This wholesale dumping of the Knowledge Base into the wiki is all well and good, but it has raised certain problems:
- Very few of the new pages are being categorized.
- The naming convention absolutely sucks. Who came up with the idea to preface everything with KB, and then to include slashes in the titles? Categories and sub-categories, the normal approach of the Wikipedia, is definitely the way to go.
- There is an awful lot of duplicate information. In many cases, far better explanations and examples already exist on the wiki.
- Hardly any of the new articles are being created with wiki syntax.
With a little bit of advanced planning, and maybe with consultation of the wiki's major contributors, much of this could have been avoided. I find it extraordinary that DreamHost has chosen to delete the original KB at all, let alone delete it before the wiki was ready to take up the slack.
I think that the naming convention and the lack of categorizing is a real problem, and I'd like to see it fixed before too many people have bookmarked specific pages. What do others think about this? -- Scjessey 12:56, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)
- I've only been a Dreamhost customer for a few weeks now but I was rather surprised at the decision to wikify the KB. I think your second point is the most worrisome - the hierarchical page structure currently in place will turn into a mess if any major changes should occur, and it doesn't really facilitate finding information quickly (at least, not any more quickly than categories or simply searching the wiki). What would be the best way to restructure? Put everything in categories exactly analogous to their old KB categories, or do some reorganization? --Unholysauce 14:40, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)
- I was very discombobulated by the complete deletion of the knowledge base. I use to look there all the time to find answers to my questions. I try searching the wiki on stuff that use to be in the KB and I can't find a thing. It is very distressing. Thank god for the message board. Someone usually has pointed someone else in the right direction before about the same topic. Posted at/by: 02:56, 26 Jan 2006 Darkpixie
- I agree, it's very hard to find information I know was in the KB. I also miss all of the user comments that wern't brought over. Further, I was rahter suporised to find that the KB was deleted without a notice from Dreamhost or anything. I went over there one day, and behold the K-base is no more. It seems to me that the information shoudl have been brought over bit by bit, updating the articles, or adding onto exisitng ones. In many cases the K-base was outdated, so it's nice that now it's in the Wiki and can be updated, but holesale lazy importing doesn't quite seem to be the correct way to go about it. Matttail 20:32, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)
- I have to assume there is a backup of the KB offsite. I'd personally like to see the KB returned for now and the wiki put into an alpha mode. There needs to be at least a couple of meetings with all the people who would be handling the bulk of the wiki to see how everyone wants to go about this all. Yes you can straight dump text into a wiki format and spend however many weeks (hopefully not months!) working things out from there. I think if this is done right though it could all be done within 2 weeks at most. Also just to put it out there, I'd be happy to volunteer time in helping with this tasks (the closest thing I've done to this was reformating tens of thousands of tab files at Olga.net... so much eye damage...).--Tonyrayo 20:42, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)
- 1. Any number of people can categorize the pages, but from what I've read so far it seems like some of the pages are protected. This also lead to the next point.
- 3. Some of the duplicated information in the KBase can be moved to the Wiki page. The .htaccess is a good choice for a test of this. .htaccess could also then be a category of Web with all of the information edited and sorted.
- 2. The naming convention does suck but it does allow people to know what it used to be in the original KBase.
- 4. Editing all of the Knowledge base files would be a self made hell no matter who does it. Searching is a god send.
- Santosj 07:51, 11 Mar 2006 (PST)
I'd like to get some feedback from DreamHost doodz on this. This is what I'm hoping for:
- Restore original KB until the wiki can get its act together.
- Allow regular contributors and other volunteers to recategorize/move/cleanup the KB-related articles that exist.
- Stop adding new KB articles for a bit so that volunteers aren't overwhelmed with new stuff.
- Restart adding new KB articles once there is a nice system going.
- Delete the original KB - it really is better off here anyway.
