Using a Wiki for Collaborative Documentation TOSW - The Process

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  • Building a book with three chapters
    1. Create a new page to be the top-level of the book by typing in the URL or making a stub link. The name should be descriptive, natural language, not CamelCase, and not redundant (e.g. adding Fedora to the name of a guide on
    2. Edit the new page. Introduce the book, scope, etc., then create a table of contents that are stub-links to the chapters.
    3. Add it to at least one category immediately. It may have its own self-named category, too.
    4. Create the second-level nested sections
      • Each page is itself the first-level nesting
      • Use Review to check for syntax mistakes
    5. Save at this state because:
      • Save often is safer, less work lost
      • Once saved, you are more likely to share the URL
      • Once saved, it shows up in the wiki recent changes list
        • Release early, release often
      • The work you save is the work others have to build on
        • You may have reason to go suddenly, leave it so others can pick up where you left off.
    6. Each sub-section can now be edited independently.
    7. A common trick with wiki pages is to stub out all the sections.
      • Gives an outline to work against.
      • Makes it easy for others to work on part of the outline.
    8. Collaborators dive in where they see fit and/or where agreed. For example, a few writers might work on a chapter together, each working on different sections, then cross-editing.
    9. Using MediaWiki version control you can take a snapshot of a particular moment in a document, then continue editing the latest content. This is how TOS' 'Practical Open Source Software Exploration' worked.
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