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wiki:gardening [MojaveWiki]
 

Wiki Gardening

After participating as a contributor to several wikis in my time, I have often wondered how best to manage a wiki. Of course, the whole point of a wiki is that it is not managed, but if it gets to be too much of a mess, then it makes it hard to find anything and no fun to add new material. This article on the O'Reilly Network first introduced me to the concept of Wiki Gardening. Basically, wiki gardening is the process of refactoring a wiki. The person who conducts these cleanups is called a Wiki Gardener. The idea is that everyone who contributes new content, also helps to garden the wiki. The article also offers other suggestions for maximizing the utility of a wiki. However, I think that important thing is to not stress about the organization too much and just do what works. When something needs to be fixed, it usually sticks out like a weed ;)

Organizational Tools

  • DELETEME - If a page is no longer needed, all the content should be erased, and this phrase should be left behind. A script will take care of the rest. Be sure to update any pages that refer to this page so that they don't end up in a dead end.
  • a page by two names - Sometimes it is nice to use more than one page name for the same content. In this case, one of the two pages should redirect to the page hosting the content.
  • namespaces - Composite names can be made by delimiting them with a colon, such as java:testing. This scheme helps to prevent naming conflicts and provides a better structure in the index.
  • lost pages - Occationally, pages will get lost. This happens when no other pages link to that page. Lost pages can be found again by visiting the index.

Ideas

While not related to keeping the wiki organized, I do like the stylesheet used by OpenWiki. Often times, wikis look so ugly or overly complex.

 
wiki/gardening.txt · Last modified: 2006/10/28 21:17
 
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