What does everyone else think? -- Scjessey 05:56, 26 Jan 2006 (PST)
- Scjessy, that sounds like a good plan to me. If the articles are added over time it makes it easier to find them (not having to sort througha huge rescent changes log). I'm all for helping to re-write the K-base articles and that sort of sutff - especially getting pertinant user commnets from the K-base worked into the re-vised article. I contacted support when I found out that the K-base was gone and we'd lost all the user comments. From the reply that I got, it seems that a lot of people were contacting them about it. Patrick said he placed my message in the suggestiosn queue, so perhaps this issue is also getting noticed on that front. I look forward to hearing from the DH 'doodz' on this one, perhaps there is a reason for all this madness ;) Matttail 08:39, 26 Jan 2006 (PST)
I think the biggest problems with the move of the Knowledge Base are:
- old links are broken
- tons of links in the discussion forum are no longer working
- quite a few links in the wiki points to the old kbase
- user comments have not been moved
- the comments were sometimes the most valuable part of the article
Since I don't think the Wiki-based Knowledge Base is up to pair with the old Knowledge Base yet, I've decided the create a temporary mirror of the old Knowledge Base from Google's cache. Basically this was the only way I could get my old bookmarks to work again.
A reader of my blog has suggested copying all the comments from the Knowledge Base to the equivalent Talk pages for each article. Would that be an idea? Quickbrownfox 01:20, 29 Jan 2006 (PST)
- That would be a good idea with transfering the comments to the wiki. I know that quite a few of the comments helped me quite a bit. The only other issue is now that you can edit the article, I think that some of the comments can be added to the article instead.
- The wiki pointing to the old KBase is a travesty. I changed a link not two days ago to point to the Wiki KBase article of the same name (or that I presume is the same).
- Santosj 07:50, 11 Mar 2006 (PST)
What we were thinking, basically
Heya...basically the decision to get rid of the KB was that:
- it wasn't effectively organized (duh!)
- a lot of comments were useful, but lots of people were doing dumb stuff like posting comments asking for support that Josh ended up dealing with every day
- While the KBase was still around it was confusing that some useful info was here, some was in the KB
- we did a little research and about 90% of pageviews on KBase were from searches, not clicking around
That last point is the biggest reason. The wiki search is better, allows anybody to easily update the info...we know it's sort of a mess, but we're mostly thinking that whoooole chunk of articles will just be deprecated.
We pretty much just want to take those as a template for newer, better articles so we can hose them all.
Anyhoo, we really appreciate all of the fine folks who help keep our wiki in line. I wouldn't worry much about the gross KBase section. People can find them by searching, and any new articles that are made using that old content can be Categorized or whatnot!
So feel free to change the KBase articles just like any other wiki article! That's why we moved them over here! --Nate 14:38, 26 Jan 2006 (PST)
- Hey Nate, I'm cool with this, but I'm having one issue that I'm hoping you or someone with more technical skills than I might be able to resolve. Whenever I've come across an old kb internal img, <img src = "./images/illustrations/vpndownload.gif"> for example, I've been downloading the file from https://panel.dreamhost.com/kbase/images/illustrations/ then have uploaded it to the Wiki and use wiki image tags to display the image. I was j/w if there was a bulk way of doing this (assuming we want to keep the images, which last I heard we wanted to keep all past KB info). There aren't THAT many files, but if someone knew about bulk transfering/uploading I'd be interesting in knowing the way.--Tonyrayo 00:54, 27 Jan 2006 (PST)
Well, I would say that this wiki isn't better organized, but I have no idea on how to organize it better. Most people will most likely use the Search, but the problem is that information that they might need won't be available if they don't know to look for it.
For example, they want to learn about shell commands to list the directory. Well, if they don't know that there exists an article that lists and gives information about the commands.
--Santosj 07:50, 11 Mar 2006 (PST)
I'm very glad that the kb was migrated wholesale to the wiki. However, now we have to integrate the content. For example, I spent a bit of time working on Goodies Control Panel but there's also KB / Account Control Panel / Goodies :: One-Click_Installs. And some of the existing wiki content is bits and pieces copied and pasted from the KB. So ... there's a lot of overlap.
Also, I just cleaned up this talk page - try to use proper talk-page formatting, including : for indentation and four hyphens in a row to create lines to break discussions apart. Four tildes (~) in a row will list your username and the date you wrote your comment. See also: MediaWiki Help: Talk page Louis 13:57, 2 Feb 2006 (PST)
- I was thinking about working on the .htaccess stuff since .htaccess is used almost every where there is an installation or configuration. Along with other useful bits and pieces. --Santosj 07:50, 11 Mar 2006 (PST)