[Exherbo-dev] Exherbo Impressions ~ From Installation to Uptime

Sess leycec at gmail.com
Fri Mar 5 07:46:38 GMT 2010

2010/3/5 Bryan Østergaard <bryan.ostergaard at gmail.com>

> On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 5:09 AM, Sess <leycec at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 04:39, Bo Ørsted Andresen <zlin at exherbo.org>
> wrote:
> >> Exherbo will never have a wiki. Wikis are horrible.
> >
> > What? Wikis are entirely in keeping with Exherbo philosophy of
> distributed
> > development: in this case, distributed documentation development.
> >
> > Do you suggest alternatives? If not, what's to hypothetically halt any
> > Exherbo user from posting an unofficial Wiki: say,
> > "http://exherbo-wiki.org"?
> >
> You seem to have misunderstood our philosophy/intentions. Wikis makes
> it easy for random people to contribute random things, quite often of
> low quality.

No, I don't believe I have misunderstood. Exherbo encourages
micro-contribution. So do I. And so do Wikis. Do those contributions vary
with the quality of their contributor? Of course. In this respect, then,
Exherbo repositories are of no greater guaranteeable quality than a Wiki.

I do believe you underestimate the self-correcting properties of Wikis.
Wikis tend towards complex communities of dedicated contributors. Like all
complex communities (ecologic, social, et al.), Wikis exhibit emergent
properties. Homeostasis, for example. In Wikis, homeostasis manifests as
peer review via article revisions and discussion. This peer review tends,
over time, to converge towards "mostly right, most of the time."

No one's suggesting that Wiki articles are perfectly authoritative. I'm
certainly not, because... they're not. Well-meaning contributors contribute
meaningless data. Vandals contribute vandalism. Spammers contribute spam.
Yes, these things do happen. But you know what? The Wiki community adapts,
resiliently, to damp these harmful effects. Ergo, Wikipedia.

> Exherbo has every intention of making contributions (be it
> documentation, new packages or whatever) as easy as possible but not
> without a fairly strong built-in peer reviewing system. Ever noticed
> how often patches are improved after being discussed in #exherbo? Or
> how much new users repositories are improved when they submit them for
> review in #exherbo?
> *That* process is extremely important and not at all well supported by
> wikis that tend to be update first, (maybe) review later. We want to
> review first and make sure we don't help unleash even more crap on the
> world. And the really cool thing about this of course is that we help
> people learn quite a bit in a short while and help raise the quality
> of all their work even if we only review part of it.

Concerning exheres development, I'm right with you. Using a Wiki to
distribute and maintain exheres would not, for obvious reasons, be a
commendable idea. Using git, as it turns out, is.

I'm not suggesting Exherbo replace existing front-facing websites (
http://exherbo.org), mailing lists, freenode chatlogs, or git itself with a
Wiki. That would be absurd, right?

I am suggesting Exherbo consider supplement these existing tools with ad-hoc
community-driven knowledge-based tools: e.g., a Wiki. I, frankly, could not
have installed Exherbo on bleeding-edge hardware without the assistance of
ArchWiki, GentooWiki, and UbuntuWiki. If you have a more expedient mechanism
for distributing knowledge, however, I'd like to hear it.

Humbly yours,
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