[ntp:questions] Re: Trimble Setup Question

Steve Kostecke steve at kostecke.net
Thu Aug 28 13:30:08 UTC 2003

In article <m37k4ywa9p.fsf at pc5234.rz.uni-regensburg.de>, Ulrich Windl

> David L. Mills wrote:
>> Brad Knowles wrote:
>>> At 1:44 PM +0000 2003/08/27, David L. Mills wrote:
>>>>  The twiki is no substiture for the faq. The faq is the primary
>>>>  reference source for newbies and questions of a general nature,
>>>>  not the twiki.
>>> Ulrich will have to correct me, but my understanding is that the
>>> goal is to merge the FAQ and the Twiki, so that they become one and
>>> the same.
>> I'm really nervous about your message about the planned migration of
>> faq to twiki.

THERE IS NO PLANNED MIGRATION of the FAQ to TWiki. There was some
discussion of migration when I set-up the TWiki. But we determined
that that an "on-line" document management system was not compatible
with Ulrich's preferred way of working. And we did not want to hijack
Ulrich's FAQ.

>> By reputation the faq is understood by everybody - a flat document
>> that can be read by anybody without special tools.

Both the FAQ and the TWiki are accessible to anyone using a web-browser.
There are no special tools required.

>> If a byproduct of the twiki was to produce such a flat document, even
>> if the best features could be enjoyed only by twiki participants, I
>> would not feel so uneasy.

Generating static HTML from dynamic web-site is not a difficult task.

> The FAQ maintained by me had "document character" so far. That is,
> it had a release and was consistent as a whole (as good as it gets).
> With TWIKI and almost immediate updating of any part, that document
> character is lost.

TWiki is a web-based collaboration tool, not multi-format document
generation system.

> THis may make referring to a specific part more difficult.

This is simply not true. See my comment below about WikiWords.

> I also took more care when assigning anchors than most of you might
> think, and I always made sure that any hyperlink within the FAQ
> actually worked.

Wikis (including TWiki) provide an easy to use inter-topic
linking feature known as WikiWords. The act of entering
CapitalizedWordsStuckTogether (or WikiWords) in a document (i.e. topic)
will automatically produce a link to the topic with that name. TWiki
automatically updates WikiWords when topics are re-named so that the
inter-topic links won't break.

> While the ability for immediate online update is great, it really does
> not help me. I'm an offline-guy. Occasionally material lies around on
> disks and floppies for weeks or even months. Eventually I have time
> to complete or integrate the material, and then comes a new release
> (which I would put on CVS).

We're really comparing apples and oranges. The FAQ and TWiki are two
entirely different things.

The FAQ is like a textbook. It is a "semi-static" document that is
maintained by a small group of editors. The editors, not the users,
choose what goes in to the document.

The TWiki is like a whiteboard. Any interested participant can
directly contribute content or edit existing content.

> You cannot have unfinished updates in TWIKI I think, can you?

No. The current version of a topic "goes live" as soon as it is saved.

Steve Kostecke <steve at kostecke.net>  /"\     ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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