners, have little structure and are filled with ridiculous questions (questions in an wiki???)

The original wiki has questions, back-and-forth-discussion and loosely structured content on many pages. Maybe some pages need to be maintained/wikified/deprecated, but the EmacsWiki itself is fine. Also, it was never intended to be the authoritative GNU Emacs wiki. GNU Emacs is self-documenting. The non-standard stuff needs the wiki more.




> GNU Emacs is self-documenting.

Sure, if you're extremely comfortable reading emacs lisp spread across many files.

Just like Spanish doesn't need a dictionary, since it's self-defining once you move to Spain, and spend three months learning it via the total immersion method.


I was going to counter this with "that's what 'M-x apropox <thing>' is for", then I remembered that around a third of the time that's the lead in to me diving into the source.

That said, the other 2/3 of the time Emacs does relatively well at self-documenting.


Self-documenting or not, I think the point stands, the standard stuff is very well documented via many means (a nice tutorial, a very comprehensive manual, an emacs lisp tutorial and an emacs lisp reference all ship with Emacs in addition to things like describe-function, describe-key, describe-variable etc.), so the role of the Wiki is to supplement those and not replace them.


The catch-22 is that I had no idea that any of those things existed until I checked the wiki.

(Actually, my friends told me.)


Really? The splash screen (literally the first thing that appears when you first run Emacs) has links to 3 key pieces of documentation: 2 tutorials and the reference manual, which is surprisingly comprehensive. It would be really hard for them to be more upfront about the documentation.


I have to agree about the wiki-ness. Wikipedia is the "weird one", not EmacsWiki.


And Wikipedia, with its talk pages separated but attached to its articles, was the first wiki that made me think "huh, maybe this Wiki thing is actually a good idea."

I have always been frustrated by "traditional" wikis that intersperse random bits of discussion with the article. No one really seems to know where to discuss something. The threading is horrible.

I am very glad that Wikipedia realized that you need to separate discussion about an article from a single, authoritative, neutral article. They are two very different needs, and trying to mix them into one just doesn't work.


In my opinion, it really depends on the subject matter. For an encyclopedia, inline arguments are surely the wrong thing. But in that case, you're really using a wiki-like system as a more user-friendly, accessible content management system.

And for things like c2, I'd consider the lack of threading an advantage. For lots of technical discussions, this leads to clarifications that are hidden somewhere deep in that thread pile and would require an editor to factor those out in the main article. Which works fine with something that has a huge user base or paid people to work on it (i.e. Wikipedia or corp "wikis"), but not for everything.


Actually adding discussion pages to the Emacs Wiki is just one setting away. Maybe this issue needs simply to be raised again? http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/EmacsWikiSuggestions#toc17




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: