Re: [DML] Re: Repeated Questions Solution: DeLorean Tech Wiki?
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Re: [DML] Re: Repeated Questions Solution: DeLorean Tech Wiki?

I understand your and Wayne's concerns about incorrect or inaccurate  
data being added to the wiki.  However, I do not believe that using a  
locked-down web site is the way to go.  That would be roughly the same  
as all the other personal and group sites that are already out there,  
where the community contributes indirectly and needs to go through  
moderators to get changes made to correct information or add new  
information.  Even on a moderated site run by experts, mistakes can  
still be made.

Tracking changes is rather simple on a wiki.  There's a Recent Changes  
link on the left hand side of all pages, which lists how big the  
change was in bytes added or removed (so you can tell if its a big o  
small change) and who made the change.  You can show all of the edits  
(diffs) on each page so you can see exactly what changed.  It also  
shows a red exclamation point next to changes which need to be  
"patrolled", meaning that no one has visited the page and verified the  
new content yet.  It is possible to watch articles for any changes so  
you can be notified if anyone adds incorrect data.  Furthermore,  
admins can mark entire pages as protected so that non-admins cannot  
edit them, although I think that should be reserved for specific  
cases, as even trusted information straight out of the workshop manual  
could use some extra details and notes.

The citation system encourages contributors to cite their sources.  A  
citation can be anything from a page number in the workshop manual to  
a link to the original DML posts to a document on another web site.   
Information without a citation could be marked as requiring it, or  
just deleted for lack of information.  It is also easy to mark any  
questionable information in the article directly by just making your  
own edit.

Obviously, all these tools require people to actually look at the  
contents of the wiki from time to time to check its validity.  I  
believe this weakness (that bad data can be added) is outweighed by  
the community aspect of how anyone can add new data and correct any  
bad data that may be present.  There are certainly risks, but they are  
no greater than hitting a personal DeLorean site through google, or  
getting bad data from someone who just happens to not have the right  
info.  The hope is that the wiki will be expanded upon by  
knowledgeable people and that over time it will get more complete and  
thorough.  We don't need everyone editing every page, just adding the  
occasional bit of data to the sections they do know something about.

The first thing I'm doing on the wiki isn't listing all any specific  
techniques, but rather documenting all of the vendors, web sites,  
mailing lists, forums and documentation that people can use to get  
more information, so that the initial wiki will be a hub for finding  
information from sources all over, as well as providing actual  
information, specifications, tips, techniques and tutorials itself.

-- Joe

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