This page brainstorms on compromises to satisfy communication-related needs of users and still keep efficiency as high as possible
In practice main issue is to apply chronological forums to supplement wiki.
There is evidence that it is impossible to keep a site clear, useful, organized thematically, well searchable by keywords and userfriendly with 0 effort. A good GenBoard/Manual is needed and nothing else can replace it. The easily understandable manual made MegaSquirt a success (besides starting early and being cheap). It's harder with 10 times more functions but it must be done.
So - sigh - work must be done on the site (not just new firmware and HW features).
- Professional webmasters can use a version tracking system like CVS (or SVN; see WikiVsEmail) to store content and use advanced or simple tools to edit
- Anyone can edit wiki, but some responsible and qualified persons must assist so the structure is kept clear
- Absolutely anyone can add info to forums, and most people are convenient to do so: but forum requires the most time to extract useful info and pump into the site organized thematically: absolutely certain that one of the above methods is needed in any case.
People who intend to spend some leasure time would use forums more often and those who want to contribute would use one of the first 2. Some would hang in forum from time 2 time and contribute to first 2.
The first 2 can be organized with some effort (but not without effort!), forum cannot be organized but information can be merged and pumped over to the organized site.
note: whatever method is used, CompenSation/Distribution credits must be based on achieved results not time spent.
Forum is basically a set of messages the same way as mailing list:
- when only a browser is available, forum can be easier than a mailing list
- when good mail-tools are available, email is much simpler and faster to use than a forum.
A product is much more than the hardware and software, customers have to get the right feeling about it, and the evidence suggests that people are not getting that feeling, the people that I have directed here take one look at the Wiki and never come back (and I am talking about technical people here).
With forum people spend much more time around vems (regardless of how same time could be spent more efficiently), and that makes a community. Contraselection is very common in our society: eg. we pay more for support to a software company that sells broken software than one that sells working software.
Solution - it doesn't sound hard to get the best of both worlds
- make a forum
- Every forum topic should point to 2 (maybe wiki) pages:
- general advice on "search first, summarize project, try to find more relevant place, use links, etc.."
- link to a page that describes the topic and points to relevant info (maybe a small FAQ too): the best might be to include this page as a header for that topic altogether by default (with the option to turn it off) - this will need write-access control at some point.
I think that some tags in wiki like the "<code>" are desired and more urgent than the forums (for now we need people who tend to organize information the proper way, so they help build the manual; than anyone can come, many will realize sooner or later how to do things properly). These tags would hide (by default; configurable of course) development related info, or info relevant for v3.1 only.
The general way to implement this is:
- make property_x configurable in preferences (domain: positive integers)
- <relevancy property="x" rule="equals" value="31" >
- <relevancy property="x" rule="lessthan" value="32" >
It is self explanatory what the relevancy tag would do. (x could be used for board version, 31 means v3.1
Frank (and others) please elaborate on feasibility.
A lot of these stand alone systems can't lay a candle to Genboard and they are top dollar units with not even half the features at genboard. there should be one Genboard runing car in each state of the US and world for that matter. that 50 cars in the USA so one person in each state for someone to talk to about it and advertise the unit and help people that are trying to get started.
The wiki MUST be used to build pages like normal websites.
How about maybe using a Google search for the site instead of the builtin wiki
' Pet Peeve
Why do I have to remember the entire directory structure to link to a page. Wiki should be smart enough to know that GrmRacer? is a WikiKeyWord? and point to it not requiring a user to remember MembersPage/GrmRacer or MembersPage/GrmRacer/GrmCircuits this will make cross linking that much better and more useful.
MembersPage/... was a standard adopted at some point (we not start that way) to make member's pages not clutter SiteIndex. You are absolutely right: better ways are possible, and needed.
Now that we know many reasons why we need forums (btw, we always had forums at sourceforge!), we just need volunteers
- who completes the forum idea. Main task is to bring attention of (new) people.
- who works on GenBoard/Manual (my suggestion is organize in wiki first, and format later). Main task is to make info easy to find and maintain.
The second is absolutely needed as most arguments "against" wiki really boiled down to the unmaintained GenBoard/Manual
I will continue to point people to vems forum(when it is created). If we can get a nice forum started, I will certainly hang around and answer newbie questions over and over and over........ I dont have alot of time to sit down and formulate a thought process(which is needed IMO so we dont get more cluttered mess) for generation of the manual, but I do have time to check in and type a few sentences on email or forum. ~Chris
Although wiki is a nice repository of raw information I too believe very strongly in a forum. I will be creating a support forum for the PSITech. This is a standardised VEMS board with a few minor mods and custom CnC? case packaged for the masses. Maybe something can be worked out so the 2 projects are not competing but the support is shared. - (hackish)
The Avr guys currently have a chat room currently on IRC. here is how you get there. you have to first have MIRC. to get it you have to download it from www.mirc.com after you downloaded and installed it you go to options then Servers. in that tab you will see a IRC servers list. you goto and click on EFnet: AS, Israel. then click connect to server. after that you go to mIRC Favorites then punch in avrboard and press Join and you are there; Additional info can be found on the ChatViaIrc page
Forums will save VEMS.
Forums are now the mainstream communications method for all motor enthusiast everywhere. People turn away from VEMS at the door because of the Wiki format and the seriously outdated look
of the homepage. Itīs literally a "Hello World" example from somebodies first HTML lesson and should have been updated to a presentable look years ago.
Search functions make up for 99% of required answers on forums.
And solves almost all users questions. Strict searching policies and sticky threads will keep uselessness to a minimum.
Project threads linked to from other forums also add to site traffic and potential vems users/developers.
I feel itīs time to give up on the Wiki completely and transfer information into a forum. This will get more people involved.
Account settings and privilegies can be set so that developers have their closed sub forums.
Iīm sure Rob running the VEMS community forum would gladly add sub forums so that enough clearity is had about where to look for information and where to ask questions.
So how about starting a move to
- Yes to Forums, 100% of thae people I talk to about VEMS are bewildered with the use of a Wiki as opposed to a forum structure.
- Having separate forum sections such as "Firmware", "Software", "Wiring", etc, make finding information easy. Best to have a "Sticky" at the top of each forum, with current information, and complete documentation about the subject matter. Kevin Black