Tangent: Documentation developers & support providers in a gift economy
Posted Dec 9, 2005 13:50 UTC (Fri) by Petre
In reply to: Tangent: Documentation developers & support providers in a gift economy
Parent article: FOSS.IN: A report
Many projects are adopting wikis for their documentation, which is a good thing as it makes contributing easier. But I'm always surprised and disappointed that the articles in those wikis don't usually display the names of the individuals who wrote them (and often don't even have a date, so you can't tell how old an article is). It seems to me that having people's names shown with an article--which should be easy since you usually have to create an ID to create/edit articles--should be standard practice. On top of that, the given wiki should have a page showing tallies of who has contributed what (you could count by number of articles, number of words, etc.) The point is to give recognition to people for creating documentation. Documentation is something that just about anyone can contribute to; offering code usually requires a less common skillset.
I've contributed to the K12LTSP wiki because it's something I believe in. Unfortunately, there is no attribution on that system. I don't care about it for myself; rather, I see it as a way that students could build some credentials for themselves, and then they'd have something to put on a resume: "I have written X public articles on such & such topics, which are used by the public" will be more valuable than "I took such & such a classs." I think the PHP documentation handles this well in that there is the official manual, but each page allows anyone to comment, and people add in all sorts of additional help and ideas.
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