Wiki focus - user versus developer documentation

Michael Shiloh michael at
Fri Aug 29 18:26:56 CEST 2008

Minh Ha Duong wrote:
> I very much agree with Michael: Ben's idea has legs, it's going to go far.
> What do you know about the namespaces in wikimedia ?
> I just read
> and wonder if it would be a good idea to use them to
> separate User-oriented from Devs-oriented pages.
> In summary, namespaces:
> - allows separation of different kinds of unrelated content; several 
> namespaces have special features related to their intended purpose
> - allows unrelated content to be stored in one wiki, but requires lots of  
> extra typing
> - provides facilities to limit searches to a particular area
> - in principle allows easy exporting (but not with the Export feature, which 
> is for selected individual pages) of a selection of work (categories could 
> also be used for this more cleanly)
> - allows for feature separation
> *  They can be detected by the CSS and so we can have subtle visual 
> differences (on Blender's site they are perhaps too subtle).
> * Implementing namespaces requires administrator intervention. The 
> Blender-style "prefix/" solution is probably fully userland.
> Any comments ?

Sounds interesting. Truth be told, I've often seen the "namespace" 
option when searching wikis (not ours), and I've never really found it 
terribly useful. But that may be just me.

Another point: The reason for this thread is to help developers v.s. 
users. If users are the less sophisticated, they are less likely to 
understand and use the namespace feature.

And as you point out it requires admin. Our admins are terribly 
overloaded. I say keep our requests to them to a minimum.

I suggest for now that for pages that have a user or developer 
perspective we use the categories. The page names will probably be 
different as well. We can always do a mass conversion later if the 
categories are correct.

This will also require a redesign of our front page. Do any of you feel 
like mocking up how that might look?

Thanks again Ben! Good idea. And thanks to all of you for your feedback 
and continued help.


> Two direct questions to Openmoko:
> *  There is a custom namespace already, Openmoko: Which kind of pages are 
> supposed go in it ?
> * Same question with the  Help:  namespace ?
> Minh
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