In the press

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Jul 15 21:07:25 CEST 2008

Hugo Mills wrote:
>    The quality of a wiki has little to do with the Wiki engine on
> which it runs. It is far more to do with having a highly proactive
> group of wiki editors, who between them read every single change made
> to the wiki, and can make suitable cross-references, indexes,
> corrections, updates and so forth to ensure that the content is easy
> to find, read and use.

Agreed. Also, people sometimes believe mistakenly that "more is better", as 
in "if they don't understand this, here's another page that might explain 
it" - this just makes everything worse and gives the impression of a "stream 
of consciousness" form of information delivery, that if one somehow soaks up 
enough, one might understand something.

Consider the following page:

I don't have any problems with the introduction, but it's rarely the most 
efficient course of action to list some commands in prose unless there's some 
kind of educational value involved in doing so: it's easy to accidentally 
skip commands (either as the author or as the reader) and then find that the 
desired effect is not obtained. There's some discussion included in the page 
which should either be included or discarded, depending on whether the 
comments are valid or helpful, and at the end there's probably the most 
confusing part of all: a script which is supposed to automate the process 
(good), but which shouldn't be used because it doesn't work (bad).

I'm not even sure whether anyone actually runs a sandbox with Xephyr as the 
display to emulate the FreeRunner environment, although I know it would be 
possible as I've done stuff with User Mode Linux and, in my experience, you'd 
just need the appropriate software in a suitable form for use on the host 
architecture. Perhaps people just use QEMU or a real device, and perhaps the 
page referenced doesn't describe something that anyone does - if so, either 
it needs removing, or someone needs to step up to defend and to document the 
concept properly.

Wiki editors and administrators are important, but the people with technical 
knowledge have their own responsibilities, not limited to correcting stuff 
that they've contributed and auditing any subsequent edits.


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