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Topic: Arduino Playground will be a regular website and not a wiki (Read 36342 times) previous topic - next topic

pert

MastroLinux suggested that Arduino might set up a system similar to how the Language Reference pages now work with the content in a GitHub repository, where it can be edited by the community, then published to the Arduino website. If that is actually going to happen, then I don't think we need a 3rd party version of the Playground. However, I'm still very skeptical that will ever happen. It would be really helpful if we could get a firm official answer on whether that is something Arduino is going to commit to doing, and if so, what a realistic timeline is. It's been 1.5 years since Massimo Banzi announced that the official library reference content was moving to GitHub, but I haven't seen any work done towards that. It's hard for me to believe that the Playground project would be given higher priority (if any at all).


Probably the quickest path for starting a 3rd party Playground would be to set up the PmWiki software currently used by the Playground on a separate website:
http://pmwiki.org/
After that, there should be some way to easily import the contents of the Playground. It might be necessary to coordinate with someone from Arduino to get access to the raw content.

Based on my experience with the Playground, I'm actually not a big fan of PmWiki. The edit history is just terrible. I'm also not crazy about the markup. It would be much better if we could use Markdown, which anyone using GitHub, Stack Exchange, etc. will already be familiar with. I suppose it's possible that PmWiki has been much improved since whatever outdated version Arduino is using, or maybe there are modifications that can be made to improve it. However, converting the content from PmWiki to some other platform is likely to be a much bigger job (though perhaps not so bad if we found some magic converter program that does an acceptable job).

The big question is how this 3rd party Playground will be hosted. If some random community member grabs a domain and hosting plan and sets this up, what guarantee do we have that the bills will continue to be paid and necessary infrastructure maintenance work will be done? This is an issue because I don't want to do a lot of work contributing to a resource that's going to disappear after a couple years. That is why Arduino is the best organization to host this resource. I believe that Arduino does benefit from community-generated documentation.

I have actually given the idea of starting a 3rd party version of the Playground quite a bit of thought since this announcement was made. Hosting it on GitHub seems like a good option. Public GitHub repositories are free so there is no concern of paying for hosting. If the owners did end up abandoning the project without passing on the torch, it's simple enough for someone to fork the repo. It is unfortunate that a GitHub account is required to contribute, but a significant number of the potential contributors already have one and it's quite easy for people who don't to set one up. I've noticed an amazing lack of spam/abuse/vandalism on GitHub. I considered a GitHub Wiki, but that feature is surprisingly very poorly done. In the end, I think a standard GitHub repository would be better. The potential issue with that option is that it MUST be actively administrated. Valid PRs must be merged quickly, otherwise people will not be motivated to make the effort to contribute. It's a shame you can't create GitHub repos that give everyone push access (as is the case with public GitHub wikis). I think the key would be for the repository to have a lot of administrators with a liberal policy about accepting PRs. The big problem is the work of transferring the Playground content to the GitHub repository. I know there are some tools that will convert the HTML output of the Playground to Markdown (perhaps pandoc). I also see there is a PmWiki "cookbook" that allows PmWiki pages to be shown as Markup output:
https://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/MarkdownOutput

ChrisTenone

Being an oldTimer, I'd be looking at the Frontier (UIserLand) software I built my old websites with - they had an Edit button so users could edit any page. I don't know about security so that would be my issue, but I'm willing to tackle that when it's an issue.

Like I said, Feb 09 is my target date.
What, I need to say something else too?

pert

An essential feature is to be able to clearly see the edit history and revert to any point in that history. The Playground does have such an edit history, but it doesn't at all do a good job of showing a "diff", which makes it very difficult to review edits to make sure they were beneficial. Wikipedia and GitHub provide a very nice diff of edits.

I also think it's very useful to be able to get notifications of edits. For a short period, the Playground did allow you to get notifications of all edits via a RSS feed. Email would probably be better for most people since I don't think RSS is very commonly used anymore (I still really like it). Wikipedia allows you to watch specific pages. GitHub allows you to watch repositories, which allows you to get an email for every pull request, issue report, or comment in those threads. You can't get emails for edits to a GitHub wiki, but you will see them for any repo you're watching in your GitHub feed.

pert

How would you address my concern regarding long term stability of the website?

I've seen this really derail some communities. It's just not viable to have one person with complete control over a resource like that (the "bus factor"). People disappear or die without any warning.

Then you have the issue of funding. If one person is paying out of pocket, how can we be sure they'll continue to do so. If it's funded by ads or donations, what happens if they fall short? If it's a community resource and there is income in excess of requirements, what happens to that money?

ChrisTenone

Here's my thoughts:

Funding could come as voluntary contributions from users of the site. As many of us will be on fixed incomes, we would need to put some effort into fundraising. I believe we could afford this valuable resource though.

Stability - I imagine a group of curators would manage the content, while folks with technical expertise would keep it all up and running. I have no doubt that the a.cc community has the necessary brain-power to do it.

