OLS 2007 Embedded Linux Wiki BOF

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Date: June 27, 7-8 pm, King room

Leader: Michael Opdenacker

The new Embedded Linux Wiki (elinux.org) aspires to become the leading resource of information about Embedded Linux. The project has been seeded with the large quantity of technical material currently maintained on the CELF public wiki and current elinux.org wiki. The CE Linux Forum (CELF) is a main sponsor, funding a fulltime editor for the site. The wiki will also welcome and encourage contributions beyond technical documentation, such as hacker, product and company profiles, event coverage, interviews, book reviews...

This BOF reviewed the achievements of this project to date and provided an overview of the ideas and plans which have not been implemented yet. All participants were invited to discover the work to date and share their expectations of what a useful online resource should provide.

During the BOF, Michael asked everyone in the audience to create an account and "edit something, anything". This is an editing contribution from one of those audience members.

BOF report

Presentation slides: https://elinux.org/images//8/83/Pdf.gif Embedded Linux Wiki BOF presentation https://elinux.org/images/d/da/Info_circle.png, Media:Ols2007-elinux-wiki-bof.odp (OpenOffice.org format)

During the presentation, several questions we asked:

Q: Where are the IRC archives?
A (Tim Riker): http://ibot.rikers.org/%23elinux/ (now listed on the IRC page)

Q: What about email addresses?
A: Registration doesn't ask for any password.

Q: What's the license for code excerpts?
A: The license of the original software. If the code doesn't belong to any project, the author is free to choose a license. If not specified, we assume the license is the GNU GPL v2.

Q: Are links stable over time?
A (Tim Bird): Yes, if the page is old enough. After a new page is created, you may expect us to rename it or merge it with another page if appropriate.

Q: Could there be an RSS feed for pages?
A: Apparently not, for new pages. However, Wikipedia provides an RSS link in the "Toolbox" box in each history page. We are using the same engine (Wikimedia), but we have not enabled this feature, yet.

Q: What about Wiki promotion activities and prizes?
A (Tim Bird): They are not finalized yet. Stay tuned on the Wiki pages for news.

Several suggestions were also made:

  • Page(s) in which user could share their live experience with systems that appear to run Linux. An example is the entertainment system used by Delta Air Lines. There could be one page per system, in which contributors could add the extra details they found.
  • Rob Landley: as a way to fight obsolete pages, old pages could carry a "not modified since..." notice. Of course, contents would not be removed.
  • Rob Landley: To attract and recognize contributors, some pages could be rewarded by a "Passed editorial approval" or "High quality article" notice.
  • Rob Landley: What about attracting people by trying to catch their attention every day (note: like in Wikipedia)? We could have weekly highlights to keep contributors active. Tim Bird: I rather see this wiki as a live Embedded-Linux book.
  • Have "Questions and Answers" pages on several topics, perhaps on each topic advertized on the front page. Rob Landley also suggested having an "Unanswered questions" section on these pages or on separate pages.
  • Have tool-specific documents, such as "Installing SNMP".
  • Somebody (Lefty, IIRC) proposed to announce the new wiki on Slashdot, LWN.net, and LinuxDevices.com.
  • Somebody proposed holding meetings with contributors living in the SF Bay area.
  • Satoru Ueda told us that there could be more contributors in Japan, but they could only write in Japanese. He suggested having a section or version of the wiki in Japanese for these contributors. Rob Landley suggested having a "Japanese Maintainer" who would coordinate and review translations of these pages to English.

Additional questions, answers and suggestions

Even if you couldn't participate to this event, do not hesitate to add your own questions and suggestions below.

Multiple Languages

Just responding to the note about Japanese contributions above... is it not possible to set up mediawiki so that we can have a "in other languages" sidebar just like wikipedia does? I'm sure there will be some language specific pages, but I think most content could just be organized so there is a version of each page/topic for the various languages.