About the Nyetwork Wiki

Reasons for existing

Like many people, I have had my own personal website for yearz. Typically, it only got updated every 8-12 months. This is due to the extra effort required to code HTML or learn a WYSIWYG tool, and to upload it via FTP to a server somewhere. Over the last year or two I've started adding some howto type documents, links, screenshots, and so forth. However, because adding content means opening up a text editor, mucking around with HTML and templating systems, the psychological barrier to add content has been high.

About a year ago, I was introduced to the simple concept of Wiki. At first I was scared of this extremely new way of managing content in a collaborative manner. Having a site that anyone can edit (and easily vandalize) does indeed sound freaky at first. However, after going through several sites, I quickly found them really easy to navigate, read, and understand. Not only that, Wiki has a way of making it really easy and quick to add a page here and flesh out a paragraph there. This means that the quality of the content is an order of magnitude higher then a traditionally created page. The focus of Wiki webs tends to be on the content, and not the banners ads, not the sidebars, not the first post comments, not the trivial and redundant comments.

As such, that is why I started the Nyetwork wiki. I installed the Apache::MiniWiki module, which is available from CPAN. Soon I started adding some features on my own, and eventually took over maintainership of that Perl module.

I'm a bit pumped by the fact that others are adding pages to this MiniWiki site. It must have got a kickstart from the last FVLUG meeting and the mailing list. The LUG meeting went great... learnt something about raid, and even learnt more about PostgreSQL. They say you learn best by teaching. Of course, creating a presentation forces you to do some research to come up with useful info. Probably spent 8+ hours on putting those slides together.

One of the goals I'm trying to achieve on this site is several entry pages. For example, see Linux, FVLUG, MiniWiki, Windows, Testing, SOAP, CVS, and SoftwareReleaseManagement. I have quite a bit of Windows stuff, but mostly it's about OpenSource stuff for Windows... stuff to make Linux/Unix people more comfortable on Windows.

These core entry pages typically do not have any http:// links on them. Instead, they have a short introduction to the main topic, then links to each sub topic. The sub topic pages will then have more information, a list of http:// links including short one-line descriptions, and then finally links back to the main topic page. This way, people entering through Google or whatever can still find their way back to related topics.


There are really few rules on Wiki webs. Every reader has the same content editing privileges. If I can change a page, so you can too. Some of you may shudder at this concept. However, in reality I have never heard of a Wiki web being abused. On this web, like nearly all Wikis, all the content is stored in RCS. That means that all revisions are stored in backups. If some lamer decides to edit all the pages and nuke them, everything can be reverted using a single RCS comment. As well, things such as error and access logs do exist.

All we ask is that you follow the conventions as set out in the current content. For example, if you add a sentence or paragraph or page, sign it using the --[[username]] convention. This will also give you an opportunity to have your own page, such as Wim or fozbaca, where you can put a link to your website and a variable sized blurb about yourself if you so wish. If you add a page to the system with a new topic, you could also add a link to it on your page.

Feel free to post questions on any page. If possible, add it to the bottom of the page that is most relevant. If not, add it to the bottom of this page, and somebody will move it to the correct location.

Here are some simple guidelines that I attempt to follow when editting pages:

Some Wiki advice

From http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?GoodStyle:

'Write factual information. Give concrete advice. Use the second or third person (see "Personal Pronouns" below) when possible, as the first person is not easily reduced to facts or advice. Place words where they are easy to read, which isn't always at the bottom. Edit pages to emphasize the flow of ideas, not the chronology of contribution.'

How to write in the Wiki format

To read up on the simple steps of Wiki speak, you can now read about how to write pages.

See also Nyetwork, MiniWiki, Wim, How to edit