Software - My web-mastering experience is a decade or so old, so I'll need reeducated. I have served large websites using Frontier software, which seems to fit this bill exactly, however I do not know the state of that software, nor the company that made it. I've also used Apache/database with live pages, and that would also work. And of course there is Wikimedia, which would simplify construction.
What, I need to say something else too?

terryking228

#20
Jan 16, 2019, 06:02 pm Last Edit: Jan 16, 2019, 06:06 pm by terryking228
Hi Everyone,

Just found this thread...

I'm for a separate, user-supported WIKI that follows the original Playground intent.

I looked at many possibilities when I had to move/recreate https://ArduinoInfo.Info and I finally figured WikiPedia was highly likely to continue and have it's base software maintained.

It's based on MediaWiki.

I would love to have all the Playground content on ArduinoInfo.Info. I may just grab it...  

I will be happy to either have this type content contributed to ArduinoInfo.Info or I will happily pay to have a parallel MediaWiki site created, if others would work on building and maintaining it.

Let's figure out something that will work. And DO it.  

UPDATE: I just tried editing the Playground and I WAS able to do it.  Whazzup??
Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

Delta_G

Quote
We get a ton of posts here on the forum related to stuff in the playground that is wrong, misleading, or even dangerous
Quote
I think that's a serious exaggeration. I'm always on the lookout for those sorts of posts and they're not very common.
I know the mistake in the diagram on this page has been mentioned at least a dozen times since I first started on this forum.  Yet nobody has done anything to fix it.  And each time it has surfaced it has been someone who can't get the tutorial to work because they are following that erroneous diagram. 

https://www.arduino.cc/en/tutorial/ShiftOut



https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=592194.0
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

Please do not PM with technical questions or comments.  Keep Arduino stuff out on the boards where it belongs.

pert

That tutorial is not part of the Playground. It is part of the read-only official documentation in the Arduino website. I guarantee you that if it was in the Playground it would have been fixed years ago.

Delta_G

That tutorial is not part of the Playground. It is part of the read-only official documentation in the Arduino website. I guarantee you that if it was in the Playground it would have been fixed years ago.
OK, so I don't keep up with all the little divisions.  It's all Arduino to me.  It's still broken and nobody seems to be concerned with fixing it.  And I think that blocking off access to more areas just results in more stuff like this.  Maybe if someone was taking care of things.  But as long as something like this gets reported over and over and nobody can seem to come up with any idea on how it could be fixed then I'm not going to assume that things will be any better running any other part of the website in the same way.   

Sure you may be on top of it now.  But what happens when you get busy or move on. 

"Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."   ~The Lorax
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

Please do not PM with technical questions or comments.  Keep Arduino stuff out on the boards where it belongs.

pert

It's still broken and nobody seems to be concerned with fixing it.
You're concerned with fixing it. I'm concerned with fixing it. Grumpy_Mike is concerned with fixing it. That doesn't make a bit of difference because none of us have the power to edit it. Right now, at least there is a good bit of content we the Arduino community have the power to improve and update at will. If the Playground is made read-only, all that content moves more towards the situation with the ShiftOut tutorial.

Sure you may be on top of it now.  But what happens when you get busy or move on.
As long as it stays publicly-editable, the Playground is not about me. Even if I've moved on, anyone is free to do it.

Delta_G

You're concerned with fixing it. I'm concerned with fixing it. Grumpy_Mike is concerned with fixing it. That doesn't make a bit of difference because none of us have the power to edit it. Right now, at least there is a good bit of content we the Arduino community have the power to improve and update at will. If the Playground is made read-only, all that content moves more towards the situation with the ShiftOut tutorial.
As long as it stays publicly-editable, the Playground is not about me. Even if I've moved on, anyone is free to do it.
It sounds like we're in total agreement here.   
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

Please do not PM with technical questions or comments.  Keep Arduino stuff out on the boards where it belongs.

Robin2

OK, so I don't keep up with all the little divisions.  It's all Arduino to me.
Same for me. I hardly ever look at the Playground - I have no idea what is in it and no immediate inclination to find out. How much use does it get compared to this Forum?

I agree with the idea that the Playground should remain as a user-editable WiKi. But if the Powers-That-Be decide to change that it does not automatically mean that some other user-editable system MUST be created. There is always a great danger that experts feel that solutions must be implemented just because the expert knows how to do so.

I would much prefer if the Official-Arduino-Folks would provide proper support for their system (this system) and be visible and approachable while doing so.

I do NOT want to see some Third Party system emerge which has the effect of diluting interest in and support for this Forum. I have no intention of participating in two systems.

There is already too much fragmentation within this Forum and every day there are several wrongly posted questions. Having another system would just add confusion on top of confusion. We are all the time trying to stop people double posting. Don't give them another opportunity to do so.

Less is more.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

Jantje

1 month after the "lock date" I can still edit the playground.
I seriously wonder how serious Arduino is about anything else than money.
Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

Robin2

Maybe they have changed their mind based on what has been said here by their customers. But are too embarrassed to admit it.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

Jantje

Maybe they have changed their mind based on what has been said here by their customers. But are too embarrassed to admit it.

...R
I would call that unlikely for many reasons.
One is that the text "Playground.arduino.cc will be read-only starting December 31st, 2018." is still on the  playground.
Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

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