On Thursday I brought up, on the maintainers@ mailing list, the question that had been dicussed a few months ago and discussed on the cooker list from about April-June, regarding the restructing of the Mandriva Linux Development Community wiki with the possibility of moving if from that hideous POS TWiki to something a whole lot more extensible and faster, MediaWiki.

What came of the first discussion (which spanned about three months) was this demo site which, while looking pretty, has a whole bunch of (in my mind) flaws to it… primarily that it looks too much like the OpenSUSE wiki (it’s really really scary how similar they look), and it’s also really difficult to read. Yes, style can be changed quite easily, but I think the focus of this demo site was solely on style.

The current state of the wiki is awful… it’s really difficult to find anything and TWiki is slow. MediaWiki is much nicer and much faster and it looks a whole lot better. So, to that end, I spent pretty much all day (besides heading outside to mow down some flowers to prepare for winter) setting up a new MediaWiki install that can be used instead of TWiki. Unlike the previous demo, my goal was not to make it look nice (although I don’t think it looks bad, and I think it looks better than the current TWiki), but I wanted to make it a logical “structure” so that it would make sense and things are laid out logically. The problem with the current TWiki is that there are no real rules to it, and no hierarchy. It, honestly, looks like the desk in my office. And, like my desk, makes it damn near impossible to find anything without a lot of effort and cussing.

Obviously it’s far from complete. The idea I have in mind is to migrate not only the developer wiki but the Mandriva Community wiki (which I also host and instigated years ago and which also went through a TWiki to MediaWiki migration) into one big “Mandriva wiki”. When I look at other distributions and their wikis, most of them look pretty good and are well laid-out. Ours is pure anarchy. And I think it reflects poorly on us. Not only that, but why on earth should we have multiple wikis (Community wiki, Developers wiki, Club wiki) when one would suffice and everyone could pool the information and talent to work on a single project? A “one-stop resource” for all things Mandriva, if you will. I suppose, as a result, that it should probably not be hosted on the “qa” machine (with Bugzilla) but on it’s own machine or, at the very least, be named “wiki.mandriva.com” instead of qa.mandriva.com/wiki/.

Ok, you’ve been in suspence long enough. You can check out what I’ve done at mdv.vmlinuz.ca. Please sign up for an account and help convert data from TWiki over to it. I’ve started, but it’s slow going… if I could devote an entire week to this, I could probably do it all on my own (I did the community wiki in 3 days). I figure if we have something in place that’s pretty close or at least on it’s way to being done, and don’t squabble over CSS and layout issues, then we have a real shot at replacing that awful TWiki.

In the end, I figure it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, so I went ahead and started it (which seems to be something of a habit with me and web resources for Mandriva). Hopefully it’ll pan out (most of the other initiatives I’ve over the years have, so I don’t expect this one to be much different).

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