History Of PsionWiki

From The Digest 30 Jun 2006

From: Chris Cooper
Subject: PsionWiki


Do you know what I'd dearly love to see? A Psion wiki.

I'd like to see all the Psion wisdom scattered through this Digest's archives and across the Web consolidated, linked and then progressively improved in a Wikipedia-like structure.

In case there's anybody out there who still doesn't know what a wiki is: it's an online resource that can be freely edited by its (registered) users. The mother of wikis, Wikipedia, is now a behemoth that's challenging conventional encyclopaedias in all areas, and beating them hollow in many.

I don't foresee many people devoting large chunks of their lives to writing scholarly essays on this, that or the other facet of Psion technology; that's all been done. It's all out there, but hard to find and unorganised. I see contributors as

· Reproducing existing articles, where the authors give permission (which means they will be revised by the wiki's users as time passes).
· Writing short round-up articles with lots of links to Web resources.
· Writing brief notes on some aspect of the Psion that interests them, which gradually snowball into larger articles as others add to them.

Imagine how a Web resource would be transformed if its author allowed it to be incorporated into the wiki; it would come to life and start to develop as other enthusiasts improved it and added to it.

Imagine that, instead of googling for some piece of Psion esoterica, and ploughing through scores of irrelevant and obscure sites, you went first to PsionWiki and found it described, and put in context, and linked to, in a clear and comprehensible interface. (Look at Wikipedia to see how good a wiki's interface can be.)

Imagine that anybody (well, almost anybody) could throw in their two-penn'orth on that little trick that they learned about years ago and that very few contributors to the Digest seem to know about.

There's already a Psion-related wiki in existence. The OPL Wiki is at http://www.allaboutopl.com/wiki/OPLWikiHome, but it seems to be stagnant. Perhaps it could be turned into the core of PsionWiki? A PsionWiki that would include the whole spectrum of knowledge from the highly technical stuff that's now there down to the sort of low-level user's info that people like me could provide: undocumented commands in installed apps, public-domain registration keys, pros and cons of different utilities, step-by-step how-tos, what hardware can link to what - all the hints and tips that appear in the Digest, but necessarily are disorganized and hard to find.

I have no idea what this would take: what software is available to run it, what server power and space it would require, just how much effort volunteers would have to put into running it. I haven't a clue. Is there anybody who has experience with wikis and can give some guidance? Are there any of our great gurus who would feel happy at subjecting their past Web creations to the wiki treatment? And is there anyone else who thinks a PsionWiki is a good - no, a great - no, a fantastic idea?



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