The Wikemacs Experiment: 300 Days Later
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- I suspect the problem is trying to supplant the original Wiki which has tons of different content on it with another trying to cover the same broad range of stuff. It takes time to do and a community willing to do it and it may not be the best solution anyway.
A lot of the Q&A type stuff ("how do I?...") is probably better served by sites like stackoverflow (if that's not a heretical statement) and the hosting of code by things like gitoroius/github and gists. I have seen mention he's adding gist transclusion support to OddMuse which may go some way to amelioration of the biggest problem of the original wiki which is providing a vector onto peoples machines for any bad guy who can edit a page.
I still thing org-mode's approach to documentation is possibly the best and most emacsy way of doing things. IIRC that's handled via a set of git managed org files and rendered to html on commit.Jan 23, 2013
- I added gist support yesterday based on that 300 days later rant because it was easy to do, not because it will encourage existing authors to move their elisp code on wiki pages to github. If at all, it might encourage future elisp authors to transclude a gist... But then again, there's nothing preventing them from linking to a gist right now. Perhaps it's also a generational thing. People that have been living without github and gists don't feel a particular need to start using it.Jan 23, 2013
- There are various modes out there to allow users to edit Emacs Wiki pages within Emacs. There's also a mode that allows you to edit Media Wiki pages, thus the same is true for WikEmacs.Jan 23, 2013
- perhaps although it's not really about where the code is hosted. Personally I like github but I know others don't and that's fine. What is really needed is a way to be sure that the source for the emacs extension your updating hasn't been subverted by someone else with ill intent. Currently people shouldn't make that assumption for code hosted on the Emacs Wiki (or any other wiki for that matter).
The other issues in terms of wiki formatting, features and searchability of the wiki are essentially bike-shed topics where I fully expect there to be a wide variety of opinions. Mediawiki most likely gets suggested so much as so many people are exposed to it in at least one form or another.Jan 23, 2013
- Well, experiences and ideas of "what is really necessary" vary. As for myself, I've installed code from all over the Internet without reviewing the source. Installing it from a gist or git repo is hardly a different experience. If you want to figure out whether a source is trustworthy, you do the usual things: do people link to the code, how long has it been around, what about recent checkins, that sort of thing. Or you get into the crypto business of signing releases.
You could of course say that every day that passes without a problem increases our false sense of security... I have no answer to that. All I can say is that if security is your problem, using gists and github is not the solution (as you say yourself). The source of the insecurity is our habits, our culture of downloading and installing anything and everything. I'm not sure how you'll ever make sure "that the source for the emacs extension your updating hasn't been subverted by someone else with ill intent." That seems pretty impossible to me unless you limit yourself to the core Emacs distribution (and even that's not a guarantee).
People on the #emacs channel keep asking "is there way to do X" and thus my impression is that finding stuff is a more pressing problem. I feel that encouraging people to create a page on the wiki saying "here is code to help you do something" is the solution to that problem.
But then again, I guess we all differ in what we consider to be the most pressing problem.Jan 23, 2013
- it's true we don't review everything we install on our machines, we tend to delegate the trust to others. In a typical Linux distro that's the packagers of the distro. I'm trusting that RedHat, Canonical or the Debian's of this world aren't going to deliberately try and p0wn my machine with a dodgy package update. With a user locked solution like a gist or git repo you can at least be assured what your installing has come through one person who you've trusted to a degree before. If they abuse that trust then that's one online identity that will have it's trust revoked and hopefully others will not use it. If we had something like that in the wiki that would be great but it would involve some sort of authentication.
FWIW I still consider the Emacs Wiki a source of a lot of interesting knowledge and I am grateful for the time you have spent shepherding that resource!Jan 23, 2013
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