[TYPO3-typo3org] [TYPO3-hci] Kickoff: TYPO3 4.1 (suggestions)

Erik Svendsen erik at linnearad.no
Sun Sep 17 14:28:17 CEST 2006

Hello Matthew,

> Erik Thanks again. I hope you don't mind having this conversation?


>> I think Wikipedia is the only place a community based approach really
>> work. TYPO3 has it's own wiki (wiki.typo3.org) where everyone in the
>> community can or should participate. With such an amount of motivated
>> people, why aren't the wiki growing with tutorials, tips and tricks.
>> The tools are there, and you are free to use them.
> When I look at TYPO3 wiki and I look at Wikipedia wiki the two are not
> the same. Using Wikipedia is easy using TYPO3 wiki is not.
> One of the greatest differences as I see it between the two is that
> Wikipedia link to almost every other section and has a well structured
> layout. TYPO3 wiki does not on both counts.

Then you should ask why. wiki.typo3.org and wikipedia are using exactly the 
same piece of software, and has identical functionality. It's all the contibutors 
on Wikipedia who has made the structure and cross-linking. If you don't link 
to section, you don't get it in sections.

> 1) How to encourage me to contribute and fix these things?
> the wiki is not in my normal workflow - I visit it rarely. Why not?
> Probably
> because I find it so hard to navigate so little is cross linked and I
> cannot see a structure to the content. This is unlike the old
> documentation
> which has a clear start and end and covers a specific topic. I tend to
> use
> Google as my TYPO3 search engine and the results rarely bring back
> wiki
> pages for me. No results no interesting information.

When there are few that contribute, there aren't much to search for.

> 2) So I feel motivated - I can't pay because I am poor. So I can
> contribute some time. I look at the wiki help and I am not completely
> dumb but wiki has its own crazy way of including links and dates etc.
> With no relation to my HTML/CSS/TS/PHP background and so I need to
> learn something new. This is an added hurdle that page annotations did
> not have and helps stop others less motivated from contributing.

Yes, but Wikipedia has the same crazy logic. Can't be the problem, and it's 
easy to learn. And as I said before, page annotations are great on turorial/manual 
pages. There is a reason that php.net and mysql.com are using annotation 
on their online manual pages. But annotation are great to give short comments, 
in wiki you can make complete guides.

> 3) Structure. At present the wiki has grown in an unorganised way and
> I see duplicate content which make me think, if I contribute maybe it
> has already been contributed better but I can't find it. I have no
> certainty that if I contribute it will in the right place.

It's a problem also in Wikipedia, but because of the share numbers of contibutors, 
it's mostly get corrected and/or linked. Also there are problems knowing 
if you are contributing in the right place in Wikipedia. 

> The discussion of structure has been discussed everywhere in TYPO3 and
> in my
> eye there remains only one true TYPO3 structure and that is
> TypoScript.
> When the problem gets tough everyone needs to refer and understand
> TSref.
> So why is the wiki not structured largely around TSref. Any related
> information must span from this apart from maybe Installation!

TSref are of course the "core" in understanding and working with TYPO3. But's 
thats not necessarly the way users mind work. Therefore you have to have 
a multiple structure.

> Looking for wiki related TSref info I find:
> 1) The welcome page has no reference?
> 2) The developers page has no reference?
> So I search for 'TSref'
> 3) Error: There is no page titled ":TSref". You can create this page.
> 4) But I see in the results 2 pages that looks like TSref
> http://wiki.typo3.org/index.php/TSRef
> http://wiki.typo3.org/index.php/T3Doc/doc_core_tsref
> Both these pages are largely blank? I do find a tiny link to Official
> Documentation and guess what back to:
> http://typo3.org/documentation/document-library/references/doc_core_ts
> ref/current/

Probably because none has bother to contribute. You have the official references, 
why write more! And a wiki isn't a copy of official documentation, but should 
be a complemtary source of knowlegde. And a wiki is very good at making short 
documentation, for instance a short guide to a standard setup of an extension, 
or a specific aspect of using an extension. It also easy to use stuff from 
the wiki in future official documentation. And I think a working wiki will 
have implication on typo3.org.

> So I leave the wiki thinking 1) The wiki is badly structured and 2)
> The official documentation is on typo3.org so why bother going back to
> the wiki for help again?
> I want to help but c'mon put a structure in place that invites help
> rather than hinders it. I am sure I am not alone is seeing this.
> So my action points from this is simple - I'll learn the wiki way of
> contributing in preparation for when someone on the committee
> publishes a 'TYPO3 Contributors guideline' Until then any effort I put
> in is likely to be in a misguided direction.
> Thanks!
> Matthew

I agree that the wiki.typo3.org don't have a good structure. And I know that 
a lot of people has tried to do something about it. No one bother to contribute. 
It's mostly the same with the documentation team. Of course people who try 
to get things running, gets unmotivated and drop it. http://wiki.typo3.org/index.php/The_structure, 
here are something about the structure. But a wiki is a very dynamic piece 
of information, so the structure can evolve.

And I don't think there is any misguided directions, and guidelines for contributions 
can be pushed. When I was starting the work with typo3.no, I had to clearify 
the use of the TYPO3 logo and styleguide. I got an answer, probably because 
I made a short paper with my thoughts about it (also examples), and put it 
to the right people.

A newslist, a forum, a wiki is never better than the contributors make it. 
So if some people (let say 4 - 10) really started to contribute in the wiki, 
I think the use would raise.

But this has been a problem in the TYPO3 community all my years. People are 
wanting better this and better that, but very few really contribute. In Norway 
they was discussing a Norwegian TYPO3 site for years, and none did it. My 
solution was, no discussion, I did the job (as official TYPO3 press-contact 
i Norway, is it easier to take such a desicion). As a consultant (selfemployed), 
mostly working with strategic and organizational development (and only partly 
with TYPO3), it cost me about € 20 000 in lost income. But it was worth it 
(and I could also afford the lost income).

Erik Svendsen

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