KDE Wikis – Get the dust away from it

Some might already have noticed, yesterday we made a long needed update to all of our wikis. Some months after it was already done for Userbase the others (Techbase and Community, the brazilian site and the wiki for akademy) now also followed.
Till now those were run on an over 2 years old mediawiki version. Many improvements have happened over this time in Mediawiki and it was time to get them into our own wikis.
Another reason was the maintenance overhead with managing 2 different mediawiki installations. This is now done and all of those share a single codebase again.

Along with that there is now a new theme in use for Techbase and Community. Some might have seen that on Userbase already. Switching between those wikis now gives a consistent look and feel. And a hidden easter egg…

But now to the bad news. The former syntax highlighting extension stopped its work due to missing maintenance and updates. So we needed to switch to a different extension for that. It is quite feature rich and fullfills what you would expect from it.
But the syntax has changed. You can read up on it here. It was evaluated if we could script the transition, but due to too many possible options and conflicts it was rejected. At least the old usage doesn’t look too broken. If you want to have it a bit more beautiful, you might want to adjust it, once you stumble upon one of those code examples.

I hope overall you are happy with the update. I will be, it is much easier to maintain now. 😉


Webworld 2011 – Day 1

The title is missleading, this is day 2, but i will try to summarize day 1. At least the parts the others didn’t blog about yet.

But let me first talk about something else. Everybody should have noticed by now, the webworld sprint is hosted at linuxhotel.
It is an awesome hotel with pretty much anything a geek would like to have from a hotel. But to make the concept work you need to obey some basic rules. Like, there are free drinks 24/day. You just need to put the bottle back to where you got it from. Basic rules.

And that leads me to our webteam. Up to this point we were there to fix broken links, typos and maybe even be sort of creative to create a new and shiny look now and gain. Guess how hard that is with subdomains and code spread all over the place.
So we really are in need for some basic rules. We discussed it and came up with the following ones:

No new subdomains will be set up from now
Right now we have over 80 subdomains on more than 5 different servers. That is insane and doesn’t add ANY value. Having less separated systems and maybe a single point of entry makes it both easier to maintain and easier for users to find the information they need.
Note, there are of course exceptions. Like, reasonably big projects might still request one. A good example for that is the new Edu site. They have a very enthusiastic team behind their website and reasonable traffic. This subdomain is worth its setup.

Subdomains need at least one person of contact/maintainer
Let me repeat, we have over 80 subdomains, each having its own codebase, images, screenshots, content etc. A maintenance nightmare for our team, which basically consists of a handful of people. Also, those sites are hosted on svn/git. Another barrier for webdevelopers who are less likely to be used to SVN/Git than app developers, but would have loved to contribute.
So each app or project wishing to run its own subdomain should also provide the manpower to care for it and update it regularly. To give you an impression, yesterday we archived some sites which were not updated since over 5 years. Having listed “news” from 2005 gives not only a bad impression of the app but also of the whole KDE.

Subdomains should have a reasonable amount of traffic
If they really give some value to the users then it indeed makes sense to have a separated domain.
For our followers, we installed a webstats system now, and will now monitor how much traffic goes through our subdomains. But if noone is really interested in a certain subdomain, why should we even provide it?
But of course, in case we will remove a subdomain, we will not remove any data. There are options to move it back to the main page of kde as subdirectory, or just putting it onto userbase (which btw is way easier to get new contributors to than php files in svn).

These are the rules. It is not that much. But it makes our life easier.

Webworld 2011 – Day 0.5

Half a day over, break for some food and random bits learned so far:

– Pork is evil
– Toma is evil, too
– Farewell, Capacity
– Lucy is sooo cute
– Linuxhotel is awesome, next year same place
– Eugene still working on the logo
– Joomla is not as bad as its reputation
– I (and most others) have already a sunburn

Details about to follow later once this day is over.


Webworld 2011 – Day 0

Hey folks at Randa, we have nice weather and just made a barbecue 😉

Yes, this is the day of arrival of this handful of awesome guys. The picture shows Tom Albers and Eugene Trounev trying to manage the correct  height for our grill.

They did quite fine, it tasted good and we had enough to make everyone replete.

Eugene also made some adjustments to the meat i never ate before, thanks for that, quite nice.

Anyway, back to topic. This is the day of the arrival for all the attendees. It was mosty relaxing until everyone arrived.
The location is awesome. Funny geek toys everywhere, nice crazy hotel rooms sometimes, but overall, i vote for making the next webworld sprint happen at exactly the same place. Yes, i say that already after half a day.

Now, after our wonderful barbecue we also got some musical interruption, thanks to Hans Chen:

But then we decided to use the late evening to really discuss something so we have a good base for starting up tomorrow. Quite interesting discussion followed,  more to come, i am sure.

It was (or is) already late, so we will continue tomorrow.
All i can say it will be a great event with some big points to make. Some will be done this weekend, some might not, but at least laid out as plan for the next months. Not much more to expect from such a small group.
Agenda follows tomorrow noon.

Some other pics:

Our grill in action

The crowd eating

Eugene working really hard on new designs (dude, our logo is still missing!)

Anyway, time to catch some sleep, day starts early. Stay tuned. And wait for the things to happen.


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