Sorry, I don't want to junk up the main page with someone's opinion on "the manual" and the wiki documentation. Hellosimon 10:41, 5 June 2006 (PDT)
I too think that the Main Page shouldn't get too verbose. I don't understand the need for that little comment in the User Documentation section, but if someone insists on having it placed on the wiki, then a compromise should be reached somehow. I suggest moving it to some other articles. --184.108.40.206 16:14, 5 June 2006 (PDT)
I agree: Simon, while you have definitely done some nice job here, you need to realize that you can achieve much more by collaborating constructively with other contributors rather than by simply opposing contributions of people who have in fact contributed significant amounts of work to the project for quite some time. I think, the corresponding paragraph wasn't an "opinion" on the manual or the wiki and it certainly wasn't meant to reflect badly upon your efforts, rather it was merely meant to complement the wiki. There's simply a very clear relationship between "The Manual" and "the wiki", if you fail to recognize this, your contribution (that is, this wiki) -even though very much needed and extremely worthwhile- is condemned to fail eventually.
Making the manual accessible via wiki software
On the other hand, I would recommend to also look into making "The Manual" editable via some sort of web based frontend, this would also ensure that people are able to easily contribute modifications to the manual, which is really the ultimate source for flightgear users. A possible approach might be to import the underlying LaTex sources in docbook format into some sort of docbook based wiki (i.e. http://sourceforge.net/projects/doc-book/).
Using a dedicated FAQ database
Also, I feel there are some sections covered in the wiki that aren't really optimally handled by a wiki: most notably the "FAQ" section should preferably be implemented via some sort of dynamic FAQ system (i.e. http://www.phpmyfaq.de), likewise the sections titled "Bugs", "TODO", "Feature Requests", "ideas" etc. could probably all be handled far more effectively by using a real bug tracker such as bugzilla (http://www.bugzilla.org/), phpbugtracker (http://phpbt.sourceforge.net/) or mantis (http://www.mantisbt.org).
Concerning database backups: you should preferably set up a cron job to upload a compresed SQL dump to the flightgear FTP server on a regular (daily?) basis, I am sure you'll be granted write access to a corresponding directory, this would ensure that everything will in fact be backed up regularly and possibly even mirrored.
["I think, the corresponding paragraph wasn't an "opinion" on the manual or the wiki and it certainly wasn't meant to reflect badly upon your efforts, rather it was merely meant to complement the wiki."] This assumption is correct. The manual is the center piece of the FlightGear user documentation, so does anyone have a suggestion (one that makes sense) on how to deal with my comments aside from "removing it" or "moving it into negligence/insignificance" ? Martin.
Using a dedicated bug tracker
Martin's text has been placed (not by me) in the paragraphs at the top. I rather like this compromise and hope it works for everyone. I agree a bugtracker would be ideal - didn't someone start one? Also, if anyone wants to grant ftp access to a server, I'll gladly cron a script to upload the backup tarball. I have it backed up to multiple locations in the meantime. - Hellosimon 11:36, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
A couple of days ago I started setting up a local test bugZilla installation, while I am currently unable to provide reliable hosting, I would really not mind installing it on whatever webspace is available, likewise I can provide the preconfigured database dump if someone else wants to use the preconfigured Flightgear specific categories.--FlightZilla 17:59, 17 June 2006 (EDT)
PDF Export Facilities
Regarding the manual: isn't there a possibility to export wikimedia pages to PDF format? That way, we could maintain the whole manual via this wiki. Any thoughts?--FlightZilla 18:10, 17 June 2006 (EDT)
If you check out the following links, you'll see that there are extensions available that would make it possible to easily provide PDF exports for all contents stored here, that way it would also become feasible to consider migrating the entire manual over to this wiki, so that it would also become more maintainble in the end: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiPDF http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/PDF_Export --FlightZilla 17:21, 19 June 2006 (EDT)
Hello, guys. If I get it right, you're discussing various documentation types here.
I think, this wiki is a lot more convenient than any other form of keeping documentation and at the same time communicating. It can be edited fast and easily and maintained up-to-date. However, the following questions need be solved:
- how to convert it to an offline version (maybe .pdf) so that it could be bundled with the FlightGear base package?
Limiting access rights
- how to define and limit editing rights for certain users?
It's better to have one consolidated source of information for both bugs and descriptions. For now, user has to search through mailing lists, forums, user manuals (even not a single user manual, but several) and this wiki. It's absolutely not convinient for both users (they spend lot's of time searching required information) and developers (they spend lot's of time updating and syncronizing certain information in various sources).
This wiki is suitable for bug tracking too. Users can provide feedback in a convinient form. They just open the corresponding page and add their bug to the list. Developers can respond to the posted bugs right away. Mailing lists are a lot less user-friendly and effective and a lot less popular among users (not developers) in this regard, this is the reason why some bugs may stay unreported and why many users forget about FlightGear as soon as they run into a problem.
Unfortunately, it seems to me, this wiki is not popular among developers and users. -- Alfozavr 06:59, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
02/2008: Wiki issues (database, login & performance problems)
Recently, the wiki seems to be suffering rather seriously from database connection issues, also often login information doesn't seem to be retained properly and performance is often seriously affected, as well.
Error messages include:
Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties. Try waiting a few minutes and reloading. (Can't contact the database server: User hellosimonor1 already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections (mysql01.powweb.com))